Rey's Booklist

Books that I've borrowed or bought and read

by Renee Blank and Sandra, Ph.D. Slipp


The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream

By Barack Obama

The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century

by Thomas L. Friedman

by Patrick M. Lencioni

I love these books by Patrick Lencioni. They give simple yet effective leadership strategies in an easy to swallow and memorable story format. I love them so much that I zip through them during my gym sessions.

This one was a particularly good one for future reference.

The Four Disciplines of a Healthy Organization
1. Build and maintain a cohesive leadership team
2. Create organizational clarity
3. Over-communicate organizational clarity
4. Reinforce organization clarity through human systems

Cohesive teams build trust, eliminate politics and increase efficiency by:
-Knowing one another's unique strengths and weaknesses
-Openly engaging in constructive ideological conflict
-Holding one another accountable for behaviors and actions
-Committing to group decisions

A healthy organization minimizes the potential for confusion by clarifying:
Why the organization exists
-Which behavioral values are fundamental
-What specific business it is in
-Who its competitors are
-How unique it is
-What is plans to achieve
-Who is responsible for what

Healthy organizations align their employees around organizational clarity by communicating key messages through
-Repetition: Don't be afraid to repeat the same message again and again
-Simplicity: The more complicated the message, the more potential for confusion and inconsistency
-Multiple Mediums: People react to information in many ways; use a variety of mediums
-Cascading Messages: Leaders communicate key messages to direct reports; the cycle repeats itself until the message is heard by all

Organizations sustain their health by ensuring consistency in
-Managing performance
-Rewards and recognition
-Employee dismissal

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable

by Patrick M. Lencioni

An easy-to-read story about the importance of teamwork and leadership when leading a company or organization. A must-read for anyone who leads a team, works in a team, or deals with any type of team... aka, this is a must-read for EVERYONE, because can't avoid being on a team nowadays.

Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance

by Barack Obama

Getting Things Done

by David Allen

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die

by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

When I was in Boston last week, Chip Heath did a presentation on ideas that stick and had free copies of his book on all the seats. Motivated and impressed by his clear and simple presentation, I read the book on the plane ride back and subsequently finished it the day after.

This is a must read for anyone who has to transfer any kind of message or knowledge to another person--be you a teacher, manager, or leader of an organization!

A Strategy for Capturing the Power of Diversity
by Taylor Cox, Jr.

Kite Runner

by Khaled Hosseini

Excellent book! More details later

One Day, All Children...

The Unlikely Triumph of Team For America and What I Learned Along the Way
by Wendy Kopp, founder of TFA

Page 161
"In watching Tammi, I realized that she was determined to see our vision--of all children having the opportunity to attain an excellent education--happen in her classroom. Tammi didn't fix on an end goal of building her students' self-esteem or developing their love of learning or building rapport with her students. She may have wanted those thing sas well, but she knew that if her students were going to have the same chance in life as children born in more privileged circumstances, they would need to gain the same academic skills as these more privileged students.
So Tammi didn't set out to improve her students' academic skills just marginally. Instead, she set out to see to it that by year's end her students were nothing short of fabulous writers. She set standards far beyond gains on standardized tests, but she also used those tests as a quantifiable way to compare her students' progress with that of other students. She wouldn't have been happy with gains of a few percentage points because a few percentage points weren't enough to give her students equal life prospects.
I came to see that deeply held commitment to realizing dramatic gains in students' academic achievement differentiated our best teachers."

Page 165
"But what I relaized in getting to knwo exceptional teachers at many grade levels and subject areas, soft-spoken people and loud people, creative people and analytical people, is that good teaching is not about charisma. It's not magic. These teachers set clear goals for their students, motivate people (in this case students and their families) to work hard toward the goals, do whatever it takes to accomplish them, and build a positive culture within their classrooms to support their efforts... In our country's lowest-income areas, good teaching was, at its essence, good leadership."

Where We Stand : Class Matters

by Bell Hooks (2000)

Recommended by Tim

After two years, I have finally read this book. I read it in Thailand, San Diego and back in the bay area. Let's just say it's not "light vacation reading." At one point I cried while I was reading a passage about the author's childhood--to paint the picture further, I was at the beach in Thailand's Ko Samui. Here's the passage that I thought was beautiful and I fully related to:

This was a city bus with no racks for luggage. It was filled with immigrants. English was not spoken. I felt lost and afraid. Without words the strangers surrounding me understood the universal language of need and distress. They reached for my bags, holding and helping. In return I told them my story--that I had left my village in the South to come to Stanford University, that like them my family were workers, they worked the land--they worked in the world. They were workers. They understood workers. I would go to college and learn how to make a world where they would not have to work so hard.
Page 33

This book is powerful. Probably the most powerful book I have ever read.

The Starfish and the Spider

You, Inc.

Be Your Own Brand: A Breakthrough Formula for Standing Out from the Crowd

by David McNally and Karl Speak

Fascinating book about creating a personal brand identity, similar to how businesses create brand identities.


Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't

by Jim Collins

This book is possibly one of the best books I've read ever, and definitely for the year. Click here for a PDF summary of the book!

The Big Moo

Edited by Seth Godin and written by the Group of 33.


by Jeffrey Eugenides


Letters to Montgomery Clift

by Noel Alumit

All Marketers are Liars

by Seth Godin

The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low-Trust World

Pg 84:
"We don't need what you sell, friend.
We buy what we want.

Step 4: Stories let us lie to ourselves. And those lies satisfy our desires. It's the story, not the good or the service you actually sell, that pleases the customer."

Pg. 89:
"It's easy to tout your features, focus on teh benefits, give proof that you are, in fact, the best solution to a problem. But proof doesn't make a sale. Of course, you believe the proof, but your audience doesn't. The very fact that you presented the proof makes it suspect. If a consumer figures something out or discovers it on her own, she's a thousand times more likely to believe it than if it's just something you claim.

This is where the art of marketing occurs. for most products and services, skywriting, billboards, telemarketing are precisely the wrong ways to spread a message. Not because they won't be noticed--they probably will. But because they won't be believed.

In order to be believed, you must present enough of a change that the customer chooses to notice it. But then you have to tell a story, not give a lecture. You have to hint at the facts, not announce them. You cannot prove your way into a sale--you gain a customer when the customer proves to herself that you're a good choice.

The process of discovery is more powerful than being told the right answer--because of course there is no right answer, and because even if there were, the consumer wouldn't believe you!"

Afoot & Afield San Francisco Bay Area: A comprehensive hiking guide

The History of Love

by Nicole Krauss

Yellow : Race in American Beyong Black & White

by Frank Wu (2002)

by Helen Zia (2000)

How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas
by David Bornstein

Recommended by Karla. Has story about J.B. Schramm founder of College Summit


by Malcolm Gladwell

page 88
Most of us, in ways that we are not entirely aware of, automatically associate leadership ability with imposing physical stature. We have a sense of what a leader is supposed to look like, and that stereotype is so powerful that when someone fits it, we simply become blind to other considerations. And this isn't confined to the executive suite. Not long ago, reserachers who analyzed the data from four large research studies that had followed thousands of people from birth to adulthood calculated that when corrected for such variables as age and gender and weight, an inch of height is worth $789 a year in salary. That means that a person who is six feet tall but otherwise identical to someone who is five foot five will make on average $5,525 more per year. As Timothy Judge, one of the authors of the height-salary study points out: "If you take this over the course of a 30-year career and compound it, we're talking about a tall person enjoying literally hundreds of thousands of dollars of earnings advantage." Have you ever wondered why so many mediocre people find their way into positions of authority in companies and organizations? It's because when it comes to even the most important positions, our selection decisions are a good deal less rational than we think. We see a tall person and we swoon.

Page 142-143
Conventional economic wisdom, of course, says that the more choices consumers have, the more likely they are to buy, because it is easier for consumers to find the jam that perfectly fits their needs. But Iyengar found the opposite to be true. THirty percent of those who stopped by the six-choice booth ended up buying some jam, while only 3 percent of those who stopped by the bigger booth bought anything. Why is that? Because buying jam is a snap decision. You say to yourself, instinctively, I wany that one. And if you are given too many choices, if you are forced to consider much more than your uncoscious is comfortable with, you get paralyzed. Snap judgments can be made in a snap because they are frugal, and if we want to protect our snap judgements, we have to take steps to protect that frugality.

Page 144
You disaggregate everything and tear it apart, but you are never able to synthesize the whole. It's like the weather. A comander does not need to know the barometric pressure or the winds or even the temperature. He needs to know the forecast. If you get too caught up in the production of information, you drown in the data.

The Tipping Point

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
by Malcolm Gladwell

Short excerpt from pg. 54:
Granovetter aruges that it is because when it comes to finding out abotu new jobs--of, for tha tmatter, new information, or new ideas-- "weak ties" are always more important than strong ties. Your friends, after all, occupy the same world that you do. They might work with you, or live near you, and go to the same churches, schools, or parties. How much, then, would they know that you wouldn't know? Your acquaintances, on the other hand, by definition occupy a very differenct world than you. They are much more likely to know something that you don't. To capture this apparent paradox, Granovetter coined a marvelous phrase: the strength of weak ties. Acquaintances, in short, represent a course of social power, and the more acquaintances you have the more powerful you are. Connectors like Lois Weisburd and Roger Horchow--who are masters of the weak tie--are extraordinarily powerful. We rely on them to give us access to opportunities and worlds to which we don't belong.

Up your score : the underground guide to the SAT

Up your score : the underground guide to the SAT / by Larry Berger

No plot? No problem!

No plot? No problem! : a low-stress, high-velocity guide to writing a novel in 30 days /, Baty, Chris.

What Should I Do with my Life? by Po Bronson


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