I am a big Bill Moyers fan. His interviewing style is graceful and mindful, and he always makes me more curious. Recently on his web presence The Bill Moyers Journal, he posed the question: What one book would you recommend as essential reading for the next president of the United States? The recommendations have been pouring in and they are fascinating. Watch the video.
I started thinking about what book I would recommend and immediately knew I'd have a hard time picking just one, but that's the game. As I struggled with this I started reflecting on my list. I had fiction and non-fiction, current authors and classics, philosophers and business writers. And yes, I had The Leadership Challenge. I saw no pattern until I took a walk and reflected on my list and heard my husbands. It then occurred to me that this list was a reflection of my deepest held values. It also showed me my hopes and expectations for the person next filling this most important office. During a recent workshop, when we were discussing values and the role they play in being credible leaders, someone asked if instead of identifying our values and then checking how our behaviors align with them, would it be possible to do the opposite. That is, could you observe your behavior and from that determine your values? I'm thinking, yes. Since I have gone through the exercise several times, it's been fun to reflect on my behavior and see if indeed it has been driven from the values I say I espouse. Creating your recommended reading list is the same kind of exercise. It's a fun way to reflect on what you truly value. I encourage you to play the game and discuss it with someone who loves books as much as you do.
I need to stop now, I have a lot of reading to do.