As colleague asked me to give her the Cliff Notes on the business books I’m reading. As I ready to board a plane to South America for vacation, some of them are making it into my backpack!
A few years ago, I worked on the Adelante Movement, led by Nely Galan, former President of Entertainment for Telemundo. ‘Adelante’ literally means “Forward!” or “Onward!” She was spurring Latin women into action, to take stewardship of their lives and careers. One of the most valuable pieces of advice I heard her share when she spoke was “Get a mentor.” But here was the twist she shared. It seemed so obvious. A mentor didn’t have to be a live person with whom you met every month or every week. A mentor could be someone who enjoyed TREMENDOUS business success, so much so, they wrote a book about it. The learning is inside waiting for you to discover it. Shoe Dog, written by Phil Knight, is the story of the founder of Nike. He takes you from the time he visited Japan with a friend to investigate leather shoes that were all the rage to creating a veritable shoe and apparel empire. I’m a big believer in building your own support systems where you find them. I like how his first hires and partners eventually became a tight brotherhood.
I read this book for my female leadership book club. Women’s leadership coach Sally Helgesen wrote this book in partnership with her friend and colleague Marshall Goldsmith, author of “What Got you here wont’ get you there.” In his book, he outlined 12 ways executives undermine their own leadership. But he soon realized that women faced different challenges. He and Sally set about outlining the 12 ways that women undermine their own authority and voice in the workplace. One of my favorite ways Sally outlines is that women don’t build ‘win-win’ relationships in the way men traditionally do. They don’t want to impose. However she recommends women enlist allies from the day they occupy any seat at a job and think about how both sides can add value to one another. The second thing Sally says we rob ourselves of power is by APOLOGIZING constantly! “I’m sorry for the delay in responding.” You are allowed to take 24 hours to respond to an email. Consider downloading the Google Chrome app “Just Not Sorry” to monitor how many times you apologize in an email–and erase it.
I hosted Fran as a fireside chat guest this past winter. She was a long time executive at corporates such as Time Warner. She also mentored many a young female employee. This book is a culmination of some of the counsel she has shared over the years with her mentees. How to engage your boss if a colleague takes credit for your work. How to confront your boss when your power is being undermined. How to speak up in meetings. This book is a manual that I keep handy and refer to again and again for language I can deploy in real time.
After reading this book, I shuddered to think about the years of learning I have short circuited by getting by on 4 hours of sleep. Michael Walker shares about the three states of sleep we enter into. One state clears out the short-term cache. In other words, cleaning out all the learning from the day. Another state sends that learning into long-term storage, so we can retrieve the learning at a later date. The third state helps us process and wrestle with problems we are currently dealing with. He also draws the critical link between sleep and fending off diseases such as dementia and Alzheimers.
“Genius Foods” draws the critical line between food and optimal brain productivity. Max Lugavere was a tv personality. But he was spurred to study this link when his mom was diagnosed with a rare form of dementia. In this book, he reveals how the foods we eat directly affect our ability to focus, learn, remember, create, and analyze new ideas.
How can you engage with LadyDrinks programming in the coming months?
September 6th A private tour of the Met: Fashion through the ages
September 6th Private tour of Women Only artists, San Diego Museum of Art
October 3rd LADYDRINKS PUBLIC SPEAKING CLASS FOR LEADERS WITH ROBYN HATCHER, SPEAK ETC
October 8th LadyDrinks Chicago: Fireside Chat with Muralist Jenny Vyas
October 10th LADYDRINKS WEBINAR ON BUILDING COMPANY CULTURES WITH AUTHOR LEENA PATEL.