04 – March 3, 2019
First things first, thank you for your interest in reading content at CFO Bookshelf.
1. What I’m Reading
- Do you prefer reading books like Carol Dweck’s Mindset, or would you prefer reading about someone’s grit and resilience? I prefer the latter. This week, I finished Daniel Milstein’s inspiring 17 Cents & a Dream. Imagine moving to Russia as a 12-year-old, only knowing your own language and eating mainly bananas each day because of limited funds. You have more enemies than friends. Life seems hopeless. That was Daniel’s situation when moving to the U.S. after his family risked their lives to flee the U.S.S.R. after the Chernobyl disaster. Inspiring.
- In Quora, I was once asked what every employee should read. My pick was the Ideal Team Player by Lencioni. I’m now adding a second book to the list–The Cilantro Diaries by Lorenzo Gomez. The book is not just for your staff; it’s for you too. I’ll be rereading it again this year. One of my favorite takeaways is implementing a personal board of directors.
- I’m a big believer in being an ongoing student of the arts and humanities (more on that later). Late last year, I promised myself I’d be reading more top-quality literature. Currently, I’m 3 chapters into The Remains of the Day. Good pick. Can’t wait to finish it.
2. What I’m Still Reading
I’ll be reading Caro’s, The Power Broker throughout March. I’m a slow reader, and the print is super small. Still, I’m enjoying it.
However, I’m experimenting with something I’ve never done before with this long book. I’m listening and reading at the same time. I got the idea from a fascinating blog post at Lifehacker. You can scan it here. I’ll be commenting more about this experience in a few weeks.
3. What I’m Writing
Many of us have accounting backgrounds. While we read business books, does that include accounting books too? Do they even exist? If so, are they good?
I just wrote about the top 3 accounting books ever written. One is a bit dated, but it’s still a mind-bender. The other two are important reads. If you like collecting books, my three picks would be a nice addition to your antilibrary. Don’t worry; I didn’t know what an antilibrary was until a few years ago. Shane Parrish provides insights. So does Ryan Holiday.
4. What I’ve Been Watching
I was never a fan of The Business Model Canvas until Steve Blank explained how he uses it in one of his courses. I could listen to Steve talk all day as the guy is so smart in the startup world, but he shares his intelligence with passion and humility. As time permits, watch this mini MBA below as Steve walks us through the canvas. Here are a few takeaways:
- It’s not just for startups
- Notice the order of filling out the canvas – don’t just go from left to right
- Excluded from the video is that this is not a once-and-done model. You may need 5-15 interactions to perfect the model
5. What I’m Reading Beyond Books
Are you a techie or a fuzzy? A techie is technical and scientific. In this context, they code. Since we probably don’t code, let’s stick with the technical and the scientific. Fuzzies are people-people. Think arts and humanities. I probably cannot fit this book into my schedule this year, but I enjoyed reading this article about these two archetypes.
6. Homework Assignment
Earlier, I mentioned the personal board of directors. Even if this is the first time you’ve heard the term, you can probably imagine the ‘who’ and ‘what’ of these personal boards.
This week, think about your own personal board of directors. Do you have one? If not, should you? If so, who gets on that board? How do you decide?
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Take care, and have a great week. Always keep learning.