Good morning ya’ll! Here are quick reviews of a couple of books I’ve read recently that I felt were pretty worthwhile.
Sleeping Your Way to the Top: How to Get the Sleep You Need to Succeed by Terry Cralle and W. David Brown (2016)
I was really impressed with this book – and not just because of the cheeky title. In fact, that cheekiness continued throughout the book to the point of getting a little bit old. But somehow, some way, this book kept me interested and engaged for almost three hundred pages…of talking about sleep. Tons of recent research definitely points to sleep being much more important than we as a society have ever fully understood. This book puts a bunch of it together to illustrate just how badly some of us, who have disregarded our sleep far too often over the years, have screwed ourselves. It had me stunned and horrified several times as I realized that some of the issues I’ve had in my life, and still have in some cases, could very well have been self inflicted wounds. But it did it in a way that not only didn’t totally crush my spirit (even though I may have it coming in this case), but made it a very easy book to keep reading.
My only criticism is that I wish the book had included more specific solutions. I did try two ideas that it gave me, but in both cases, I quickly realized that I was in way over my head. And now I’m considering consulting a professional, which may be a very beneficial outcome for me. I think this is a very important book that almost anyone could benefit from reading.
Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler, and Laura Roppe (2011)
This is a grudging recommendation on my part. Why? Because I liked the authors less and less the more I read this book. It could be that I was just in a bad mood one day when I was reading it and my perception snowballed from there, but I came away feeling like it was very condescending. Many of the examples provided seemed flimsy at best and the authors loved their ideas so much that they were repeated over and over and……….
Anyway, the fact that I basically hated the experience of reading this book should give my recommendation of it that much more weight. In spite of my feelings for it, the book really did get me thinking critically about the way I approach my “crucial conversations” – and contentious, high stakes conversations are almost a daily part of life for someone in my line of work. It gave me some excellent ideas and I’ve already noticed myself being more effective and getting some better outcomes as I’ve made a conscious effort to integrate what I read into my tactics. This book could benefit just about anyone – not just in a business context, but also in all sorts of other relationships. It’s a great reminder that we don’t have to personally like the source of information to benefit from it – a point that probably won’t be lost on some of my readers…
Have a splendid day and if you’re in Houston, let’s all keep doing our best not to drown! I’ve never seen so much fucking rain in my life and I hope I never do again. But it’s still nowhere near as frustrating as the four to six months of hell people in Wisconsin call winter. Anyway…