Staff Recommended Reading List

The staff of State Support Team 4 would like to use this website space to share with you our favorite books. Each month you will be introduced to a new staff recommended book. We hope that you find something new to consider and possibly impact your personal professional development.
  
Happy Reading!
 
 

October Recommended Read

The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results
By: Gary Keller with Jay Papasan
 
 
 
Book reviewed by: Pam Kennedy
 
Book Synopsis:
 Think BIG, but focus on ONE SPECIFIC thing at a time. Other big ideas include:
  •  The Focusing Question: What's the ONE Thing you can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?
  • Use the 80/20 Principle (The MINORITY of your effort leads to the MAJORITY of your results.)
  • Figure out what's most important + Give it your undivided attention
  • Iceberg-ing and living by priority
              
  • Time blocking, mastery, and being accountable (People who write their goals down are 39.5% more likely to succeed. People who write their goals AND share their progress with people that they've chosen to hold them accountable, are 76.7% more likely to achieve them.)
The four thieves of productivity:
  • Inability to say "No"
  • Fear of Chaos
  • Poor Health Habits
  • Environment Doesn't Support Your Goals 
 
Why I Recommend This Book:
This quote won me over: "Focus is a matter of deciding what thing you're NOT going to do." With so many new demands and information in my life this past year, I found it necessary to stop multi-tasking and work with a laser-like focus on one task at a time. This book, a quick and enjoyable read, gave simple advice on reaching goals. They said it was simple... but not at all easy. 
 

September Recommended Read

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
By: Carol Dweck 
 
 
Book reviewed by: Teresa Brown 
 
Book Synopsis: 
Do you have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset? The answer to this question may be different than you expect! After decades of research, world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., discovered a simple but groundbreaking idea: the power of mindset. In this thought provoking book, Carol Dweck shows how success in school, work, sports, the arts, and almost every area of life can be dramatically influenced by how we think about our talents and abilities.
 
People with a fixed mindset—those who believe that abilities are fixed—are less likely to be successful and flourish than those with a growth mindset—those who believe that abilities can be developed. Mindset reveals how great parents, teachers, managers, and athletes can put this idea to use to help others rise to their full potential. Additionally, Dweck introduces a phenomenon she calls false growth mindset and guides people toward adopting a deeper, truer growth mindset. She also expands the mindset concept beyond the individual, applying it to the cultures of groups and organizations. With the right mindset, you can motivate those you lead, teach, and love—to transform their lives and your own.
 
Why I Recommend This Book:
This book is an excellent vehicle for self reflection. I found it very interesting how a person can have a growth mindset in one aspect of your life but not in another and how we can develop a growth or a fixed mindset in ourselves and in others by the way we talk and act . The book teaches strategies to shift our thinking in order to see new possibilities and adopt a growth mindset. Mindset teaches several lessons that are helpful in both personal and professional life.  

August Recommended Read

Leaders Eat Last
by: Simon Sinek 
  
Book Reviewed By: Merrie Darrah
 
Book Synopsis:
Sinek's second book is the natural extension of Start with Why, expanding his ideas at the organizational level. Determining your organization's WHY is crucial, but only the beginning. The next step is how do you get people on board with your WHY? How do you inspire deep trust and commitment to your organization and to one another? He cites the Marine Corps for having found a way to build a culture in which men and women are willing to risk their lives, because they know others would do the same for them. His theory is actually based on the biology of how and when people are naturally at their best. These include a sense of trust in those around you, feeling that you belong and feeling connected to the meaning in your work.
 
Drawing on powerful and inspiring stories, Sinek shows how to sustain an organization's WHY while continually building a culture of trust and collaboration. This supports the idea of shared leadership. In this model, instead of trying to command-and-control everything, the leaders devote all their energy to training, building and protecting their people. Sinek suggests that when a leader has the humility to distribute power across the organization, the strength of the organization becomes less dependent on one person and is thus better able to survive.
 
Why I Recommend This Book: 
This is a fantastic book about how leaders can create organizations and cultures that promote a sense of belonging, trust and cooperation. The educational leader has an influential role in inspiring, motivating, affirming along with extending the practice and pedagogy of educators. It is a joint endeavour which can significantly impact the important work educators do with children and families. If you enjoyed Start with Why, I highly recommend you read Leaders Eat Last.