Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

June 08 2015

5 Summer Reading Recommendations For You

By David McMillin

Whether you’re waiting at the gate for your flight to your next site visit, relaxing by a pool on vacation or taking a break at home from your work duties, this summer is the time to bury your nose in a book. Here’s a look at five reading recommendations that will challenge your beliefs, make you laugh and help you rethink your approach to the world.

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

Meeting planners are constantly putting more on their plates. However, doing more doesn’t necessarily mean doing more well. Greg McKeown’s book is a guide for today’s busy business professionals in search of figuring out what responsibilities should be on their to-do lists. This isn’t simply about managing time; it’s about helping readers figure out how to do less and how to do it better.

“Greg McKeown’s excellent new book is a much-needed antidote to the stress, burnout and compulsion to “do everything” that infects us all,” Arianna Huffington says. “It is an essential read for anyone who wants to regain control of their health, well-being and happiness.”

The Misfit Economy: Lessons in Creativity from Pirates, Hackers, Gangsters and Other Informal Entrepreneurs

Everyone in the meetings industry is focused on innovation. By now, though, you’ve probably heard all the lessons and insights from Richard Branson, Steve Jobs and other well-known leaders and thinkers. This book offers an interesting glimpse of the genius of some people who will most likely never deliver keynote speeches such as inner-city gang members and slum dwellers in Lagos. The Financial Times writes, “For those wanting a fresh perspective on business practices or working lives, this is a snappy introduction to a new way of thinking.”

What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions

What if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90 percent the speed of light? From what height would you need to drop a steak for it to be cooked when it hit the ground? You’ve probably never asked these questions. However, Randall Munroe thinks you should. From the voice behind the wildly popular xkcd.com, this book challenges conventional thinking while maintaining a hilarious spirit with stick figure drawings. Everyone’s talking about this book, including Bill Gates.

How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where and Why It Happens

Whether you want to know more about how you personally absorb knowledge or you’re looking for new insights into what makes your attendees’ minds tick, Benedict Carey’s book debunks commonly-held beliefs about the process of learning. The New York Times Book Review calls it “a welcome rejoinder to the faddish notion that learning is all about the hours put in.”

UnSelling: The New Customer Experience

While this book isn’t technically a new release (it came out in September 2014), it’s a must-read for anyone in the meetings industry. Co-written by one of the most talked-about speakers at Convening Leaders 2015, UnSelling will help anyone involved in reaching new members and attendees shift their focus away from simple registration numbers in favor of creating die-hard fans and champions who love your organization.

What are you reading right now? If you have titles to add to your colleagues’ summer reading lists, please share them in the comment section below.

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