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FCW : July 15, 2013
Bookshelf What I'm reading During tough nancial times, people tend to take one of two paths. Some rise to the challenge and use looming nancial pressure as a "burning platform" to push for radical change and transforma- tion, while others hunker down in a vain attempt to protect the legacy they know and love. In this drive to hang onto the past, they inevitably end up missing an opportunity to reach out and embrace the future. As Ernest Rutherford, the father of nuclear physics, once said, "We ve got no money, so we ve got to think!" With that thought in mind, here are some of the books I m reading. I hope you ll nd one or two that will help you re ect, think differ- ently, be challenged or inspired --- or at least help you beat the sequestration blues this summer. Start With Why by Simon Sinek We spend too much time describing what we want to do and not enough time explaining why we want to do it. Far too often, we become enam- ored with the bright, shiny new IT system without understanding why we should be embarking on the effort. Sinek presents a compelling case for why you should focus rst on why, followed by how and what. Understanding rst and foremost the answers to questions such as "Why do you get out of bed in the morning?" and "Why does some- thing matter?" will change how you manage both your professional and personal lives. If you want a quick sample, check out Sinek s TED Talk, "How Great Leaders Inspire Action," at ted.com/talks. How Will You Measure Your Life? by Clayton M. Christensen, James Allworth and Karen Dillon Christensen has offered tremen- dous insights in must-read books such as "The Innovator s Dilemma." His latest book is a much more personal re ection. Anyone who reads this book will be changed, and it all starts with understanding what really matters, why it matters and whether you are allocating your time to the things that matter most. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman Kahneman is a Nobel Prize win- ner in economics, and his book describes how we rely on two thinking "systems": a fast, intuitive, emotional system and a slower, more deliberate and logical sys- tem. He then reveals how to avoid cognitive biases by knowing how the two systems shape our judg- ments and decisions. (If you want to read more about the book and its author, check out Steve Kel- man s column in the May 15 issue of FCW.) It strikes me as an important read for those who would cham- pion new technology solutions and approaches. As I have often said, being a successful IT professional A longtime federal IT executive shares his thoughts on recent books that inspire and challenge anyone who seeks to lead in these trying times BY DAVID M. WENNERGREN Bookshelf July 15, 2013 FCW.COM 31
June 30, 2013
July 30, 2013