Charleston School of Business Faculty & Staff Updates

Summer Reading

Last week, Christine and I took a trip out west with some friends. It was good to get away and spend time in nature. Amazing what a hike in the woods can do for the soul. It was also good to be a bit more intentional and catch up on some reading. We all need to spend more time reading a good book. Christine is better at reading for fun, but I tend to read with an eye on professional development.

As you know, I’ve been playing with AI. ChatGPT, Bard, and Bing all seem to have different strengths. So, this time Bing provides the following summaries:

Joe Calloway’s book “Becoming a Category of One: How Extraordinary Companies Transcend Commodity and Defy Comparison” provides an insightful look into what it takes to create new levels of success despite changing market conditions and adversity. The book suggests that instead of aspiring to lead your product category, you should create a new category and be the only one in it. That’s the goal of true business differentiation.

“Come Up for Air” is a book by Nick Sonnenberg that shares his proven operational efficiency framework. The book is based on years of in-the-trenches consulting with organizations of all types and sizes. It is a blueprint that will help you and your team understand how to work together efficiently by knowing when and how to use all of the amazing technology at your disposal¹.

“The Song of Significance” is a book by Seth Godin that offers a new view of what industry leaders must do now. It’s a rousing contemplation on work and leadership, and offers a new view of what industry leaders must do now. According to Godin, if you want your employees to live up to their full professional potential, you must give them the respect and autonomy they deserve as humans.

Give Bing a try, I use it several times a day, and I really like the Edge web browser. They work well together.

Now, back to the books, from the descriptions, they seem quite different. But they reinforced some things I have been thinking. First, our relationship-based education can be a real differentiator. It will be key as we strive to be a category of one. Second, we need to look for ways to work smarter. Not harder. We need systems and structures that enable us and not inhibit us. We can’t keep doing things on an ad hoc basis. Finally, we need to be crystal clear about where we are going and co-create together. That will produce significantly better results and make the School a significantly better place to work. Godin ended his book with this thought that continues to resonate:

Significance isn’t what we get, … It’s what we do for others.

~Seth Godin

There’s a lot more in the books and I will be thinking about each as we prepare for the coming academic year.

This brings me to a question.

What are you reading? While I have quite a few in the queue, I would welcome adding a few more. Send me an email if you have a recommendation. We can all benefit from some good books.

YOU make a difference!

Keep in mind:

Paul • June 22, 2023

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