We can’t control the future, yet we can bend it. We can’t hold on to what is, yet we can choose to be a part of change. The work we do every day, the stories we tell, the paths we follow and the connections we make define who we are. Together we define our culture, our love for what is, our desire to make things better.
Books (This list will keep changing. Check back once in a while!
The Courage to be Disliked, by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga. Adlerian psychology applied in a practical, loving no-nonsense yet Stoic dialogue between a philosopher and his students. Happiness is a choice. Read it!
Awareness: The Perils and Opportunities of Reality, by Anthony DeMello. Humor, directness, compassion. Liberation when you let go of any and all expectation. “You possess everything you need right now to be happy and fulfilled.” “It’s not that we fear the unknown. What you really fear is the loss of the known.”
Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, by Simon Sinek. Amid my favorite quotes: "People don't buy what you do; they buy why you do it. If you talk about what you believe, you will attract those who believe what you believe.” It all starts with WHY. (See also this great TED talk.)
It doesn't have to be crazy at work, by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson. The founders of BaseCamp do the Enough Thing. Life is enough, there is enough, we are enough. Let go of the chase for growth, more, faster, harder. Basecamp has become a model of calm, contentment, clarity. Enough. Calm. The book shows us how they got there. A conscious company from the inside out.
The Meaning Revolution: The power of transcendent leadership, by Fred Kofman. Inspiring, practical insight on how we can apply people-centered solutions for hard organizational problems. Every organization involved in work that is nonviolent and non-addictive has an "immortality project" at its core, Kofman says. Love and lean into this purpose. "From [this] enlightened perspective, there is no tension between material and spiritual pursuits."
The Awakened Woman: Remembering and Reigniting our Sacred Dreams, by Tererai Trent. A very different leadership book, for sure. It’s for any and every woman who is holding back, who has lost her voice, who is staying silent because she doesn't know how to break her silence. It’s for women who have dreams and are afraid to start.
Dan Pink (a former speech writer for Al Gore) has published several noteworthy books, but the ones standing out for me are When: The scientific secrets of perfect timing, which unlocks the scientific secrets to good timing to help us flourish - naps are in fact an excellent thing - and Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, which overturns the conventional wisdom about human motivation.
Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone by Brené Brown. You may already know that Brown, a research professor, has spent 16-plus years studying courage, vulnerability, empathy, and shame. In this beautiful work she explores the truth of standing alone with others, fierce and fearless, inhabiting solitude and our deep humanity together at once. “Belonging to ourselves means being called to stand alone — to brave the wilderness of uncertainty, vulnerability and criticism,” Brown writes. “A wild heart is awake to the pain in the world, but does not diminish its own pain. A wild heart can beat with gratitude and lean into pure joy without denying the struggle in the world."
Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman, a psychologist who won the Nobel Prize in economic science in 2002, is a profound, fun exploration of human irrationality. How do we make our choices and decisions? On what grounds and reasoning? And, ultimately, how do our choices inform our happiness…or do they? Be ready to be surprised.
Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success, by Adam Grant. One of the most lauded books in 2013 (“...[it] just might be the most important book of this young century,” Stanford professor Bob Sutton wrote). A riveting deep-dive in the relationship between giving and success, all based on research and fascinating anecdotes. And it debunks the notion that nice folks finish last, once and for all.
Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard, by Chip & Dan Heath explores one single question, Why is it so hard to make lasting changes in our companies, in our communities, and in our own lives? The primary obstacle, say the Heath brothers, is a conflict that’s built into our brains. Real-world examples and counter-intuitive research. A guide to how we can effect transformative change.
On kindness by psychoanalyst Adam Phillips and historian Barbara Taylor is one of those gems of little books that you can keep returning to. One of my favorite quotes from this thoughtful and concise analysis of kindness: "It is kind to be able to bear conflict, in oneself and others; It is kind, to oneself and others, to forego magic and sentimentality for reality; It is kind to see individuals as they are, rather than how we might want them to be; It is kind to care for people just as we find them."
Mind: A Journey to the Heart of Being Human by Dan Siegel asks profound questions into the nature of mind, energy, awareness, and information. It had me spinning with new possibilities and awareness. What is healthy mind in the first place? What if mind is nothing more nor less than “an emergent self-organizing process, both embodied and relational, that regulates energy and information flow within and among us.” What if mind extends beyond our physical selves? And what are the consequences for us as human beings? Read this, download Siegel’s Wheel of Awareness materials, and have fun.
International Coaching Federation: A great resource on all things coaching. The metrics, the facts. How to find a great coach. Learning tools. Ethical considerations. (I am a member, and certified with ICF as a Professional Certified Coach.)
The Seth Godin Akimbo Workshops: The workshops are about marketing. But not really. Maybe not at all. They are about becoming better human beings, about empathy, generosity, and doing our very best work, making better things for a better world for the people who want to hear from us, the people we know we can serve. (I completed The Marketing Seminar in October 2019, and am currently supporting the Akimbo coaches as a Remarkable.)
Websites for wild heart and clear mind:
The British Psychological Society Research Digest: At least one new psychology study daily. The writing is fun, easy and includes a critical eye regarding the science.
Farnam Street: Direction over speed. Living deliberately. Thoughtful opinions held loosely. Principles outliving tactics. Owning our actions. Shane Parrish offers a vast breadth and volume of great articles.
Brene Brown: A source of inspiration for yours truly. Her site is packed with wisdom, tools and resources, voids, her blog. One of my favorite quotes: “A wild heart is awake to the pain in the world, but does not diminish its own pain. A wild heart can beat with gratitude and lean into pure joy without denying the struggle in the world."
Center for Courage and Renewal: Parker J. Palmer has influenced my work over time. The Center, which he founded in 1997, offers wealth of resources and programs to transform individual lives, connect people, and empower diverse communities.
Websites for conscious rebellious wild-hearted founders and leaders
Derek Sivers: Daily, raw, honest, at times heart-breaking wisdom, minimalist and bare, from the founder of CDBaby.
Wait But Why, by Tim Urban. Totally brilliant. Irreverent, fun, long-read articles about who we are. Urban is currently publishing a big series called The Story of Us that dives deep into some very wicked problems, the origins of echo chambers and idea labs, the ways of thought, feeling, relationship, choices.
The Daily Stoic: For pragmatic, sane guidelines on how to live, how to reframe our experiences, a wealth of texts and inspirational reading referring to Seneca, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, and others.
B-Lab: Nonprofit that serves a global movement of people using business as a force for good. B Lab’s initiatives include B Corp Certification (see next item), administration of the B Impact Management programs and software, and advocacy for governance structures like the benefit corporation.
Certified B Corporation: The website for those who want to get certified with legally binding commitment to consider the impact of decisions on workers, customers, suppliers, community, and environment.
Podcasts I listen to: (this list will keep changing. Check back once in a while!)
3 Books with Neil Pasricha: Neil is on a 15-year mission to uncover the 1000 most formative books in the world by interviewing fascinating guests. He himself is an awesome author with a great blog as well. Many books I now read come from this podcast.
StarTalk Radio with Neil DeGrasse Tyson: Cosmic queries. With astrophysicists and other star hosts. My occasional dose of awe. I don’t listen to each episode, though. It’s one of the to select carefully.
Akimbo. A podcast about our culture and how we can change it. About seeing what's happening and choosing to do something. With Seth Godin, a writer, a speaker and "an agent of change" with a deeply zen, contemplative approach. Calm, practical. A radically clear message for all of us to “go make a ruckus.” And be ourselves.
The Knowledge Project. By Shane Parrish of Farnam Street. Long, in-depth. How do we learn, how do we make decisions, how do we live well. Guests have included some of the names listed here, including Dan Kahnemann.
The Reboot Podcast. Entrepreneurs, CEO’s, and Startup Leaders discuss with host Jerry Colonna the emotional and psychological challenges they face daily as leaders. This one goes deep into the heart and soul, the wins and losses, the ups and downs of startup leadership.
Making Sense with Sam Harris.Without flinching, neuroscientist, philosopher, and best-selling author Harris explores some of the most important questions about the human mind, society, and current events with some of the greatest thinkers of our times. Nothing easy about these in-depth conversations, but oh, they stir thought, renewed purpose.
Podcasts and resources from my own desk:
Last year, Executive Coach Terry Lipovski in Canada interviewed me for his popular Inspiring Leadership podcast. The subject: Impostor syndrome. Listen to it here.
An article about confidence in Conscious Company Media: And, yes, lower confidence may actually be great!