Mob Rules: What the Mafia can Teach the Legitimate Businessman
Overview: For all the mob's well-deserved reputation for violence and immorality, its most successful members have always been remarkably astute businessmen. Former mobster Louis Ferrante reveals their surprisingly effective management techniques and explains how to apply them in any legitimate business (Amazon.com).
My take: Maybe it's the Italian in me, but this book was such an enjoyable read. I cannot tell you the amount of times that I have recommended this book to others. Great lessons, with some humor and seriouness, which are absolutely applicable to anyone in the business world. I used a number of Mr. Ferrante's lessons to navigate the office politics and personalities of today's world. I love this book!
For more information about Louis Ferrante, click here.
So Good They Can Ignore You
Overview: "In this eye-opening account, Cal Newport debunks the long-held belief that "follow your passion" is good advice. Not only is the cliché flawed-preexisting passions are rare and have little to do with how most people end up loving their work-but it can also be dangerous, leading to anxiety and chronic job hopping.
After making his case against passion, Newport sets out on a quest to discover the reality of how people end up loving what they do. Spending time with organic farmers, venture capitalists, screenwriters, freelance computer programmers, and others who admitted to deriving great satisfaction from their work, Newport uncovers the strategies they used and the pitfalls they avoided in developing their compelling careers." (Amazon.com).
My take: I have to be honest here, I didn't think there was any way that I could be convinced that chasing your passion was incorrect - I was wrong. As I read the pages of his book, not only did Cal sell me on his concepts, but also every strategy he outlines made complete sense, were simple, and easy to execute. Whether you're a new graduate, or thinking about a career change, this book provides valuable, and essential information that can help you determine how to set yourself up for success.
The Decision Book
Overview: "Whether you’re a newly minted MBA, a chronic second-guesser, or just someone eager for a new vantage point, The Decision Book presents fifty models for better structuring, and subsequently understanding, life’s steady challenges. Interactive and thought-provoking, this illustrated workbook offers succinct summaries of popular strategies, including the Rubber Band Model for dilemmas with many directions, the Personal Performance Model to test whether to change jobs, and the Black Swan Model to illustrate why experience doesn’t guarantee wisdom. Packed with familiar tools like the Pareto Principle, the Prisoner’s Dilemma, and an unusual exercise inspired by Warren Buffet, The Decision Book is the ideal reference for flexible thinkers." (Amazon.com).
My take: This book not only made me realize that tough decisions don't have be accompanies with anxiety or stress,, but it opened my mind to some alternate methods of thinking. My favorite part of the book is the two different ways you can read it; the "American" or "European" way as the author describes it. The only bad decision you can make is not to read this book!
It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership
Overview: "Colin Powell, one of America’s most admired public figures, reveals the principles that have shaped his life and career in this inspiring and engrossing memoir. A beautiful companion to his previous memoir, the #1 New York Times bestseller My American Journey, Powell’s It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership is a trove of wisdom for anyone hoping to achieve their goals and turn their dreams into reality. A message of strength and endurance from a man who has dedicated his life to public service,It Worked for Me is a book with the power to show readers everywhere how to achieve a more fulfilling life and career." (Amazon.com).
My take: I enjoyed every chapter of this book. I found that many of his apporaches to work and life resonated with me. As a result, I have taken the advice of the book and put them into practice. I can say without a doubt that the foundational values behind what worked for him are not only common sense, but rooted in a strong sense of ethics. What worked for him, also is working for me.