Pick up a book on world book day

Written by Peter Cosgrove

April 23, 2020

It’s world book day today and it reminds me of this quote: “The thing about books are that they let you travel without moving your feet”. Never has this been more relevant as we are in lockdown and more isolated than we have ever been.

Books have a tough time at the moment as technology has created slot machines in our pocket that never stop pinging and continuously furnish us with stories so exciting, salacious or bizarre that we feel we have to click. Reed Hastings the CEO of Netflix famously said that Netflix’s biggest competitor was not youtube or traditional tv but sleep! However, when we do give ourselves the time and put away technology and curl up on a couch, books can transport us, entertain us and educate us. We should use this time to reconnect with books. Books also help us connect with others either through storytelling to our kids or discussing books we have read with others. Look at the popularity of book clubs for example.

For those in the staffing world it can feel like there is never enough time but we know that one of the key skills of the future is continuing to learn, so this has to be a priority. It is also really important to try to stay ahead of your customers. Customers want to work with suppliers who can talk about key trends in the marketplace. While you can read blogs and articles, it is only when you read a book you realise the thought, time effort and research that has gone into it and the valuable insights that can be gleaned. For those who would like to pick up a book but don’t know what, here are a few suggestions of books I have read that I would recommend, but with the caveat that everyone’s taste is different:

  • First Break all the Rules – Marcus Buckingham (a classic on managing people)
  • Irresistible – Adam Alter (why we are so addicted to our technology)
  • Thank you for Being Late – Thomas Friedman (great insights on the future)

It would also be great to hear any business book recommendations that you have.

My own books are all about reconnecting families and in Family Fun Unplugged, and I came across this question titled’ “the famous interview question” that goes like this: 

You are driving in a 2-seater car on a cold evening. You pass a bus stop where you see 3 people waiting for the bus. The first is your best friend from school, who you have not seen for 15 years. The second is the partner of your dreams, the person you always wanted to meet. The third is a sick old lady who needs to get to the hospital. Knowing there is room for only 1 passenger in your car, what do you do?

There are lots of answers to this but one very good answer, I will let you figure it out with your friends – happy reading!

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