Thoughts and Quotes from “The Second Mountain” by David Brooks

The subtitle to this book is “The Quest for a Moral Life”. Based on that alone, I would have never planned to read this book. I am a fan of David Brooks, but I am not an advocate of performance based spirituality. This book cover leads me to believe that the book falls squarely into that exact category of religious literature. No thanks!

So, why did I read the book?

I have a great friend and mentor in my life. He brilliantly guides me and causes me to think through a calculated process of questions and conversation. If my recollection is correct, he has never given me a directive. Yet, at the end of a recent lunch, he closed with, “What are you reading?” … “Read The Second Mountain by David Brooks next.” That was it. No explanation. No conversation. Just instruction.

I heeded. I am glad I did. Continue reading “Thoughts and Quotes from “The Second Mountain” by David Brooks”

Thoughts and Quotes from “Talking to Strangers” by Malcolm Gladwell

Gladwell is one of my favorite authors. To my knowledge, I have read everything he has published. The style of this book is somehow different than Gladwell’s previous works. Somehow he is able to morph himself into something completely different with no loss to magnificence.

Best read of the 2019!

It’s hard to capture the essence of a story book in a collection of quotes; nonetheless, here are a few quotes I marked along the way:

“Extreme Ownership” by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

For all the definitions, descriptions, and characterizations of leaders, there are only two that matter: effective and ineffective. Effective leaders led successful teams that accomplish their mission and win. Ineffective leaders do not.

Continue reading ““Extreme Ownership” by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin”

“The Ruler’s Guide” by Chinghua Tang

The Ruler's Guide

There are many good beginnings, but few food endings.

After a discussion on leadership, this book was given to me by a friend and co-worker – David Cable. I thoroughly enjoyed the read and would recommended to anyone interested in fundamental, practical leadership principles.

We all know that getting to the top is difficult and staying there is even harder. Through the years great empires faced a 4 century lifecycle.  This 400 year lifespan has played out many times over throughout history. Given that the United States is about 240 years down this path, one can conclude that we are most likely on the downhill path toward a major fall.

While history is a good teacher, I do not believe it serves as an infallible prophet of all things to come. Is it possible to break this cycle? Can a world leader survive?

Beyond that, can any entity sustain at the peak beyond the historic cycles? Continue reading ““The Ruler’s Guide” by Chinghua Tang”