Create + Lead Reads
5 Books | by Ryan Miller
The War of Art
What keeps so many of us from doing what we long to do? Why is there a naysayer within? How can we avoid the roadblocks of any creative endeavor—be it starting up a dream business venture, writing a novel, or painting a masterpiece? The War of Art identifies the enemy that every one of us must face, outlines a battle plan to conquer this internal foe, then pinpoints just how to achieve the greatest success. The War of Art emphasizes the resolve needed to recognize and overcome the obstacles of ambition and then effectively shows how to reach the highest level of creative discipline. Think of it as tough love . . . for yourself.
When Hugh MacLeod was a struggling young copywriter, living in a YMCA, he started to doodle on the backs of business cards while sitting at a bar. Those cartoons eventually led to a popular blog - gapingvoid.com - and a reputation for pithy insight and humor, in both words and pictures. MacLeod has opinions on everything from marketing to the meaning of life, but one of his main subjects is creativity. How do new ideas emerge in a cynical, risk-averse world? Where does inspiration come from? What does it take to make a living as a creative person? Now his first book, Ignore Everyone, expands on his sharpest insights, wittiest cartoons, and most useful advice. A sample: *Selling out is harder than it looks. Diluting your product to make it more commercial will just make people like it less. *If your plan depends on you suddenly being "discovered" by some big shot, your plan will probably fail. Nobody suddenly discovers anything. Things are made slowly and in pain. *Don't try to stand out from the crowd; avoid crowds altogether. There's no point trying to do the same thing as 250,000 other young hopefuls, waiting for a miracle. All existing business models are wrong. Find a new one. *The idea doesn't have to be big. It just has to be yours. The sovereignty you have over your work will inspire far more people than the actual content ever will. After learning MacLeod's 40 keys to creativity, you will be ready to unlock your own brilliance and unleash it on the world. From the Hardcover edition.
Enchantment, as defined by bestselling business guru Guy Kawasaki, is not about manipulating people. It transforms situations and relationships. It converts hostility into civility and civility into affinity. It changes the skeptics and cynics into the believers and the undecided into the loyal. Enchantment can happen during a retail transaction, a high-level corporate negotiation, or a Facebook update. And when done right, it's more powerful than traditional persuasion, influence, or marketing techniques. Kawasaki argues that in business and personal interactions, your goal is not merely to get what you want but to bring about a voluntary, enduring, and delightful change in other people. By enlisting their own goals and desires, by being likable and trustworthy, and by framing a cause that others can embrace, you can change hearts, minds, and actions. For instance, enchantment is what enabled . . . • A Peace Corps volunteer to finesse a potentially violent confrontation with armed guerrillas. • A small cable channel (E!) to win the TV broadcast rights to radio superstar Howard Stern. • A seemingly crazy new running shoe (Vibram Five Fingers) to methodically build a passionate customer base. • A Canadian crystal maker (Nova Scotian Crystal) to turn observers into buyers. This book explains all the tactics you need to prepare and launch an enchantment campaign; to get the most from both push and pull technologies; and to enchant your customers, your employees, and even your boss. It shows how enchantment can turn difficult decisions your way, at times when intangibles mean more than hard facts. It will help you overcome other people's entrenched habits and defy the not-always-wise "wisdom of the crowd." Kawasaki's lessons are drawn from his tenure at one of the most enchanting organizations of all time, Apple, as well as his decades of experience as an entrepreneur and venture capitalist. There are few people in the world more qualified to teach you how to enchant people. As Kawasaki writes, "Want to change the world? Change caterpillars into butterflies? This takes more than run-of-the-mill relationships. You need to convince people to dream the same dream that you do." That's a big goal, but one that's possible for all of us. From the Hardcover edition.
This life-changing manifesto shows how you have the potential to make a huge difference wherever you are. Few authors have had the kind of lasting impact and global reach that Seth Godin has had. In a series of now-classic books that have been translated into 36 languages and reached millions of readers around the world, he has taught generations of readers how to make remarkable products and spread powerful ideas. In Linchpin, he turns his attention to the individual, and explains how anyone can make a significant impact within their organization. There used to be two teams in every workplace: management and labor. Now there's a third team, the linchpins. These people figure out what to do when there's no rule book. They delight and challenge their customers and peers. They love their work, pour their best selves into it, and turn each day into a kind of art. Have you ever found a shortcut that others missed? Seen a new way to resolve a conflict? Made a connection with someone others couldn't reach? Even once? Then you have what it takes to become indispensable, by overcoming the resistance that holds people back. Linchpin will show you how to join the likes of... · Keith Johnson, who scours flea markets across the country to fill Anthropologie stores with unique pieces. · Jason Zimdars, a graphic designer who got his dream job at 37signals without a résumé. · David, who works at Dean and Deluca coffee shop in New York. He sees every customer interaction as a chance to give a gift and is cherished in return. As Godin writes, "Every day I meet people who have so much to give but have been bullied enough or frightened enough to hold it back. It's time to stop complying with the system and draw your own map. You have brilliance in you, your contribution is essential, and the art you create is precious. Only you can do it, and you must."
Start with Why
The inspiring, life-changing bestseller by the author of LEADERS EAT LAST and TOGETHER IS BETTER.In 2009, Simon Sinek started a movement to help people become more inspired at work, and in turn inspire their colleagues and customers. Since then, millions have been touched by the power of his ideas, including more than 28 million who’ve watched his TED Talk based on START WITH WHY -- the third most popular TED video of all time. Sinek starts with a fundamental question: Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty from customers and employees alike? Even among the successful, why are so few able to repeat their success over and over? People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers had little in common, but they all started with WHY. They realized that people won't truly buy into a product, service, movement, or idea until they understand the WHY behind it. START WITH WHY shows that the leaders who've had the greatest influence in the world all think, act, and communicate the same way -- and it's the opposite of what everyone else does. Sinek calls this powerful idea The Golden Circle, and it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired. And it all starts with WHY.