Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit (Haymarket Books, 2014)

Key Values: Compassion, Equality

“We know less when we erroneously think we know than when we recognize that we don’t.”

Ideal Reading Conditions?

Straight-backed chair without a cushion. Solnit is a great thinker and philosophizer (her book on wandering is a favourite too) but here she’s got data on her side too, so you’ll want to pay close attention. In succinct and clear-eyed narrative she exposes inequities and both casual and systematic misogyny in our society.

As an extended essay, this is a short and effective introduction to a topic that many executives ignore or sideline; in the tech sector, it’s particularly hard for women to get in the door (even harder when it comes to roles with increased responsibility) and a book like this can start the kind of conversations that are necessary to move towards equality.

Robert P. C. Joseph’s Indigenous Relations: Insights, Tips and Suggestions to Make Reconciliation a Reality (Bob Joseph, 2019)

Key Values: Honesty, Respect

Ideal Reading Conditions?

Somewhere your feet can touch the Earth. Robert Joseph’s style is clear and forthright and he also does workshops. His first book was Twenty-One Things You May Not Know about the Indian Act, which is also a concise and powerful read. 

I live and work on the traditional territories of the Huron, the Wendat, the Haudenosaunee, and the Anishnaabeg. If we don’t understand our history, we cannot move towards a better future. Indigenous leadership philosophies and practices are rooted in sustainability and community. A diverse staff offers increased opportunities for creative problem-solving and a dynamic work environment.

The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload by Daniel J. Levitin  (Penguin Random House, 2014)

Key Values: Sustainability, Responsibility

“You’d think people would realize they’re bad at multitasking and would quit. But a cognitive illusion sets in, fueled in part by a dopamine-adrenaline feedback loop, in which multitaskers think they are doing great.”

Ideal Reading Conditions?

Somewhere comfortable, a not-too-busy coffeeshop or a park bench. Levitin has all the data and endnotes, but his style is readable, accessible. On occasion, he delves deeper into the science in a chapter, but even if you do not choose to focus on those details, he sums up the salient points as you move through his chapters. This is one I return to regularly, so I’ve explored all the corners by now.

Making simple tweaks to your daily routine, small adjustments to the way you ease into your workday: understanding the psychology behind efficiencies, that helps those habits stick. And, with good habits in place, more of your attention is available for you to direct otherwise.



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