Books You Should Read

Here are some good reads that have inspired me lately…they range in topic but all have made me think, change, smile or cry. Feel free to share your own Must-Reads!

Switch: How to Change When Change is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath             This book does more than just outline the steps to change, Chip and Dan Heath provide story after story to inspire it.

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein                                                              All I can say is WOW, grab the Kleenex and get ready for a dose of heart-wrenching perspective.

The Icarus Deception, Linchpin and Tribes (All 3) by Seth Godin                                  What can I say about Seth Godin? I love his stuff! He’s unafraid of failing and he’s certainly okay with telling it like he sees it. These books range from taking risks to leading to finding the right group.

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin                                                                   While I don’t line up with Gretchen on all of her views, which is expected, I really was able to take some of my favorite “resolutions” that she created and implement them on my own terms.

Renegades Write the Rules: How the Digital Royalty Use Social Media to Innovate by Amy Jo Martin                                                                                                             Social Media…what more can I say?

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald                                                                       Right, I know…I’m a little embarrassed to put this on the list for recent reads. I don’t know how it slipped through the cracks for me but I’m glad a movie release prompted me to dig it up!! I already have a new quote for my most loved list:

“Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.” -Chapter I, Page I of the Great Gatsby

Whatever You Think, Think the Opposite by Paul Arden                                                I’ve got a few favorites by Arden. It’s really a fun read…a little weird.

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg                                                                                         The subtitle to this book is “Women, Work and the Will to Lead.”

Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris                                                       David Sedaris inspires me and makes me laugh. He’s unapologetic for who he is and he’s just utterly fascinating.

Small Message, Big Impact by Terri Sjodin                                                                   I had the pleasure of seeing her speak at the Virginia Association of Broadcasters Convention this past June, which was quite engaging. This book is all about the art of persuasion.

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On: Things About Me by Jenny Slate & David Fleisher-Camp                                                                                                            Honestly, Marcel just makes me happy and I’m happy to have the book for prosperity’s sake…but there’s no knowing Marcel until you know her from her videos!! 

What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith                                 This is a decent read. Goldsmith points out some bad habits to watch out for. The title really gets me thinking beyond the content of the book in some ways. READ the book, however. I first tried the audio version in which the author himself reads aloud…you’re better off on your own!

So, that’s that and here’s to summer reading!! Please do share if your own favorites…great books only get better the more they are read.

How Social Media Gave A Dog More Time

I was touched by the effects of social media yesterday in a big way. An advocate and volunteer for BARCS (Baltimore Area Rescue and Care Shelter) posted a cry on Facebook for help for  a little dog that was found yesterday, whom they named Dean. Dean was found in a sewer and had been left there to die, apparently some time ago. He is blind in both eyes, abused and malnourished. After the rescue, people commented that they had heard barking in the sewer but didn’t think to call anyone.

Dean got back to BARCS and because of his condition, ended up biting a staff member. BARCS had taken in 20 other dogs yesterday and the desperate call went out for someone to volunteer to shelter or foster Dean, as they didn’t have the resources or the room to keep him even for a night.

Within minutes of the post on this caring advocate’s personal Facebook page, the comments and sharing began to happen. Her post was shared dozens of times and shared on others pages from there.

When I read all of the activity yesterday evening, it reminded me of just how powerful social media really can be. Yes, it can seem overwhelming and addictive and less-personal. But, used in the right way, it is such an extraordinary tool to reach people and connect.

Dean was rescued last night and is headed to a shelter in Georgia, where hopefully, he can get the intensive care he needs. It’s horrific how cruel people can be and Dean’s story is a very explicit example of that. It is, at the same time, brilliant how kind and caring other’s can be. Just a few years ago, Dean’s story would have been much different. In such a time-sensitive crisis, without the power we now have to spread the word so quickly, Dean may not have gotten another chance. Social media really does enable us to be more human and more connected. It offers us the chance, everyday, to look outside of our own world views and see through someone else’s eyes, or in this case, Dean’s.

For more information on BARCS:






Classic Cleaners Knows Your Name

The dry cleaner I go to is much like any other dry cleaner. “Classic Cleaners” is fast, reasonably priced and they do in fact, return clothes clean and pressed. By most measures, they are a good, reliable dry cleaner.

The separation between Classic Cleaners and the other guys begins to happen when I pull in to the parking lot. Before I even step out of the car, one of the employees inside has likely noticed. By the time I walk in the front door, someone is pulling my dry cleaning to bring it to the front desk. They know my name. And they does not mean simply the owner, the manager, or a long-term employee or two. Every employee knows my name. And they know the name of the person that just walked in before me and the one who will walk in after me.

In an environment today in which there are seemingly limitless dry cleaning options, including even using a DIY kit at home, Classic Cleaners has found a way to distinguish themselves by simply interacting with their customers on a personal level. Think of the last time a company reached out to you in that manner. Does it stick out in your mind? Could a more personal touch change the way you do business with others?

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