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Posted Jan. 23, 2013 6:43 a.m. by dylan
In - 800 CEO Read Blog
When I got in my car, the temperature gauge on the dashboard read negative four degrees. It was sunny out, but it was the kind of sunlight that seems reluctant—like a lone light in a walk-in freezer—struggling through the cold air to get to you.
So when I backed out of the driveway yesterday morning, I thought to myself, "there is no way we get a good crowd this morning, on the coldest day of winter. There's no way people leave the warmth of their beds an hour early and head out into sub-zero temperatures just to discuss ideas and business books for two hours before they head off to their actual jobs for the day." I underestimated the drive and gumption of the business book readers of Milwaukee, and the ability of the good folks at Translator to get them there. They showed up.
You can tell by the winter light, and the heavy winter coats and scarves in the pictures, that it was well below freezing. But Translator had good, hot coffee, and a really great group of people, and our [general] manager Jon Mueller curated an engaging conversation around the ideas and stories from each of this year's 800-CEO-READ Business Book Awards category winners.
It was an excellent crowd. It was not a gathering of people looking for a way to escape their current circumstances, but of those that knew they have a lot more they can contribute to their current circumstances—whether their work, home, or hobby—and were searching for new ways to meet that challenge. All those that spoke seemed happy and effective in their life and work, but they also seemed to know that they can get even more out of life, and that they have more to offer their world. And instead of being bitter, they were all striving for ways to be just a little bit better. So they came, and they discussed, and they went back out into the cold morning fortified with new ideas and insight.
Thanks so much to those that showed up, to Translator for organizing and hosting the event, and of course to all the authors that wrote the books and provided the ideas and inspiration that continue to get us up, excited, and out the door early. We'll have some video of the event for all of you in the not-too-distant future.
New Year, New KnowledgeBlocks
Posted Jan. 8, 2013 7:27 a.m. by sally-haldorson
In - 800 CEO Read Blog
For the past few months, we've been remodeling KnowledgeBlocks, and we are thrilled to announce that the new site is now live!
What you'll see when you visit the new version of KnowledgeBlocks is a trimmer, more focused, and most importantly, free site. As always, our mission is to help you build your business knowledge. Here's how it works!
Daily Blocks: Learn something new every day by signing up for our Daily Block emails. Each morning (or you can choose to receive a weekly digest) we'll send you an email with a quote or excerpt from a new business book, and a short meditation on the idea by the site curator, Sally, to spark or inspire your day's work.
Book Giveaways: Each month we'll post a fresh giveaway of a brand new business title. You will be signed up for a chance to win automatically when you create a KnowledgeBlocks account.
Blocks: Visit our site whenever you need inspiration and comb through the curated and contributed blocks. Inspire others by entering any quotation, short excerpt, link, video, audio clip, etc., you would like to save in the space inviting you to "Share a great idea." Mouse over that space to see easy editing features.
Stacks: You can group blocks together for the purpose of collecting ideas of a similar nature. Simply combine blocks by clicking on the "Stack" button at the bottom of the block.
Forums: Talk with other members about all of the business books and ideas that inspire or intrigue you. Maybe a block inspires you. Maybe a book you read needs to be shared with others. Do it here on the forums.
KnowledgeBOX: Become a premium member for only $80 a year, and receive a quarterly shipment of a new and notable business book, signed by the author, and supplemented by a compendium of links to other digital content as well as a dedicated online forum. New members will also receive a hardcover copy of The 100 Best Business Books of All Time immediately upon sign-up.
January 2013 features the newest works from Seth Godin. Get a bit of Godin wisdom in your Daily Block each morning. Enter to win a copy of V is for Vulnerable. Get the BOX and receive 2 copies of The Icarus Deception: one for you and one for a friend.
The Elite Eight: Our Picks for the Top Business Books of 2012
Posted Dec. 18, 2012 6:40 a.m. by sally-haldorson
In - 800 CEO Read Blog
In anticipation of announcing the winner of the 2012 800-CEO-READ Business Book of the Year tomorrow, here's a recap of the category winners. Click on the links below to read more about these top books of 2012.
Which book is *your* pick for the top book of the year?
~General Business: PRIVATE EMPIRE | Steve Coll
~Leadership: THE COMMITMENT ENGINE | John Jansch
~Management: THE ADVANTAGE | Pat Lencioni
~Innovation & Creativity: THE ICARUS DECEPTION | Seth Godin
~Small Business & Entrepreneurship: THE $100 STARTUP | Chris Guillibeau
~Sales & Marketing: TO SELL IS HUMAN | Dan Pink
~Personal Development: SO GOOD THEY CAN'T IGNORE YOU | Cal Newport
~Finance & Economics: FINANCE & THE GOOD SOCIETY | Robert Shiller
The 800-CEO-READ Business Book Awards, Innovation & Creativity
Posted Dec. 17, 2012 4:40 a.m. by 800-ceo-read
In - 800 CEO Read Blog
The 800-CEO-READ Business Book Awards have been decided upon, and in the Innovation & Creativity category, Seth Godin's wonderful new book, The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly? (published this month by Portfolio along with two companion books—V is for Vulnerable and Whatcha Gonna Do with That Duck?) takes the top prize.
“Entrepreneurship, customer service, invention,
technology, connection, leadership, and a
dozen others. These are the new performing arts,
the valuable visual arts, the essential personal arts.”
The Icarus Deception, page 12
To see the runners-up, check out our Innovation & Creativity shortlist announced last week.
Jack Covert Selects - The Icarus Deception
Posted Dec. 14, 2012 8:56 a.m. by 800-ceo-read
Most of us remember the “creative types” in school, the ones who wore odd clothes and listened to strange music. Fast-forward and we now find ourselves in a position that requires us to be creative, to solve problems, to invent new things and ways of doing things, to inspire people, and more. But since we viewed that ability as belonging to a particular social group for most of our lives, we think we lack it.
Seth Godin’s new book, The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly? tells us that we’ve been mislead. Just as the mythical character Icarus was told not to fly too close to the sun or too close to the ground, we have been encouraged to stay in the middle, to be comfortable, to trust in and rely on the systems that have instructed us. But that system and the comfort zone it provided is now deteriorating around us—everything we learned is wrong. The good news, according to Godin, is that once we realize this, we can change.
Think about the last meeting you attended, when the moderator asked “Does Anyone Have Any Suggestions?” Godin sets the scene:
Silence. Sidelong glances, perhaps some shuffling of papers, but still, silence.
All these highly trained, well-paid, and respected people in a room and not one person has something to contribute? I doubt it.
Stick around for a few minutes, and if the moderator has earned any trust at all, someone speaks up. And if that person isn’t summarily executed, someone else speaks up. And then more people. Until finally, the room is filled with energy, a buzz that you can feel. Finally, we’re permitted to be human, to end the silence, to share our best work.
Amazingly, everyone in the room is capable of seeing and analyzing and solving.
Everyone in the room is capable of passion. Everyone in the room can care enough to do something—if they can overthrow the self-induced, systemically amplified censor that keeps them in line.
We all have ideas and intelligence and passion, we just need to allow ourselves to stand up and speak out. The Industrial Age and its factories required quiet productivity and standardization, and the people who worked in those factories were certainly no exception. The Industrial Age is over.
We live in a different time now, which Godin calls “the connection economy.” Connections involve people, but they also involve ideas, and as we make connections we create rather than replicate. Whether we’re flight attendants, sales people, wait staff, managers, or painters, we can all make connections. We can all make art.
Many books on creativity and innovation look at how to think differently, and this book certainly does that. The difference here is how Godin analyzes why we think the way we do, what our fears are, and identifies what is blocking our creativity. All the brainstorming in the world won’t create new ideas when those generating them won’t fly too high for fear of burning their wings. Unlike Icarus, our wings won’t get burned. It’s time to fly higher, and as usual, Godin leads us there.