While our expertise in food and nutrition gets us into our great jobs, the subject matter in My Favorite Books offers key points in getting further in our careers personally and, as a result, propelling our industry further. My goal is not to refer you to more books about great topics in food and nutrition, but to expose you to a handful of my favorites on leadership, innovation, decision making, and strategy.
I hope you enjoy these and get some words of wisdom from the great thought leaders in leadership of our time. If you have thoughts on these books or particular pieces that are meaningful to you, please share. I look forward to your feedback.
President, Idaho Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Necessary Endings By Dr. Henry Cloud Harper Collins Publishers (2010)
I was first introduced to Necessary Endings in a class on Strategic Thinking. I now re-read this moving and thought provoking book each year. This is not an academic text book, but rather a reflection on the topic of strategy. I used to believe that strategy is about the things we choose to do. Dr. Cloud helped me to look at strategy in terms of what I choose NOT to do. The truth is that I have limited time, money, energy, and other resources in this life, giving me great reason to say “no” to the people, behaviors, and tasks, among other things, that prevent or delay achievement of my personal and professional goals.
Dr. Cloud asks you to imagine yourself as a master gardener and your life as a “perfect rose”. The master gardener regularly prunes. He prunes away the dead, the sick that cannot be fixed, and even the good that is not good enough. What behaviors, tasks, and…….even relationships do you nurture that fall in one of these categories? How does that time spent take you away from behaviors, tasks, and relationships that really are important? Dr. Cloud will help you understand the difference between wishing and hoping and to identify the people in your life that deserve your trust….and those who do not.
If you’re like me, you will not be able to put this down. However, I encourage you to do so. Each chapter will challenge you to reflect on and consider where you’re spending your time, money, energy and other resources. As a result, you can prune and focus on things that matter. Of all the books I read in graduate school, it remains one of my favorites and has become a favorite with every recommendation I’m pleased to make. Enjoy!