July 2019 Bookshelf
Books 18 July 2019
Man's Search for Meaning
Viktor E. Frankl
Over the course of many millennia, psychologists and philosophers have attempted to explain what drives our everyday decisions. Is it a quest for pleasure (as Freud would suggest), power (as Adler would point to), the attainment of knowledge (as Plato would offer), or is it the search for meaning? Viktor Frankl, a psychiatrist, Holocaust survivor, and author of Man’s Search for Meaning, concluded the latter was humankind’s ultimate driver. Learner-centered leaders are likely to side with Frankl—as they are engrossed in ensuring every child discovers their unique interests, so that they might pursue a life and career that brings significant meaning to themselves, their families, and their communities. Discover how Frankl came to such a conclusion in his ever-relevant memoir.
Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies
Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porras
The success and sustainability of any transformational effort is dependent upon a smooth transition when the effort’s founder(s) leaves. During this period of transition, conventional mindsets have an opportunity to settle back in and pull years of hard work back to how things used to be. What can be done to ensure the transformational journey continues marching forward, rather than it coming to an abrupt end when leadership transitions occur? Authors Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porras explored a similar question in the context of long-standing companies, like IBM, Ford, and American Express. As you read Built to Last, consider what would turn your transformational effort from a two-year test to a 200-year journey.
The Courage to Create
Can you think of any transformative thinker who rose to prominence without relying on creativity as a foundation of their work? This is a question Rollo May explores in great depth in The Courage to Create. He challenges readers to rediscover and embrace their creative impulses so they might unveil “new possibilities for achievement.” While exploring May’s insights, consider how unlocking your own creativity can help you move beyond the frustrating barriers of an outdated system and create true transformation within your learning environment.
The Art Of Saying NO: How To Stand Your Ground, Reclaim Your Time And Energy, And Refuse To Be Taken For Granted (Without Feeling Guilty!)
The old adage, “Do what you love, and you’ll never work another day in your life” proclaims if you do what you love, you’ll never feel tired or burnt out. Or else, it must not be truly what you love. Damon Zahariades wants you to know that’s simply not the case. In his book, The Art of Saying NO, he provides strategies for creating boundaries around your time and energy, so you can actually do what you love for the rest of your life. This book serves as a timely reminder for any learner-centered leader who may have lost a bit of their energy in serving a cause they know is what they are meant to pursue.
Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days
Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky, and Braden Kowitz
One of the biggest concerns people have with testing new ideas in education is that it sounds like we’re experimenting on our kids. Learner-centered leaders know these concerns all too well and ask: What about the current system isn’t an experiment? Nonetheless, we want to see learner-centered transformation move forward and not give reason for the conventional system to pull it back. Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky, and Braden Kowitz are three partners at Google Ventures who laid out their big-thinking (and fast-thinking) strategies in their book, Sprint. As you explore their work, you might discover ideas that will yield impacts at a pace that pleases your stakeholders and allows your transformational journey to continue unimpeded.
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