Recommended reading challenge

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This topic contains 29 replies, has 24 voices, and was last updated by  Dave Uejio 10 years ago.

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  • #131110

    Stephanie Slade

    Let’s say you were approached by a young person right out of college with big hopes and dreams for the future. If you had to pick one piece of nonfiction to recommend to them, to help prepare them for success, what would it be?

    I’d go with “Never Eat Alone” by Keith Ferrazzi. It really hammers home how important it is to network, connect, build relationships, introduce yourself to people, introduce people to each other, keep in touch, ask for favors, offer favors, etc. I truly don’t think I’d be where I am (or get where I hope I’m going) if I hadn’t learned to do those things.

  • #131168

    Dave Uejio

    At the risk of being hopelessly boring, and assuming a young fed audience, I propose Richard Haass’s “The Bureaucratic Entrepreneur“.

  • #131166

    The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey – Start with values, get all the big rocks in the jar first…and the rest is easy from there 😉

  • #131164

    joan Cervenka

    I recomend Orwell, “1984” as required reading.

  • #131162

    gregg gullickson

    Peter Senge’s “The Fifth Discipline.”

  • #131160

    Scott Kearby

    A Message to Garcia – Elbert Hubbard

    I was given this to read 27 years ago when starting a new job, and it made an impact.

  • #131158

    For any age but especially for those who are new, fresh and ” want to whip the world” as they blaze their trail…will often find there are internal obstacles that each of us must overcome to be successful

    As a career and leadership coach (and as a former college internship program manager/ and HR Hiring Manager, in the public sector environement) I recommend three books by the Vital Smarts organization.

    For personal internal change: Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success (Joseph Grenny et al)

    For building communication skills: Crucial Conversations (same authors)

    For organizational and individual influence: Influencer: The Power to Change Anything (same authors

    Even better check out the trainings Vital Smarts offers on all three of these topics….

    Change is slow in the public sector but the need for internal and external dialoguing, teaming, and change is imminent!

    These resources are exellent and I have attended every training VItal Smarts offers…a great way to start a career….

    Cathy McCafferty- Smith

    Career and Leadership Coach / Organizational Change

  • #131156

    Alan L. Greenberg

    OK, Pardon my being tacky, but I can’t resist a little hype. My book, Confessions of a Government Man: How to Succeed in Any Bureaucracy was designed for “anyone who has ever worked for, against or with a large organization.” Although there is a lot of satire there are many truths between the lines. One of my backcover endorsements, from a major industrialist, called it “required reading in every business school.” For more information see my Govloop blog or my website.

    As for my own reading, I enjoyed Lee Iacocca’s “Talking Straight.” It’s old but not dated. A no bs account of what it takes to succeed..

  • #131154

    Amy Ngo

    My advice – learn some good, practical successful behaviors right away. You can find many examples in The Success Principles by Jack Canfield. Also, focusing on your strengths will help you follow a career path that sets you up to be successfull right off the bat. Learn about your strengths and how to enhance them in Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath. I know there are 2 recommendations here but they are both so good I could decide on one.

  • #131152

    Shelly Nuessle

    The Fifth Discipline. Ret. Adm Thad Allen recommended this to me, and I have found it invaluable.

  • #131150

    This reminds me of an influential book that someone gave me when I was 23:

    “Letters to a Young Poet” by Rainer Maria Rilke.

  • #131148

    I’m downloading “‘The Fifth Discipline” to my Kindle now!

  • #131146

    Tina Boehle

    Some great choices have already been mentioned. One recent book I read for my Master’s program and really liked was “On Writing Well” by William Zinsser.

  • #131144

    Joe Flood

    It’s fiction but Catch-22 is probably the best introduction to government out there.

  • #131142

    Robert Eckhardt

    and I was about to say ‘Lord of the Flies’. I’ve been having a week.

  • #131140

    Arthur G. Grant

    Perhaps an odd suggestion for someone headed to government work, but there is an old book, easy read, first in a trilogy that everyone should read. The book is the innovators dilemma. It will help you understand industry, investement, and even the government. It is written by Clayton M. Christensen.

    I recommend following the Innovators Dilemma with the Innovators Solution, and the Strategy Paradox.

    Fundamentally it changes the way you look at suppliers. It also changes the way you invest.

  • #131138

    Susana Reyes Lee

    This is what first came to my mind as well.

  • #131136

    Susana Reyes Lee

    I just picked these up at ASTD 2011 conference. Can’t wait to read them!

  • #131134

    Susana Reyes Lee

    It is a quick, easy, yet powerful read. Our director makes sure that every new employee has it and understands our mission.

  • #131132

    Glen R Czaplewski

    I’ve just finished The Visual Display of Quantitativeness Information, a dry title,but an awesome read. The book has really helped me think about how to condense very complicated ideas into very simple, easy to understand, chunks.

  • #131130

    Sachin Shah

    I would recommend Getting Things Done by David Allen. It’s not just time management or list-making, but a complete system for “turning stuff into action”. A major weakness many of us share is not being able to manage the firehose of information that comes to us every day. Getting Things Done (or GTD to us fans) is an awesome way to enhance your productivity in all facets of your life.

  • #131128

    Steve Ressler

    Big fan of GTD

  • #131126

    Charles A. Ray

    The best book I’ve read lately is “The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t” by Robert I. Sutton, PhD. It’s put out by Business Pluss of the Hachette Book Group, 237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017, and is must reading for anyone just starting out in a career.

  • #131124

    Karla Sneegas

    My recommendation would be SWITCH by Chip and Dan Heath. This book discusses the way brains work in making decisions and that the emotional mind is equally important to the rational mind. In public health we still play far too often to the rational mind. Only by harnessing both sides will be be able to help people and decision makers move toward healthier behavior change.

  • #131122

    Stephanie Slade

    Awesome suggestions. I’m not exaggerating when I say I’ve been taking notes.

  • #131120

    Mary Miller

    I would recommend The Road Less Traveled by Scott Peck. The first line sums it all up: “Life is hard”.

  • #131118


    Two non-fiction books that came to mind The Leadership Moment by Michael Useem which tells 9 stories from the field (including Apollo 13). My favorite story in that book is about river blindness and gets to the core of orgs (and you) following their mission.

    Good to Great by Jim Collins is another good book with examples of how little things businesses did made huge impacts. granted, some of the corporations are no longer in business but who isn’t with this economy. The lessons and examples are still worthwhile to read.

  • #131116

    Kera Bartlett

    I’ve found THE PRIMES by Chris McGoff to be a powerful and insightful book for understanding how groups solve problems, whether in government, in the private sector or in life. I know I personally experienced what Chris terms “the blinding shock of the obvious” many times during this quick and easy read.

  • #131114
  • #131112

    Kera Bartlett

    Couldn’t agree more – I’m reading it right now! Great suggestion.

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