Four great summer reads for technology executives
As a co-founder of a digital health startup, my daily reading list typically consists of industry news. When I have some downtime, however, I tend to lean towards books that will help me grow as a leader or run our business better.
Below are four books for tech execs that are looking for advice, insight or inspiration this summer:
- Brave New Work: Are You Ready to Reinvent Your Organization? by Aaron Dignan
Filled with practical insights that will help you see your company or team through a whole new lens, "Brave New Work" provides a clear path about how to steer your organization through its continuous evolution. The author, an organizational transformation coach, clearly lays out how to create teams and companies that maximize their potential by decentralizing power.
This book pushed me to closely examine some of my own processes through its exercises and anecdotes -- like that of one exec who calculated the cost of a long-standing senior team meeting (spoiler alert: $3 million).
If you’re like me, you’ll find yourself quickly hooked and taking notes in the margins on how to implement some of this book’s ideas back in the office.
- Culture Wins: The Roadmap to an Irresistible Workplace by William Vanderbloemen
Our employees’ job satisfaction and work experiences are always top-of-mind for me and my co-founders. Employees who are challenged and having fun tend to get stuff done faster and better. And, personally, I don’t want to work in an office where my colleagues are thinking the grass is greener at another company.
This book looks at the importance of corporate culture in attracting -- and just as importantly retaining -- employees, and the value of investing in a unique, contagious company vision and mission.
Some parts of "Culture Wins" can seem a bit repetitive, but the chapter on hiring and firing for culture fit has some terrific insights that you don’t want to miss.
Finding the one word that defines your purpose and passion is the big idea behind the latest book from Evan Carmichael, an entrepreneurial coach. "Your One Word" guides you to "find your greatness," and develop a mindset for success.
I’m not typically a fan of self-help books, but this one has some practical tips that can be translated toward creating a mission-oriented company as well as your personal mission statement. It’s a quick read: the book’s unique layout compiles a variety of quotes, data and personal insights that you can pick up when you have a few minutes to browse, or you can fly through poolside in a single afternoon.
Give this one a shot if you’re interested in advice on how to stay focused on what’s most important in your life.
- Hooked: How to Build Habit-forming Products by Nir Eyal
This should be required reading for all tech startup execs and anyone looking to understand how products influence behavior.
The author, who spent years in the video gaming and advertising industries, shares some brilliant ideas on how to think about cultivating habits in your users.
With practical actionable advice, "Hooked" serves as a "how to" for creating products people love in any industry.
What books have influenced your leadership? I’m looking for some interesting new summer reads myself, so please share your favorite book suggestions -- new and old -- in the comments below.