Food for thought

Food for thought

For many, the summer holidays have started. A welcome break given the disruptive corona period. At People like us, we’re also looking forward to a few weeks away. For me, vacation always means total relaxation. Slowing down, enjoying good food and drinks, making some trips, and above all reading a lot of books. Mostly novels, but certainly also a few work related books.

I am the type of person who’s always reading 3 to 6 books at a time, depending on what I’m currently working on. And the fact we work in a rather broad playing field of personal, team and organizational development (and I therefore think that I should at least know everything about everything 😊) does not really help in my gaining any focus. The themes in my bookcase vary from new innovation, design thinking, start-up and scale-up techniques, the latest insights on culture change and employee experience, to books on coaching, leadership and positive psychology.

For inspiration I thought it would be nice to share some titles that I take along in my suitcase this year.

My food for thought this holiday


Authentic happiness | Martin Seligman
Positive psychology is my newest source of inspiration. And in that category, Seligman is your man. In this book, the patriarch of positive psychology delves into the science of happiness. How does it work, is it innate or learned, and above all, can we positively influence happiness? His hopeful conclusion: yes happiness can be learned and cultivated. How? Well, by a simple formula: Happiness = Set range + Circumstances + Voluntary control. While our predisposition (set range) for happiness is to a large extent hereditary (noticeable from your predisposition to positive or negative thinking), your living conditions appear to have only very limited influence on your sense of happiness in the long term. The key to happiness is in the last part, all factors you can influence when you change your way of thinking.

Shoe dog | Phil Knight
I received this book as a gift from a fellow entrepreneur with the urgent advice: you MUST read this! Well with pleasure. The founder of Nike must be able to share a lot of inspiration in this memoir about how he built his iconic sports empire with a $ 50 loan from his father.

Dare to lead | Brené Brown
We can’t get around Brené Brown in the list of big influencers. She makes a good plea for organisations to create a culture where there is room for safety, courage and vulnerability. “When we have the courage to walk into our story and own it, we get to write the ending”.

The myth of self esteem | Albert Ellis
In my coaching, but also in my own personal development, I can’t get around it: the Self. Fascinating, but what exactly is it? The Self can be defined in many terms, self-esteem, self-confidence, self-image, not to mention self-knowledge and self-acceptance. According to Ellis, the creator of Rational Behavioral Therapy, this book states that people should definitely NOT develop their self esteem. This only leads to praising yourself if you do something right in the eyes of others. The consequence is that we also damn ourselves if others disapprove of something. And that doesn’t make us better or happier as humans. Then what? Unconditional self acceptance. I can tell you more about it after the summer.

The culture code, the secrets of highly successful groups | Daniel Coyle
How do you build and maintain a successful team? This book reveals the secrets of some of the best teams in the world, from Pixar, Google and the US Navy SEALs. Tip of the veil? The key is in three elements: build safety, share vulnerability (hi Brené!) and create purpose.

Which books go in your suitcase this year? Any golden tips for the next holiday? I love to be inspired!




I wrote a series of blog posts on The Culture Code. You can read the first one here