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Most people do these types of posts toward the end of the year.  It’s been three months since you’ve seen a barrage of lists and we’re still three months from what you should read this summer.  I decided I wanted to beat the summer rush and give you ideas on books that I’ve found valuable.  If you decide to read any of these please let me know what you think.

Debt, The First 5,000 Years – David GraeberI think history is a better teacher for what we can expect than economics is.  If you want to see what’s coming it often makes sense to look back and see what’s come before.  This book will have you asking yourself if we’re about to go through a cataclysmic change in how we relate to both debt and money.

Lean Thinking, Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation – Womack and JonesMost of us have read about lean manufacturing which is nothing more than the Toyota Production System.  At the same time most of us really don’t know what lean is or how it can positively affect our business and our bottom lines.  If you have any interest at all in learning about what installing a lean system in your company can do you should read this book.

The Emperor of All Maladies – Siddhartha MukherjeeThis is not a business book.  It’s a history of cancer and what has been done to try to tame this chronic condition.  I read this book with a great deal of interest because of my own experience with cancer.  It covers where cancer treatment started and provides a survey of the state of treatment today.  You might walk away asking yourself if there is any chance of making real progress treating cancer using the methods we’ve used for several centuries.

The 3rd Alternative – Stephen R. CoveyCovey has been writing great books since The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  This volume asks the question, “Can we find a better way to deal with big problems?”  Covey’s answer is yes, there is a better way and that way is different than what we do today.  My main takeaway from this book is that compromise is always a terrible choice because both parties lose.  The only way to make things work is by finding a new way that neither party has seen.

The Checklist Manifesto – Atul GawandeWho would ever think a book about checklists could be interesting?  Not only was the book interesting, but it also was useful.  If you don’t use checklists in your life you’re missing a great opportunity.  This book outlines why checklists are important and how to put lists together that will be used to improve outcomes in your business and or life.

What Got You’re here Won’t Get You There – Marshall GoldsmithGoldsmith is one of the top executive coaches in the country.  This book outlines what keeps successful people from being extraordinary successful.  It also gives you a good tutorial in how to choose and work with a coach.  If you’re already successful and want to make your game even better this is a book I highly recommend.

Tribal Leadership – Logan, King, Fischer-Wright.  I’m a huge fan of Dave Logan who is a professor at USC’s school of business.  This book is important because it helps us learn how our employees think about life and our organizations.  The authors give us a good roadmap for how to upgrade the thinking process in our companies by meeting our employees where they are.

What are books you would recommend that you’ve read over the past few months?  I know that a constant stream of new information helps me become better every year.  How about you?

Josh Patrick

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Topics: communication, enterprise value, value, summer reading

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