Are you looking to get me excited about books? Ask me about my book collection.
My condo is too small to hold all the books I have, from a first edition of “A Room of One’s Own” and hundreds of impulse buys that have yet to be opened.
A small corner of my home
To make sure I don’t spend too much, I withdraw cash before I let myself into a bookstore. I am very careful about how I spend my self-imposed allowance. I then head to my favorite sections, business and productivity.
These are some of the most fascinating reads I have ever seen in the past few years. My favorite books include “Drive” from Daniel Pink, “The 4-Hour Work Week”, by Tim Ferriss, as well as “Switch” written by Chip and Dan Heath. These are all very popular titles that have received over 1,000 reviews and were covered by major news outlets.
What about the newest productivity guides? These are the ones that haven’t yet “gone viral” or gained attention.
I normally rely on reviews but it’s hard to judge how good a book is when it’s new. So I took a risk. I read 30 books this summer, and chose the top 11 productivity books you should read.
Productivity book reviews
It was extremely difficult to get included in this roundup. I needed to see a recent publication within the last year, as well as a high level of readability, originality and credibility. These books cover everything from ADHD optimization to culture development to personal productivity. You can download my scorecard right here.
Each section includes my review, summary, and analysis of the available Amazon reviews.
These books are arranged by my rating.
11. Gerald Leonard, “Culture is the Bass”: 7 Principles to Develop a Culture that Works.
“Culture is the Bass”: 7 Principles to Develop a Culture that Works
Amazon: 5/5 (20+ Reviews)
A reviewer noted a notable quote: This is an interesting and efficient way of looking at the structure a business. It shows the relationship between the many parts of a business and the orchestra (one of the largest musical groups). The book is well-organized and offers practical advice on how to get your business moving as smartly and as efficiently as an orchestra. It also helps you feel as integral to the group as a bass player in a band. A great product is not enough to make a business thriving. It’s also important to understand your vision and create the right environment.
My review: 4.1/5
Gerald J. Leonard is more than a writer. He’s a project manager, CEO of Principles of Execution, LLC, and an extraordinary musician (he is a graduate of both Julliard and the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music)–specifically, a classical bass player.
Leonard draws on his experience as a musician to outline seven principles that will help you create a culture that is positive enough to inspire employees. He compares the organization of an orchestra with how product performance management (PPM), should work. This includes the CEO being the conductor and the woodwind player having to adjust their reed in order to not squawk during a concert.
This book is a delight for musicians and those with musical experience. Leonard uses the metaphor throughout the book, sharing personal stories and anecdotes to help the reader understand his meaning. The book, which is just over 100 pages long, is a great guide for starting a company’s culture. Leonard’s advice can be applied to any situation, including using narrative to bridge generational gaps and making sure your creative staff doesn’t feel restricted.
Two things are missing from this book: One, the work doesn’t cite enough scientific research. It is impossible to &