Currently Reading…


On my way to yoga this morning, I received two exciting surprises on my doorstep:

Though I am superbusy at work finishing up March classes and preparing for next month, I plan to take some personal time this weekend to start reading Simon Sinek’s Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action and David McCandless’s The Visual Miscellaneum: A Colorful Guide to the World’s Most Consequential Trivia.

I participated in a conference call with Simon Sinek a few months ago, and, unfortunately, I found him rude and unpleasant.  The conference call was to last for one hour, but I was so disturbed and offended by Sinek’s attitude and the way he spoke to two callers that I hung up after only 7 minutes.  It’s difficult for me to promote his work without expressing my disappointment in him, but I love his Start With Why concept.  Still, in my eyes, his credibility took a big hit.  Leadership, for me, is about building others up instead of tearing them down, so I have a hard time trusting that Sinek knows what makes a good leader if he cannot practice these principles in real life.  While I hope Sinek was just having a bad day, the fact remains that first impressions are lasting ones, and my impression of him is really very negative.  Since I know the content of Start With Why will be truly fantastic because his TED Talk is so fantastic, I’m not worried that my bias might influence my book review.  Check back soon!

David McCandless, on the other hand, is the epitome of grace, kindness, and credibility.  Though I haven’t spoken with him on the phone or met him in person, I’ve watched him handle himself under pressure in a really honorable fashion.  He also delivered one of my absolute favorite TED Talks.  Watch it here:


McCandless has a beautiful website called Information Is Beautiful, but I haven’t read any of his books, so I am excited to jump into his gorgeous world of data visualization.

What great books are you reading this weekend?


3 thoughts on “Currently Reading…

  1. singingfun

    When Fish Fly by John Yokoyama. I am halfway through this wonderful book and wish it was not a library book because my highlighter would be going crazy. I am in a work situation where morale was dipping pretty low and I myself was polishing up my resume. Some soul searching reminded me that I love my job and need to stick this out. Then I asked myself how I could help turn things around. I’m not a manager and it’s not my job. This book has opened my eyes to the part I play in influencing those around me and how I can make a difference in every aspect of my life. It’s an easy read too. It’s based on the World Famous Pike Place Fish Market and is one of many books and business videos based on the same. I’ll probably check them all out. And then I have a couple of other books recommeded to me on leadership and THEN I’ll add your books to the list too. Enjoy the weekend. It’s raining up here in Washington DC. Debi Vreeland

    • singingfun

      Thanks Alex. It looks like I’m going to be on campus for the 5/4 graduation. One of my favorite students and one of the first that I recruited is graduating. She asked me to come down for her graduation. I think I’ll take advantage of that time to look up some of my favorite teachers and, of course, you are at the top of the list. I’m not sure if they will let me come down and spend a few days on campus. If I can, I would love to sit in on a class with you. I’ll let you know my schedule and you can let me know if it’s possible. It’s funny, I checked Presentation Zen out at the library and now I see it is my text for next month’s class. I guess it’s the Excel spreadsheets class, although that seems like an unusual (but cool) text choice for that class.

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