7 Books to Read this Summer

Summer is the perfect time to catch up on all the books that have been collecting on your nightstand. And if you made “read more books” a goal for 2019, it’s another chance to make reading a habit (see book #3 for some more advice on that!). Here are 7 books on my summer reading list. What are you reading? Let me know on Twitter @MollyFletcher.

1. Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport

Cal Newport makes the case for deep work or “the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task.” In today’s world of e-mail and social media, most people have lost the ability to go deep. Cal suggests three things:

  1. Embrace boredom
  2. Quit social media
  3. Drain the shallows of your life

Easier said than done, but when you allow for “deep work” in your life, you can unleash your true potential. If you need help finding focus in a distracted world, this is a must read.  Bonus: His follow up book, Digital Minimalism, is also a must read!

2. Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialist World by David Epstein

David Epstein, author of the New York Times bestseller The Sports Geneis back with a new book. In Rangehe emphasizes that early specialization is the exception, not the rule for high achievers. Digging into massive amounts of scientific research, David argues that going broad—not narrow—is the best route to success. It’s a book that will have you thinking differently about your career, your hobbies, and even your parenting. Bonus: stay tuned for my conversation with David on Game Changers with Molly Fletcher.

3. Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear

Having trouble breaking a bad habit? Or sticking to a good habit? Packed with data and actionable advice, James Clear shares a simple framework to help you transform your habits. We know that our habits directly contribute to our outcomes. Now here’s a guide to help you turn those small changes into big outcomes.

4. Everybody Always: Becoming Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People by Bob Goff

After practicing law for 25 years, author Bob Goff gave up his law firm to focus on writing, speaking, and his humanitarian work. He’s the Honorary Counsel to Uganda and the founder of Love Does, a nonprofit organization that works to provide educational opportunities in post conflict zones throughout the world. In this book, he writes about what it means to love without limits, live without fear, and dream big. You can also listen to hear Bob talk about the book in my interview with him for our Game Changers podcast here.

5. Sapiens: A brief history of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

Also on the reading lists of some well-known names (Barack Obama and Mark Zuckerberg, to name a few), this book from Oxford-educated historian Yuval Noah Harari is a history of humankind. It challenges everything we thought about being human and argues that homo sapiens prevailed because of happenstance, not the sum or great leaders or wars or germs. Harari writes about the three revolutions- Cognitive, Agricultural and Scientific- and that we might be undergoing a fourth, which could significantly change the laws that have governed life the past four billion years. Now that humans have the ability to design not only the world around us, but also ourselves, where will that lead us? He notes that humankind’s greatest is question is “not ‘What do we want to become?’ but ‘What do we want to want?’

6. Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World by General Stanley McChrystal

To defeat Al Qaeda in Iraq, US Army General (Ret.) Stanley McChrystal had to discard more than a hundred years of management wisdom and shift from a traditional hierarchy with silos and slow communication to a system of transparency and adaptability. In his book Team of Teams, he shares how the best teams operate with this “team of teams” approach to become more agile, adaptive and cohesive. It’s a fascinating read for anyone in leadership navigating change in today’s complex world.

7. Turn Enemies Into Allies: The Art of Peace in the Workplace by Judy Ringer

Did you know that the typical American employee wastes close to three hours weekly dealing with workplace conflicts? These conflicts harm morale, energy and productivity. Judy Ringer offers a practical and step-by-step system to create workplace peace based on the Japanese martial art Aikido. One of the key tenets of her system is stepping outside your own point of view to appreciate the other person’s perspective. In our Game Changer Negotiation Training, we teach something very similar called 360° Awareness- the four perspectives that shape how people view the world around them and filter information. When you use this approach, you understand what the other person values so you can connect. The system Ringer puts forth in her book can help with conflict and communication skill-building in any workplace environment… so that you can get back to the work that matters.

Happy reading!

 

The Molly Fletcher Company inspires leaders, teams and organizations to kick-start growth. A keynote speaker and author, Molly draws on her decades of experiences working as a sports agent. Her company’s Game Changer Negotiation Training workshops teach business people the framework for successful negotiating, so that you can close more deals while building stronger relationships. Sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter and subscribe to the Game Changers with Molly Fletcher podcast on iTunes.