Years ago, when I was interviewing for a position, the last question of the interview was: What are you reading? More specifically, who do you read regularly?
I was taken aback by the question because, frankly, I’d stopped reading anyone regularly, though blogs and books were abundant in my field. I guess I felt I was at the forefront of what was going on and reading trade journals was enough.
That was the end of the interview. Since I didn’t have an answer, of gurus I follow or thought-leaders I read, it appeared I wasn’t qualified for the position.
I was embarrassed, as I got into my car, that I didn’t have a good answer to that question. As a “former academic” I used to pride myself on what and who I was reading, knowing all the various new trends and theories. That had fallen by the wayside as I’d put my head down and worked, sticking to the “news” in my industry. And I vowed not to let that happen again. I’ve been reading gurus in a variety of areas and constantly seeking out great sources to read and learn.
So I ask you that question: who and what are you reading? How are you keeping ahead in your field? Or even outside of work? What’s the best book you’ve read lately?
I’m sharing just a few of my favorites – those I’ve learned about over the years or followed because they are industry leaders. Let me know what you think of these and who I should be adding to my list!
Intellectually, and with regard to business strategy and systems management, I love the writing and work of Dr. Domenico Lepore and Angela Montgomery. Domenico is one of the most brilliant minds in business strategy today – and any of their books is worth reading. If your business has a problem it needs to solve – in any function, from operations to growth to dealing with the new world of COVID-19, he can help solve it.
To catch just a glimpse of how they think, check out this most recent blog that Angela posted, about what makes us change our minds – and what doesn’t.
Getting down to the nitty-gritty of marketing – for all things SEO, I’m a devout follower of Rand Fishkin. In his own words, he “started SEOmoz as a blog, that turned into a consulting company, then a software business.” He sold the company and started another company, Spark Toro, which helps you find golden nuggets in connections and influencers. Rand has his finger on the pulse when it comes to the internet – I read his blogs religiously. If you’re interested in the world of Google and how the internet works with regard to commerce, I recommend you check him out!
Women in Business
As a women who’s been in business since the 1990s, I’ve been frustrated by much of what I’ve seen in the area of human resources and the path (or lack thereof) for successful women. For that reason, I’ve been buoyed by the stories and goals of Sallie Krawcheck and her companies, Ellevest and Ellevate. I’m tickled that she’s a fellow Columbia Business School alum and I’ve put my own money into her investment firm, I’m such a believer in her work. If you’re interested in growing your investments, and learning more about women in finance, I recommend you listen to her thoughts and advice.
I’ve been a follower of Fabienne Frederickson for almost two years now and I recommend her highly if you seek business coaching yourself. She helps me with everything from mindset to goal setting, from setting my intentions to managing my calendar to focus on what I want to achieve. It was because of Fabienne that I wrote my new book, coming out soon. If you’re interested in stretching yourself as an entrepreneur, I recommend you check out Boldheart.
Wellness and Spirituality
I’ve only recently started following Lee Papa, an “internationally recognized Mindfulness & Meditation Speaker, Trainer and Author.” I’ve bought her book on Mindfulness for Beginners to give to friends and family. Lee speaks to my heart and my spirit and has taught me so much about the process of “being” right here, right now. I recommend her to anyone who seeks wisdom or guidance in these areas.
While I find that nonfiction books are a wonderful way to learn new things and think in new ways, I also cherish good fiction. It, too, can be informative about the most interesting and important aspects of a life.
My favorite book ever, which I recommend to anyone and everyone, is Richard Powers’ The Overstory. It won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, so I’m not the only one who was both moved and impressed by the writing and the messages. It has shaped my perspective and my life – if you enjoy reading fiction, please be sure to read this book!
When I started to write this blog post I had no idea that I would be able to go on and on like this. There are so many good sources out there that I haven’t yet mentioned. I’m stopping myself here – though I may pick up this thread in the future, it was so much fun to share!
Please let me know your favorite thinkers, authors, and books. And thanks for reading! Please share this post if you found it helpful or inspiring.