Super 8 Reading List
Jim Correll, director Fab Lab ICC at Independence Community College, Independence Kansas
I spent most of my earlier adult life thinking I was too busy to read. Since I started at the college in 2006, I’ve been reading continuously. This is not two or three books per week like some over-readers I know, but more like one book every three to four weeks.
Recently a couple of people have asked me for recommendations, so I thought I’d develop my Super 8 Reading list. I have no idea how to prioritize these and I don’t remember the order in which I read them so I present them here in alphabetical order.
Here are my top picks along with the main take-a-ways I received from reading them.
A Different Kind of TeacherJohn Taylor Gatto
Back in the 1980’s John Gatto went from winning teacher of the year in his Manhattan, New York district to being fired as he raised the hood of education and began to discover how much change our education system needs to undergo. Reading this book a few years ago made me begin to realize that our institution of education needs to change.
Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All Tom Kelley and David Kelley
Everyone has creativity bottled up inside waiting to get out and David Kelley, founder of the design firm IDEO (he invented the first computer mouse for Apple’s Steve Jobs) and the Stanford d-School uses the book to share what he’s learned about bringing out this creativity in everyone.
E-Myth RevisitedMichael Gerber
Building a business beyond start-up requires more than the founder putting in more and more hours. The key is to build systems and processes so that when others are brought in to help they can know what to do in a way that will produce consistent and repeatable results. (What customers want.)
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success Carol Dweck
Dweck introduces the concept of fixed and growth mindset. With fixed mindset, we believe we have a given set up intelligence and talents and that’s that. We either have talent or we don’t. With growth mindset, we believe that intelligence and talent can be developed and improved with hard work. People with growth mindset have healthier attitudes about life and take more control of their life’s outcome. Those with fixed mindset struggle to make it through life being fulfilled (happy.)
The Entrepreneurial ImperativeCarl J. Schramm
The old industrial economy, in terms of a stable marketplace and lifetime employment, is dead for two main reasons. First, with the fall of the Soviet Union in the late 1980’s more people all over the globe wanted a piece of the American consumer market. Second, the advent of the Internet lowered all kinds of barriers to people getting into all kinds of businesses, thus disrupting the economic model that lasted from the end of World War II to about 1990.
Think and Grow Rich, 2005 EditionNapoleon Hill
First published in 1937, Napoleon Hill demonstrates the power of thinking about and writing down the things one would like to happen. Although neither widely discussed nor taught in schools, the power of thought and the written word can be a valuable tool in helping people take more control over their lives.
What School Could BeTed Dintersmith
There are K-12 schools and sometimes whole districts in all 50 states where, in spite of mandatory standardized testing, innovative methods of learning have been implemented with great success. Nearly all the best success stories involve some kind of making or experiential, project-based learning.
Who Owns the Ice HouseClifton Taulbert and Gary Schoeniger
Entrepreneurial mindset is a way of looking at problems in the world as opportunities for solving. It can empower ordinary people to do extraordinary and unexpected things. This is demonstrated by Pulitzer nominated author, Clifton Taulbert in the story of how his Uncle Cleve, an African-American man in the segregation of the late 1950’s, somehow owned the only ice house in the small town of Glen Allen, Mississippi. Clifton says he learned everything he knows about entrepreneurship by working for his uncle in the ice house a few summers in his early teens. Gary Schoeniger follows up each of Clifton’s stories with why they remain relevant and useful in helping us all today better understand the entrepreneurial mindset.
Taking up reading again, both using real books and digital versions on Kindle, has given me a perspective in the development of Fab Lab ICC I would not have been able get in any other way.
Jim Correll is the director of Fab Lab ICC at the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship on the campus of Independence Community College. He can be reached at (620) 252-5349, by email at email@example.com or Twitter @jimcorrellks.