Samuel McChord Crothers, the author of “A Literary Clinic,” refers to reading as a form of “prescription.” And according to The Atlantic, it’s a perfect quarantine activity. “Reading can be therapeutic. In fact, it might be the best antidote for the psychological toll of a socially distanced life.”
While finding time to read right now is more challenging for some than for others, it’s safe to say we all deserve our dose of literature.
We are Agoreans, after all. We exist to honor the written word and to celebrate strong, worthy ideas and insight with lasting value. To us, reading is not just enjoyable or healthy – although, it has been proven to improve memory and brainpower while reducing stress. And those are some pretty major perks, particularly right now. It’s not just about personal growth and development. There are real benefits that emerge in our work supporting thinkers and creatives.
Fortunately, we don’t have to reach very far for recommendations. A number of book clubs have popped up around The Agora Companies’ Mount Vernon campus over the years. Together members dive into books focusing on topics like leadership, entrepreneurship, vulnerability, friendship, and even loss. One book club emerged from an idea our CFO, Bob Compton, had. Bob believes that routine and regimen have a very specific purpose, but can introduce limitations or thresholds. In order to ensure capacity for creative thinking and exploration, he decided to create an environment detached from the day-to-day where people can grow through new ideas and opinions. He wanted an open forum where people would truly hear one another, and have an opportunity to expand their minds by sharing with those whose paths they may not normally cross. And ultimately, he wanted to provide an opportunity to add value and fulfillment to the work employees do.
The books chosen were meant to guide employees and teams through alternative ways of navigating the workspace – and life beyond – positively and productively. Through these recommendations have come vigorous conversations, detailed analyses, and diverse perspectives that provided each member of the club with new insight. Mission accomplished for Bob.
If you’re looking for a new perspective and a chance to see what our book club has covered, check out a few of our favorites below. And if you have any book recommendations for our book club, we’d love to hear about them. Please feel free to share your ideas here.
OUR TOP PICKS FROM BOB’S BOOKSHELF
1.) Daring Greatly
By Brene Brown
“From thought leader Brené Brown, a transformative new vision for the way we lead, love, work, parent, and educate that teaches us the power of vulnerability.”
A New York Times Bestseller, Brown dives deep into the emotions of our daily battles and provides a new lesson on every page.
By John Kotter & Holger Rathgeber
In a story discussing systematic change, six characters endure different obstacles throughout their journey. This story gives insight on how to prepare you and your team for a change in the workspace.
3.) Tribal Unity
By Em Campbell-Pretty, Gene Kim & Steve Farber
Through a shared true story, this novel will take you on a “how to” journey of a toxic organizational culture that becomes transformed into an international success. If you’re a leader in your field looking for tips on how to better your team’s connection, this is the read for you.
4.) Radical Candor
By Kim Scott
As a highly reviewed novel, Radical Candor was written for bosses and for those who manage bosses, to provide insight on how to build, inspire, and lead their teams to do the best work possible. If you’re feeling exhausted by management, then dive into these tips and actionable lessons.
By John G. Miller
Blame culture is ugly trouble for a company to face. And according to Miller, it’s one of the main obstacles preventing companies from reaching success. This novel will not only provide the tips that you and your organization need for success but will explain the true meaning of accountability and why it’s so important.