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Nsights: A Book Club – of Two People

Do you have a friend that lights up your day, no matter what’s going on?  She is so excited about life that you end up on the phone for a lost hour?  This type of friend makes you feel like you get a virtual hug when you talk with them.

My person is Cathy Chenoweth Onion.  I’m lucky enough to have her in my life since the “Big 80s” and together we’ve laughed, presented workshops, expressed frustrations, reminisced about fun people, and shared “must read” books over our many years together. This time around, instead of just sharing great books, we’ve decided to create a book club, made up of just the two of us.

We’re reading Bill Burnett & Dave Evan’s book, “Designing Your Life:  How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life.”  Both authors are design educators in Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design.  I feel like I’m taking a Stanford pass/fail class right here in the heart of Indiana.  Fortunately for both of us, we’re both happy in our work but as friends our age are beginning to retire, we can’t help but think, “What’s next?”

If you like self-help books and goal-setting tools, this book is a great resource.  Each chapter has great information but, in my opinion, the most useful nudges come from the chapter-ending assignments designed to get the reader to reflect on current realities.   We’re examining our work environment, our joys, as well as our sources of boredom/frustration.

It has made me think of the level of energy some of my responsibilities bring, and how engaged I’m feeling when working in “flow.”  Have you ever had the feeling when all of a sudden you look up from your work and realize an hour just rushed by but felt like 5 minutes?  That’s flow, when you truly are having fun mentally and emotionally in work.

I’ve read several books like this before, but the chapter assignment to log all of my daily experiences for three weeks was especially challenging.  No glossing over this assignment like I’ve done with similar books, many times before.  I’m only in week one and so far, there aren’t any major themes or issues to pay attention to. That’ll probably change soon.

Burnett & Evans also offered the AEIOU Framework that was developed by Dev Patnaik, Needfinding:  Design Research and Planning (Amazon’s CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013).  This acronym will get you to think about other elements in your work such as: Activities, Environments, Interactions, Objects, and Users

What have been your go-to books for personal growth and professional development?

What are your most influential elements from the AEIOU framework?

#20Things to Add to Your Leadership Library

Nsights: Leadership Library

I’m fortunate enough to work with some pretty cool…and smart people. Each year at the Future Leaders Conference held by the American Society of Association Executives, we ask our facilitator team members to offer up their “must read” resources, websites, magazines, and books. Here is the summary from the 2018 conference, in no particular order.

1. Hubspot.com
2. Creativity, Inc. Overcoming the Unseen Forces that Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Cat Edmull and Amy Wallace
3. Leaders Lead Last by Simon Sinek
4. Amy Cuddy’s YouTube video on the value of the power stance
5. The Speed of Trust by Stephen Covey
6. Managing Transitions by William Bridges and Susan Bridges
7. The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey by Ken Blanchard
8. ASAE Inclusion Index
9. ASAE 41 Drivers of Change
10. Check out recruiters’ web pages to see what skills they are looking for in the workforce
11. When by Daniel Pink
12. MAFN.org (Mid-Atlantic Facilitators Network)
13. “How I Built This” podcast
14. Notimpossible.com
15. Content Marketing Institute
16. ASAE Collaborate
17. Good to Great by Jim Collins
18. Any book by Stephen Covey
19. Your Nerdy Best Friend website
20. Get Unstuck and Get Going by Michael Bungay Stanier
21. Permission to Screw Up by Kristen Hadeed and Simon Sinek

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