The Invisible Mentor http://theinvisiblementor.com Your ideal mentor is virtually in the palm of your hands Fri, 19 Dec 2014 14:39:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 Reading Globally: The Invisible Mentor 2015 Reading Challenge http://theinvisiblementor.com/reading-globally-invisible-mentor-2015-reading-challenge/ http://theinvisiblementor.com/reading-globally-invisible-mentor-2015-reading-challenge/#respond Fri, 19 Dec 2014 11:12:38 +0000 http://theinvisiblementor.com/?p=17132 Reading Globally: The Invisible Mentor 2015 Reading Challenge Don Tapscott, author of The Digital Economy, and business executive specializing in the role of technology in business and society predicts that the already quickened pace of technology will accelerate. Many jobs have been lost to automation in the past two decades, and many more will be […]

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Reading Globally: The Invisible Mentor 2015 Reading Challenge

2015 Reading Challenge

Reading Globally: The Invisible Mentor 2015 Reading Challenge

Don Tapscott, author of The Digital Economy, and business executive specializing in the role of technology in business and society predicts that the already quickened pace of technology will accelerate. Many jobs have been lost to automation in the past two decades, and many more will be lost to robotics and big data. How safe is your career, and will you be a victim of automation? I do not have the answer, but I think we can intentionally read our way to a solution. Won’t you join me on the Reading Globally: The Invisible Mentor 2015 Reading Challenge starting on January 1, 2015? We will hold each other accountable.

Further Reading

Ten million jobs at risk from advancing technology
What Happens to Society When Robots Replace Workers?

One response to automation is ongoing learning. And Marty Neumeier, an expert on design, innovation, and creativity believes that it’s difficult to copy creative work. He defines creative work as unique, imaginative, non-routine and autonomous. On the other hand, robotic work is algorithmic, computerized, efficient, and purchased. In other words unoriginal and non-creative. So what will it take to build continuous learning into your day? What will it take for you to read more books to give your brain an intellectual workout? If you are already reading books, what will it take to elevate your level of reading?

Related Posts

An Evening with Don Tapscott at the Rotman School of Management

I have been working on an informal liberal arts education, and I have completed the course requirements, but I have not read enough classic literature. This is a non-degree program that I created for myself, so I can pretty much do whatever I want, but I have decided to make sure that I reap real benefits since I am investing so much time. The road has not been easy, because when I first started, I was taking courses that were interesting and not necessarily ones that would aid my career. When I shifted my focus, I started to see the real benefits. I suspect that after I have read more classic literature the big payout will come to me.

I have always had problems reading only classic literature, so I would often spend time reading other books so that I wouldn’t get bored. This has been the case for several years now, and I have been wondering how to break or even interrupt the pattern. Also, I have been thinking a lot about reading globally, but when I dissected my thoughts, what I really wanted to do is to read deeply and broadly, of which reading globally is a subset.

Since I want to write a book about my experience journeying to an informal liberal arts education, it’s important to keep things interesting, while sticking to my reading goal, so I thought a reading challenge would be an excellent way to do that – to keep me on track. And having a reading challenge would involve others, and that will also help to keep me on track. We would be each other’s accountability partners. Additionally, the second Virtual Book Tour would evolve from this endeavor.

There are many reading challenges floating around the Internet, some of them are excellent, but this one is different because the sole intent is for us to read broadly and deeply, and in the process, secure our future as much as we can. We will aim to read one book a week – that’s 52 books in a year. Why one book a week? Bill Gates on average reads a book a week, need I say more. Please join my LinkedIn group Leaders are Great Readers where we can talk about our experiences reading globally and broadly.

The Invisible Mentor 2015 Reading Challenge

  1. 30 books written by authors born in 30 different countries.
  2. Book that will allow you to perform your job better.
  3. Book that will allow you to develop a new skill.
  4. Book to improve your writing.
  5. Book to improve your memory.
  6. Book to help you read faster.
  7. Science fiction novel.
  8. Mystery, detective or drama.
  9. Children’s book that you did not read as a child.
  10. Book that’s over 400 pages long.
  11. Book about religion.
  12. Book about psychology.
  13. Book about sports or one that uses sports metaphors.
  14. Book that blends disciplines.
  15. Book about doodling or sketchnoting.
  16. Graphic novel.
  17. Collection of comics.
  18. Book about art or an artist.
  19. A book about nature.
  20. A collection of short stories.
  21. An epic poem.
  22. Collection of poetry.
  23. Book about How X Works (For instance, I have How Language Works, How Music Works and How Winning Works.
  24. Book written at least 100 years ago
  25. A trilogy, quartet, quintet, or more!

Some of the above will overlap, but that is okay, the intent is to have diversity in our reading.

Recommended Books from my Bookshelf

  1. The Tango Singer, Tomas Eloy Martinez (Argentina)
  2. True History of the Kelly Gang: A Novel, Peter Carey (Australia)
  3. The Book Thief, Markus Zusak (Australia)
  4. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCullough (Australian)
  5. The Man Without Qualities (2 volume set), Robert Musil (Austria)
  6. The Devil to Pay in the Backlands (“”The Devil in the Street, In the Middle of the Whirlwind”), João Guimarães Rosa (Brazil)
  7. Herzog (Penguin Classics), Saul Bellow (Canada)
  8. Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables Library: Anne of Green Gables; Anne of Avonlea; Anne of the Island; Anne’s House of Dreams (An Anne of Green Gables Novel)), Lucy Maud Montgomery (Canada)
  9. Eva Luna: A Novel, Isabel Allende (Chile)
  10. One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez (Colombia)
  11. The Cairo Trilogy: Palace Walk, Palace of Desire, Sugar Street (Everyman’s Library), Naguib Mahfouz (Egypt)
  12. Gargantua and Pantagruel (Penguin Classics), Francois Rabelais (France)
  13. Sentimental Education (Penguin Classics), Gustave Flaubert (France)
  14. Pere Goriot (Signet Classics), Honoré de Balzac (France)
  15. Montaigne: Essays, Michel de Montaigne (France)
  16. The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born (African Writers Series), Ayi Kwei Armah (Ghana)
  17. The Iliad (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition), Homer (Greece)
  18. Palace of the Peacock, Wilson Harris (Guyana)
  19. Dracula (Dover Thrift Editions), Bram Stoker (Ireland)
  20. The Divine Comedy (The Inferno, The Purgatorio, and The Paradiso), Dante Alighieri (Italy)
  21. The Decameron (Penguin Classics), Giovanni Boccaccio (Italy)
  22. The Harder They Come, Michael Thelwell (Jamaica)
  23. Sophie’s World: A Novel About the History of Philosophy (FSG Classics), Jostein Gaarder (Norway)
  24. The Book of Disquiet (Penguin Classics), Fernando Pessoa (Portugal)
  25. Doctor Zhivago (Vintage International), Boris Pasternak (Russia)
  26. Burger’s Daughter, Nadine Gordimer (South Africa)
  27. Don Quixote (Penguin Classics), Miguel de Cervantes (Spain)
  28. The English Patient, Michael Ondaatje (Sri Lanka)
  29. Wave (Vintage), Sonali Deraniyagala (Sri Lanka)
  30. Serious Game, Hjalmar Soderberg (Sweden)
  31. A House for Mr. Biswas, V S Naipaul (Trinidad)
  32. Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph: The Complete 1922 Text, TE Lawrence (UK)
  33. Angela’s Ashes: A Memoir, Frank McCourt (USA)
  34. The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop., Robert Coover (USA)
  35. Monkey – Journey to the West, Wu Cheng’en (China)
  36. The Three Kingdoms (Three Kingdoms (Chinese Classics, 4 Volumes)), Luo Guanzhong (China)
  37. Diary of a Madman, and other stories, Lu Xun (China)
  38. Journey to the End of the Night, Louis-Ferdinand Céline (France)
  39. The Tin Drum, Günter Grass (Germany)
  40. Independent People, Halldór Laxness (Iceland)
  41. Njal’s Saga (Penguin Classics) (Iceland)
  42. The Bhagavad Gita (Penguin Classics), India
  43. The God of Small Things: A Novel, Arundhati Roy (India)
  44. The Masnavi I Ma’navi of Rumi: Complete (Forgotten Books), Rumi (Iran)
  45. Three Novels: Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable, Samuel Beckett (Ireland)
  46. The Tale of Genji: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition), Murasaki Shikibu (Japan)
  47. A Grain of Wheat (Penguin African Writers) Ngugi wa Thiong’o (Kenya)
  48. The Death of Artemio Cruz: A Novel (FSG Classics), Carlos Fuentes (Mexico)
  49. Arrow of God, Chinua Achebe (Nigeria)
  50. Blindness (Harvest Book), Jose Saramago (Portugal)
  51. Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoevsky (Russia)
  52. Dead Souls, Nikolai Gogol (Russia)
  53. My Name Is Red, Orhan Pamuk (Turkey)
  54. A Passage to India, E M Forster (UK)
  55. The Complete Poems (Penguin Classics), John Milton (UK)
  56. Middlemarch (Penguin Classics), George Eliot (UK)
  57. How Language Works, David Crystal (UK)
  58. Corelli’s Mandolin: A Novel, Louis de Bernières (UK)
  59. Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston (USA)
  60. The Doodle Revolution: Unlock the Power to Think Differently, Sunni Brown (USA)
  61. Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life, Martin E P Selignman (USA)
  62. Gone with the Wind, 75th Anniversary Edition, Margaret Mitchell (USA)
  63. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Revised Edition, Robert Cialdini (USA)
  64. The Long Goodbye, Raymond Chandler (USA)
  65. The Plateau Effect: Getting from Stuck to Success, Bob Sullivan (USA)
  66. Lonesome Dove: A Novel, Larry McMurtry (USA)
  67. Dune, Frank Herbert (USA)
  68. Organize Your Mind, Organize Your Life: Train Your Brain to Get More Done in Less Time, Paul Hammerness & Margaret Moore (USA)
  69. Hypnotic Writing: How to Seduce and Persuade Customers with Only Your Words, Joe Vitale
  70. Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature, Janine M. Benyus
  71. Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works (Lean (O’Reilly)), Ash Maurya
  72. Nervous Conditions [Import] (Zimbabwe)

The list of books from my bookshelf is meant to be a guide, so you do not have to read those books. I created the list because I have invested the money in buying the books so I am determined to read them. I also know that some people will need some assistance in choosing books to read. For you, it is critical that you include books that will enable you to be more valuable to yourself and to your employer. Although the books have been written by authors from around the globe, I am going to start the 2015 reading challenge by reading the shortest books first. I need to feel like I am making progress so I would like some early wins, and proceeding this way will do that for me.

Also keep in mind that January is National Mentoring Month, February is Black History Month, and March is Women’s History Month, so that may inform your choices of books to read each of those three months. Reading one book a week may seem a lot may seem like a lot, but it is doing – the trick is to read every day. I practice interstitial reading – I have the Kindle app on my desktop computer and my mobile device, and I usually have a book in my purse so I can read when I find myself having to wait, or with unexpected free time.

4 Key Actions to Take

  1. Join the LinkedIn Group Leaders are Great Readers
  2. Choose your eight books to read in January and February 2015
  3. Create notebook in Evernote to save notes while reading books
  4. Sign-up for an online diary such Diaro to record your experiences while reading broadly

Liked this post? Share on social media as well as subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more! If you’re new to the blog, visit the Start Here page for my pillar posts.

Author Bio: Avil Beckford, an expert interviewer, entrepreneur and published author is passionate about books and professional development, and that’s why she founded The Invisible Mentor and the Virtual Literary World Tour to give you your ideal mentors virtually in the palm of your hands by offering book reviews and book summaries, biographies of wise people and interviews of successful people. Connect with me on Facebook and Twitter.

Book links are affiliate links.

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The Invisible Mentor Top Blog Posts of 2014 http://theinvisiblementor.com/invisible-mentor-top-blog-posts-2014/ http://theinvisiblementor.com/invisible-mentor-top-blog-posts-2014/#respond Wed, 17 Dec 2014 14:29:29 +0000 http://theinvisiblementor.com/?p=17124 The Invisible Mentor Top Blog Posts of 2014 I cannot believe that 2015 is two weeks away, where did the time go? Several years ago, I read that blogs like mine take a while to gain traction because they do not cover news, and now I am starting to see that there is some truth […]

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The Invisible Mentor Top Blog Posts of 2014

Top Blog Posts of 2014

The Invisible Mentor Top Blog Posts of 2014

I cannot believe that 2015 is two weeks away, where did the time go? Several years ago, I read that blogs like mine take a while to gain traction because they do not cover news, and now I am starting to see that there is some truth to that. Last year, and even this year, the most popular posts are years old, and in fact, several of them that were on the list last year are on this year’s list as well. I suspect that they are popular because they are book reviews of classic literature. It’s interesting that although the posts are popular, they did not get a lot of social shares, which reminds me that I have to have a clear and specific call to action for every post. This is something that I started doing a month ago. Additionally, from the analytics, a lot of the people reading those posts are students who are probably searching for the “cliff notes” versions of the books, and that’s not what this blog is about.

Related Posts

The Invisible Mentor Top 10 Blog Posts of 2013

Top Blog Posts of 2014

Book Review – The Canterville Ghost by Oscar WildeThe Canterville Ghost, a short story by Oscar Wilde, is a story about role reversal. The story is told through the eyes of the very theatrical ghost, Sir Simon, who appears in many different costumes and personas. Sir Simon suffers great indignities at the hand of the American family, living in the house, who are not afraid of him.

The Invisible Mentor Interviews Ron LeBlanc: I met Ron LeBlanc in Starbucks, and I chatted with him for a bit and was fascinated by his story so I asked if I could interview him. At the time, Ron had a sapphire mine and land bank in Madagascar. One of the events that helped to shape his life was leaving the small town in Ontario where he grew up. Ron is always spreading his wings. Today he has a show on the Travel Channel, “Gem Hunt” and his experiences have prepared him for this role. Part II of the Ron LeBlanc interview.

Book Review – Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: This is the biography of Frederick Douglass, a self-freed slave. The book was not an easy one to read, and it will not be an easy book for anyone who believes in the rights and freedoms of all. After you have finished reading Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass you will get the feeling that his story is incomplete and that there are many gaps, and there are. Douglass deliberately left out a lot of information to protect the identity of other slaves.

Book Review: The Railway Children by E Nesbit: Though The Railway Children by E. Nesbit is a children’s book, it’s a perfect demonstration of why a safety net is so important. In the story, you have a father who is taken away, and we learn he is arrested for being a spy, which is a false accusation. The loss of income of the primary breadwinner forces the family into poverty. The Railway Children, a story of hope, teaches us that life is bigger than us and that the good we do comes back to us.

Einstein Distraction Index: A Method of Deep Focus: A lot of people are always searching for the Einstein Distraction Index, which Einstein supposedly as a teenager. It is a method of deep concentration, but I do not think that Einstein really developed this index because I have not been able to verify the information. Read the post to learn more because anything Einstein makes for a good story.

The Model Millionaire by Oscar Wilde: This is a short story that I like very much because it is about the power of generosity and reminds us to be charitable to those who are less fortunate.

Stuart Little by E B White, a Book Review: This is a book that I read a couple of year ago, and although, Stuart Little by E B White is a children’s book, you’ll learn to follow your instincts, be adventurous and resilient. If the name EB White sounds familiar to you, he also wrote Charlotte’s Webb and co-authored The Elements of Style.

Aladdin and the Magic Lamp, a Book Review: Aladdin and the Magic Lamp is a timeless classic that is worth the read. It teaches us not to give up on our dreams. Interestingly enough, there is a misconception that Aladdin had only three wishes, but in reality, he had as many wishes as he desired while in possession of the lamp. Read the post to learn more.

How to Analyze Information: The ability to analyze information is a prized skill. The post, How to Analyze Information offers simple steps to evaluate information and their sources. The post complements How to Evaluate Website Content. There are five ways to evaluate website content – look at relevance, authority, currency, objectivity and coverage of the content.

Book Review – Peter Pan by JM BarriePeter Pan by JM Barrie is a whimsical, magical story that helps you to start thinking about what could be – the possibilities that life has to offer. Peter Pan and similar stories matter today, more than ever, because we do not take enough time to dream, and step into the world of make believe because we are too busy. Peter Pan allows us to think that we can make the impossible possible. As we enter a period of unprecedented technological change, we need to take time to step into the world of make believe just because.

Review: Four Seasons: The Story of a Business Philosophy by Isadore Sharp: I am not sure why this post was popular in 2014, but the book is one that I enjoyed when I first read it. It is the autobiography of Isadore Sharp, which chronicles his rise from builder to 5 star hotel management magnate.

Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne, a Review: I like science fiction writer Jules Verne, and I have read several of his books. Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne, set in the 1870s is a page turner. You learn remarkable lessons such as the importance of being flexible. The story is so real, and I like the chart that’s included to show how long each leg of the journey would take.

Liked this post? Share on social media as well as subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more! If you’re new to the blog, visit the Start Here page for my pillar posts.

Author Bio: Avil Beckford, an expert interviewer, entrepreneur and published author is passionate about books and professional development, and that’s why she founded The Invisible Mentor and the Virtual Literary World Tour to give you your ideal mentors virtually in the palm of your hands by offering book reviews and book summaries, biographies of wise people and interviews of successful people. Connect with me on Facebook and Twitter.

Book links are affiliate links.

Kindle

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An Evening with Don Tapscott at the Rotman School of Management http://theinvisiblementor.com/evening-don-tapscott-rotman-school-management/ http://theinvisiblementor.com/evening-don-tapscott-rotman-school-management/#respond Tue, 16 Dec 2014 17:36:20 +0000 http://theinvisiblementor.com/?p=17116 An Evening with Don Tapscott at the Rotman School of Management How good are you at thinking on your feet? I must admit that I am not that great because I tend to reflect on the information that I am taking in, therefore it is difficult for me to respond right away. With that in […]

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An Evening with Don Tapscott at the Rotman School of Management

Don Tapscott

An Evening with Don Tapscott at the Rotman School of Management

How good are you at thinking on your feet? I must admit that I am not that great because I tend to reflect on the information that I am taking in, therefore it is difficult for me to respond right away. With that in mind, I recently attended The Digital Economy – A 20-Year Retrospective and Perspectives for the Future, a part of the Big Ideas Speaker Series @ Rotman, where Matthew Bishop, Globalisation Editor, The Economist interviewed Don Tapscott.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Tapscott’s book, The Digital Economy ANNIVERSARY EDITION: Rethinking Promise and Peril in the Age of Networked Intelligence, which was first published in 1994. From Don Tapscott’s viewpoint, his book is still on mark, and he didn’t have to make many changes for the new edition of his book. He responded with thoughtful and insightful answers to Matthew Bishop’s questions. Now that I have had time to sleep on the information that I absorbed from the event, some of it now weighs heavily on my mind.

In the past five years, the rate of change due to technology has been astounding, and over the past two decades, many jobs have been lost because of automation. The news from Tapscott is not encouraging because he believes that the rate of technological change will accelerate, and more jobs will be lost to robotics and big data. He mentioned a recent visit to Walgreen’s where there were no cashiers, you have to check-out your purchases. In Toronto, you have the option of using the cashiers or doing it yourself in some retail establishments such as Canadian Tire and Sobeys. Technology is wiping out entire sectors.

Tapscott also mentioned some statistics he recently came across that robotics should eliminate 30 percent of the workforce in the United Kingdom within the next 25 years. During my period of reflection on the information, I made a connection between what Don Tapscott said with what Marty Neumeier said in his presentation also at the Rotman School of Management — creative work could be your secret weapon to the impending automation crisis. When you produce creative work, it is more difficult to copy, so Neumeier recommends that you learn from what artists do. In a similar vein, William S Burroughs said in his Creative Reading lecture that art techniques are 50 years ahead of writing techniques, and his intent was for us to look at art to determine future trends. We have to get off the me-too bandwagon and start creating unique ‘art’ that solves real problems.

Related Posts

William S Burroughs’ Book Recommendations – Books off the Beaten Path
Marty Neumeier’s Rules of Genius

Rules of Genius

Marty Neumeier’s Rules of Genius

Technology will destroy more jobs – the evidence is there – and Tapscott suggests that one solution to the problem is perhaps to have a 4-day work week. He applauded Ryerson University’s President, Sheldon Levy for encouraging students to start businesses while pursuing an education. Tapscott also talked about creating a new agenda to address the big issues in the world – one example is the inroads that is being made with climate justice and need for change if we want to save the environment.

Overall, it was an evening well spent listening to Don Tapscott, and I look forward to reading The Digital Economy: Rethinking Promise and Peril in the Age of Networked Intelligence, which was included in the price to attend the event. Now back to my original question about thinking on your feet, I wish I was more agile, but on the other hand, I do not want to lose my ability to make connections, which I can only make if I take my time to process the information. What are your thoughts?

Further Reading

What Happens to Society When Robots Replace Workers? (Harvard Business Review)

Key Takeaway

Take stock of your career, are you relevant? If not, what changes can you make now to prevent your job from being eliminated by technology. Do you need to upgrade your skills set?

3 Ways to Apply the Information

Listen to Creative Reading – William S. Burroughs, Naropa University
Read the blog post, 46 Rules of Genius by Marty Neumeier, Book Review
Read the book, The Digital Economy ANNIVERSARY EDITION: Rethinking Promise and Peril in the Age of Networked Intelligence

Liked this post? Share on social media as well as subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more! If you’re new to the blog, visit the Start Here page for my pillar posts.

Author Bio: Avil Beckford, an expert interviewer, entrepreneur and published author is passionate about books and professional development, and that’s why she founded The Invisible Mentor and the Virtual Literary World Tour to give you your ideal mentors virtually in the palm of your hands by offering book reviews and book summaries, biographies of wise people and interviews of successful people. Connect with me on Facebook and Twitter.

Book links are affiliate links.

Kindle

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Are You Stuck in a Creative Rut? http://theinvisiblementor.com/stuck-creative-rut/ http://theinvisiblementor.com/stuck-creative-rut/#respond Thu, 11 Dec 2014 11:12:55 +0000 http://theinvisiblementor.com/?p=17110 Are You Stuck in a Creative Rut? I often generate great ideas, but over the past year or so, the creative pump has not been working properly. I get some ideas, but far from the amount that I am accustomed to generating so I am feeling very frustrated. Many people have a vision of a […]

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Are You Stuck in a Creative Rut?

Stuck in a Creative Rut

Are You Stuck in a Creative Rut – My Tarot Cards

I often generate great ideas, but over the past year or so, the creative pump has not been working properly. I get some ideas, but far from the amount that I am accustomed to generating so I am feeling very frustrated. Many people have a vision of a light bulb and ta-da, like magic, a great idea hits you like a ton of brick. Although it is a compelling image, great ideas are seldom born that way. You have to create a fertile ground for the ideas to percolate before your Eureka moment occurs.

5 Steps to Generating Great Ideas

Step One: Preparation
Step Two: Working Over the Problem in Your Mind
Step Three: Incubation
Step Four: Illumination
Step Five: Verification/Implementation

Related Posts

Summary of a Technique for Producing Great Ideas by James Webb Young
The Formula for Generating Great Ideas
The Secrets of Creative Problem Solving

I have been stuck-in-a-creative-rut, but did not recognize it until a few days ago. And you would not believe how it happened – during a tarot card reading. I attended an event, and there was someone who knew how to read Tarot cards, so I went for it, and it was a lot of fun. During the reading, I realized that I had been suffering from creative burnout. Let’s dissect this…I have been pursuing an informal liberal arts education so I have been reading the classics. But there are times when I get bored, so I step out of that mindset and read other books. The problem for me is that when I evaluate my recent reading habits, the books are not as diverse and they could be, and I kept on reading the same kinds of books. Yes, there were the odd times when I read books I usually wouldn’t read, but it was infrequent.

There is much that we can learn from classic literature, but we have to find a way to bridge ancient and modern wisdom to gain the most benefit from reading. I do not read a lot of business books because I do not think that most business books make you think. Additionally, I have often read that the most successful people do not read business books for the same reason. But we have to be careful of adopting a rigid mindset, because that will hinder creativity.

Yesterday, I decided to take a day off, and I grabbed a book to read, then I shortly abandoned it, then I grabbed another book, and I shortly abandoned that one as well. I realized that those books were not the books that I should be reading, and that’s why I could not get into them. I will read those books, but there are other books that I need to read first. Despite not reading many business books, I went against my beliefs and purchased several because I found the titles on two different lists and they sounded interesting to me. I am currently reading Storyscaping: Stop Creating Ads, Start Creating Worlds by Gaston Legorburu, Darren McColl, and I am thoroughly enjoying it because I am learning things that I can apply right now. I will immediately follow Storyscaping with Converge: Transforming Business at the Intersection of Marketing and Technology by  Bob W. Lord and Ray Velez; Think Like A SheEO: Succeeding in the Age of Creators, Makers and Entrepreneurs by Vicki Saunders and M J Ryan; Social Physics: How Good Ideas Spread—The Lessons from a New Science by Alex Pentland; and The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson. These books are not your ordinary business books.

I am reading the books listed above because I need to get out of my creative rut, but I also need to step beyond my comfort zone and open myself up to radical ideas. This is the time for me because I have been paying close attention to reading globally – reading books by authors born in a variety of countries. The more I think about the concept of reading globally, the more I realize that it is much more than that, and I finally got what it meant to read broadly. When someone recommends that you read broadly, that sounds vague. Now that I intentionally read books written by authors born in a variety of countries, to me, reading broadly means, multicultural diversity, gender diversity, genre diversity, age diversity, historic period diversity and so on.

So if you are like me, and stuck in a creative rut, the best thing to do is to start reading broadly. And if you are unsure of where to start, I have a few suggestions for you since I have reviewed books on this blog since the Spring 2009.

Further Reading

  1. Review – Four Seasons: The Story of a Business Philosophy by Isadore Sharp
  2. Book Review: The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs: Insanely Different Principles fro Breakthrough Success
  3. Review: The Nordstrom Way to Customer Service
  4. Review of Bunker Bean by Harry Leon Wilson
  5. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien, a Book Review
  6. Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis, Book Review
  7. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, Review
  8. BrainRead – Effective Speed Reading – Reading like the Swedish by Göran Askeljung
  9. A Look at Foundation’s Edge, Foundation and Earth and Forward the Foundation by Isaac Asimov
  10. The Call of the Wild by Jack London, a SummaReview
  11. Summareview of The Death of Ivan Illych by Leo Tolstoy
  12. The Awakening by Kate Chopin, Book Review
  13. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Key Takeaway

Reading broadly is critical for generating great ideas and for creative problem solving.

3 Ways to Apply the Information

  1. Read the blog posts listed under Further Reading.
  2. Choose one of the books to read.
  3. If any of the posts resonates with you, please share on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Liked this post? Share on social media as well as subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more! If you’re new to the blog, visit the Start Here page for my pillar posts.

Author Bio: Avil Beckford, an expert interviewer, entrepreneur and published author is passionate about books and professional development, and that’s why she founded The Invisible Mentor and the Virtual Literary World Tour to give you your ideal mentors virtually in the palm of your hands by offering book reviews and book summaries, biographies of wise people and interviews of successful people. Connect with me on Facebook and Twitter.

Book links are affiliate links.

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Better Note-Taking: Learning to Abbreviate Words http://theinvisiblementor.com/better-note-taking-learning-to-abbreviate-words/ http://theinvisiblementor.com/better-note-taking-learning-to-abbreviate-words/#respond Wed, 10 Dec 2014 11:12:46 +0000 http://theinvisiblementor.com/?p=17104 Taking Better Notes – Learning to Abbreviate Words Note taking is an art, but I did not recognize that until recently. I take notes when I read books and take courses, and sometimes I take better notes than at other times. What I have noticed, especially when I have read a book and have not […]

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Taking Better Notes – Learning to Abbreviate Words

 Note-Taking

Better Note-Taking: Learning to Abbreviate Words

Note taking is an art, but I did not recognize that until recently. I take notes when I read books and take courses, and sometimes I take better notes than at other times. What I have noticed, especially when I have read a book and have not written the review in a day or two, if I have not taken very good notes, then I have a very difficult time remembering all the important points in the book. Although I would love to think of myself as Wonder Woman, the reality is that the curve of forgetting is a fact of life. When we learn new information, if we have not taken steps to remember what we just learned, within an hour, we forget over 60 percent of the information.

Related Posts

How to Improve Learning
How to Remember What You Read

Have you ever communicated a message that you later learned was as clear as mud? I found myself in that situation not very long ago. For a long time, I have been telling my readers of The Invisible Mentor blog to take detailed notes when they are reading a book, and to me, the instructions made perfect sense, until a professor called me on it. As I have mentioned before, I have been working on The Invisible Mentor Model, which is more like a learning system that walks you through a process of up-skilling and ongoing learning. In the model, like I have done countless times, I instruct prospective users to take detailed notes when they read a book or take a course. A professor, who looked at the model, asked me what it means to take detailed notes, and I was genuinely stumped. Note-taking was something that I did, but didn’t really think about. I discovered the Cornell Note-Taking System, and it made sense to me, but I didn’t spend much time really thinking about it.

The professor who reviewed The Invisible Mentor Model, recommended that I create a module on note-taking. To do that required that I do a lot of work to make sure that I could explain note-taking to others. On top of that, because I have been taking my informal liberal arts education, I also discovered that taking notes when reading a book is very different from taking notes while taking a course. When taking a course in person, you have to have a shorthand or abbreviation system that you use so that you are able to keep up with the lecturer, and if you are taking an online course, you have the ability to stop the video and rewind, but that wastes time, which is a scarce and precious commodity.

While researching note-taking, I learned that the topic is so important that some universities have a course on the topic. Because I need to learn how to take better notes, I decided that after I had gathered the information, I would teach what I have learned to readers because it would cement what I learned. Additionally, I believe that the ability to take good notes is a necessary skill that is taken for granted because it is assumed that we all know how to do it. I am not sure about you, but I cannot take good notes on the computer. Yes, I am not the fastest typist, but I find that I remember more, when I write things down the old school way – longhand. Pam Mueller of Princeton University and Daniel Oppenheimer of the University of California conducted research and found that students who took notes by longhand performed better than those who took notes by computer. But students who paraphrased, instead of writing down verbatim what the instructor said remembered more. This information is important and applicable to taking notes while reading or taking a course. When you paraphrase key information from books and courses, you have to think critically, which helps you to absorb more of what you are learning.

Further Reading

To Remember a Lecture Better, Take Notes by Hand

Why You Learn More Effectively Writing Than Typing

If you have never taken a course in shorthand, or have an abbreviated system for taking notes, this first post in the better note-taking series will help you to get started. The abbreviations for note-taking listed below are a guide – you can easily create and use your own system. The intent of an abbreviation system, is that when you are learning new information, your focus should be on absorbing the information and not on thinking about how to abbreviate words. If you have a system in place, you will automatically abbreviate words without thinking about the process. Using abbreviations consistently is the key.

Abbreviations for Note-Taking

@
at
yr
year
p/pg
page
#/no.
number
mth
month
ff
following
/
per
max
maximum
Q
question
<
less than
min
minimum
*
most importantly
>
more than
prob
problem
etc.
and so forth
=
equals
b/4
before
wd
word
%
percent
b/c
because
vs
versus; against
not equal to
w/
with
diff
difference
&/+
and
w/o
without
dept
department
~/approx
approximate
w/i
within
ref
reference
2
to, too, two
lk
like
4tn
fortune
Ch
chapter
wrt
write
rt
right
Ex/e.g.
example
govt/gvt
government
prps
purpose
intro
introduction
c/o
in care of
lwyr
lawyer
lrn/lr
learn
ie
that is
cmptr
computer
ng
no good
cf
compare, in comparison to
DC
Washington DC
lb
pound
oz
ounce
prntr
printer
math
mathematics
info
information
app
application
-  -
there is
assoc
associate
x
no, not, incorrect
xx
definitely not, disproved
 or 
therefore, thus
increasing
leads on to, produces, causes
m
a million
decreasing
asap
as soon as possible
k
a thousand
eval
evaluation
eqn
equation
v
very
mgmt
management
ed/educ
education
vv
extremely
mkt
market
mktg
marketing
ppl
people
¶/para
paragraph
ckg
checking
ppd
prepared
am
morning
 / 
male/female
wrt
with respect to
pm/aft
afternoon
change
btw
by the way
natl
national
intl
international
rep
repetition
amt
amount
contd
continued
ind
individual
H2O
water
°
degrees
thru
through
Simple Guidelines for Abbreviating Words
  • Omit vowels and keep only enough consonants to recognize the work.
  • Use only the first syllable.
  • Eliminate final letters in the word.
  • Ad ‘s’ to abbreviations when plurals are needed.
  • Add ‘g’ for ‘ing’ endings.
  • Use ‘n’ for ‘tion’ ending
  • Leave out the words ‘a’ and ‘the’.
  • Use entire first syllable and only first letter of second syllable.

In other installments in the Better Note-Taking series, I will focus more on how to take notes, but I thought it was important to learn and present information on abbreviating words to make it easier for taking notes. I figured since I needed to learn that information, others might benefit from it. Liked this post? Share on social media as well as subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more! If you’re new to the blog, visit the Start Here page for my pillar posts.

Author Bio: Avil Beckford, an expert interviewer, entrepreneur and published author is passionate about books and professional development, and that’s why she founded The Invisible Mentor and the Virtual Literary World Tour to give you your ideal mentors virtually in the palm of your hands by offering book reviews and book summaries, biographies of wise people and interviews of successful people. Connect with me on Facebook and Twitter .

Book links are affiliate links.

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Tyler Cohen Wood, Cyber Branch Chief, Defense Intelligence Agency – Interview http://theinvisiblementor.com/tyler-cohen-wood-cyber-branch-chief-defense-intelligence-agency-interview/ http://theinvisiblementor.com/tyler-cohen-wood-cyber-branch-chief-defense-intelligence-agency-interview/#respond Fri, 05 Dec 2014 14:23:53 +0000 http://theinvisiblementor.com/?p=17097 Cohen Wood, Cyber Branch Chief, Defense Intelligence Agency – Interview Invisible Mentor: Tyler Cohen Wood Company Name: Senior Officer & Cyber Branch Chief, Defense Intelligence Agency Related Posts Catching the Catfishers by Tyler Cohen Wood – What’s Your Digital Footprint? Don’t Let Your Social Media Identity Ruin Your Hard-earned Business Reputation  Part One: Introduction Avil […]

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Cohen Wood, Cyber Branch Chief, Defense Intelligence Agency – Interview

Invisible Mentor: Tyler Cohen Wood
Company Name: Senior Officer & Cyber Branch Chief, Defense Intelligence Agency

Related Posts

Catching the Catfishers by Tyler Cohen Wood – What’s Your Digital Footprint?
Don’t Let Your Social Media Identity Ruin Your Hard-earned Business Reputation 

Tyler Cohen Wood

Tyler Cohen Wood

Part One: Introduction

Avil Beckford: In a couple of sentences, tell me a little bit about yourself.

Tyler Cohen Wood: I am definitely driven; very hard worker and I care very much about the topic that I talk about in my book, in particular, people teaching themselves how to protect their privacy, protect themselves, and their children. But I also have a fun side too. I am addicted to reality television and I love horseback riding.

Avil Beckford: What’s a typical day like for you?

Tyler Cohen Wood: Well these days a typical day is pretty busy. I get to work usually about 6 [AM]. There is always a bunch of meetings or there are fires to put out, and then I come home and work on stuff to promote my book or work on writing blogs. Then usually I will relax by watching some reality television or doing some horseback riding lessons.

Avil Beckford: Tell me about your big break and who gave you.

Tyler Cohen Wood: I don’t know if there was really one big break. I would say that everything I have achieved, I have really had to work hard for. But I guess in terms of my career, getting into my first law enforcement and federal position, I felt that there was a lot that I needed to learn, and the manager that I had, that interviewed me, believed so strongly in me that they gave me the position, and were able to teach me things that I needed to know to succeed in that position.

Part Two: Career

Avil Beckford: How did mentors influence your life?

Tyler Cohen Wood: Mentors have been very influential in my life. I have leaned very heavily on various people, from various walks of life for the things in my career. Right now I have two different careers; I have a career as an intelligence officer for the Defence Intelligence Agency, and then I also have this new career as a public speaker and an author. I have really leaned on mentors in both of those careers to get to where I am, and I am still waiting on them everyday.

Avil Beckford: What’s one core message you received from your mentors?

Tyler Cohen Wood: The core message is patience; work hard, make sure you are always learning something. I think one of the best pieces of advice that I have ever been given by a mentor was learn to say what you need to say in the amount of time it would take to go up one floor in an elevator because sometimes that’s all you have.

Avil Beckford: An invisible mentor is a unique leader you can learn from by observing them from a distance. In that capacity, what is one piece of advice that you would give to others?

Tyler Cohen Wood: Work as hard as you can. Never, ever do anything that is going to break people’s trust in you. That’s one of the most important things you can have. Also, really have patience. If you don’t succeed the first time, keep trying.

Avil Beckford: What big steps did you take to succeed in your field? What is one step or action you have consistently taken that has contributed the most to your success?

Tyler Cohen Wood: I have taken a lot of risks. You have to be unafraid to take those risks. If you have your perfect dream job across the country, sometimes you have to take that leap and give up what you know for something that may not be something that you do know, if it’s really what your dream is. In terms of the steps that I have taken, I am very driven and if there is something that I want, I will continue to work at it until I get it, even if I fail. One thing that mentors have taught me, and one thing that has helped me, is that I rely on advice from others, but I do not rely on anyone to do things for me. I take actions for myself. I don’t really expect anything from anybody. If I want to advance my career, people can give me advice, but I have to do the hard work myself to get there.

Part Three: Life

Avil Beckford: Describe one of your biggest failures. What lessons did you learn, and how did it contribute to a greater success?

Tyler Cohen Wood: I think one of my biggest failures was a job I really wanted, very, very badly, and I kind of romanticized it in my head to be the perfect job, and I prepared for the interview, and I ended up not getting the job. What ended up happening was that the next job turned out to be the dream job that did change my life. If I had gotten that job, I would not have found the job that I really wanted. Don’t look at failures as the end; look at it as just one step close to the right thing.

Avil Beckford: What’s one of the toughest decisions you’ve had to make and how did it impact your life?

Tyler Cohen Wood: I think one of the toughest decisions that I have made was about 11 years ago, leaving my home in San Francisco to come to Washington D.C. where I didn’t know anyone at all for a job that I didn’t know if it was going to work out or not. It was definitely a hard decision. It impacted my life for the better. It turns out it was the right choice and I really love this area. Again, sometimes you just have to take those risks.

Avil Beckford: What are three events that helped to shape your life?

Tyler Cohen Wood:

  1. I would have to say meeting my husband. You know, he has been very encouraging, very helpful. A lot of times when you are trying to achieve your dreams, you are going to have setbacks and failures along the way, and he is really always there to help pick me back up.
  2. I would also say that doing something that you are afraid of. I am an older person and I reintroduced horseback riding into my life. It’s kind of scary jumping over 3-foot fences on a large animal, but doing things that you are scared of and succeeding in them – that is an event that has helped to shape my life.
  3. And again, just having successes and having good mentors along the way that can give you good advice. If you take that advice and it works out, that really shapes your life.

Avil Beckford: What’s an accomplishment that you are proudest of?

CatchingThe Catfishers

Catching The Catfishers by Tyler Cohen Wood

Tyler Cohen Wood: My book. Catching the Catfishers: Disarm the Online Pretenders, Predators, and Perpetrators Who Are Out to Ruin Your Life is my recent book. I am very proud of that accomplishment. I saw that there was a huge need for a book that teaches people how to manage their online image, how to protect their privacy and how to protect themselves and their children from deception in the online domain, and explain technical things in a way that people can understand. I know that my book does that.

Avil Beckford: What are five life lessons that you have learned so far?

Tyler Cohen Wood:

  1. You can have friends, you can have mentors that help you along the way, but all the heavy lifting is going to be something that you have to do yourself.
  2. Don’t work so hard that you burn yourself out. Make sure that you take breaks. Take vacations.
  3. Have something aside from work in your life that you are passionate about, whether it’s cooking, whether it’s a sport – that really helps to balance your life.
  4. Also, friends and family are some of the important things that you can have.
  5. Exercise. May sure your physical health is just as good as your mental health.

Avil Beckford: If trusted friends could introduce you to five people (living or dead) that you’ve always wanted to meet, who would you choose? And what would you say to them?

Tyler Cohen Wood: That an interesting question.

  1. Number one on my list would have to be Oprah [Winfrey]. I don’t know if I have a specific question that I would ask her, but I would just love to pick her brain for hours.
  2. I would also like to meet Hillary Clinton. Again, pick her brain for hours.
  3. Then a lot of historical figures that helped shaped our history and past history, just because I have always been curious. The things that we read in history books, I would like to hear things from their perspective. Sorry I think that’s just three.

Avil Beckford: You didn’t give a name, and specific one.

Tyler Cohen Wood: Well I am really interested in Roman History, so maybe some of the Roman leaders.

Avil Beckford: Which one book had a profound impact on your life? What was it about this book that impacted you so deeply?

Tyler Cohen Wood: I would say, and I know this is going to sound absolutely silly as it’s not the most intelligent book in the world, but I would say the Harry Potter Paperback Box Set (Books 1-7). The reason that had such a big impact was that, it showed me that you can write something that you love and it can have such a huge impact on readers. What that book did was, it really taught the younger generation, and it really taught people how to read again. I would say that is my favourite book, that series.

Avil Beckford: You are one of the 10 finalists on the reality show, So, How Would You Spend Your Time? You are going to be on deserted island for two years, what are 5 books that you will take with you, and besides reading, how will you spend the time on the island?

Tyler Cohen Wood: Five books that I would want to bring … Again the Harry Potter Series. Can I get magazine subscriptions?

Avil Beckford: You can bring anything you want.

Tyler Cohen Wood: I work very, very hard. I love the tabloids, love Oprah’s magazine, I love Marie Claire. I love reading things that kind of grow your brain a little bit, but they are fluff too. I would get lots, and lots of magazine subscriptions.

Avil Beckford: Complete the following, I am happy when…..

Tyler Cohen Wood: I am happy when I am doing well, my personal and work-life are in balance, and when I am eating great food with my husband, or when I’m on a horse on a beautiful day.

3 Key Takeaways

  1. Work hard and make sure you are always learning something new.
  2. People can give you advice, but you have to do the hard work yourself to get where you need to be.
  3. Don’t look at failures as the end; look at it as just one step close to the right thing.

What to do Next – 3 Ways to Apply this Information

  1. Buy and read Catching the Catfishers: Disarm the Online Pretenders, Predators, and Perpetrators Who Are Out to Ruin Your Life to learn how to manage your online image, protect your privacy and protect yourself and your children from deception in the online domain.
  2. Do something that’s fun for you!
  3. Make time for family and friends.

Liked this post? Share on social media as well as subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more! If you’re new to the blog, visit the Start Here page for my pillar posts.

Author Bio: Avil Beckford, an expert interviewer, entrepreneur and published author is passionate about books and professional development, and that’s why she founded The Invisible Mentor and the Virtual Literary World Tour to give you your ideal mentors virtually in the palm of your hands by offering book reviews and book summaries, biographies of wise people and interviews of successful people. Connect with me on Facebook and Twitter.

Book links are affiliate links.

Kindle

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Mastering Evernote by Casey Lightbody, Book Review http://theinvisiblementor.com/mastering-evernote-casey-lightbody-book-review/ http://theinvisiblementor.com/mastering-evernote-casey-lightbody-book-review/#respond Wed, 03 Dec 2014 15:43:32 +0000 http://theinvisiblementor.com/?p=17092 Mastering Evernote by Casey Lightbody, Book Review If you are brand new to Evernote, your digital notebook and filing cabinet, then Mastering Evernote: A Busy Woman’s Guide To Working Smarter And Getting Things Done by Casey Lightbody is the perfect book for you because it is easy to read, takes about an hour or so […]

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Mastering Evernote by Casey Lightbody, Book Review

Mastering Evernote

Mastering Evernote by Casey Lightbody, Book Review – Image Credit via Amazon

If you are brand new to Evernote, your digital notebook and filing cabinet, then Mastering Evernote: A Busy Woman’s Guide To Working Smarter And Getting Things Done by Casey Lightbody is the perfect book for you because it is easy to read, takes about an hour or so to read, and lays the foundation for you to get started. I have often talked about having a strong foundation on which to build knowledge on this blog, but after reading this book, I realized that I didn’t know some of the basics about Evernote and how to get the most out of it.

Further Reading

SummaReview of Work Smarter with Evernote by Alexandra Samuel

The Evernote Bible by Brandon Collins, a Book Review

How I Organize Evernote: A Peek Inside My Personal System

12 Surprising Ways to Use Evernote You Might Not Have Considered

The Fastest, Cheapest Way to Learn Evernote

I have read and reviewed two other books about Evernote on this blog, and both of them are very good books, which I learned a lot from. The issue is that you don’t know what you don’t know. I have had Evernote for a long time, but for most of the time, I didn’t use it until I read the first book. Today, I find that I cannot do without it, but I still do not use most of the functionalities. I mostly save articles that I find online in my digital notebooks and I use the search function a lot. I do ghost blogging for corporate clients so when I find article/ideas I save them in Evernote. Because I use the search feature so much, I am very thoughtful when creating tags. I also save articles that relate to books that I plan to write so Evernote is good for research.

What I have learned from Mastering Evernote by Casey Lightbody, is that after I have saved a note to Evernote, I can then write notes, attach links, photos and so on. I never knew that. This is important because when I read an article, I often have thoughts and reactions to what I am reading, and I would save that information in another place, perhaps a physical notebook, or in Diaro, an online diary.

Mastering Evernote by Casey Lightbody is not for sophisticated Evernote users, because there are many, including people like Michael Hyatt and Alexandra Samuel, but it is more for people who have heard about Evernote, but not sure what all the hype is about, or people who are trying it out, but don’t really know much. What I like about the book, is that it virtually holds your hand by telling you how to create an account, create your first note, how to sync the service across all platforms – the basics that many of us take for granted. Casey Lightbody does an excellent job explaining how to use the software, and she also provides screenshots which are helpful. And she explains the difference between the free and paid service, how to share notebooks and collaborate with others.

I have the Evernote app on my computer and smartphone, and I have the Evernote Clipper that’s a browser extension, which I use daily to clip and save articles of interest. I make sure that from time-to-time I login to the Evernote website and make sure that I sync with all my other devices. I used Feedly as my RSS reader, and I learned from Mastering Evernote that I can actually clip articles directly from Feedly and save into your Evernote notebook. Before I would click on the article to open in a browser and then I would use the Evernote Clipper to save, which adds another step.

The author recommends ways to use Evernote, including scanning and saving important documents and receipts for tax purposes. For my receipts, I use Gingerly, an app on my phone, but using Evernote is also worth considering. After you have finished reading Mastering Evernote: A Busy Woman’s Guide To Working Smarter And Getting Things Done by Casey Lightbody, you will have the fundamentals needed to use the resource, then you are ready to move on to learn more about the advanced features.

Liked this post? Share on social media as well as subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more! If you’re new to the blog, visit the Start Here page for my pillar posts.

Author Bio: Avil Beckford, an expert interviewer, entrepreneur and published author is passionate about books and professional development, and that’s why she founded The Invisible Mentor and the Virtual Literary World Tour to give you your ideal mentors virtually in the palm of your hands by offering book reviews and book summaries, biographies of wise people and interviews of successful people. Connect with me on Facebook and Twitter.

Book links are affiliate links.

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The 46 Rules of Genius by Marty Neumeier, Book Review http://theinvisiblementor.com/46-rules-genius-marty-neumeier-book-review/ http://theinvisiblementor.com/46-rules-genius-marty-neumeier-book-review/#respond Tue, 02 Dec 2014 14:12:00 +0000 http://theinvisiblementor.com/?p=17087 The 46 Rules of Genius by Marty Neumeier, Book Review At a recent event that I attended at the Rotman School of Management on the Rules of Genius, I was given a copy of The 46 Rules of Genius: An Innovator’s Guide to Creativity (Voices That Matter) by Marty Neumeier. Since I received The 46 […]

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The 46 Rules of Genius by Marty Neumeier, Book Review

The 46 Rules of Genius

The 46 Rules of Genius by Marty Neumeier, Book Review

At a recent event that I attended at the Rotman School of Management on the Rules of Genius, I was given a copy of The 46 Rules of Genius: An Innovator’s Guide to Creativity (Voices That Matter) by Marty Neumeier. Since I received The 46 Rules of Genius for free, I decided to read and review it. This post is the second part to Marty Neumeier’s Rules of Genius. At the event, Marty Neumeier focused on the rules that were in the second half of the book, so I am focusing on the rules in the first part.

Related Post

Marty Neumeier’s Rules of Genius

The 46 Rules of Genius by Marty Neumeier is divided into four parts – How can I innovate? How should I work? How can I learn? And how can I matter? And each part has a set of rules that have served the author well. The first 11 rules that make up part one are concerned with getting the right idea, while the 14 rules that form the basis for part two focus on getting the idea right. The author points out that traditional thinkers follow a know-do process which limits their thinking and ability to find new approaches. Marty Neumeier recommends the know-make-do process, which expands your thinking, enabling you to invent new models, prototypes, or mock-ups that can be tested before they are selected.

When you face a problem, Neumeier recommends that you ask a series of 12 questions:

  1. Have we seen this problem before?
  2. What do we know about it?
  3. Are the boundaries the right boundaries?
  4. Are we solving the right problem?
  5. Should we solve a bigger problem instead?
  6. If we succeed, what will be improved?
  7. What will be diminished?
  8. What will be replaced?
  9. What opportunities will it spawn?
  10. Who stands to gain and who stands to lose?
  11. Do we need to solve the problem at all?
  12. Who says? So what? Why Not?

By asking the twelve questions, you force yourself to think through the problem.

7 Ways to Simplify Your Work

  1. Test elements by removing them one by one to ensure that there are no unnecessary parts.
  2. Discard any needless features because more is sometimes too much.
  3. Kill vampire elements – any element that will take away from the main idea.
  4. Place elements in a logical sequence so it is intuitive.
  5. Group items into buckets so they make sense. For instance, group by use, meaning, size and so on.
  6. Hide complexity behind a simple interface. Make it easy for people to use.
  7. Align elements behind a single purpose. If there is one purpose, the whole design will appear simple and seamless.

Learning to learn is an important skill because it multiplies your knowledge and accelerates your speed while on your learning journey. Take control of your learning by becoming an auto-didact. Create a personal framework for you to acquire knowledge. But always make sure that you learn strategically so you learn about the things that really matter to you that can move you forward in your career.

10 Principles of Self-Learning

  1. Learn by doing.
  2. Do work you love and believe in.
  3. Harness habits – the brain form habits for routine tasks.
  4. Keep your eyes on your main goal.
  5. Cultivate your memory. Pay attention to knowledge that is specific to your craft.
  6. Increase your sensitivity. Be able to notice the differences between outcomes.
  7. Stretch your boundaries. Keep on raising the bar.
  8. Customize your meta-skills. Focus on meta-skills such as emotional intelligence, critical thinking, imagination and intuition that will drive your professional success.
  9. Feed your desire by keeping your passions alive by reading books and articles, talking to others and attending conferences.
  10. Scare yourself. Be bold and audacious – push yourself way beyond your comfort zone.

7 Great Ideas from The 46 Rules of Genius by Marty Neumeier

  1. Feel before you think: Your subject may have something to tell you.
  2. See what’s not there: Artists and designers talk about negative space. “It’s the plain background of a painting, the white space on a printed page, the silence between the lines of a play, or the rests within a musical score.” Develop the ability to see what might be.
  3. Frame problems tightly:
    1. Write a problem statement.
    2. List the constraints.
    3. List the affordances – the creative possibilities that exist within the problem.
    4. Describe the success.
  4. Stay in the dragon pit: The dragon pit is the space/gap between what is and what could be. What could be is the place where you will find ideas. You will find creative energy inside the dragon pit.
  5. Put the surprise where you want the attention: Focus attention on the most important part of your idea.
  6. Start with curiosity, not belief: When you believe something, you often face stagnation. Belief stops imagination, innovation and progress.
  7. Approach answers obliquely: To generate unique ideas, try to think in metaphors and in pictures. Additionally, write down as many assumptions about the problem that you can think of then reverse them.

You have generated an idea that you think is unique, what ways can you test it? Marty Neumeier recommends that you apply the six steps of originality.

6 Steps of Originality from The 46 Rules of Genius by Marty Neumeier

  1. Is the idea disorienting? Does it unsettle you?
  2. Does it kill 10 birds with one stone?
  3. Does it need to be proved?
  4. Is it likely to force others to change?
  5. Does it create affordances?
  6. Can it be summarized in a sentence?

The 46 Rules of Genius: An Innovator’s Guide to Creativity (Voices That Matter) by Marty Neumeier is the kind of book you can dip into when you need a creative hit. Liked this post? Share on social media as well as subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more! If you’re new to the blog, visit the Start Here page for my pillar posts.

Author Bio: Avil Beckford, an expert interviewer, entrepreneur and published author is passionate about books and professional development, and that’s why she founded The Invisible Mentor and the Virtual Literary World Tour to give you your ideal mentors virtually in the palm of your hands by offering book reviews and book summaries, biographies of wise people and interviews of successful people. Connect with me on Facebook and Twitter.

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Donald Barthelme: Essential Books for a Literary Education http://theinvisiblementor.com/donald-barthelme-essential-books-literary-education/ http://theinvisiblementor.com/donald-barthelme-essential-books-literary-education/#respond Mon, 01 Dec 2014 11:12:29 +0000 http://theinvisiblementor.com/?p=17077 Donald Barthelme: Essential Books for a Literary Education Born April 7, 1931 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, Donald Barthelme was an influential American writer known for short stories, satires, and novels. His stories are interesting because they often border on the absurd and bizarre. He Attended the University of Houston, and worked as a journalist, […]

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Donald Barthelme: Essential Books for a Literary Education

Born April 7, 1931 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, Donald Barthelme was an influential American writer known for short stories, satires, and novels. His stories are interesting because they often border on the absurd and bizarre. He Attended the University of Houston, and worked as a journalist, managing editor, professor, and visiting professor.

According to St. James Guide to Fantasy Writers, “In the many collections–where fantasies mixed with mimetic pieces (mimetic, that is, by Barthelme’s loose standards; even his most straightforward fiction seemed to conceal trapdoors to other worlds)–certain motifs and concerns were recombined and incremented. Music, art, divorce, fathers, cities, money, secret societies, communication breakdowns, women, artifacts of pop culture–all went into the unique Barthelme soup.

And while Barthelme was an innovator and experimenter with forms (his pictorial collage stories are perhaps his most famous contribution) he never lost sight of the power of sheer narration. Events in his stories are always clearly presented, and drama, even suspense, abounds. The mystery never inheres in what is happening, but why.”

Donald Barthelme

Donald Barthelme: Essential Books for a Literary Education – Image Credit: Open Culture

As is the case with most writers, Donald Barthelme’s influence and popularity grew after his death. He was friends with other writers – Thomas Pynchon, John Barth, William Gaddis, Robert Coover, John Hawkes, William Gass, Kurt Vonnegut, Walter Abish, and Susan Sontag – and some of their works are included on the reading list below. His reading list is somewhat diverse, but not as diverse as some of the other reading lists we have presented here, and it is  not solely for writers or aspiring writers.

Related Post:

Donald Barthelme’s Syllabus Highlights 81 Books Essential for a Literary Education

  1. At Swim-Two-Birds (Irish Literature Series), Flann O’Brien
  2. The Third Policeman, Flann O’Brien
  3. Collected Stories of Issac Babel, Isaac Babel
  4. Labyrinths (New Directions Paperbook), Jorge Luis Borges
  5. Other Inquisitions, 1937-1952 (Texas Pan American Series), Jorge Luis Borges
  6. One Hundred Years of Solitude (P.S.), Garcia Marquez
  7. Correction: A Novel (Vintage International), Thomas Bernhard
  8. Nog, Rudy Wurlitzer
  9. Gimpel the Fool: And Other Stories, Isaac B. Singer
  10. The Assistant: A Novel, Bernard Malamud
  11. The Magic Barrel: Stories, Bernard Malamud
  12. Under the Volcano, Malcolm Lowry
  13. Samuel Beckett (The Grove Centenary Editions of Samuel Beckett Boxed Set: Contains Novels I and II of Samuel Beckett, The Dramatic Works of Samuel Beckett, and The Poems, Short Fiction and Critcism of Samuel Beckett)
  14. Hunger, Knut Hamsun
  15. I’m Not Stiller, Max Frisch
  16. Man in the Holocene (Harvest Book), Max Frisch
  17. Seven Gothic Tales, Isak Dinesen
  18. Gogol’s Wife and Other Stories, Tommaso Landolfi
  19. V. (Perennial Classics), Thomas Pynchon
  20. The Lime Twig: Novel (New Directions Paperbook), John Hawkes
  21. The Blood Oranges: A Novel (New Directions Paperbook), John Hawkes
  22. The Little Disturbances of Man (Contemporary American Fiction), Grace Paley
  23. I, Etcetera: Stories, Susan Sontag
  24. Tell Me a Riddle, Tillie Olsen
  25. The Hero with a Thousand Faces (The Collected Works of Joseph Campbell), Joseph Campbell
  26. In the Heart of the Heart of the Country: And Other Stories (NYRB Classics), William Gass
  27. Fiction and the Figures of Life, William Gass
  28. The World Within the Word: Essays (Scholarly Series), William Gass
  29. Advertisements for Myself, Norman Mailer
  30. A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess
  31. Journey to the End of the Night, Louis-Ferdinand Céline
  32. The Box Man: A Novel, Kobo Abe
  33. Invisible Cities, Italo Calvino
  34. A Sorrow Beyond Dreams: A Life Story, Peter Handke
  35. Kaspar and Other Plays, Peter Handke
  36. Nadja, Andre Breton
  37. Chimera, John Barth
  38. Lost in the Funhouse (The Anchor Literary Library), John Barth
  39. The Moviegoer, Walker Percy
  40. The Collected Stories of Peter Taylor, Peter Taylor
  41. The Pure and the Impure, Colette
  42. Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?: Stories, Raymond Carver
  43. The Stories of John Cheever, John Cheever
  44. I Would Have Saved Them If I Could 1ST Edition, Leonard Michaels
  45. The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty, Eudora Welty
  46. The Oranging of America, Max Apple
  47. Mumbo Jumbo, Ishmael Reed
  48. The Complete Stories, Flannery O’Connor
  49. Song of Solomon, Toni Morrison
  50. The Death of Artemio Cruz: A Novel (FSG Classics), Carlos Fuentes
  51. The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, Milan Kundera
  52. The Rhetoric of Fiction, Wayne C Booth
  53. Tragic Magic: A Novel, Wesley Brown
  54. Mythologies: The Complete Edition, in a New Translation, Roland Barthes
  55. The Pleasure of the Text, Roland Barthes
  56. Falling in Place, Ann Beattie
  57. For a New Novel: Essays on Fiction (Northwestern University Press Paperbacks), Alain Robbe-Grillet
  58. Henderson the Rain King (Penguin Classics), Saul Bellow
  59. The Coup, John Updike
  60. Rabbit, Run, John Updike
  61. How We Live: Contemporary Life in Contemporary Fiction, ed. Rust Hills
  62. SUPERFICTION or The American Story Transformed., ed Joe David Bellamy
  63. Pushcart Prize Anthologies (The Pushcart Prize XXXIX: Best of the Small Presses 2015 Edition (The Pushcart Prize))
  64. The Writer on Her Work: New Essays in New Territory, Janet Sternburg
  65. Manifestoes of Surrealism (Ann Arbor Paperbacks), Andre Breton
  66. Against Interpretation: And Other Essays, Susan Sontag
  67. A Homemade World: American Modernist Writers, Hugh Kenner
  68. The Letters of Gustave Flaubert: 1830-1857, Gustave Flaubert
  69. Sexual Perversity in Chicago and the Duck Variations: Two Plays, David Mamet
  70. The Changeling, Joy Williams
  71. The New Fiction: Interviews with Innovative American Writers, ed. Joe David Bellamy
  72. Going After Cacciato, Tim O’Brien
  73. The Palm-Wine Drunkard and My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, Amos Tutola
  74. Searching for Caleb, Ann Tyler
  75. Thank You And Other Poems, Kenneth Koch
  76. The Collected Poems of Frank O’Hara, Frank O’Hara
  77. Rivers and Mountains: Poems (The American poetry series ; v. 12), John Ashbery
  78. Black Tickets: Stories, Jayne Anne Phillips
  79. Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison
  80. The Paris Review Interviews, Vols. 1-4

 Key Takeaway

Donald Barthelme was not afraid to experiment, and he frequently combined writing techniques. He didn’t view other writers as competitors, so a key takeaway is to support people in your field.

What to do Next – 3 Ways to Apply this Information

  1. Each month, read two books from the list. At the end of the year, you would have read 24 books that will enable you to get a literary education. Two books may seem like a lot, but think of Bill Gates who has many irons in the fires, and still is able to read a book a week.
  2. Make notes of information from each of the 24 the books that you can apply to your work. Although most of the books are works of fiction, they will offer great lessons.
  3. Apply the new information, and share with your colleagues.

Liked this post? Share on social media as well as subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more! If you’re new to the blog, visit the Start Here page for my pillar posts.

Author Bio: Avil Beckford, an expert interviewer, entrepreneur and published author is passionate about books and professional development, and that’s why she founded The Invisible Mentor and the Virtual Literary World Tour to give you your ideal mentors virtually in the palm of your hands by offering book reviews and book summaries, biographies of wise people and interviews of successful people. Connect with me on Facebook and Twitter.

Book links are affiliate links.

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Arianna Huffington Speaks at Rotman School of Management http://theinvisiblementor.com/arianna-huffington-speaks-rotman-school-management/ http://theinvisiblementor.com/arianna-huffington-speaks-rotman-school-management/#respond Wed, 26 Nov 2014 11:12:38 +0000 http://theinvisiblementor.com/?p=17067 Arianna Huffington Speaks at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management What does success mean to you? If I met you for coffee one year from today, what would have had to happen in your life for you to feel successful – to feel like you are living the good life? Success and living […]

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Arianna Huffington Speaks at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management

Arianna Huffington

Arianna Huffington comes to the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management

What does success mean to you? If I met you for coffee one year from today, what would have had to happen in your life for you to feel successful – to feel like you are living the good life? Success and living the good life are on my mind since a friend recently offered me a ticket to hear Arianna Huffington speak at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management about her life; Huffington Post, which she founded; and her new book, Thrive. And for Huffington, success is not just about the money.

About three years ago, Arianna Huffington collapsed from burnout, which was a wake-up call for her. Waking up after she had collapsed at her desk with a bloody face, made her realize what her priorities in life are. She asked herself, “Is this what success looks like?” Since then, Huffington has made sure that she gets enough sleep each night. “Burnout is the disease of civilization…Burnout is not the essential price of success. Human beings are designed for downtime,” says Huffington.

Being well-rested at the start of each day makes you more productive, but when you are bombarded with articles about CEOs and other very successful people waking up each morning between 4:00 am and 6:00 am, those aspiring to be successful leaders often feel like slackers for not arising that early. What the articles do not say is what time these über successful people go to bed at nights. So there seems to be a tension between getting enough sleep and being productive. But there isn’t really any tension, because what I have discovered for myself, is that when I do not get enough sleep during the night, my effectiveness decreases, and although I am working long hours, I am not accomplishing much.

Arianna Huffington

Arianna Huffington and Roger Martin, former Dean of Rotman School of Management

To make sure that you get enough sleep, while accomplishing the things that are important to you, you have to say “No” more often and that is something that Huffington struggles with. She recommends that you find ways to collaborate more often. She also says that the way you know that  you have had enough sleep is when you wake-up by yourself without an alarm – this is something that I have been doing for years. For some reason though, my body needs more sleep during the winter than during the summer months.

During the talk, Huffington was very philosophical, citing the Greek philosophers, who would often wax poetic about “What is the good life?” As a start, define “what is the good life for yourself?”, then start moving toward your idea of the good life.

Actionable Items from Arianna Huffington

  1. If you are sleeping less than eight hours each night, tonight, get 30 minutes more sleep.
  2. Wake-up without alarms.
  3. Turnoff mobile devices and keep them out of the bedroom.
  4. Do a life audit, are you satisfied with what you discover?
  5. Completing a project sometimes mean dropping it. Are your goals still relevant? Are you working on personal projects that are no longer relevant? If yes, stop working on them now.

Liked this post? Share on social media as well as subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more! If you’re new to the blog, visit the Start Here page for my pillar posts.

Author Bio: Avil Beckford, an expert interviewer, entrepreneur and published author is passionate about books and professional development, and that’s why she founded The Invisible Mentor and the Virtual Literary World Tour to give you your ideal mentors virtually in the palm of your hands by offering book reviews and book summaries, biographies of wise people and interviews of successful people. Connect with me on Facebook and Twitter.

Book links are affiliate links.

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