(269) Reads July/August

Selecting Great Players

Remember how team captains selected kickball teams during recess? Taking the next player available with the strongest kick might have worked on the playground but not in today’s boardroom. Whether you are looking to identify a new teammate or be on a new team, you will be ready to take on that next interview with this batch of good reads. Bob Beaudein’s The Power of Who has the potential to unleash your dream and the job to go with it. For those who like a good story, Patrick Lencioni never disappoints with his realistic fable of a corporate team in its desperate quest to survive. Grab a copy to uncover how the leadership team at fictional Valley Builders systematically identifies three virtues held by their very best employees to guide their search for candidates that “fit.” If you’re looking to double impact, then StandOut 2.0 and StrengthsFinder 2.0 unveil how to get the most out of talents to multiply the power of both an individual and a team. Already got your team together? Then Sydney Finkelstein’s Superbosses or Ari Weinzweig’s Being a Better Leader lay the groundwork for improving your leadership. Our reads promise a little motivational kick! The rest is up to you.

(269) Reads May/June

Bonnie Jo Campbell, a graduate of Comstock High School and Western Michigan University from which she earned a master’s degree in mathematics, headlines our top picks with Mothers, Tell Your Daughters. Campbell weaves a fictional tale set in our own backyard—Kalamazoo, Michigan—of the intricacies of female relationships in an area populated by country folk, farmers and blue-collar workers. If you’re looking to count your blessings next, why don’t you dive into Savor: Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You Are by Shauna Niequist in which the author genuinely shares her recipes both for your soul and your table throughout its cleverly crafted pages. Then to heat up things up as we head in summer, treat yourself to some tales of secrets both past and present in The Truth According to Us: A Novel by Annie Barrows set in 1930s West Virginia or Deep Blue by Randy Wayne White in present day Sanibel Island, Florida.

(269) Reads March/April

Looking to Spark Your Inner Genius? You have to be in the right place for lightning to strike when it comes to inspiration. While you can’t control nature, you can control putting yourself in the right spot to let those creative juices flow. For those of you who are not physicists, the CERN, or the European Organization for Nuclear Research, near Geneva, Switzerland might be a bit out of your league. Other places though like a park, bookstore or car ride just might work instead. Adventure seekers looking to spread their wings might want to pick up a copy of Eric Weiner’s The Geography of Genius for some good ideas for different places to go. With all this talk about regionalism, get this: great regions create great innovations. And, hey, while you’re visiting your spot, why not try the local food? According to Adam Smith, founder of the late 18th century Oyster Club in Edinburgh, Scotland and the science of geology, you can never have enough of it —especially if it’s oysters!

(269) Reads January/February

Leaders are readers. Yes, President Harry S. Truman reminded us of that important fact when he said, “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” Great leaders continually update their skills by exposing their hearts and minds to the works and thoughts of others. This is the perfect time to do it: There is simply no better time to catch up on your reading than on an evening or weekend during the winter months in Southwest Michigan. Grab a blanket and a place by the fire ’cuz the team at 269 MAGAZINE invites you to enjoy these books for your own development. Let this be the year in which you say “Yes” to reading!


Rich Sheridan: Joy in the Room

Joy. That feeling of great pleasure and happiness resulting from success, good fortune, or a sense of well-being. What does it look like? A child with ice cream cone. A college graduate waving a diploma. A smiley face with tears melting out of the corners of its eyes.

Shaun Moskalik; How Did I Get Here?

“I loved growing up here. My mother, Barbara, was just the perfect mom. She gave me unconditional love and supported anything I did. I grew up liking hair, so the first thing I did after high school was to get my cosmetology license. That was my artistic passion. I still have family here. It’s a very grounding feeling for me to be here.”