Have finished three books of late that are worthy of sharing. The first a read for the literary soul in me, was Casual Vacancy by J.K.Rowling. If you are convinced as I was that she is a master fantasy storyteller, than this latest endeavor of hers proves she is simply (though there is nothing simple about it) a Master Storyteller. Thinking back I would argue that what makes the book an incredible read is her depth of characters, or the fact everyone has their own truth and it has many facets. Just when you think you feel something about someone she throws in a different angle and you see that person in a different light.
The second, of the modern Israeli investigative journalism genre, called Ze’elim, was given to me by Boaz Shedletzky and autographed to me by the author, Omri Assenheim (the two of them by both of their counts are very good friends). As a disclaimer I’ll say that I do not read much in Hebrew in the limited time I have to read, I prefer the easier (aka lazier) route, plus since I read mostly on my Kindle via iPad, that settles that on the language end (aka there’s some justification for my laziness to boot!). However, having an author sign a book and dedicate especially for me, gave me more than impetus to read in the language of the Hebrew Man and I am very glad for it. The book deals with the most controversial and tragic military accident in Israel’s history (and regrettably there were a more than a few). The writing is clear, concise and intelligent. Similar to J.K.Rowling, there is an understanding that different people have different ways of seeing the same event. Their perspective is a function of many things and shapes their outlook and their actions and justifications for things.
On that note but in a totally different way, the third book, Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In-Women, Work and the Will to Lead talks about modern feminism through the perspective of her own experience both professionally and as a mother. She offers herself as a role model but recognizes that there are different individual considerations and perspectives to work life balance and professional attainment as a woman.
She also highlights effectively the different perspective of men and women to similar situations. She states ‘multiple studies in multiple industries show that women often judge their own performance as worse than it actually was and that most men judge their performance as better than it actually was’ (p.29) ‘even worse, when women evaluate themselves in front of other people or in stereotypically male domains their underestimations can be more pronounced. Ask a man to explain his success and he will typically credit his own innate qualities and skills. Ask a woman the same question and she will attribute her success to external factors’ (pg. 30).
The three books have a common thread in a sense. The idea of many faceted truth or truth being defined from the perspective of one’s own experience and the need for openness and agility in considering those perspectives.
Entrepreneurship is like that. An entrepreneur often has a perspective of reality that is different (and it needs to be to be innovative and disruptive) but needs to relate to the different perspectives of customers when developing product and features (what do people need) business model (what will people pay for) and distribution (how will people engage).
Was in Cape Town on family vacation (the flight time alone offering explanation of my having finished reading three books!) and thus have had a lot of opportunity to think about different truths and perspectives in a broader political sense as well. Nothing like spending time in a complicated place to reflect on the complicated place you come from.
This has gotten me thinking…Our ability to be agile in perspective and thought, to see beyond our view of things and understand others has implications beyond politics (whether South Africa, Israel or Pagford) and business (whether climbing the corporate ladder as a woman or a man…or creating a viable business of one’s own). It is needed everywhere. It is essential in this ever globalized, ever rapidly changing world. It was always essential but now even more.
But is it being taught? Apparently not. Thomas Friedman, one of my favorite writers considers what education is and what it should be and I think it is spot on. Agility in thought, critical thinking, broad perspective and an open mind to difference, diversity and change.
Now back to work…Zell 13 applications all in. We have a record number of applicants…will have a tough time ploughing through the different perspectives offered for why each and everyone should be part of the next class of twenty.