Compared to movies, I have so much to say about books! And with my pad looking like a library, it’s difficult to pick only four! I’m a bookworm with a compendium of different genres: sci-fi, fantasy, espionage, thriller, true-crime, travel, philosophy, politics, business, fiction, non-fiction, inspirational, self-help, name it.
I thought of The Effective Executive to top the list. But then “no” I told myself. Not any of Peter Drucker’s –even if he was my most respected management guru. Someone I feel I knew personally. Believe me: I argued a lot with him over cups of coffee at Starbucks in Katipunan! Most specifically when I was reading Management Challenges for the 21st Century when he discussed new paradigms of management and how they could affect principles and practices of management.
I ended up a convert after reading the whole book! I couldn’t agree more with Drucker. He lived beyond his time; I wonder how he would have seen this world whose unpredictable landscape keeps changing by the second. And I wonder what he would have had to say if he would have had to write a sequel to Managing in a Time of Great Change.
Now, before I start to write stories about all the Druckers in my shelf, let me go back to the four books I have to list down.
1] The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
Eternally inspiring this book is. The author teaches us to look at ourselves in a different angle. My favourite passage is the conversation between the Velveteen Rabbit and the Skin Horse:
“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit. “When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become REAL,” said the Skin Horse, a wise toy in the nursery.
Being real is not because of what we do or what we are capable of doing, but because of what we are to the One who loves us.
2] The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Here’s another children’s book to prove that indeed, everything we need to know, we learn from kindergarten!
More than a fairy tale, the story is a philosophical piece. I’ve read it more than 10 times, and my learnings are even ten times more! It has several themes from understanding, to love, to letting go, to grown-ups, and so much more in between.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry wrote, “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
Many a time, we only think of what we feel that we often fail to think properly.
3] The Art of War by Sun Tzu
All 13 chapters of Sun Tzu’s book are a tool in organizational development and business management. In one segment he wrote: “Thus, those skilled in war subdue the enemy’s army without battle … They conquer by strategy.”
In this age and time, competitors don’t need to fight. Sleeping with the enemy has become a business stratagem–breeding coo-petition and creating frenemies. The Apple-Samsung relationship is the best example. Negotiation isn’t won by argument. Acclimatizing and adept planning are necessary.
“Know the enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles you will never be in peril. When you are ignorant of the enemy, but know yourself, your chances of winning or losing are equal. If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain in every battle to be in peril.”
And leadership was one thing Sun Tzu emphasized:
“The general must be first in the toils and fatigues of the army. In the heat of summer he does not spread his parasol, nor in the cold of winter don thick clothing… . He waits until the army’s wells have been dug and only then drinks; until the army’s food is cooked before he eats; until the army’s fortifications have been completed, to shelter himself.”
Word is cheap. Leaders guiding by example set the tone for success and prepare the path to victory. Organizations need strong leaders who walk the talk, command respect and motivate the troops to deliver expected results.
4] Chasing Daylight by Erwin Raphael McManus
“We all have dreams, hopes, and aspirations. Why, then, do some of us realize our dreams and advance forward while others watch timidly from a distance and hope for a break?” says the book author I never heard of, until my life coach gave a me copy of Chasing Daylight. Since then, I never stopped reading McManus.
There’s a direct correlation between passion and initiative that McManus unveiled in this book. And here’s one secret unlocked: when we are passionate about God, we can trust our passions!
If you are as intense as I am, you cannot afford not to have this book!