June 2019’s Top Reads
More than 11,000 business books are published every year—an overwhelming choice for busy professionals. Therefore, in partnership with getAbstract, Training brings you June’stop three business books recommended to our readers.
“Rule Makers, Rule Breakers. How Tight and Loose Cultures Wire Our World” by Michele Gelfand (Scribner, 2018, 384 pages, ISBN: 9781501152931; $28)
Cultural psychologist Michele Gelfand argues that the world’s cultures can be classified in two categories by virtue of their norms. “Tight” cultures, such as Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and Germany, embrace rigid norms and mete out harsh punishments for those who deviate. “Loose” cultures, including New Zealand, the United States, and Brazil, are more tolerant of a wide assortment of behaviors. Because countries, families, companies, and U.S. states all act in accordance with their divergent conceptions of “normal,” misunderstandings and conflict often arise. Gelfand offers a lucid explanation of how and why cultures become tight or loose and outlines their different societal attitudes. In a particularly relevant section, she describes how businesses also develop tight or loose cultures and how a cultural mismatch can doom a merger or undermine cooperation among a corporation’s divisions. Gelfand offers eye-opening insights for development professionals, policymakers, and those in international business.
Rating (out of 10): 8
“What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20. A Crash Course on Making Your Place in the World” by Tina Seelig (HarperOne, 2009, 208 pages, ISBN: 9780061735196; $22.99)
Tina Seelig, executive director of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program, offers an engaging perspective on making the shift from college to your career path with grace and finesse. Using her unique understanding as a neuroscientist working in innovation and entrepreneurship, she provides tips on how to unlock your creativity and achieve your goals—at work and in life. Much of what Seelig writes resonates as common sense, but she presents her ideas dynamically, with examples from Stanford University and Silicon Valley to emphasize and illustrate her points. She offers advice for those just starting their careers and for those seeking to reinvigorate them—by heading in new directions and adopting fresh points of view.
Rating (out of 10): 8
“The Joy in Business. Innovative Ideas to Find Positivity (and Profit) in Your Daily Work Life” by Joy J. D. Baldridge (Wiley, 2019, 288 pages, ISBN: 9781119528579; $25)
People routinely get knocked down or out. That’s life. But the essence of courage is summoning the grit to get back up, dust yourself off ,and get right back in the game. In her stirring yet commonsense guidebook, Joy Baldridge pays eloquent homage to the inspiration of human resilience. She provides a series of mental and spiritual exercises. Few are new or revelatory, but her book is a handy compendium. Her relentless belief in the power of positive self-speech may seem somewhat mired in the 1980s, but Baldridge offers coping techniques, strategies, and problem-solving tactics with her “Golden Nuggets,” “Joy Gems,” and collected quotations. If a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, this fun, easy-to-read but eloquent overview on the necessity of positive thinking and mindfulness offers some charming spoonfuls. Baldridge’s upbeat spirit, encouragement, and enthusiasm will, in keeping with the title of her uplifting book, bring you joy.
Rating (out of 10): 7
For five-page summaries of these and more than 15,000 other titles, visit http://www.getabstract.com/affiliate/trainingmagazine