Booklist: Put On Your Oxygen Mask First

By Dianna Brodine, vice president, editorial, The American Mold Builder

I’ve been on enough planes at this point in my life that the safety presentation prior to takeoff is a little like Charlie Brown’s teacher: “Wah wah wah wah wah…” I’m not the only one with this attention-span problem, which is why the Southwest flight attendants sometimes add sarcasm and humor to their speeches and other airlines are creating videos to capture our eyes and ears. One thing every airline emphasizes is that, in case of emergency, passengers should put their own oxygen masks on first before assisting others in the seats next to them. This is because passengers can’t be effective in helping other people in their airplane row if they are struggling to breathe.

Seems like a great business metaphor, right?

Learn to reach for your own oxygen mask with books from four authors.

Do Hard Things: Why We Get Resilience Wrong and the Surprising Science of Real Toughness

Author: Steve Magness
Released: June 21, 2022

Toughness has long been held as the key to overcoming a challenge and achieving greatness, whether it is on the sports field, at a boardroom or at the dining room table. Yet, the prevailing model has promoted a mentality based on fear, false bravado and hiding any sign of weakness. In other words, the old model of toughness has failed us.

Steve Magness, a performance scientist who coaches Olympic athletes, rebuilds our broken model of resilience with one grounded in the latest science and psychology. In Do Hard Things, Magness teaches us how we can work with our body – how experiencing discomfort, leaning in, paying attention and creating space to take thoughtful action can be the true indications of cultivating inner strength. Drawing from mindfulness, military case studies, sports psychology, neuroscience, psychology and philosophy, he provides a roadmap for navigating life’s challenges and achieving high performance that makes us happier, more successful and, ultimately, better people.

How to Know a Person: The Art of Seeing Others Deeply and Being Deeply Seen

Author: David Brooks
Released: October 24, 2023

As David Brooks observes, “There is one skill that lies at the heart of any healthy person, family, school, community organization or society: the ability to see someone else deeply and make them feel seen – to accurately know another person, to let them feel valued, heard and understood.” And yet we humans don’t do this well. All around us are people who feel invisible, unseen, misunderstood. In How to Know a Person, Brooks sets out to help us do better, posing questions that are essential for all of us: If you want to know a person, what kind of attention should you cast on them? What kind of conversations should you have? What parts of a person’s story should you pay attention to? How to Know a Person helps readers become more understanding and considerate toward others, and to find the joy that comes from being seen. Along the way it offers a possible remedy for a society that is riven by fragmentation, hostility and misperception. The act of seeing another person, Brooks argues, is profoundly creative: How can we look somebody in the eye and see something large in them, and in turn, see something larger in ourselves? How to Know a Person is for anyone searching for connection and yearning to be understood.

The Wealth Money Can’t Buy: The 8 Hidden Habits to Live Your Richest Life

Author: Robin Sharma
Released: April 9, 2024

Too many financially prosperous people are surprisingly poor when it comes to the things that truly matter for a life of happiness, vitality and serenity. Society has sold us a version of success that has left too many people feeling empty, frustrated and filled with regret. In The Wealth Money Can’t Buy, you will discover a life-altering system that will help you lead your richest life before it’s too late. You will learn a framework based on the eight hidden habits used by authentically rich people and gain a methodology to master your destiny. Legendary personal growth expert Robin Sharma has mentored billionaires, superstar athletes and heads of state, teaching them The 8 Forms of Wealth Model. Full of practical tools and transformational tactics, The Wealth Money Can’t Buy offers a life-changing philosophy and methodology for enjoying a genuinely rich life – filled with personal power, unusual authenticity, exceptionally fulfilling work and a lifestyle that will make you feel that fortune has finally smiled on you.

Process!: How Discipline and Consistency Will Set You and Your Business Free

Authors: Mike Paton, Lisa González
Released: September 27, 2022

If you own, run or lead in a fast-moving business, you’re likely driven by passion and a desire to be free. Many leaders mistakenly believe instilling rigor and discipline for process throughout your organizations will inhibit freedom. They couldn’t be more wrong. It’s when you’re stuck in the day-to-day, putting out fires and cleaning up messes, that passion turns to frustration. Freedom seems somewhere between elusive and impossible. The secret to getting unstuck is process. This inspiring, informative field guide will prove it’s possible to establish rigor and discipline for process while also increasing creativity, flexibility and innovation. Process! will help you identify a handful of core processes that make your business uniquely valuable. You’ll learn how to document and simplify the major steps in those processes so they can be done the right and best way, every time.