books to recommend

What a fantastic period of time we live in; where we can easily access the great thinking, knowledge and experience of others through books and other means.  I read or listen to more books now than ever before.  I have an amazon account, a kindle to read books on and an audible account from where I download audio books.

I’ve linked to a number of books throughout my wordpress site which I have found valuable and I recommend to others. Below are some of the general interest books I have found valuable.

Losing My Virginity by Richard Branson
This is an inspirational autobiography of Richard Branson’s life. A great read from the beginning to the end. I think it’s a great book for both teachers and students. It’s a reminder to us all that formal education may help students on the road to success but to achieve something on the scale of what Richard Branson has achieved requires learning that transcends most formal education programs.  For teachers the reminder is that no matter what we do we should try our darnedest not to extinguish the spark and inspiration that is so often the hallmark of entrepreneurs and if at all possible encourage such in our educational programs.  Students may find aspects of what Richard Branson has achieved a model for their future success regardless of how they are performing in the classroom.  No one will repeat what Richard has done, but we can all learn something and be inspired by his experience.Richard Branson is famous for his notebooks and note taking.  I have used the following quote from this book to encourage my students to make notes and write important things down.“I have always lived my life by making lists: lists of people to call, lists of ideas, lists of companies to set up, lists of people who can make things happen.  Each day I work through these lists and it is that sequence of calls that propels me forward”
Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?
Here’s a book to challenge your thinking, and here’s a quote which sums up much of what the book is about. “Linchpins are the essential building blocks of tomorrow’s high-value organizations. They don’t bring capital or expensive machinery, nor do they blindly follow instructions and merely contribute labor. Linchpins are indispensable, the driving force of our future.” Seth believes and implores us to create our own art. He uses the word “art” in a very broad sense to describe our own unique contribution. As such the book is probably more art than science, with lots of thoughts and views presented in a manner that is not always a logical flow. It’s as if Seth was unloading one idea after another without a breath in between statement. As such I am not sure I’m convinced by everything Seth has stated, but I think in general the book’s well worth a read and that it makes innumerable good points about the future of work. As I started with, the book does challenge our thinking, and gives ideas on how we should develop ourselves to best succeed in the current and the, likely, future world.
Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose
What a wonderful book this is. Tony Hsieh’s description of how he and his organisations developed is both fascinating and inspiring. A lot to learn here; especially about the importance of people and culture within an organisation. The self-effacing way Tony writes makes us feel that we can do what he’s done. In fact that is what he is encouraging us to do. Few of us will make the millions he has made, but the greater aim of finding happiness is likely the bigger story and one we can all learn from. The fact that he was willing to pursue his passions, have the time of his life achieving his goals, make money and help many others to do the same is a joy to hear about. Have fun reading this book – be inspired.
Other books I plan to add here getting things done
seven habits of highly effective people
the little big things
brain rules
made to stick

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