Congrats on (almost) making it halfway through the year! Earlier this month I ranted about nonfiction books and how too many are boring and repetitive. Well, I'm excited to share some of the great books I read in June.
Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
I previously wrote about why I love this book and books written in a similar fashion, so I’ll skip right to my favorite passages:
- “Employees work smarter and better when they believe they have more decision making authority and when they believe their colleagues are committed to their success.”
- “Motivation is more like a skill, akin to reading or writing, that can be learned and honed... People can get better at self-motivation if they practice the right way. The trick, researchers say, is realizing that a prerequisite to motivation is believing we have authority over our actions and surroundings.”
- “Sometimes the best way to learn is to make information harder to absorb. This is known in psychology as disfluency. The harder we have to work to understand an idea or to process a piece of data, the stickier it becomes in our brain.” (Example: our memory is stronger when we take notes on paper instead of a laptop.)
Open: An Autobiography by Andre Agassi
I’ve never been an avid tennis fan, but I absolutely loved this biography. While many celebrity memoirs stay at a surface level or only share the part of their life they want you to see, Agassi’s bio is different. He is brutally honest with himself. He bares his soul. You get to know him at an intimate, personal level. And you find that he, like most of us, is a very complicated person. Agassi’s dad forced him to play tennis at a young age. He required Andre to hit more than 2,500 balls a day and one million balls a year. Agassi grew to despise the sport, yet he still played into his mid-thirties when he no longer needed the money. He hates tennis, as he shares repeatedly in the book, yet his identity is integrally tied to the game. I found Agassi’s vulnerability refreshing and empowering.
Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday
Holiday convincingly argues that ego is the main thing holding us back from reaching our full potential. Early in our careers ego can prevent us from developing our talents, and when we taste success, it can blind us to our own faults. Holiday shares anecdotes from the lives of historical figures who reached high levels of power and success by conquering their own egos, as well as those who let ego conquer them. These stories drive home lessons that we all can apply. My biggest takeaway? Don’t focus on what your neighbors, your co-workers, or your classmates are doing. Focus on what you can control. Keep your own scorecard.
Around the web
Lifehacker: How I Work
This series identifies successful people in a variety of fields and gets into the nitty gritty on how they work. My favorite interviews include Stephen Dubner, Kathryn Minshew, and Mike Rowe.
Satya Nadella's email to Microsoft employees on first day as CEO
Nadella shares a quote that I absolutely love: “I fundamentally believe that if you are not learning new things, you stop doing great and useful things.”
Zenefits CEO David Sacks is happy that 10% of his employees quit
Zenefits, an HR software startup, continues to be one of the more interesting companies to follow. Here’s the latest.
Microsoft, LinkedIn, and the Never-Ending Need to Adapt
LinkedIn agreed to be acquired by Microsoft on June 13. I wrote this post a few days after the announcement.
How to write a LinkedIn post if you’re not a writer
My latest article for The Muse. I outline why you should write on LinkedIn and how to get started.
Thanks for reading! My goal is to write and share great content. If you've read any books or articles worth sharing, please pass them along. And do let me know if there's anything I can do to help you.
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