In Communication, Wednesday Wisdom

Soccer mom duties this fall provided great reading opportunities during practices. Here are some of my favorite books:


Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin

My favorite passages:

Habits make change possible by freeing us from decision making and from using self-control.

Not everyone is like me.

The opposite of a profound truth is also true.


The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande

My favorite passages:

You want people to make sure to get the stupid stuff right. Yet you also want to leave room for craft and judgment and the ability to respond to unexpected difficulties that arise along the way.

The philosophy is that you push the power of the decision making out to the periphery and away from the center. You give people the room to adapt, based on their experience and expertise. All you ask is that they talk to one another and take responsibility. That is what works.


Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

My favorite passages:

But without a team – a group of individuals working to accomplish a mission – there can be no leadership. The only meaningful measure for a leader is whether the team succeeds or fails. For all the definitions, descriptions and characterizations of leaders, there are only two that matter: effective and ineffective.

In virtually every case, the SEAL troops and platoons that didn’t perform well had leaders who blamed everyone and everything else – their troops, their subordinate leaders, or the scenario. They blamed the SEAL training instructor staff; they blamed inadequate equipment or the experience level of their men. They refused to accept responsibility. Poor performance and mission failure were the result.

Ego clouds and disrupts everything: the planning process, the ability to take good advice, the ability to accept constructive criticism. It can even stifle someone’s sense of self-preservation. Often, the most difficult ego to deal with is your own.

We had to choose the least bad option.

Even the most competent of leaders can be overwhelmed if they try to tackle multiple problems or a number of tasks simultaneously. The team will likely fail at each of those tasks. Instead, leaders must determine the highest priority task and execute. When overwhelmed, fall back upon this principle: Prioritize and Execute.


What are some of your favorite reads this fall?





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