( Recommended by Ashok M)
At age 52, after selling the company he founded and ran as CEO for 24 years, rebel boutique hotelier Chip Conley was looking at an open horizon in midlife. Then he received a call from the young founders of Airbnb, asking him to help grow their disruptive start-up into a global hospitality giant. He had the industry experience, but Conley was lacking in the digital fluency of his 20-something colleagues. He didn’t write code, or have an Uber or Lyft app on his phone, was twice the age of the average Airbnb employee, and would be reporting to a CEO young enough to be his son. Conley quickly discovered that while he’d been hired as a teacher and mentor, he was also in many ways a student and intern. What emerged is the secret to thriving as a mid-life worker: learning to marry wisdom and experience with curiosity, a beginner’s mind, and a willingness to evolve, all hallmarks of the “Modern Elder.”
In a world that venerates the new, bright, and shiny, many of us are left feeling invisible, undervalued, and threatened by the “digital natives” nipping at our heels. But Conley argues that experience is on the brink of a comeback. Because at a time when power is shifting younger, companies are finally waking up to the value of the humility, emotional intelligence, and wisdom that come with age. And while digital skills might have only the shelf life of the latest fad or gadget, the human skills that mid-career workers possess–like good judgment, specialized knowledge, and the ability to collaborate and coach – never expire.
Part manifesto and part playbook, Wisdom@Work ignites an urgent conversation about ageism in the workplace, calling on us to treat age as we would other type of diversity. In the process, Conley liberates the term “elder” from the stigma of “elderly,” and inspires us to embrace wisdom as a path to growing whole, not old. Whether you’ve been forced to make a mid-career change, are choosing to work past retirement age, or are struggling to keep up with the millennials rising up the ranks, Wisdom@Work will help you write your next chapter.
People always say, “What can I do about the world?” Ramana Maharshi says the world you see doesn’t even exist. It’s actually just your perception of the world. You think the world needs you, but it needs you like a hole in the head, actually. Each person’s evolution contributes to the level of the sea; each person, by making your life a prayer. When I give sermons occasionally, the sermon is always about converting your life into a prayer. Become that about which you talk and learn and read and sing hymns—become that. Because by being that, just your existence already transforms the world. Each one of us raises the level of the sea not by what we do and say, but by what we have become. The great kings and emperors and conquerors have come and gone. They’ve all come and gone and made all kinds of waves. And what did that do? Nothing. You realize it has nothing to do with your perception, nothing to do with your judgmentalism.David Hawkins
“To the overachievers, success addicts, and tired strivers who are fairly confident you can’t keep it up forever but will try anyway—this book is for you. Arthur Brooks shows you it’s possible to build a life that really does get better with age.” —Simon Sinek, optimist andauthor of Start with Why and The Infinite Game
“From Strength to Strength is a wise and inspiring guide to reimagining the rest of your life. If you’re a striver tired of striving, this remarkable book is for you.” —Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive, When, and A Whole New Mind
“Brooks appears to have a clear strategy here: first he horrifies you, then he bucks you up. An alternate title for this book could be The Good News About Your Inevitable Decline. Most of us strivers believe we can keep racing until we run out of road. Arthur is trying to save us pain and maximize our contributions to the species. Every ambitious person should read this.” —Dan Harris, author and former ABC News anchor
There is something in the persistent question How? that expresses each person’s struggle between having confidence in their capacity to live a life of purpose and yielding to the daily demands of being practical. It is entirely possible to spend our days engaged in activities that work well for us and achieve our objectives, and still wonder whether we are really making a difference in the world. My premise is that this culture, and we as members of it, have yielded too easily to what is doable and practical and popular. In the process we have sacrificed the pursuit of what is in our hearts. We find ourselves giving in to our doubts, and settling for what we know how to do, or can soon learn how to do, instead of pursuing what most matters to us and living with the adventure and anxiety that this requires.
The idea that asking how to do something may be an obstacle rather than an enabler ended my 1993 book, Stewardship. In the final chapter, there is the suggestion that How? is a symbol of our caution and reinforces the belief that, no matter what the question, there is an answer out there that I need and will make the difference. I pick How? as a symbol simply because it is far and away the most common question I hear. It has always struck me that I can write or speak the most radical thoughts imaginable. I can advocate revolution, the end of leadership, the abolition of appraising each other, the empowerment of the least among us, the end of life on the planet as we know it, and no one ever argues with me. The only questions I hear are “How do you get there from here? Where has this worked? What would it cost and what is the return on investment?“ This has led me to the belief that the questions about How? are more interesting than any answer to them might be. They stand for some deeper concerns. So in this book, the starting point is to question the questions.
An investment banker and professor explains what really drives success in the tech economy
Many think that they understand the secrets to the success of the biggest tech companies: Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google. It’s the platform economy, or network effects, or some other magical power that makes their ultimate world domination inevitable. Investment banker and professor Jonathan Knee argues that the truth is much more complicated–but entrepreneurs and investors can understand what makes the giants work, and learn the keys to lasting success in the digital economy.
Knee explains what really makes the biggest tech companies work: a surprisingly disparate portfolio of structural advantages buttressed by shrewd acquisitions, strong management, lax regulation, and often, encouraging the myth that they are invincible to discourage competitors. By offering fresh insights into the true sources of strength and very real vulnerabilities of these companies, The Platform Delusion shows how investors, existing businesses, and startups might value them, compete with them, and imitate them.
The Platform Delusion demystifies the success of the biggest digital companies in sectors from retail to media to software to hardware, offering readers what those companies don’t want everyone else to know. Knee’s insights are invaluable for entrepreneurs and investors in digital businesses seeking to understand what drives resilience and profitability for the long term.