As we head into fourth quarter, I am passing some reading and a few watching suggestions to you.
First, Maj. Joe Byerly, studying at the Naval War College, published some superb insights into professional reading on the blog Small Wars Journal. It is a solid assessment on the role reading, sharing and writing play for us as professionals. You will find his article here.
As for books, I just finished Plato at the Googleplex by philosopher and novelist Rebecca Goldstein. Fundamentally addressing whether philosophy has a role, or is at risk of losing its role in the 21st century in which we live, Goldstein’s arguments were both challenging and illuminating. Not a fast read, but one I think many of you will find worth your time.
Check out Flash Boys by Michael Lewis of Moneyball fame. The heart of his thesis - that all of the key financial markets are rigged - is chilling. But more importantly, his work calls for challenging long-held assumptions and demanding transparency in our institutions. And in an age of computing and digitization where fractions of seconds can make all the difference in reporting information, it also reinforces the fundamental need for a free and investigatory press.
Want to better understand the young people we recruit and their parents? I do, so I look for books and articles on the Millennials. My latest read, The Trophy Kids Grow Up: How the Millennial Generation is Shaking Up the Workplace, is aimed at many audiences, including specifically talent recruiters. The author, Ron Alsop, argues this generation, born between 1980 and 2001, is unique but not new. But more importantly, Alsop describes how companies are adapting to acquire the talent they need.
In Wellington: The Path to Victory, 1769-1814, Rory Muir dives deep into the early life and career of a military leader best known for his victory at Waterloo. He paints a rich picture of a leader skilled in not only military matters, but also in political and diplomatic matters. Muir weaves in the Duke’s family and friendships as he served across the British Empire in a time of near continual war.
Keith Ferrazzi updated and expanded his 2005 bestseller Never Eat Alone and Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time. Ferrazi’s thesis is that every one wins and we achieve success by reaching out to other people and strengthening relationships. Generosity and helping and connecting with friends is the aim, versus self-serving and shallow “networking.” Heavy with technique and advice, many may find this useful.
Some favorite videos, blogs, and reading:
· Eastern Europe Frets About NATO’s Ability to Curb Russia (NYTimes). Like many, Europe has been a focus of my professional work and study. Reminds me that security and alliances require commitment.
· Career Curveballs: No Longer a Soldier - General (Retired) Stanley McChrystal. Powerful perspective from a warrior on the transition from the Army.
· Be a better listener (Harvard Business Review). Sage advice for leaders in absorbable quantities.
· Voices of the Liberators: Veterans Recall D-Day. Inspiring and challenging to hear and see these veterans.
· “Make your bed every morning!” Admiral William McRaven’s advice to the graduating class of University of Texas (commencement address). Making your bed is lesson #1 of 10 he brings to the class of 2014.
So, as Major Byers challenges us, share what you are reading! Tell us what is shaping your thinking here on MilSuite, or message me and our growing community on Twitter (@USAREC_CG). Have a great summer!