Power Up – Recommended Reads from March

With a consistently high turnout each week (albeit now held remotely via Google Hangouts) it’s safe to say the first month of StrategiQ’s reading club, Power Up, has been a great success. 

In this blog, we run down the books and podcasts our team have immersed themselves in over the past month. Each team member offers a rating along with a number of key learnings that they have taken away. 

‘Know your onions’

Author: Drew de Soto

Reader: Be Peters

6/10 – good for students not people further in their career.

Key Learnings

  1. Step away from your computer to generate ideas and focus your creativity on meeting the needs of the business, or play what-if to spark ideas. What if I elaborate the truth? What if I only use illustrations? What if I only use typography?
  2. If you find yourself moving things around to make a design “look right”, stop yourself immediately and print it out to look at it with fresh eyes. Alternatively, ask a college to look, take away anything that doesn’t work and slowly rebuild it from there.
  3. Don’t kid yourself that a design needs 100 variations. Think about the brief, plan, create and tweak. Keep variations to a minimum and justify your design well enough so that others can’t argue that it’s not “the one”. 
  4. Create templates of things you do often to refer back to and save time.

 

Read it yourself

‘Don’t sweat the small stuff, and it’s all the small stuff’

Author: Richard Carlson

Reader: Roisin Ryan-Self

8/10 This book is split into very small chapters of life advice, making it easily digestible and quick to read.

Key Learnings

  1. Raise and blame is the same concept. You don’t always need to win approval; you can balance praise and criticism. If you practise criticism you can take it better.
  2. See the innocence of others and not taking things so personally. You can’t control everything and others don’t always mean what they say. 
  3. Turn your melodrama into mellow drama. You don’t need to react to everything and be over the top. Take control of the situation.

 

Read it yourself

‘You do you’

Author: Sarah Knight

Reader: Poppy Mace

8/10I feel like this book it’s just like having a chat with a friend, I love how casual she is with her writing, it makes it easy to read and I’ve struggled to put it down on a few occasions.

Key Learnings

  1. Focus groups are the worst, because everyone wants to fit in with the group so not everyone will tell their true opinion.
  2. If you have an idea just say it, you’ll always feel better doing so. Don’t let the fear of rejection take you over.
  3. If your idea is shut down, push it forward. Don’t let rejection stop you from doing something you want to or something you believe in.
  4. Don’t conform. People will always try to fit in with others, but you have to do what you want and what makes you truly happy.

 

Read it yourself

‘The little black book’

Author: Otegha Uwagba

Reader: Paulina Cage

9/10 – I thought I would just read some, but I couldn’t put it down. The conversational tone made it very easy to read, and I loved the home truths the book had to offer. 

Key Learnings

  1. Give a shit but not too much. It’s important to work hard, be passionate and believe in what you do, but remember nothing really matters that much. 
  2. Multitasking is overrated; it’s the most difficult way of working. Focus on one task and just get it done.
  3. You have to become your own biggest cheerleader even if it makes you cringe at first.

 

Read it yourself

‘Digital marketing podcast, target internet episode, discover SEO fraggles’

Episode:  Target Internet, discover SEO fraggles

Reader: Emma Squires

9/10It’s a good podcast for learning, everything is explained in more detail and it doesn’t assume any previous knowledge.

Key Learnings

  1. Google has updated their algorithm to recognise schema markup for FAQs and how to’s. 
  2. Podcasts are becoming increasingly important in Good rankings because of the Google assistants being able to play them rather than the bot. Podcasts seen as Q and A.

 

Listen to it yourself

‘Quiet, the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking’

Author:  Susan Cain

Reader: Roisin Ryan-Self

10/10 – It’s so relatable!! This book changed my perspective on the strengths one can have as an introvert, seeing situations in a different light that enable one to feel good about being an introvert and not seeing it as a negative.

Key Learnings

  1. Theories about introversion, in a system created by extroverts 
  2. You don’t have to be in the spotlight to be rewarded
  3. Introverts may have strong social skills, they just like to be alone

 

Read it yourself

‘How to fail’

Author:  Elizabeth Day

Reader: Elliot Hall

8/10 – This is so relatable, I don’t think I’ll read all of it because there are some bits that aren’t relevant to me but I think that’s what makes the book so diverse. Covering so many aspects of her life and things she’s failed at will speak to different people in different ways.

Key Learnings

  1. Everyone goes through failures, this book was even born out of a podcast where Day invited celebrities to share their failures with the audience listening.
  2. You don’t have to just stick with one career or one passion, you can try everything you want to. Throughout the book Day shares a range of things she’s tried and failed at but each time she learnt something new.
  3. “The more I thought of it, the more I realised the biggest most transformative moments, came through crisis or failure” 

 

Read it yourself

Traction

Author: Drew de Soto

Reader: Be Peters

8/10 – This book gets into the nitty gritty process of business management and how to excel your business further, but to be honest there’s some really simple home truths in there that I just needed to be reminded of!

Key Learnings

  1. Be decisive. The people who fail, lack the ability to make decisions and instead procrastinate. It is better to make a decision and change it, than to never decide at all!
  2. You can’t solve everything all at once. You must make a list of priorities and work through them one by one giving them the attention and thought they deserve.
  3. “Thou shall live with it, end it, or change it.” If you have a problem, these are your three options and you must make a decision and run with it.

 

Read it yourself

‘It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be’

Author:  Paul Arden

Reader: Paulina Cage

5/10 – It’s really unusual, I thought I would want to read it all because it’s so short, but I just skimmed it. The book feels a little outdated with some very controversial viewpoints.

Key Learnings

  1. The person who doesn’t make mistakes is unlikely to make anything.
  2. “To become a champion, fight one more round” – James Corbett
  3. “Success is going from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm” – Winston Churchill

 

Read it yourself

 

Stay tuned each month as we offer our monthly round up of our Power Up sessions sharing our insights into what we’ve been learning each week.

If you’d like to know why we created power up and the benefits of reading, check out the Power Up introduction blog here.