Book Summaries with Jeremy

75311

Born to run: A hidden tribe, superathletes, and the greatest race the world has never seen by Christopher McDougall

Summary:

A writer has a foot injury and that starts a journey to learn more about distance running. In particular, there is a culture of Tarahumara Indians that are legendary for their epic runs, simple diet, partying and remote lifestyle. McDougall tells a few stories along the way. These intense 50-100 mile trail runs in various places and certain individuals that not only run in them, they dominate the competition. After each mini-story, we hear how the various individuals are invited to a secluded race with the Tarahumara. The race is extremely challenging and close but also a great display of friendship and joy with running. Some keys through the book are shorter strides and lesser cushion on shoes. Most running injuries correspond to new shoes. Cushioned shoes through research have shown to elicit harsh impacts. Shoes would minimize the temporary pain but not injury. A minimal shoe or barefoot causes the foot to react and strengthen. With smaller steps, the foot is efficient at this. There is also mention of research and possible explanations. It seems we as a species became upright and the main advantage was our distance running ability. We could cool ourselves and breathe while maintaining pace. Other animals cannot. This led to outrunning animals. This leads to more protein, helping to expand brain size over time. The book makes a push to illustrate that we are made to run when we rely on our natural makeup, something the Tarahumara have maintained. The other big takeaway is the joy they had. Each of the elite runners had a pure smile of joy as they ran. They found a way to fully embrace some or multiple aspects of it.

Influence on me:

I liked the discussion revolving around the evolution of our species to become distance runners. Personally, I had never called myself a runner. Most of my exercise experience was weight lifting as I found it to be more enjoyable. Knowing this information though gives me a new confidence that I too can improve. I can embrace running and get the numerous benefits it offers. As I was reading through the book, I had talked with runners and biomechanist to start and have a shorter more efficient stride. I have to report that my own plantar fasciitis has been reduced greatly. Lastly, I look to have joy during the run. It is easy to get down on yourself, thinking how tired or hot or thirsty you may be. As I think back to the book, these other individuals were capable of so much more. I think about what I enjoy about the running process. It, in turn, does make it go better and as each run has less pain physically and mentally, then I truly do enjoy it more. It’s a nice book for someone looking to get into running.

BornToRun

Purchase Book Now!

Book Summaries with Jeremy

booksbooze

Built on Values by Ann Rhoades

Summary:

Built on Values stresses the importance of instilling values within an organization and living up to those values. Too often an organization struggles for its identity and culture along with poor results. Defining and living up to values provides a blueprint for how the organization and each employee will conduct itself. There are various strategies within the book. Some key aspects are identifying the A players, the best employees of an organization who live up to the values. Use them as input for creating values as needed, but also as examples. Everyone from the front line to executives should be expected to live the values daily. This is easier when hiring is done in accordance with values, finding examples of behaviors from candidates that live up to the values. Performance reviews and goals should also be value driven. Those acting in accordance should be properly rewarded. Communication is vital, especially when integrating a new value system, as some employees may not take it with full seriousness. Instead, acknowledge it will take time and be consistent with message and actions. This is aided by direct input from all levels. The focus is to look at all aspects of the business and identify methods to increase awareness and functioning based on the values. Doing this over time will lead to greater retention of employees, greater products, and greater experiences for customers.

How it influenced me:

When I first started to read this book, I thought how it was such an echo of what I had been saying all summer, meeting with 200 gym and brewery owners across the USA. I recall speaking to a friend and former colleague of mine in Florida regarding the importance of values and how I would keep referring to values for numerous topics of discussion we had regarding some organizational development he was implementing. I then thought there were opportunities for me to help other organizations as well. As I read more, I had a feeling of validation, but also learning and “oh yeah” moments where I realized there were considerations for value implementation that I had not previously thought of. I am also in the process of looking for a job for some stability and this has made me consider the perspective I had when applying at organizations. I look forward towards the future with greater confidence regarding values as I work within and with various organizations.

51pRstfynXL._SX339_BO1,204,203,200_

Purchase Book Now!

Book Summaries with Jeremy

Glass alcoholic drink wine antique books in front warm fireplace.

Eleven Rings by Phil Jackson and Hugh Delehany 

Summary:

Phil’s basketball journey is addressed throughout the book. It starts with his playing days, covers his start as a coach, and of course the successes he had with the Bulls and the Lakers. The ending of the book is after the Lakers lost their playoff series against the Mavericks. Throughout he relives some game time moments, describing what happened in certain games and in a variety of playoff series. Phil has always been more well known for his philosophy of zen and bringing his players together to play well-rounded basketball. He discusses his various approaches to doing this, sitting quietly, doing yoga, meditation, and different ways he’d communicate with the team. At times he mentioned various zen, or Buddhist teachers and intertwines those lessons with what the team or he as an individual were going through. He gives an inside look at the behind the scenes issues and concerns that would arise and his thoughts along the way.

Influence on me:

The simplicity of the attitude in the book struck me. There are times when there was great success or failure and Phil had a very matter of fact attitude. Instead of dwelling or letting it get carried away each event was treated as just an event. Even with this approach, there was not a lack of emotion. He would say when he was angry or sad and cried. These are just events and they do take place. If we want to let them constantly be a part of us and weigh us down then we will. Also as individuals we all constantly learn and grow, and sometimes we want to learn and grow how to be strong in difficult situations, or how to not let anger or rage overcome us in situations, but unfortunately, the only way to test and see if we have grown is to go through such trying times. To me, it seems that even when things seem taxing and difficult, it really just enables us to have an opportunity to see how we are in that moment, and to learn from it. The other main concept was being in the moment. This idea of chopping wood and carrying water. Those are simple tasks and other emotional things may happen around it, but in the moment it’s not beneficial to be elsewhere, instead, we need to be in the moment and focus on the task at hand.

Check out more books summaries here. Share with us books you have read lately and the impact they have had on you. Email us at rawrnonprofit@gmail.com

9781594205118

Purchase Book Now!

Book Summaries with Jeremy

The Starfish and the Spider: the unstoppable power of leaderless organizations by, Ori Brafman and Rod Beckstrom

Summary:

Organizations can be categorized into either a starfish or spider organization. This metaphor relates to the characteristics of the animal. A spider has a central head and body with legs extending out. This is an organization with centralized leadership that dictates what every single leg does, or what every aspect of the organization does. If something were to happen to the head/body then the legs would fail to function. This could occur within organizations that would not function when their leadership is dismantled. A starfish is the opposite, if one leg is chopped off it will re-grow and flourish. The book highlights companies such as craigslist, Wikipedia, eBay, and organizations such as AA, music sharing services and others that operate as a starfish. They allow the people to have the power and when they do so the organization is able to accomplish much more. It also makes it extremely difficult to dismantle it since one leader cannot result in the downfall as other areas will survive and often rally to keep moving forward. This is still a continuum of sorts as some companies such as eBay have a centralized function of leadership but give great power for people to sell to people and rate each other all monitored by the people. This enables greater responsibility, sharing, and less oversight of management.

How it influenced me:

This was an interesting perspective of how an organization should function. As someone looking to grow and improve as a leader, it is unique to hear about putting power out to others. This is applicable in the concept of being a lovecat and sharing koozies. I had developed some koozies to give to lovecats and it became a time where I thought about making it something of an organization to reach out and help others. But I realized while reading this book I can allow them to connect better. It also stands out as another possible avenue of how to run a business in a different way than the status quo. As I progress as a leader moving up the ladder there will be opportunities for growth and providing direction for my section or perhaps the company overall. This is a reminder that just because we have done something a certain way, it doesn’t mean that we will have to continue that. It is important to be aware of changes that occur both through society and especially in regards to the use of technology. I need to make sure I shift my lens of focus to look for a change in trends.

Check out more books summaries here. Share with us books you have read lately and the impact they have had on you. Email us at rawrnonprofit@gmail.com

220px-Starfishandthespiderbook

Purchase Book Now!

Book Summaries with Jeremy

reading-by-fire

Brain Rules by John Medina 

Summary:

There are 12 brain rules to help people in their daily functions. The book is presented 1 rule at a time, with corresponding research, anecdotal evidence and possible suggestions of how to implement the new information. 1) Survival, the brain evolved just as we did as a species. It is quite large and continues to grow. 2) Exercise, getting cardio helps our capillaries in our brain to open up, allowing more blood flow. The basic recommendations help brain function of nearly every type. 3) Sleep is very important for key mental functioning. There is a system working to keep us awake and another to get us to sleep. They are constantly in flux, and some people tend to be night owls and others morning. 4) Stress was critical as we evolved but today it lingers longer, leaving cortisol to have negative effects on us. Gaining control of our lives is the best thing to do. 5) Wiring our brains literally rewrite itself. People’s brains grow, develop, and store information differently. 6) Attention can only be one thing. We shift attention but don’t multitask. 7) Memory is strengthened by encoding more information at the time of learning. When we recall information it is a mix of new knowledge and past memories. The best way to have a good memory is to repeat it in timed intervals. 8) Sensory information is how we acquire information and transfers it into electrical signals to the brain. Working the senses together is much more effective. 9) Vision is by far the most important sense using half the brains resources. 10) Music is still being researched a lot but formal training improves intellectual skills in cognitive domains. They are generally able to detect emotion in speech. 11) Gender is dependent on the male. Females are genetically more complex due to 1,500 genes per X chromosome they have. Women use left hemisphere of the amygdala and remember emotional details of stress, men use the right side and recall the gist. 12) Babies show that we learn from experimenting to see how things are with all of our senses. We can learn things throughout our lives.

Influence on me:

It was very informative and there are certain skills that can be applied immediately. Things like using a hook to get interested during a presentation. Looking to utilize emotion to help the material stick better by those in the audience. The book is full of a great amount of information. The potential issue is that it is difficult to retain all that is presented with it. I feel that each chapter needs more time and focus to be fully applied to life in order to maximize the information presented. It would be a good book to refer back to occasionally or perhaps pick one rule to understand and implement during a period of time. It can be a good source of reference for individuals that show a great interest in knowing more about how the brain works. As I learn and present information going forward, I can refer back to the book to add to my understanding.

Check out more books summaries here. Share with us books you have read lately and the impact they have had on you. Email us at rawrnonprofit@gmail.com

cover-BR2

Purchase Book Here!

Book Summaries with Jeremy

rehost%2F2016%2F9%2F13%2Fd189b684-5a86-4968-98d4-849204fbf3c2.jpg

The Power of 100! by Shaun King

Summary:

The Power of 100 is based around setting 100 goals, with some of them being outrageous. The term used is Your Outrageously Ridiculous Goals. The point of this is to truly push yourself beyond normal conviction. The people through history who have done amazing things had some vision for moving forward and without it, they would not have had the same impact. With the goals, King encourages making some within each of the following seven areas: generosity, health and fitness, career and finance, spiritual and emotional, travel, friends and family, and accomplishment and experience goals. There is a good amount of overlap between the seven and it is likely that working towards one will help to move you closer to another. Additionally, this can help to make sure there aren’t large gaps and omissions from one’s life. Beyond the premise of setting goals, King provides personal and anecdotal stories of people overcoming adversity and reminders in being motivated towards goals. This may include going public with the goals and telling everyone you can. A benefit is that a connection of a friend may be able to help you and you would not have that resource without doing so. This will also help with accountability.

How it influenced me:

Goal setting is nothing new to me. One day I taught over 800 people about goal setting and another day it was over 600 all in person. Even with my experience teaching others and setting my own goals, I wanted to read this book to see what it could offer. Before reading it, I had some ideas brewing in my head and had made some goals for the year but was lacking more long term goals. I think reading the words of someone else helped me to stand back a moment and reflect on what I was working on and what I should make sure to pursue with more intention. I have picked a goal and made it semi-public to certain people, knowing that my brother will make sure I keep working on it. An added benefit is getting to work with him on this process. This book was a nice break from the research-intensive books I have been working through and helped to encourage some existing thoughts I’ve had and added a few new perspectives as well that I will take with me.

Check out more books summaries here. Share with us books you have read lately and the impact they have had on you. Email us at rawrnonprofit@gmail.com

power-of-100!-9781476790169_hr

Purchase Book Here! 

Book Summaries with Jeremy

 

Books-and-wine-fire-place

The Adventures of an IT Leader by Robert Austin; Richard Nolan; and Shannon O’Donnell

Summary:

This is a fiction book about Jim Barton who transitions from the head of loan operations to Chief Information Officer (CIO) even though he lacks any IT knowledge. He struggles to understand his new position and how IT differs than typical programs. The revenue comes from in-house billing and really it is their job to make things as secure as possible within the provided funding. This is difficult because it means acknowledging risks are always possible, but working to mitigate the largest is key. There is only so much funding to be had and they need to make sure the right ratio is spent on existing infrastructure and systems and the rest on new technologies. This is difficult as there is no right answer necessarily. He must also work to understand how his managers don’t fully have a thorough understanding of what their employees do because the technology advances so quickly. In board meetings he needs to convey information in such a manner others can understand it. There was an attack and Jim had to work with his team to provide the best possible plan of action for the CEO to determine what to do. His ability to manage and lead within the year lead to two great opportunities at the end.

Influence on me:

First, it provided information on what a CIO is and does. Then the relationships between the executive leadership and next level managers could be seen. There was mention of the doctrine of completed staff work. This is beneficial to me because I need to keep in mind that as I progress in my career it is my job to present issues and best possible solutions to my superiors. This enables them to make the decision and move on. Additionally, throughout the book, Jim is humble and seeks growth throughout. He is more than aware his lack of knowledge can make things harder than they need to be and he does a great job trying to learn as much as possible. He also speaks with a variety of people to get their take on various scenarios. This helps him make effective decisions and tap into the expertise that other people have to offer. Having a solid network such as this is critical to be as successful as possible.

Check out more books summaries here. Share with us books you have read lately and the impact they have had on you. Email us at rawrnonprofit@gmail.com

511O47ONXEL._SX352_BO1,204,203,200_

Purchase Book Here!