Resources

Welcome to my list of books read, quotes pulled, and media that’s useful. I use it regularly to look up what I’ve found in books and podcasts and online that has mattered. I use it to find quotes to use in blog posts. I hope you enjoy it.

There are currently a few hundred resources to be found here which strikes the next question:

Where to start? I suggest starting with the topic or type you want to search. Then see what authors are available.

Resource Topics


Resource Types


Resource Author


Culture is not a consumer good

Culture is not a consumer good. In Silicon Valley there are companies that serve free catered lunches created by celebrity chefs or some that offer on-site massages. When companies focus on too many “perks,” it creates a culture of entitlement, which is a dangerous paradigm because it makes it harder for the company to keep up with the latest trend in perks and doesn’t necessarily help your company achieve its goals. Ultimately, culture is not about the extrinsic motivators but more about the intrinsic ones.

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Employees want impact

What today’s employees want is the ability to have an impact in their work, the flexibility of when and where to do their work, to see their work connected to a bigger purpose, and to have the opportunity to learn and grow in their careers. Compensation is a key external motivator, but recent studies have shown that people, particularly millennial, will take less pay for more flexibility and more opportunities to learn and advance their careers.

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Employees want to stay relevant

Old methods of corporate learning are not going to be effective strategies for building skills for the future. People developing new skills and building expertise are often self-directed. This means employees are learning everywhere all the time, but companies are not recognizing what people are learning, what skills they are building, and how they are working to prepare for their future careers. Your employees are doing this for survival — they want to stay relevant in the workforce too.

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How simon reads

I’m a sucker for how people read and interact with books. Simon provides us with a very thorough walk-through of his reading process. He seems much more organized when it comes to choosing than I am.

How Simon Reads

Our business plan didn’t quite work

What has become of my dream? Does that question ring true for you? It did for me when I read the email. We work, and work, and work, and work, and before we know it, the business idea we once proudly shared with our friends, the plan we outlined on a whiteboard, the vision we shored with our fist employees, all seems like a dim memory of an unobtainable goal.

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Clockwork: Design your business to run itself

Mike Michalowicz uses this book to help you build a business that doesn’t need you. One that runs and grows while you do what you want in it.

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The Danger with sponsors

Sponsors are there to amplify what you can do with an event. However, the moment the host of the event is not also the person funding the event, the event has two masters: the host and the sponsor. And their interests are not always aligned. This misalignment can arise throughout your gathering, but it is often most painfully clear in the opening and closing. So a host must be aware of the fact that handing over precious real estate to sponsors is never cost less or neutral.

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Gatherings start with the invitation

Your gathering begins at the moment your guests first learn of it. This may sound obvious, but it’s not. If it were obvious, hosts wouldn’t fail to host the pregame for their gathering as often as they do. In my experience, host often think of their event as beginning when you call the meeting to order or take your seats at the wedding or walk into your dinner party. In each of these cases, your guests have been thinking about and preparing for and anticipating your gathering well in advance of that moment.

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Don’t abdicate power

The hosts I guide often feel tempted to abdicate that power, and feel that by doing so they are letting their guests be free. But this abdication often fails their guests rather than serves them. The chill approach to hosting is all too often about hosts attempting to wriggle out of the burden of hosting. In gatherings, once your guests have chosen to come into your kingdom, they want to be governed—gently, respectfully, and well. When you fail to govern, you may be elevating how you want them to perceive you over how you want the gathering to go for them. Often, chill is you caring about you masquerading as you caring about them.

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Isn’t exclusion the enemy of diversity

You might ask: In a world where exclusion becomes OK, aren’t we moving backward? Isn’t exclusion in gatherings something we’ve been fighting against for years? Isn’t exclusion, however thoughtful or intentional, the enemy of diversity?

  • she says no, that exclusion makes sure that the gathering is on target and purposeful. Diversity for diversity sake isn’t good.
  • and if you have more “diverse” people, but never really let them talk, what on earth was the point
  • diversity is not a checkbox
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The Freedom to Assemble is a Foundational Right

In democracies, the freedom to assemble is one of the foundational rights granted to every individual. In countries descending into authoritarianism, one of the first things to go is the right to assemble. Why? Because of what can happen when people come together, exchange information, inspire one another, test out new ways of being together.

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The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters

The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker asks us to be more thoughtful about every portion of gathering with others. How do we invite them? How do we transition from invite to the event? How do we fulfill the purpose of the event? How do we end well, because events don’t last forever.

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What will it take to fix work-life balance

I know there has been an arms race over parental leave in Silicon Valley, for example, such that companies are offering better and better parental leave policies. That’s commendable and important. On the other hand, it doesn’t take three or ten months to raise a child, it takes 20 years. I haven’t heard about Silicon Valley firms embracing flexible work policies like job shares, telecommuting, non-marginalized part-time schedules or flextime. Those are quite different from paid leave.

Also they found that more stable work hours for retail, eliminating on call shifts, reduced the employee turnover. This meant more sales because the employee was Moreno versed with the products and could help the customers well.

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Define your traction goal

Before you can set about getting traction, you have to define what traction means for your company. You need to set a traction goal. At the earliest stages, this traction goal is usually to get enough traction to either raise funding or become profitable. In any case, you should figure out what this goal means in terms of hard numbers. How many customers do you need and at what growth rate?

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Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth

This book introduces us to the “bullseye” method of finding the best traction channel for our business. Start by testing all 19 methods. Take the 2 or 3 that look most promising and test them more specifically. Stick with the single one that achieves your single metric that matters.

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Feeling underappreciated eats away at employees

Feeling underappreciated eats away at employees who shoulder hard projects on their own, moms who aren’t thanked for cleaning up after kids, and friends who feel like they always end up hosting. Lack of appreciation is an especially pernicious problem in the workplace—and it’s often overlooked. In fact, 65 percent of Americans say they received no recognition in the workplace in the last year.

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Don’t network by the door

When you approach someone before they get oriented to an event, they are not only more distracted during your conversation, but they will also be looking over your head to scope out the room and find people they know—you’ll have a much harder time engaging in eye contact. They are also more likely to excuse themselves to get their drink, grab some food, say hi to the host, or go to the bathroom—and less likely to be receptive to anything you have to say.

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Captivate: The Science of Succeeding With People

This is a book that is designed to help you succeed with people in a bunch of scenarios. Edwards specifically targets three areas:

1. The First Five Minutes

  • as in how do you make a great first impression that stands out

2. The First Five Hours

  • how to you stay memorable

3. The First Five Days

  • how do get that next date or make a friend a best friend.

Unfortunately, some of the chapters don’t provide enough depth to really learn the topic at hand, which is where Edwards training is supposed to help you if you purchase it.

Overall decent book, though some of it seems to aim more towards creating intellectual property than sticking with the terms that are already used.

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Disordered environments prompt mere goal pursuit

The researchers evaluated the campaign of bombing in Britain in early WWII. In the midst of the chaos of the bombings, how did the posters “Keep Calm and Carry On?” do? Were they effective in calming the nerves of the people frayed by the bombings?

Do people find and pursue goals regardless of if the goals are tied directly to a result of disorder? Does it help them cope with the lack of order in other areas?

The authors propose that goal setting and striving to achieve goals brings calm in the midst of the things that are going on.

They define goals as “…concrete, domain specific representations of desirable end states that people want to attain and/or undesirable ones that they try to avoid”

There was a correlation between disorder and seeking goals. This means that the participants with a higher experienced disorder felt more attracted to a reward program with a clear and specific endpoint.

We have a strong need to perceive our environment as a place of order, one that we have some control over. This study affirmed that when you have more disorder, you are more attracted to goals that let you feel in control. The goals don’t have anything to do with the disorder, or at least they don’t have to. You just want to achieve goals so that you have some control and thus order over something.

It seems to me that disordered environments then make it easier to grab any goal and run with it. Since we’re searching for any control in the midst of chaos, do we evaluate what it is the best goals for us to pursue?

Fennis, B. M., & Wiebenga, J. H. (2015). Disordered environments prompt mere goal pursuit. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 43, 226-237. doi:10.1016/j.jenvp.2015.07.005

Find Online: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0272494415300256

A caution against Jordan Peterson

I’ve got Peterson’s book 12 Rules For Life on my radar to read in the coming months. This adds some interesting background that would be worth reading.

What strikes me about this article is the alignment with some of the far right sides. While I agree with Peterson on his stand against pronoun usage, and his argument towards speech control being a precursor to dictatorship seems plausible to me, I almost hate saying that seeing some of the allies that have been chosen.

That means I need to hold in tension the agreement with some ideas, and the groups with which he has allied himself to get support for the ideas. Can I support the ideas knowing that I’m standing beside some of these groups?

I should do more research into the books and topics discussed in the article and the other research I have regarding Peterson and then write more about it. At least think much deeper, which is what writing does for me.

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Christians can’t measure up

So many Christians today see a system in which they cannot measure up and so they feel unworthy. The church seems to have failed them. They have found the promises made from the pulpit to be suspect if not empty, and they are leaving in droves. Leaders are left to scratch their heads while secretly struggling with their own feelings of failure, or they speak harsh words in anger, publicly demonstrating the very guilt they preach against.

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Our doctrine doesn’t matter our actions do

What matters isn’t our stated belief and doctrine but how we live and what we experience in the story of our lives, as Jesus, John, James, and Paul all make so abundantly clear. It’s our actual experience and expression of life that shows us and the world what we truly believe and to what extent we truly love, not what we say we believe or who we say we love. If we say we have faith, but the workings of our life don’t reflect that faith, that faith is either asleep or dead.

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Make a problem seem easy to fix

Tell your child, your spouse, or your employee that he or she is stupid or dumb at a certain thing, has no gift for it, and is doing it all wrong, and you have destroyed almost every incentive to try to improve. But use the opposite technique -be liberal with your encouragement, make the thing seem easy to do, let the other person know that you have faith in his ability to do it, that he has an undeveloped flair for it -and he will practice until the dawn comes in the window in order to excel.

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Solve Customer Problems

Thousands of salespeople are pounding the pavements today, tired, discouraged and underpaid. Why? Because they are always thinking only of what they want. They don’t realize that neither you nor I want to buy anything. If we did, we would go out and buy it. But both of us are eternally interested in solving our problems. And if salespeople can show us how their services or merchandise will help us solve our problems, they won’t need to sell us. We’ll buy. And customers like to feel that they are buying -not being sold.

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How to Win Friends and Influence People

This is a classic book by Dale Carnegie detailing many steps and practices you can take to do relationships better. While it is an old book and does have some very dated thoughts on marriage roles, the principles are all great.

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Give them a reason to be loyal to your brand

Even if on paper you are the most qualified, even if you can demonstrate that your product is superior, even if you have a watertight rationale to demonstrate that you are the best choice by a mile, people will be reluctant to support you unless they believe you. And they won’t believe you unless they can see you. People need to understand what you stand for, just as much as they need to know how your policies, products and services can help them. You need to give them a reason to be loyal to your brand, rather than a hundred reasons why you’re better than the competition.

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What front-line service tells you

Being story-driven is less about following brand guidelines and more about choosing to act in ways that are consistent with core values. We’ve all witnessed how a company’s purpose and values manifest in the actions of its employees—for good or ill. You have likely experienced an unhelpful doctor’s receptionist or a disengaged sales assistant whose behaviour tells you more about the business than their managers realise.

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We don’t set out to be mediocre

Nobody sets out to create a product or company that’s mediocre or, worse still, one that causes harm. We all want to do work that matters. We start every day with that intention. And yet, despite our best efforts, we falter. We sometimes take shortcuts. Say things we don’t mean.

  • the author says we do this because we prioritize going for “more” instead of aiming for “meaning” in our work. That’s more money more fame…
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Story Driven: You don’t need to compete when you know who you are

This is Bernadette Jiwa’s look at what it means to live yourself authentically. She develops a “story driven” process to help us tell our story so that we can live up to the ideals we want in our work and life.

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Fear of Genius

There is a huge fear underneath every complaint: If I took the Big Leap into my Zone of Genius, I might fail. What if I really opened up to my true genius and found that my genius wasn’t good enough? Better to keep the genie in the bottle and coast along in the Zone of Excellence.

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In the Zone of Excellence

In the Zone of Excellence are the activities you do extremely well. You make a good living in your Zone of Excellence. For successful people, this zone is a seductive and even dangerous trap. To remain in this zone is to hobble yourself from taking the leap into your Zone of Genius.

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Zone of Incompetence

The Zone of Incompetence is made up of all the activities we’re not good at. Others can do them a lot better than we can. Surprisingly, many successful people persist in wasting their time and energy doing things for which they have no talent.

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Give money its place

Yes, you must make money to make art. But don’t give income too much importance. Just give it its proper place. We need money to keep the lights on and buy supplies, but it’s not everything. As novelist Steven Pressfield wrote, “Money exists, in my world, to buy me another season.” Every season you create instead of scramble to find work is a win, and with time, those seasons add up. The more money you have, the more time you have; and the more time you have, the more art you can make.

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