As an inveterate life-long learner, I constantly read in order to get new ideas and refresh my learning. I still love books: e-books for convenience, hardback and paperbacks for marking up and filling with notes! And I love to share my resources with friends, colleagues, clients and students.
If you are an arts entrepreneur or leader looking for some new inspiration on how to create success, here are the top picks from my bookshelf:
The Mindset of Success
Carol Dweck, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success (Ballantine Books, 2007)
Stanford researcher Carol Dweck summarizes her research on the mindset that fosters success: the growth mindset as opposed to the fixed mindset. The premise is that talent and ability are the starting point of success, followed by being open to learning and believing that you can improve throughout your life. It’s about working hard, practicing and achieving mastery as opposed to thinking your talent is a fixed commodity that you need to protect so as not to fail. The book is filled with practical examples of how to develop the “growth” mindset.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (Harper & Row; 1990)
This classic work presents the positive state of consciousness characterized by optimal joy, creativity and mastery known as Flow. An inspiring read that shows how Flow can be experienced by anyone, irrespective of their profession.
Written in a playful style with wonderful graphics, artist and writer Austin Kleon posits that we all have the capacity to be creative. He shares his top 10 strategies for unlocking your creativity, staring with “Steal Like An Artist”. This book is a must-read for who is looking for inspiration and insight on how to harness that creativity.
Tom Rath, StrengthsFinder 2.0 (Gallup Press: 2007)
Tom Rath and Barry Concie, Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow (Gallup Press: 2009)
I subscribe to the premise of positive psychology that life is a lot easier and more enjoyable if you are playing to your strengths, as opposed to compensating for weaknesses. I use StrengthsFinder 2.o with my clients and students to help them discover and use their strengths in order to create success. Strengths-based Leadership is great for anyone interested in improving leadership and team-building skills. Both books gives you access to an on-line assessment that will generate a report of your 5 top strengths. Highly recommended to anyone in need of a confidence booster!
Time Management and Prioritization
This delightful gem is my current favorite resource for learning how to identify the great work you envsion doing and then learning how to prioritize the great work instead of getting bogged down in busy work.
And here are two newcomers to my bookshelf that are fast becoming favorites:
Courage and Vulnerability
Dr. Brené Brown has spent years researching vulnerability and shame and presents her work with humor, candor and lots of solid research. She makes a compelling argument that embracing vulnerability can lead to a life full of joy and meaningful relationships. Be sure to watch her Ted Talk to experience her homespun, down-to-earth delivery.
Transformation by Overcoming Habitual Blocks
Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey, Immunity to Change: How to Overcome It and Unlock the Potential in Yourself and Your Organization (Harvard Business Review Press: 2009)
Harvard professors Kagen and Lahey have spent years researching what motivates people to change. They have developed a program that delves below the surface to unlock the reasons why so many people have trouble making fundamental changes, even when they are highly motivated to reach their goals. I recently attend3ed Kagen and Lahey’s workshop and found it life-changing. The book lays out their program. A must-read for anyone who is stuck and is committed to making fundamental changes both professionally and personally.
Let me know which of these books end up on your bookshelf or in your e-reader!