Published by Andrew Rogers, Strategic Opportunities Associate
I recently returned from a 44-day trip backpacking around Europe with my Fiancé, Maggie, after we graduated from Creighton University. After visiting 19 cities in nine countries and taking 18 trains, seven planes, two boats and one car to get to all of them, we realized rather quickly that there are only so many games of online solitaire, euchre and candy crush you can play before you start to dream about your last game and visualize the board every time you close your eyes. So about the third city into our trip, we went in search of a book store and each picked out a book in the English section that we thought would last us the majority of the trip. I grabbed a John Grisham novel and Maggie picked up “Room” by Emma Donoghue. They were both good choices, however, two cities and one very long train ride later we were both done with our books, and so on to Plan B. We decided we would download books on our iPhones and iPads to save room and money.
I began the long search through the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of books offered on Amazon-first searching by genre, then author, but ultimately not finding anything that sparked my interest. I then remembered something unique we do here at our firm in our team bios. We have a “Getting to Know You” section where stakeholders can share their favorite foods, quotes, books, financial advice, etc. So I decided I would set a goal to read a few of my co-workers favorite books. A few of them I had read in high school or college and there was no way I could get through more than one or two on my trip, but it was a place to start. So far I have finished The Firm and Tuesday’s with Morrie, and I am half way done with Peak Performance Principles of High Achievers.
What I learned through my bit of research is that it is fascinating to learn about the tastes and interests of the people you work with. Some of the books on the list I look forward to reading for leisure and others to maybe develop new skills, and I can guarantee that I will learn something along the way.
When we got home from Europe, Maggie and I decided to delete all of the games from our phones and take some time each day to turn off the TV and read. Sometimes I can only get a few minutes in before bed, other days I read for over an hour, but either way it is nice to unplug and relax.
Anyone who has ever worked a sales job will know that one of the first lessons you learn is to research your prospects and find out as much as you can about them. If you find a common link like a favorite book, TV-show, movie or hobby you have an instant connection. Finding out some of the same facts about coworkers can do the same; who knows you might just find out the person sitting two chairs down from you has similar interests to you.
In case you do not want to read through everyone’s bio, I have a summary list below.
Ron Carson – Tuesdays with Morrie
Aaron Schaben – Peak Performance Principles of High Achievers
Brad Dillon – My Prison without Bars: The Pete Rose Story
Dennis McMillan – Anything by Lee Child
Mark Lookabill – Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book
Clifford York – The Bible
Teresa Milner – Anything by Nicholas Sparks
Jake Bleicher – Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
Derek Radcliffe – Anything by John Grisham
Lantz Hunt – The Firm
Minna Burns – Anything by Dan Brown
Germaine Legros – The Dark Tower series by Stephen King
Maggie Kass – Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Mandy Korpi – House Rules by Jodi Picoult
Nicki Wells – To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee