We hoped that you have been enjoying our gift guides from the past week, let's keep the holiday spirit alive with another guide. But this time, we will stay away from the tech stuff and focus on books! With the holidays knocking at the door, it will be a great moment to enjoy a nice book next to a fireplace? In all seriousness, it's always good to go back to the basics for a change, we spend a crazy amount of time on our smartphones. Let's leave it on the coffee table for a change. I have to admit that I wish I was reading more books this year, it's on my things to do more for 2018. Hope you will enjoy this list! More Links Follow my tweets @aoirostudio Follow my pictures on Instagram Book Recommendations Life's a Pitch: How to Sell Yourself and Your Brilliant Ideas by Mavity Designing Brand Identity: An Essential Guide for the Whole Branding Team by Alina Wheeler Type Matters! by Jim Williams Creative Workshop: 80 Challenges to Sharpen Your Design Skills by David Sherwin Logo Design Love: A guide to creating iconic brand identities by David Airey Burn Your Portfolio: Stuff they don't teach you in design school, but should by Michael Janda à In Progress: See Inside a Lettering Artist's Sketchbook by Jessica Hische Book of Ideas: 1: A Journal of Creative Direction and Graphic Design by Radim Malinic This Brutal World Hardcover by Peter Chadwick Look Inside: Cutaway Illustrations and Visual Storytelling by Juan Velasco Overview: A New Perspective of Earth by Benjamin Grant Photoviz: Visualizing Information through Photography by Nicholas Felton Graphic: 500 Designs that Matter Draplin Design Co.: Pretty Much Everything by Draplin
Let's kickstart the Weekend with a book recommendation that I profoundly finished a couple days ago. I wasn't into books until I had more free time on my hands; I also forgot how important it is to read and educate yourself through lecture instead of curated content. There are many reasons why it's still great to allow time to read. Now let's take a look at my book recommendation which is about one of the greatest innovator of our time, that is constantly owning the vision of the future. Let's take a look at Elon Musk, commonly known as CEO and product architect of Tesla Inc. You will read about his hardship and stories about his previous (and actual) ventures including: SpaceX, SolarCity, X.com and a lot more. I've learned a lot from this pure fascinating character and it's a guaranteed reading joy for everyone. Give it a read! Ashlee Vance is a New York Times best-selling author and feature writer at Bloomberg Businessweek. Ashelee is also the host of the Hello World television and internet show. There are few industrialists in history who could match Elon Musk's relentless drive and ingenious vision. A modern alloy of Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Howard Hughes, and Steve Jobs, Musk is the man behind PayPal, Tesla Motors, SpaceX, and SolarCity, each of which has sent shock waves throughout American business and industry. More than any other executive today, Musk has dedicated his energies and his own vast fortune to inventing a future that is as rich and far-reaching as a science fiction fantasy. More Links Get your own copy via Amazon Learn more about Ashlee Vance at ashleevance.com Author by Ashlee Vance
I am an introvert, shy and that also made me feel insecure, so much so that I thought I had a problem. It turned out that was just my brain playing tricks on me. During all these years I have been reading a lot about psychology and how the brain works. It's good for my career as a designer and it's even better for all the questions I have in my head. Last year, I went through a very traumatic experience that definitely created some scar tissue, not physically but mentally. One book that really opened my eyes and I believe it's a great book recommendation is the You Are Not Your Brain: The 4-Step Solution for Changing Bad Habits, Ending Unhealthy Thinking, and Taking Control of Your Life by Jeffrey M. Schwartz and Rebecca Gladding MD. There are so many things about this book that made me see and deal with some of my thoughts quite differently. Through 4 simple steps, which I won't reveal here, the author illustrates through examples how most of the time, our brain fills in the gaps and create wrong scenarios. That ends up creating anxiety, insecurity and even depression. It's an amazing book and I highly recommend it. I read it but the audiobook version might also be worth it because this book is one that I will revisit at least 2 or 3 times per year. Book description A leading neuroplasticity researcher and the coauthor of the groundbreaking books Brain Lock and The Mind and the Brain, Jeffrey M. Schwartz has spent his career studying the human brain. He pioneered the first mindfulness-based treatment program for people suffering from OCD, teaching patients how to achieve long-term relief from their compulsions. Schwartz works with psychiatrist Rebecca Gladding to refine a program that successfully explains how the brain works and why we often feel besieged by overactive brain circuits (i.e. bad habits, social anxieties, etc.) the key to making life changes that you want—to make your brain work for you—is to consciously choose to “starve” these circuits of focused attention, thereby decreasing their influence and strength. You Are Not Your Brain carefully outlines their program, showing readers how to identify negative impulses, channel them through the power of focused attention, and ultimately lead more fulfilling and empowered lives. Video Order yours on Amazon
Berlin Design Digest is a new design book that showcases work from 75 Berlin agencies. Berlin is a creative hot spot. With its remarkable history, its cosmopolitan attitude, and its many interdisciplinary experiments and trends, Berlin is attracting more and more creative-industry movers and shakers and startup founders from across the globe. To celebrate the ten-year anniversary of UNESCO naming Berlin a ”City of Design,” the editors Robert Eysoldt, a strategic and creative consultant, and Raban Ruddigkeit, a designer and editor, have assembled 100 successful projects, products, and processes by 75 Berlin agencies, design labs, public initiatives, networks, and universities, which currently connect Berlin with the world. This book juxtaposes innovative experiments and trendsetting initiatives with mega-projects that are relevant to business as well. From architecture to humanitarian design and open source projects, via fashion, product, and communication design. In addition, twelve experts in design and communications offer their thoughts on various design disciplines and processes. including impulses from Anita Tillmann (Premium Group, Berlin), Nikolaus Hafermaas (ArtCenter, Los Angeles), Lars Krückeberg, Wolfram Putz, and Thomas Willemeit (GRAFT, Berlin). The book with 304 pages and more than 300 photos and illustrations will not only inspire readers, but also enable them to exchange, cooperate, and initiate projects with creatives and designers from Berlin that transcend cultures and nations, and that promote an open society and a free world. Design book
This week is the second or first, in my case, week of work in 2017. With every new year there's a lot of resolutions made, areas that we want to improve or things we want to change. I feel that for me I want just to focus on less and the practice of minimalism. For that reason I am also trying to focus more on design books rather than just online. I am trying to savor the information a bit more instead of gobbling up everything I might think will be inspiring or useful. Most of the time that ends up not being the case, but just the fear of missing out, resulting in a pile of articles to read or links that, without context, have little to no value. So, for this post I will highlight a few design books that are on my list for 2017. Some I have already in my library, others I might purchase along the way. The books are about design, branding, photography, interface and topics that we try to cover here on the blog. Design Books Designing Design Representing a new generation of designers in Japan, Kenya Hara (born 1958) pays tribute to his mentors, using long overlooked Japanese icons and images in much of his work. In Designing Design, he impresses upon the reader the importance of "emptiness" in both the visual and philosophical traditions of Japan, and its application to design, made visible by means of numerous examples from his own work: Hara for instance designed the opening and closing ceremony programs for the Nagano Winter Olympic games 1998. - Amazon Draplin Design Co.: Pretty Much Everything Esquire. Ford Motors. Burton Snowboards. The Obama Administration. While all of these brands are vastly different, they share at least one thing in common: a teeny, little bit of Aaron James Draplin. Draplin is one of the new school of influential graphic designers who combine the power of design, social media, entrepreneurship, and DIY aesthetic to create a successful business and way of life. - Amazon Design for People: Stories About How (and Why) We All Can Work Together to Make Things Better Most design books focus on outcome rather than on process. Scott Stowell's Design for People is groundbreaking in its approach to design literature. Focusing on 12 design projects by Stowell's design firm, Open, the volume offers a sort of oral history as told by those involved with each project--designers, clients, interns, collaborators and those who interact with the finished product on a daily basis. - Amazon The Grid: A Modular System for the Design and Production of Newpapers, Magazines, and Books Inspirational guide to understanding principles of proportion and their relation to layout design. - Amazon Room: Inside Contemporary Interiors ROOM: Inside Contemporary Interiors explores a curated selection of exceptional spaces, ranging from retail concept stores, pop‐up dining experiences, and art installations, to hotels and private residences. - Amazon The Best Interface Is No Interface: The simple path to brilliant technology (Voices That Matter) In his insightful, raw, and often hilarious criticism, Golden reveals fascinating ways to think beyond screens using three principles that lead to more meaningful innovation. Whether you’re working in technology, or just wary of a gadget-filled future, you’ll be enlighted and entertained while discovering that the best interface is no interface. - Amazon 150 Best Eco House Ideas The newest volume in the highly successful “150 Best” series—joining 150 Best House Ideas and 150 Best Apartment Ideas—150 Best Eco House Ideas is a comprehensive handbook showcasing the latest in sustainable architecture and environmentally-friendly home design. Perfect for architects, designers, interiors decorators, and homeowners alike. - Amazon How to Use Graphic Design to Sell Things, Explain Things, Make Things Look Better, Make People Laugh, Make People Cry, and (Every Once in a While) Change the World The first monograph, design manual, and manifesto by Michael Bierut, one of the world’s most renowned graphic designers—a career retrospective that showcases more than thirty-five of his most noteworthy projects for clients as the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Yale School of Architecture, the New York Times, Saks Fifth Avenue, and the New York Jets, and reflects eclectic enthusiasm and accessibility that has been the hallmark of his career. - Amazon
These past few months I've read quite a few books of varying topics, from simple fiction to alchemy. Among these books I've read two from Ryan Holiday, his latest I believe, Ego is the Enemy and the most popular The Obstacle is the Way. Both books are quite good but I'll focus this book suggestion post solely on The Obstacle is the Way. I recommend this not only because of the difficult time I have been going through personally but because it has really good insights on how to deal with situations in life. The Obstacle is the Way is a great portrayal of stoicism, the ancient Greek philosophy of enduring pain or adversity with perseverance and resilience. Stoics focus on the things they can control, let go of everything else, and turn every new obstacle into an opportunity to get better, stronger, tougher. As Marcus Aurelius put it nearly 2000 years ago: “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” The book is rife with amazing quotes and I feel the greatest takeaway is that obstacles are part of our lives, we don't choose them. Once you think that that's the only way you stop questioning why that happened to you. I'd say that it's not that the obstacle is the way, but life is the way. We need to be adaptable. We need to learn to face adversities not as setbacks but learning opportunities. I know you might say, it is easier said than done. I agree, but I believe we are always ready for what is given to us. The problem is that we neglect that or we try to reason why instead of moving forward, adapting and learning. "Ryan Holiday, the author, shows us how some of the most successful people in history—from John D. Rockefeller to Amelia Earhart to Ulysses S. Grant to Steve Jobs—have applied stoicism to overcome difficult or even impossible situations. Their embrace of these principles ultimately mattered more than their natural intelligence, talents, or luck." -- amazon.com "If you’re feeling frustrated, demoralized, or stuck in a rut, this book can help you turn your problems into your biggest advantages. And along the way it will inspire you with dozens of true stories of the greats from every age and era." -- amazon.com Heres a video from Ryan about stoicism: Stoic optimism: Ryan Holiday at TEDxUChicago 2014 Buy The Obstacle is the Way on Amazon
Today, we are happily announcing the Launch of Radim Malinic's Book of Ideas on Abduzeedo. It's been quite a few years since his last publication and this time, Radim has put together a journal/collection of 256 pages of his work from the past and also sharing his deep thoughts on our creative industry by not only from a successful perspective but through his creative blocks as well for which is quite interesting one's take of how you encounter these kind of obstacles in your career. I got to become a creative director by saying yes to pretty much everything I thought I could either learn from or do a good job at. I’m curious about everything,” he says. “I got to a point in my career where I found myself needing one more thing - a reason. This collection of my work has been chosen from the last four years of searching for purpose and reasons. About Radim Malinic A designer, creative director, illustrator and speaker; Radim takes a multidisciplinary approach to Design by combining his signature mixture of vibrance and fluid concepts. Currently based in South West London, UK; Radim has been embracing freelance life for more than 10 years now and has worked with brands like: Acer, Arts Council England, BBC, The London Film Museum just to name a few. Some Thoughts It’s about how the world outside influences the creativity inside; and how it inspires us, teaches us and makes us create better work.Coming in one size, this book is bound into a solid paperback cover with a beautiful feel and texture. This book is truly for everyone, it' s not particularly aimed to a certain target of audience. Through the book, you get an insight of who is Radim Malinic and what he was been through in the past few years of his life. While going through the pages, this book has given some thoughts about my career myself, what's not working and the things I can do to improve my situation. Get your book now: http://www.novemberuniverse.co.uk/products/book-of-ideas
I had such a great time reading the 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris that in the end I felt I was left with that little feeling of wanting a bit more. At least in the end of that book Tim recommends a few other books and I am now trying to tackle those. I just finished one of them, another excellent book, The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz. There are so many good tips in this book that I had to recommend it here as well. Millions of people around the world have improved their lives through the timeless advice David Schwartz offers in The Magic of Thinking Big . In this best-selling audiobook, Schwartz proves you don't need innate talent to become successful, but you do need to understand the habit of thinking and behaving in ways that will get you there. Publisher's Summary With more than six million copies sold worldwide, David Schwartz's timeless guide and best-selling phenomenon, The Magic of Thinking Big , is now available for the first time as an unabridged audio edition. Millions of people around the world have improved their lives through the timeless advice David Schwartz offers in The Magic of Thinking Big. In this best-selling audiobook, Schwartz proves you don't need innate talent to become successful, but you do need to understand the habit of thinking and behaving in ways that will get you there. Filled with easy-to-understand advice, this unabridged audio edition - perfect for gift giving - will put you on the road to changing the way you think, helping you work better, manage smarter, earn more money, achieve your goals, and, most importantly, live a fuller, happier life. ©1959, 1965 Prentice Hall. All rights reserved. (P)2015 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved. Video Buy it from Amazon
Good design is timeless, Massimo Vignelli said that once and Dieter Rams reassured use with Good design is long-lasting. If you look back to 5 years ago you can see some of the trends but you can also see this saying working. That's why I like to go back to old projects in sites like Behance, Dribbble, Pinterest, books and of course my own site Abduzeedo to see how much things have changed, but also how much good design is still good design. The project I am sharing today is a great example: the I Love Bodoni book by TwoPoints.Net Every typeface has its own charisma. Not only does its presence in design lend an attribute to the identity of a product or project, but also reflect the taste, personality and attitude of the designer behind. Most designers keep a list of favorites with no more than ten typefaces throughout their trajectory. Some make a statement by sticking to just one typeface in every piece of their work. The choice for typeface is the flag held high by designers. Bodoni has been used in everything from 18th century Italian books to 1960s periodicals, and early versions of the typeface are still used for fine book printing. Popular for poster use, it has graced diverse ad campaigns from Mamma Mia! to Nirvana. This graceful illustrated volume comprehensively explores the broad scope of experimental and creative design ideas that have been realized using Bodoni. I Love Type is a collaboration between Viction:ary and TwoPoints.Net. The type collection series, with focus on one specific typeface at a time, documents the fashionable comeback of a selection of time honored typefaces in a myriad of contemporary designs gathered from around the world. The jacket is printed in CMYK, plus a Pantone neon color and a holographic metal hot foil stamp. As well as the spine, the edge is colored with the neon color. Each book of the series is going to have another color, so when all the books are displayed together they will form a neon rainbow. The preface for I Love Bodoni was written by Wolfgang Hartmann of BauerTypes. Publisher: Viction:ary Distribution: Gingko Press Year: 2011 Buy this book on Amazon
It's been quite a while since the last time I recommended a book. It's not because I haven't read any new books lately, it's just because I felt that the books I read weren't exactly worth sharing here. That's not the case of the book I want to talk about today. It's The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss. I think this book has really cool tips on how to increase your productivity and improve your lifestyle. I've been hearing about this book for some time now but I was always a bit reticent about reading despite the fact I am a Tim Ferriss fan and follower. Once I started reading it I was still a bit hesitant but it didn't take too long to change my mind and start trying to apply some of the tips to my own life. I won't spoil it and I know that everyone of us is different but a lot of things in this book are true gold. Forget the old concept of retirement and the rest of the deferred-life plan–there is no need to wait and every reason not to, especially in unpredictable economic times. Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, experiencing high-end world travel, earning a monthly five-figure income with zero management, or just living more and working less This step-by-step guide to luxury lifestyle design teaches: How Tim went from $40,000 per year and 80 hours per week to $40,000 per month and 4 hours per week How to outsource your life to overseas virtual assistants for $5 per hour and do whatever you want How blue-chip escape artists travel the world without quitting their jobs How to eliminate 50% of your work in 48 hours using the principles of a forgotten Italian economist How to trade a long-haul career for short work bursts and frequent “mini-retirements” You might ask me, doesn't all of that sound too much of a BS? I feel that you can take everything with a grain of salt or you can embrace, get excited and try to exercise the ideas to improve your own life. It's a win win situation, and for me, if he did it, why can't we? About the author TIMOTHY FERRISS is a serial entrepreneur, #1 New York Times bestselling author, and angel investor/advisor (Facebook, Twitter, Evernote, Uber, and 20+ more). Best known for his rapid-learning techniques, Tim's books -- The 4-Hour Workweek, The 4-Hour Body, and The 4-Hour Chef -- have been published in 30+ languages. The 4-Hour Workweek has spent seven years on The New York Times bestseller list. Tim has been featured by more than 100 media outlets including The New York Times, The Economist, TIME, Forbes, Fortune, Outside, NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox and CNN. He has guest lectured in entrepreneurship at Princeton University since 2003. His popular blog http://www.fourhourblog.com has 1M+ monthly readers, and his Twitter account @tferriss was selected by Mashable as one of only five "Must-Follow" accounts for entrepreneurs.
The book suggestion of this week is titled Exposing the Magic of Design: A Practitioner's Guide to the Methods and Theory of Synthesis. As the titled says the book is a good guid for young designers and enthusiasts but also for everyone that is passionate about the creative process. The author of the book is Jon Kolko, the Vice President of Consumer Design at Blackboard. John also is the author of our previous suggestion, Well Designd. Book Description As the world deals with increasing complexity -- in issues of sustainability, finance, culture and technology -- business and governments are searching for a form of problem solving that can deal with the unprecedented levels of ambiguity and chaos. Traditional "linear thinking" has been disparaged by the popular media as being inadequate for dealing with the global economic crisis. Standard forms of marketing and product development have been rejected by businesses who need to find a way to stay competitive in a global economy. Yet little has been offered as an alternative. It is not enough to demand that someone "be more innovative" without giving him the tools to succeed. Design synthesis is a way of thinking about complicated, multifaceted problems of this scale with a repeatable degree of success. Design synthesis methods can be applied in business, with the goal of producing new and compelling products and services, and they can be applied in government, with the goal of changing culture and bettering society. In both contexts, however, there is a need for speed and for aggressive action. This text is immediately relevant, and is more relevant than ever, as we acknowledge and continually reference a feeling of an impending and massive change. Simply, this text is intended to act as a practitioner's guide to exposing the magic of design. There are three simple goals for this text. The first goal is to present a theory of design synthesis in a simple and concise manner. This theory is based on academic research and discourse, but presented in a way that is clear and valuable to a practicing design manager, designer or design researcher. This theory of design synthesis can then be used to substantiate single methods of synthesis. The second goal is to offer a rationalization of why design synthesis is important, both in a general sense ("why should I care about this at all?") as well as in a more immediate sense ("why should I care about this right now?"). The final goal is to present a set of actionable, learnable methods for design synthesis that can be applied to any design problem. Practicing industrial designers, interaction designers, interface designers, and designers of other disciplines can use these methods to make sense of complicated design problems and to move seamlessly from various forms of research to design. The methods can add a systematic sense of rigor to an otherwise subjective, often introspective process.
The book suggestion of this week is about design and how it has helped products to be more than just useful but also pleasant to use. Well-designed products create a emotional bond with the user and therefore distance themselves from the competitors. The title of the book is Well-Designed: How to Use Empathy to Create Products People Love by Jon Kolko. From Design Thinking to Design Doing Innovators today are told to run loose and think lean in order to fail fast and succeed sooner. But in a world obsessed with the new, where cool added features often trump actual customer needs, it’s the consumer who suffers. In our quest to be more agile, we end up creating products that underwhelm. So how does a company like Nest, creator of the mundane thermostat, earn accolades like “beautiful” and “revolutionary” and a $3.2 billion Google buyout? What did Nest do differently to create a household product that people speak of with love? Nest, and companies like it, understand that emotional connection is critical to product development. And they use a clear, repeatable design process that focuses squarely on consumer engagement rather than piling on features for features’ sake. In this refreshingly jargon-free and practical book, product design expert Jon Kolko maps out this process, demonstrating how it will help you and your team conceive and build successful, emotionally resonant products again and again. The key, says Kolko, is empathy. You need to deeply understand customer needs and feelings, and this understanding must be reflected in the product. In successive chapters of the book, we see how leading companies use a design process of storytelling and iteration that evokes positive emotions, changes behavior, and creates deep engagement. Here are the four key steps: Determine a product-market fit by seeking signals from communities of users. Identify behavioral insights by conducting ethnographic research. Sketch a product strategy by synthesizing complex research data into simple insights. Polish the product details using visual representations to simplify complex ideas. Kolko walks the reader through each step, sharing eye-opening insights from his fifteen-year career in product design along the way. Whether you’re a designer, a product developer, or a marketer thinking about your company’s next offering, this book will forever change the way you think about—and create—successful products. Jon Kolko - Well Designed: How to Use Empathy to Create Products People Love from Midwest UX on Vimeo. Buy Now
The book suggestion of this week is a really nice read for those who are not only starting out their careers, but everyone in the creative industry. The book is titled Burn Your Portfolio by Michael Janda. About the book It takes more than just a design school education and a killer portfolio to succeed in a creative career. Burn Your Portfolio teaches the real-world practices, professional do's and don'ts, and unwritten rules of business that most designers, photographers, web designers, copy writers, programmers, and architects only learn after putting in years of experience on the job. Michael Janda, owner of the Utah-based design firm Riser, uses humor to dispense nugget after nugget of hard-won advice collected over the last decade from the personal successes and failures he has faced running his own agency. In this surprisingly funny, but incredibly practical advice guide, Janda's advice on teamwork and collaboration, relationship building, managing clients, bidding work, production processes, and more will resonate with creative professionals of all stripes. About the author About the Author Michael Janda has been in most positions on the graphic design world org chart over his 16-year career. He has served as production artist, designer, freelancer, and creative director (including a few years as senior creative director over two of Fox’s Internet divisions). Since 2002, Janda has owned and operated his own agency, Riser, which boasts such high-profile clients as NBC, ABC, Fox, Google, National Geographic, Warner Bros., and Disney. Buy it now
The book suggestion of this week is about how to create products that got people to use very often. The title of the book is Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal. As I said, the book ask the questions: Why do some products capture widespread attention while others flop? What makes us engage with certain products out of sheer habit? Is there a pattern underlying how technologies hook us? Nir Eyal answers these questions (and many more) by explaining the Hook Model—a four-step process embedded into the products of many successful companies to subtly encourage customer behavior. Through consecutive “hook cycles,” these products reach their ultimate goal of bringing users back again and again without depending on costly advertising or aggressive messaging. Hooked is based on Eyal’s years of research, consulting, and practical experience. He wrote the book he wished had been available to him as a start-up founder—not abstract theory, but a how-to guide for building better products. Hooked is written for product managers, designers, marketers, start-up founders, and anyone who seeks to understand how products influence our behavior. Eyal provides readers with: Practical insights to create user habits that stick. Actionable steps for building products people love. Fascinating examples from the iPhone to Twitter, Pinterest to the Bible App, and many other habit-forming products.
Every new year comes with new resolutions, among them at least for me there's always one that is always there at the top of the list, which is to read more books. This year my goal is to vary the styles and move away from design books to focus more on subjects that can improve my personal and work life. The book I will start this week and recommend in this post is What Got You Here Won't Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful by Marshall Goldsmith. I found out about that book while reading another one and got really curious about it. About the book America’s most sought-after executive coach shows how to climb the last few rungs of the ladder. The corporate world is filled with executives, men and women who have worked hard for years to reach the upper levels of management. They’re intelligent, skilled, and even charismatic. But only a handful of them will ever reach the pinnacle -- and as executive coach Marshall Goldsmith shows in this book, subtle nuances make all the difference. These are small "transactional flaws" performed by one person against another (as simple as not saying thank you enough), which lead to negative perceptions that can hold any executive back. Using Goldsmith’s straightforward, jargon-free advice, it’s amazingly easy behavior to change. Executives who hire Goldsmith for one-on-one coaching pay $250,000 for the privilege. With this book, his help is available for 1/10,000th of the price. Editorial Review from Publishers Weekly Goldsmith, an executive coach to the corporate elite, pinpoints 20 bad habits that stifle already successful careers as well as personal goals like succeeding in marriage or as a parent. Most are common behavioral problems, such as speaking when angry, which even the author is prone to do when dealing with a teenage daughter's belly ring. Though Goldsmith deals with touchy-feely material more typical of a self-help book—such as learning to listen or letting go of the past—his approach to curing self-destructive behavior is much harder-edged. For instance, he does not suggest sensitivity training for those prone to voicing morale-deflating sarcasm. His advice is to stop doing it. To stimulate behavior change, he suggests imposing fines (e.g., $10 for each infraction), asserting that monetary penalties can yield results by lunchtime. While Goldsmith's advice applies to everyone, the highly successful audience he targets may be the least likely to seek out his book without a direct order from someone higher up. As he points out, they are apt to attribute their success to their bad behavior. Still, that may allow the less successful to gain ground by improving their people skills first. (Jan. 2) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Buy Now
The book suggestion of this week is Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work by Chip Heath. This book is about making better decisions or at least understanding a little bit more about our decision making process in order to do so. In Decisive, the Heaths, based on an exhaustive study of the decision-making literature, introduce a four-step process designed to counteract these biases. Written in an engaging and compulsively readable style, Decisive takes readers on an unforgettable journey, from a rock star’s ingenious decision-making trick to a CEO’s disastrous acquisition, to a single question that can often resolve thorny personal decisions. Along the way, we learn the answers to critical questions like these: How can we stop the cycle of agonizing over our decisions? How can we make group decisions without destructive politics? And how can we ensure that we don’t overlook precious opportunities to change our course? Decisive is the Heath brothers’ most powerful—and important—book yet, offering fresh strategies and practical tools enabling us to make better choices. Because the right decision, at the right moment, can make all the difference. Buy it now
The book suggestion of this week is about the importance of change and how difficult that can be. The book is titled Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath. I am a believer of the importance of trying new things in order to learn, sometimes we make mistakes sometimes we hit the bullseye, the only way to know though is by trying and changing. Why is it so hard to make lasting changes in our companies, in our communities, and in our own lives? The primary obstacle is a conflict that’s built into our brains, say Chip and Dan Heath, authors of the critically acclaimed bestseller Made to Stick. Psychologists have discovered that our minds are ruled by two different systems—the rational mind and the emotional mind—that compete for control. The rational mind wants a great beach body; the emotional mind wants that Oreo cookie. The rational mind wants to change something at work; the emotional mind loves the comfort of the existing routine. This tension can doom a change effort—but if it is overcome, change can come quickly. In Switch, the Heaths show how everyday people—employees and managers, parents and nurses—have united both minds and, as a result, achieved dramatic results: The lowly medical interns who managed to defeat an entrenched, decades-old medical practice that was endangering patients. The home-organizing guru who developed a simple technique for overcoming the dread of housekeeping. The manager who transformed a lackadaisical customer-support team into service zealots by removing a standard tool of customer service In a compelling, story-driven narrative, the Heaths bring together decades of counterintuitive research in psychology, sociology, and other fields to shed new light on how we can effect transformative change. Switch shows that successful changes follow a pattern, a pattern you can use to make the changes that matter to you, whether your interest is in changing the world or changing your waistline. Buy Now