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Nathan Tanner
February 2017


As always, here are the best books and articles I've been reading. My goal in sending this is that you'll find a nugget or two that will help you in your career. If you've read something insightful on your end, please pass along.    

Books
Lincoln On Leadership: Executive Strategies for Tough Times by Donald Phillips
This book came highly recommended by one of my DoorDash colleagues and it didn't disappoint. Lincoln on Leadership is broken into 15 fairly short chapters, each tackling a different leadership principle and sharing anecdotes from his life. You'll have to read the book to catch the stories, but here are my favorite Lincoln principles:

  • Seek casual contact with your direct reports. It is as meaningful as a formal meeting, if not more so.
  • Couple written documents with verbal discussions, thereby catching the idea with two senses rather than one. Both you and your team will remember it better, even if you don't understand it better. 
  • Remember that your team will generally want to believe that what they do is their own idea and, more importantly, that it genuinely makes a difference.



QB: My Life Behind the Spiral by Steve Young
Despite also being Mormon and attending BYU, I didn't follow Steve Young's NFL career. Wow. This is much more than a sports biography. Yes, his stories of playing quarterback at the college and pro levels are entertaining. Yes, his underdog story of going from 8th string QB at BYU to winning the starting job and being named a runner up for the coveted Heisman Trophy is great. But it's the level of vulnerability Young shows throughout the book that makes it such a great read.

Young faced extreme anxiety throughout his life. This had an almost debilitating impact on him off the field, but he was able to rise above it on the field. Young overcame his anxiety by surrounding himself with teammates, friends, and loved ones who provided critical support. We would be wise, and fortunate, to surround ourselves with people who understand our unique challenges and will help us become our best selves.   

 

Showboat: The Life of Kobe Bryant by Ronald Lazenby
I'm a Kobe guy and have been since he was drafted to my hometown Lakers when I was in middle school. Showboat is the first extensive biography written about Kobe Bryant since he retired, so I had to pick it up. After reading it, two singular attributes stood out: his relentless pursuit of greatness and his supreme confidence.  

Last summer I wrote about career lessons we can learn from Kobe's move into venture capital. Rather than share lessons from the book, I'll share my three favorite stories and let you take from them what you will:

  • In a 1997 playoff game against the Utah Jazz, Kobe airballed four shots, one at the end of regulation and three in overtime. He was just a rookie at the time, and one teammate marveled that he was back in the gym early the next morning, training as if nothing had happened. (He would later get Utah back here, here and here. Sorry, not sorry Jazz fans.)
  • During a Lakers playoff run, Kobe dealt with the loss of his grandfather while also facing a major fallout with close family members. Yet he was able to compartmentalize this and perform at peak level as the Lakers went on to win the NBA title.
  • But my favorite moment came in a 2013 game against the Warriors. After tearing his achilles tendon, and knowing his career is all but over, Kobe shuffled back on the court to calmly sink two free throws.  


Around the Web
3 Questions You Need to Answer Before You'll Have the Life You Want
Three important decisions, made early, can help us get beyond just seeing what is immediately in front of us and create a larger plan for our lives.

The 38 Most Inspiring Leadership Quotes I Know
If you're big on quotes, you'll love this collection from Travis Bradberry (author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0). 
 

Great Teams Are About Personalities, Not Just Skills
Effective teams are composed of a higher number of cool-headed, inquisitive, and altruistic people.      


My Work
How to Bounce Back After You Lose Your Job (and Feel Like the World's Ending)
Losing your job is hard. I experienced this firsthand within a year of college graduation. Here's my story and four lessons I learned that will help you quickly recover from any career setback. 



Thanks for reading! My goal is to write and share great career-related content. If you've read anything worth sharing, please let me know. And do let me know if there's anything I can do to help you.   

Nathan
Order my book | Read my blog


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