Halifax TEC Chair, Joe Gillivan, is our next contributor to the #shelfie series and shares reading recommendations from his bookshelf that inspire him as a business leader and mentor. Share your own #shelfie with us on Twitter @TECCanada
Crossing the Unknown Sea, Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity – David Whyte
I was first introduced to David Whyte when I was training to become an Adler Certified Coach. David is a proclaimed corporate poet and the first book I read was “The Heart Aroused” and I was immediately drawn into the depth and substance of the stories David told and his use of metaphors. The book I have chosen is Crossing the Unknown Sea, Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity.
Fulfillment and the deeper meaning of purpose in our lives is what we all strive for. Some people find fulfillment quickly and others spend their entire lives in search of their purpose and ultimate fulfillment. What this book teaches us is about the journey to finding our fulfillment. Whyte teaches us to set out boldly in our work to make a pilgrimage of our labors, to understand that the consummation of work lies not only in what we have done but who we have become while accomplishing the task. Life is a creative, intimate and incredible conversation if it is nothing else, spoken or unspoken. Our life and our work are both the result of the particular way we hold that passionate conversation with ourselves.
A Whole New Mind – Why Right-Brainers Will Rule The Future – Daniel H. Pink
As I coach leaders, I am often struck by the reality that most of us have been trained both in our schooling and in our workplace to rely on the use of our left brain skills. However learning to tap into the right brain and understanding the power of creativity, intuition and spirituality is key for success in the new economy and marketplace.
Daniel Pink outlines the six fundamentally human abilities that are essential for professional success and personal fulfillment – and reveals how to master these skills. The following three key questions are critical for each of us to ask ourselves as we navigate the ever- changing marketplace:
- Can someone overseas do it cheaper?
- Can a computer do it faster?
- Am I offering something that satisfies the nonmaterial, transcendent desires of an abundant age?
Team of Rivals, The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln – Doris Kearns Goodwin
This book speaks to politics and history but beyond that it truly is a book about leadership. Reading this book I looked at it through the lens of leadership, through the historical accounts of the role Abraham Lincoln played.
In this book, the author provides us with insights into Lincoln’s leadership style and his deep understanding of human behavior and motivation. The genius of Lincoln was the fact that he selected three men – all of whom where his opponents – for the Republican nomination in 1860 to join him in his cabinet. How Lincoln soothed egos, turned rivals into allies and dealt with failure is a great study in leadership. The lessons from this book apply to all of us aspiring to become great leaders or make change in our world.
Followership, how followers are creating change and changing leaders – Barbara Kellerman
What drew me to this book was the notion that followers have more power inside their own organizations than they realize. We speak so much about leaders but we do not equate followers as people who can demonstrate amazing leadership and create change inside companies.
By drawing on insights from various fields including psychology, sociology and history, Kellerman demonstrates that followers have always been important.
- The line that separates supervisors from subordinates is often blurred, sometimes leaders and manager’s follow and sometimes follower’s lead.
- Middle managers are a good case in point. The book pertains to both leaders and followers and makes the case we are all of us followers first.
- We are followers first in infancy, then childhood of the adults in whom we depend and later in life we follow leaders before we lead followers.
- When you reflect on today’s changing workforce, followers will have more impact on decision-making and strategy than previous generations in the workforce. This builds the case for followership and leadership working together rather than traditional leadership alone.