Category Archives: Changing Perceptions/Paradigms

The primary goal of these books is to challenge the reader to see a phenomenon in a new way.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking

quiet

Citation for Book:  Cain, S.  Quiet:  The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking.  New York, NY:  Random House, Inc,; 2012.

Recommended by:  David Fuentes, Pacific University Oregon

Star Rating (1-5): 5 Stars

Review:

Through a thoughtful and insightful examination of the differences between extroverts and introverts, Susan Cain provides readers seeking to embrace their own authenticity in the workplace with a solidly researched four-part book featuring eleven chapters and titled, “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking”.

Published in 2012, the book takes the reader on journey beginning with the research behind the extrovert mentality and why this has been adopted by the mainstream in career development as the “ideal”. The second part of the series connects the concepts of introvert and extrovert to biological beginnings and discusses useful strategies whereby introverts can access their own authenticity. Challenging the reader to self-examine and self-explore, the second part reviews the science behind our identities and our unique responses to stimuli. The third part explores the qualities of the extrovert in different cultures and discusses how different cultures express their preferences for, and against, traits commonly seen in both introverts and extroverts.

The final part emphasizes tools on how both introverts and extroverts can hone their skills for maximum effectiveness. Additionally, emphasis is placed on how individuals with different dispositions can best communicate with one another though seemingly speaking a different language. The book ends with a look to the future regarding how we, as educators, parents, and leaders can cultivate the skills of our younger introverts to help them embrace their unique preferences, recognize the differences between introverts and extroverts at early ages, develop necessary skills from both categories and better navigate through their early environment to maximize their mental, social, and physical development.

Anyone seeking to enhance their effectiveness in the workplace and in life would benefit from the simple, yet powerful, messages conveyed by Cain through a review of the relevant science and literature pertaining to introverts and extroverts.

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Filed under Changing Perceptions/Paradigms, Personal Development

Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t

Leaders Eat Last

Citation for Book: Sinek, Simon. Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t.  New York, New York: Portfolio/Penguin, 2014

Recommended by: : Jack J. Chen, Marshall B. Ketchum University

Star Rating (1-5): 5

Review: Leaders Eat Last. This sums up leadership behavior. The title of the book is derived from an observation of culture in the US Marines in which the leaders eat last, placing the needs of others above their own, and illustrating that leadership privilege comes at the expense of self-interest. Another corollary example he gives is that leaders provide cover from above; allowing the people on the ground to feel safe. This instills loyalty and drives people to excel in situations.

Writing in an easy to understand manner, Mr. Sineks speaks about leadership from an anthropological voice and utilizes facts and observations to illustrate his points. Much of what is discussed relates to organic attributes (such as empathy, integrity, sense of belonging, teamwork, selfishness, distrust, and trust) and how a leader can be more in tune with these primal elements to foster an environment for a healthier organization. The title of the book resonates with me because I immediately understand it’s anthropological underpinnings. As a parent, I often eat last and provide cover from above to my family and children. As an organizational leader, the challenge will be to live up to this credo.

In this book, the anthropological and primal concept of the Circle of Safety is introduced. Leaders, by reducing the threats people feel inside an organization, allows them to focus more time and energy to protect the organization from external threats and to seize opportunities for the advancing the collective. He gives illustrations on how incentive structures within organizations can penalize employees for behaviors such as cooperation, information sharing, or reaching across the organization to ask for or offer help; behaviors that are necessary for maintaining the Circle of Safety. Mr. Sinek devotes 2 chapters on discussing and illustrating the role of neurotransmitters and molecules (e.g., cortisol, dopamine, endorphins, oxytocin, serotonin) as organic mediators of human behavior, neurocognition, stress, trust, and the Circle of Safety. Mr. Sinek then weaves these organic concepts throughout his book.

Leadership is about taking responsibility for lives and not numbers. Mr. Sinek believes this and provides corollaries to describe the modern state of business cultures in which the sheer scale of systems has made human lives, resources and services into an abstraction of numerical metrics. He provides a clarion call for managers of metrics to become leaders of people. Values alignment is heavily emphasized. If people have values consistent with the organization and they feel trusted and connected, they will excel.

Mr. Sinek speaks about the role of technology throughout the various “generations” (e.g., Gen X and Y), and how it has allowed the unprecedented “upscaling” of world and certain elements such as acquisitions, economies, performances, and processes. As I reflected, I realized that in the world of education, despite technological advances in instructional tools and delivery, our students’ inherent “learning speed” cannot be scaled up by technology (despite what we or our students think) and that time-tested, traditional methods of andragogy/pedagogy still have a fundamental place in the classroom. My students are someone’s children. Their parents worked hard to give their children an opportunity for a good life and education. As an academician, I have responsibility for that education.

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Filed under Changing Perceptions/Paradigms, Defining Leadership: Theories & Models, Instructor Resources

Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard

Heath C, Heath D.  Switch:  How to Change Things When Change is Hard.  New York, NY; Random House, 2010.

Recommended by:  Tom Munyer, U of FL  CoP

 Star Rating: 5 (It’s Great)

Review:  New York Times Best Seller, authors of MADE TO STICK, another Best Seller.  Easy read, “story-driven narrative” where they address both the rational and emotional parts of our minds. They show how to effect transformative change… how successful changes follows a pattern, that can be used to make changes that matter.

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Who Moved My Cheese ?

Johnson, S. Who Moved My Cheese ? New York, NY: Penguin Putnam, Inc., 1998.

Recommended by Jenelle Sobotka

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Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

Gladwell, M. Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. New York, NY: Hachette Book Group, 2007.

Recommended by Jenelle Sobotka

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Outliers: The Story of Success

Gladwell, M. Outliers: The Story of Success. New York, NY: Hachette Book Group, 2011.

Recommended by Jenelle Sobotka

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The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

Gladwell, M. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. New York NY: Hachette Book Group, 2002.

Recommended by Jenelle Sobotka

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