This (and a book review I wrote this week) inspired me to start on something I’d procrastinated for a while, to list recommended books on People, Business, and Everything Agile… Sounds like another trilogy coming up.
In contrast to the lists mentioned above, this is subjective, personal, and commented. It is not numbered as I don’t have a ranking. I tried to group it, and to give you a sense of the impact each book made on me. This list only contains book I’d rate 5 stars.
The first instalment lists books on Inspiration and Values.
My friend Jurgen Appelo recently wrote a review of Linchpin—Are You Indispensable? by Seth Godin. He says it’s simplistic, “purple crap”, and calls Seth a Single Strategy God. When I started reading that post, I was first a bit put off by the language… But as I’m quite used to Jurgen being blunt (which he attributes to being Dutch), I read on and surprisingly found I agreed with every single bit of criticism he wrote. Yet, I still stand by my Linchpin promotion, I still love the book… Why?
Recently got a book in my hands which contains simple, yet amazing tips on how to treat the world like an artist and reflect on what you experience in your world:
Write down ten things about the place you’re sitting which you did not recognise when you sat down. Use your senses. Do it quickly. Don’t censor yourself. Go ahead!
“The world we live in, especially the awesome details, can be obscured to us by their simplicity or prosaicness. You don’t notice them because they are directly before your eyes.” (paraphrasing Ludwig Wittgenstein)
This is not a book review. This is a statement. A confession. A call-to-arms.
I am a Linchpin. It took years to become one, but only minutes to learn what we’re called. My friend Mike Sutton told me last summer I should read the book, but some things need their right moment in time…
I started listening to Seth Godin‘s book “Linchpin—Are you indispensable?” two weeks ago. I basically started my year with it. And I can not remember any non-fiction book resonating as strongly with me. I’ve given away three copies of it to friends and recommended it to numerous others since. And I have not even finished it. That’s why I decided that this year, 2011, my year, is going to be the year of the Linchpin.
Last week, I started to look for Linchpin references on the web—among other reasons to look for a German translation of the term. I stumbled upon the following text, here, written by Seth “for posting, sharing, emailing or instigating”:
Yes. Now. I am an artist. • I take initiative. • I do the work, not the job. • Without critics, there is no art. • I am a Linchpin. I am not easily replaced. • If it’s never been done before, even better. • The work is personal, too important to phone in. • The lizard brain is powerless in the face of art. I make it happen. Every day. • Every interaction is an opportunity to make a connection. • The past is gone. It has no power. The future depends on choices I make now. • I own the means of production—the system isn’t as important as my contribution to it. • I see the essential truth unclouded by worldview, and that truth drives my decisions. • I lean into the work, not away from it. Trivial work doesn’t require leaning. • Busywork is too easy. Rule-breaking works better and is worth the effort. • Energy is contagious. The more I put in, the more the world gives back. It doesn’t matter if I’m always right. It matters that I’m always moving. • I raise the bar. I know yesterday’s innovation is today’s standard. • I will not be brainwashed into believing in the status quo. • Artists don’t care about credit. We care about change. • There is no resistance if I don’t allow it to defeat me. • I embrace a lack of structure to find a new path. • I am surprising. (And often surprised). • I donate energy and risk to the cause. • I turn charisma into leadership. The work matters. • Go. Make something happen.
Three weeks ago, Jurgen Appelo asked for volunteers on Twitter . He wanted to pose a challenge to the readers of his new book “Management 3.0”: To win a signed copy of the book, you needed to post something on agile management and mention Martie, the management model:
This is a strong book, rich in size and contents. It says in the introduction (“How To Use This Book”), “It is not necessary to read this book in order.” I took that literally and started at the end. The last chapter is called “You’re Not Done Yet” and the last sentence is “And with that, you are on your way to succeeding with agile.” Which is the title of the book. By Mike Cohn. Love that. Continue reading →