It’s a back-to-school season, and what can be a better way to expand your horizons and give yourself a kick start than with a fun Community Challenge!
This time let’s share the best inspiring books that motivated and challenged you!
Write down the title and a brief story about how they helped you to develop.
Let's challenge each other in some innovative ways, like reading books on subjects you never read before, or test your limits when it comes to reading, just for fun.
Everyone that will post in this forum thread his favorite book suggestion will receive 120 reputation points!
I recently read The Woman Who Smashed Codes. I've read a number of books on codebreakers and cryptology but this was one of the crazier stories even more so because it's such an unknown story. It's about a woman who essentially founded one of the first codebreaking groups in the US (within the Coast Guard) first going after smugglers and eventually spies in South America during WWII.
It's an inspiring story about having a huge impact on the world coming from humble beginnings even with very little recognition. It's also amazing hearing about the approaches to cryptanalysis in the era before computers were common.
She also had a USCG ship named after her recently, that's how I came across the book.
Despite having read it only this year, "More from Less" is definitely a very interesting book to read. I got it a week before Perform 2020 at another conference, and started reading it on my way to Vegas. It took me a bit to read though, as I was constantly checking the numerous links in the book.
Andrew McAfee goes through a number of historical events and how technology has shaped and will shape our world. It challenges our knowledge about what is happening in our World, and some examples were quite surprising to me. One of the most interesting was the reference to a bet between Julian Simon and Paul Ehrlich in the eighties...
Andrew McAfee argues around dematerialization, a concept of doing more with less resources. And that's where it hit me strong. I started reading it thinking about my personal practice in contributing to a better world, but then I realized that my professional work is also contributing to this! And while reading the book, I could not help but think how we, using Dynatrace, also contributes to this. Optimizing and finding ways to use less resources is something that we all do on a daily basis, and so I believe we are all contributing to a better world, doing our professional work.
Andrew has an overview of the book on his site. I highly recommend it!
The interesting book I will share with you is written by one of my recent discoveries - David Marquet and his "Turn the Ship Around" (https://www.amazon.com/Turn-Ship-Around-Turning-Followers/dp/1591846404). And I really like the subtitle that tells much - "A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders".
Maybe you don't know but I'm a very keen on personal development and leadership skills. This book revealed to me something interesting that I rethought what it means to be a leader!
Author was a naval officer leading a submarine. He faced the high-stress environment where there was little to no space for failures. Once, when he ordered an impossible order his crew answered "because you told me to!". He realized that the traditional military leadership rules do not work well and flipped the leadership model completely!
So what officer Marquet writes is to be a great leader you have to give up control! Controversial? Not-traditional? Yes, and that's the key. Read all the stories there if you are interested in "why?" 🙂 Book is full of serious, real and sometimes hilarious stories. It's very insightful and enjoyable.
Last but not least - a nice exercise to practice what I mentioned:
"You go to a restaurant and you tell the waiter, you pick! You pick the drinks. You pick the meal. And don’t play it safe, that’s the key.”