Resources

Resources

Books

The Brain Advantage: Become a More Effective Business Leader Using the Latest Brain ResearchAuthors: Madeleine L. Van Hecke, Lisa P. Callahan, Brad Kolar, and Ken A. PallerISBN: 9781591027645This book successfully translates much of the research I’ve read about brain function into practical applications for today’s business leaders. The authors state it best themselves: “The Brain Advantage gives you an executive summary of the latest brain research and its implications for your leadership style and practices.”
Your Brain and Business: The Neuroscience of Great LeadersAuthor: Srinivasan S. Pillay, M.D.ISBN: 0137064446Pillay translates his background of neuroscience, psychiatry, and executive coaching into detailed information about the application of brain science to business practice. He offers real world stories to illustrate the principles. Business leaders will find the tools applicable and exciting, as they provide a brain-based context for creating high-performing teams and meaningful, sustainable change.
 
Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human StrengthAuthors: Roy F. Baumeister & John TierneyISBN: 9781594203077Research psychologist Baumeister and New York Times science writer Tierney team up to enlighten us about self-control. The big news is that it has a physical basis in the brain and that it can be strengthened (with practice and fuel), or depleted (with overuse, lack of sleep, and lack of glucose). We can take more control of our self-control than we often think!
The Myth of Multitasking: How “Doing It All” Gets Nothing DoneAuthor: Dave CrenshawISBN: 0470372257This is the book I wish I’d written! Crenshaw does a masterful job of illustrating through real-life scenarios how it is critical for us to focus on one activity at a time. He offers practical solutions for dealing with common interruptions and the demands of our information-saturated world. The Myth… is a quick, solid, enjoyable, eye-opening read.
 
MOJO: How to Get It, How to Keep It, How to Get It Back If You Lose ItAuthor: Marshall GoldsmithISBN: 9781401323271Our Mojo is at its peak when we experience meaning and happiness in what we are doing. Executive coach Goldman offers perspectives and tools that help us do just that in both our professional and personal lives. Insightful. Practical. Doable.
Better By Mistake: The Unexpected Benefits of Being WrongAuthor: Alina TugendISBN: 9781594487859To quote Daniel Pink about this book: “Better By Mistake is a fascinating…exploration of the deeply human phenomenon of screwing up. With Alina Tugend as your wise (and wisecracking) guide, you’ll learn why perfection is a myth, why apologies pack power, and why effort is often more important than results…you’ll never look at mistakes–or yourself–the same way.”
 
Creating Your Best Life: The Ultimate Life List GuideAuthor: Caroline Adams Miller, MAPP & Dr. Michael B. FrischISBN: 9781402762598There is a science to being happy. Miller and Frisch provide a step-by-step approach based upon the latest scientific research. The book includes perspectives, exercises, worksheets, and many useful tips for enhancing our lives.
The Mind’s EyeAuthor: Oliver SacksISBN: 9780307272089Sacks, a neurologist and professor of neurology and psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center, translates his fascination with the human brain into captivating human interest stories. He explores questions such as: How do we think? How do we see? How do we see with another person’s eyes? If you are interested in brain function and its seeming paradoxes (i.e., how you can have perfect vision and not recognize your own children), you will enjoy this book.
 
The Brain That Changes ItselfAuthor: Norman Doidge, M.D.ISBN: 9780143113102Doidge offers a fascinating picture of the enormous advantages of brain plasticity and adaptability. He weaves together remarkable stories of triumph over neurological conditions with the science behind it. If you are an Oliver Sacks fan, like me, you’ll appreciate that Sacks, too, endorses this book.
Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-BeingAuthor: Martin E. P. SeligmanISBN: 1439190755Seligman has switched from his previous emphasis on happiness to a focus on a life of well-being. He provides more of an understanding of what well-being means than a guide for achieving it. The concepts, however, are interesting and applicable to our lives. For example, he describes how we can be taught to delay gratification, focus, and acquire drive and determination as part of our path to well-being.
 
The Attention Economy: Understanding the New Currency of BusinessAuthors: Thomas H. Davenport and John C. BeckISBN-10: 1578518717Bookcover: The Attention Economy: Understanding the New Currency of BusinessDavenport and Beck claim that attention is the scarcest resource in today’s business world. They describe corporate life, with its constant noise from e-mail, voice mail, meetings, “info-stress,” etc., and the need to learn to manage attention for business success.
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free ProductivityAuthor: David AllenISBN-10: 0142000280Bookcover: Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free ProductivityAllen describes a workflow management system designed for maximum efficiency. The process is too detailed and linear for many people, but offers a great many ideas that can be utilized by all.
 
Time Management from the Inside Out, second edition: The Foolproof System for Taking Control of Your Schedule—and Your LifeAuthor: Julie MorgensternISBN-10: 0805075909Bookcover: Time Management from the Inside Out, second edition: The Foolproof System for Taking Control of Your Schedule—and Your LifeMorgenstern takes the approach that time management systems work best when they fit your personal style. She offers practical, customizable solutions to managing a busy schedule.
Mindset: The New Psychology of SuccessAuthor: Carol DweckISBN-10: 0345472322Bookcover: Mindset: The New Psychology of SuccessDweck is a professor of psychology at Stanford. She shows the importance of choosing a “growth mindset” that will allow you to achieve happiness and success. Her ideas align naturally with coaching, with their emphasis on the importance of our ability to change how we think.
 
Strengths Finder 2.0: A New and Upgraded Edition of the Online Test from Gallup’s Now, Discover Your StrengthsAuthor: Tom RathISBN-10: 159562015XBookcover: StrengthsFinder 2.0: A New and Upgraded Edition of the Online Test from Gallup's Now, Discover Your StrengthsThis book is based on research that shows that the most successful people (in business and life in general) focus on developing natural areas of strength rather than weakness. It comes with an online assess-ment that helps you uncover your natural talents and offers strateg-ies for applying your strengths. This book serves as a useful tool in my coaching process, which is strengths based, as well.
Smarts: Are We Hardwired for Success?Authors: Chuck Martin, Peg Dawson, and Richard GuareISBN-10: 0814409067Bookcover: Smarts: Are We Hardwired for Success?Smarts, like Strengths Finder 2.0, is based on the premise that we have natural areas of strength and that the best way to achieve excellence is to focus on further developing those areas. The authors offer strategies for play-ing to your strengths as you pro-cesss information, make decis-ions, and interact with others.
 
Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark AgeAuthors: Maggie Jackson and Bill McKibbenISBN-10: 1591026237Bookcover: Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark AgeJackson describes America’s “collective attention deficit disorder,” warning that our addic-tion to multitasking and constant motion prevents us from engaging in the type of deep, sustained attention needed for wisdom and intimacy. She discusses scientific research in the area of attention and challenges us to renew our skills of focus and perception.
The Overflowing Brain: Information Overload and the Limits of Working MemoryAuthor: Torkel KlingbergISBN-10: 0195372883Bookcover: The Overflowing Brain: Information Overload and the Limits of Working MemoryKlingberg is a professor of cognitive neuroscience at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute (a prestigious medical research institute and the awarder of the Nobel prize in medicine). In The Overflowing Brain he translates scientific research about working memory and other brain processes into practical applications in daily life. Klingberg is one of the primary researchers of working memory and Cogmed Working Memory Training in particular.
 
Blind Spots: Achieve Success by Seeing What You Can’t SeeAuthor: Claudia SheltonISBN-10: 0470042257Bookcover: Blind Spots: Achieve Success by Seeing What You Can't SeeWe all have “blind spots,” or areas we are unaware of that inter-fere with our effective-ness. Exec-utive coach Shelton describes strategies for adjusting personal behaviors and unmasking natural talents in order to improve your performance and your life.
Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and SchoolAuthor: John J. Medina, Ph.D.ISBN-10: 0979777747Bookcover: Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and SchoolMolecular biologist Dr. John Medina describes what scientists know about how our brains work, and offers beneficial ideas for applying this informa-tion in our daily lives. You can dip into this book to read the infor-mation that interests you most.
 
In Search of MemoryAuthor: Eric R. KandelISBN-10: 0393329372Bookcover: In Search of MemoryKandel was awarded a Nobel Prize for his research showing how memory is encoded in the brain. Part memoir, part science book, In Search of Memory is a compelling personal account as well as a serious discussion of the brain, mind, and memory.
Working with Emotional IntelligenceAuthor: Daniel GolemanISBN-10: 0553378589Bookcover: Working with Emotional IntelligencePsychologist and science journalist, Goleman, describes how business leaders’ success depends on emotional intelligence, defined as “a set of competencies that distinguishes how people manage feelings, interact and communicate.” It is based on his earlier best seller, Emotional Intelligence, with a focus on how these competencies can be improved to significantly affect job performance.
 
BlinkAuthor: Malcolm GladwellISBN-10: 0316010669Bookcover: BlinkGladwell tells an engaging “intellectual adventure story” about intuition, or what he calls “rapid cognition, … the kind of thinking that happens in the blink of an eye.” He makes a great case for better understanding how our brains work in order to make better decisions.
Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day LongAuthor: David RockISBN-10: 0061771295Bookcover: Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day LongRock backs up strategies for working smarter with a wide range of fascin-ating brain studies. He teaches readers how to capitalize on and direct their own brain chemistry to be more successful in the business world.
 
Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain: How a New Science Reveals Our Extraordinary Potential to Transform OurselvesAuthor: Sharon BegleyISBN-10: 0345479890Bookcover: Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain: How a New Science Reveals Our Extraordinary Potential to Transform OurselvesBegley is a science writer who describes research in an absorbing story-telling fashion. Her premise is that we can positively capitalize on the brain’s neuro-plasticity by using our thinking to change brain function.
Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting FulfillmentAuthor: Martin E. P. Seligman, Ph.D.ISBN-10: 0743222989Bookcover: Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting FulfillmentSeligman is considered by many to be the father of positive psychology, the study of optimal human functioning. He draws upon scientific research to show how happiness can be cultivated by identifying and nurturing our most positive strengths in the key areas of our lives. This book includes self-tests and exercises that provide tools for intentionally increasing happiness in lasting, meaningful ways.
 
Positivity: Groundbreaking Research Reveals How to Embrace the Hidden Strength of Positive Emotions, Overcome Negativity, and ThriveAuthor: Barbara L. Fredrickson, Ph.D.ISBN-10: 0307393739Bookcover: Positivity: Groundbreaking Research Reveals How to Embrace the Hidden Strength of Positive Emotions, Overcome Negativity, and ThriveFredrickson is a leading scholar within the positive psychology movement. Scientific research led to her discovery that maintaining a 3-to-1 ratio of positive to negative emotions leads people to a flourishing life. Fredrickson offers useful insights and tips for achieving and main-taining this ratio in our own lives.
 

Podcasts and Web Sites  (back to top)

On NPR: Bored? Try Doodling To Keep The Brain On Task

Sharpbrains is a “market research & advisory company fully focused on providing high-quality information and guidance to navigate the brain fitness and cognitive health market.” Their monthly newsletter keeps you apprised of new offerings in the market and helps you evaluate their effectiveness.

TED is a Web site that offers podcasts of speakers in a huge range of disciplines. Themes include business, technology, design, culture and more. I recommend going to the site only when you have some time to spare.

Science Listen to an interview with Torkel Klingberg on the biochemistry behind better working memory. He describes a study of the relationship between cognitive training and changes in brain chemistry in normal healthy adults who engaged in working memory training.

BBC: Brain Decline Begins at Age 27

 


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