I used to be a one-book guy. No, not that I only ever read one book in my life, but I had a habit of not picking up a new book till I finished an old one. The problem was sometimes I felt like reading something, but not what I was currently reading, instead forcing my way through that book, which doesn’t make much sense. So I finally gave in, and reluctantly tried a multi-book approach (I might have a really mind case of OCD). It works!
(I was half way reading Mark Of A Man till I left it with Jane in Penang, who left it with Han How who went to Penang, who told me he thinks its somewhere in church, which sorta means it gone forever. Hopefully not.)
1. 10 Dumbest Things Christians Do by Mark Atteberry
Really fun read but does not lack content. The title is self-explanatory. The first few chapters are pretty common and easily identifiable especially if you’ve been around church circles long enough – stuff like ‘winning people for church rather than for God’ and ‘church hoping’
The second half of the book is when it gets really interesting when he talks about ‘allowing wolves to live among the sheep’ and ‘accepting the unacceptable’. The last two chapters were really hard-hitting because it talked about how as members of the church, we settle for being “nice, friendly people” and refuse to rebuke and to discipline others when necessary, even tolerating it when it is about to rip the community apart.
The longer you’ve been a Christian, the more you need to read this one.
2. The Google Way by Bernard Girard
Now, here’s the problem about books like this. They become outdated the moment they hit the shelves. I normally don’t buy books like this because of that reason, but it was cheap. (Book Xcess rocks!)
Girard looks at Google from a managerial perspective, and gives insight on how the company is run – looking at the strategies that flow throughout the organisation. Everyone has heard of the famous 80/20 rule and the free food that employees enjoy, but also reveals more about the culture that prevails the concepts. One concept that I really liked is a job ladder that does not involve management for skill-based workers. Take engineers for example. They love doing what they’re doing, and most of them have no interest in management but standard corporate structures normally lead you up there somewhere. So simply (and it is simple in fact) is that Google lets them continue doing what they love and do best, and pays them handsomely to do so. Win-win?
3. Business Stripped Bare by Richard Branson
Suffers from the same “my life ain’t over, so expect a new edition with a new forward or added chapter” syndrome as the book above.
But in any case, it is extremely inspiring and full of great ideas. Branson comes across as someone who has a natural way with business although he might seem a little over-the-top at times (but of course he is). I guess the main idea that I got out of this is (and have usually agreed to in the past) is that an organisation should be fun, challenging and satisfying (being silly is different from being fun).
Of course, being an autobiography, you can expect it to be biased towards accomplishments rather than defeats, but he does come across as someone who is not shy to admit his mistakes. I have not else much to say. It was a really, really, really (really, really, really) enjoyable book, especially for those who are always full of “hey guys, whad’ya think of…” moments.