Here’s What I’m Reading in 2019, What Are You?

Executive Leadership Coach | Top Books of 2018 | What Are You Reading in 2019

As my clients and friends know about me, I’m an avid reader. I love reading fiction, I love reading leadership books, productivity books, and occasionally I’ll even sprinkle in a great non-fiction book people have been raving about to me.

In the spirit of new year, always growing. . . I thought I would share what’s currently on my nightstand/kindle/ and audible – yes I’m often reading more than one book at a time.
Then I’d love if you would share with me what you’re digging into lately and/or what you’ve recently read and loved. I get my best reads as recommendations from others!

Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every DayOn my nightstand: Make Time. I was gifted this book by a colleague for the holidays and it’s a great book to read a chapter or two before bed. The authors, both having worked for Google and Google ventures have great ideas about how to make progress on the things that matter most to YOU – not just to others. The writing is clear, straightforward and engaging. My biggest take-away so far: Each day you should pick a “highlight,” the one thing you’ll spend 60-90 minutes straight on, that either gives you the most fulfillment, joy or productivity.

On my Audible listening: Power Moves by Adam Grant. This book is both a combination of fascinating live interviews with the powerful recorded at Davos, as well as Adam Grant, leading Wharton Professor’s top tips on what you should know to work with power, negotiate with power, and understand how power works. While I don’t know that this book will remain with me for years, it’s an entertaining listen and fascinating to listen to some of the most powerful people in the world talk about power.
My biggest take away so far: Adam Grant contents that power doesn’t corrupt, it just brings more of who you naturally are to the surface…not 100% sure if I agree but it’s food for thought.

On my Kindle 1: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Start-up. Ok I just finished this one recently but it’s really stayed with me. This is the true story of Theronos, the Silicon Valley unicorn and it’s founder that have been recently unmasked as being built on lies. This story is intriguing on so many levels, and especially interesting to me working with Silicon Valley Start-ups.
So many take-aways: First of all it’s humbling to see the level of charisma and deceit that duped so many inside and outside the company. Second there’s the lesson that so many of us believe in a technology because other smart/famous people believe in the technology and founder. It’s incredible to realize how far we will go to not see ourselves as duped or in a bad light. Lastly, I’m so impressed by the few brave souls who stood up for what’s right at potentially great cost to themselves. We should all be grateful these types of truth-tellers still exist.

On my Kindle 2: Pachinko. This is an fascinating story about a Korean family in Japan before, during and then after the Japanese occupation of Korea and spans 4 generations. It was highly recommended to me but I have to admit, it looked long and I was dubious. I was hooked within the first chapter though and didn’t want to put it down to do things like talk with my family or have family meals on vacation. Not as many take-aways here but the power of good storytelling to draw you in is incredible.

What’s next?

I always have a list of multiple books awaiting me but there are some that have risen to the top recently.

Becoming by Michelle Obama
The Art of Gathering: How we meet and Why it Matters by Priya Parker (a colleague of mine has been encouraging me to read this!)
Circe by Madeline Miller (I love Greek mythology)
21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari

But of course, I’d love your recommendations too. What’s your biggest “not-to-miss” book and why? Please let me know in the comments below!

And here’s to some cozy and enlightening reading for us all this winter…

Jo Ilfeld, PhD

An executive leadership coach, Jo helps C-suite leaders, executives, and high-potential managers develop the flexibility, skill, and frame of mind to meet the challenges of the next five, ten, twenty years…. and beyond. She works with individuals, teams and organizations on four core areas of leadership development. Check out Jo's bio page for more information.

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