Take a stroll through WebPT headquarters, and you’ll see dozens of diagrams on whiteboards, brainstorming sessions in progress, smiling faces, Nerf darts, and a whole lot of hard workers. But, if you look a little closer, you’ll notice books—tons of books. They’re displayed on shelves, stacked on desks, and even organized into mini departmental libraries. Heck, we even have an internal Google+ page where teams can leave book reviews. That’s because here at WebPT, we encourage everyone to read. In that spirit, we interviewed some WebPTers to see what they’re reading to fuel their brains—both inside and outside of work.
Heidi Jannenga, DPT, PT, ATC/L | President and Co-Founder
Daring Greatly by Brené Brown
In this number-one New York Times Best Seller, Brené Brown brings 12 years of pioneering research to dispel myths about vulnerability and shed light on what, she has, found truly matters: how we can use vulnerability to bring purpose to our lives.
Heidi explains that she really identifies with this book, as she’s “learning how to embrace vulnerability and imperfection.” She says she’s “been cautious of vulnerability in the past,” as she viewed it “as a sign of weakness.” But, in reading this book, she’s embracing the idea that there’s a clearer path toward meaningful connection when you’re courageous. Heidi also really likes Brown’s concept of “living wholeheartedly” and being completely authentic. She understands that adhering to this advice can be difficult in a role like hers (president and co-founder of a rapidly expanding company). But, she’s doing her best to put into practice what she’s learned from Brown’s book—and that is already paying dividends.
Brian Allery | Head of Employee Success
Ego vs. EQ: How Top Leaders Beat 8 Ego Traps With Emotional Intelligence by Jen Shirkani
In this book, Jen Shirkani brings 20 years of consulting and coaching experience to help leaders hone in on their emotional intelligence (EQ) “to eliminate business blind spots.”
Brian says the book is teaching him that he can’t surround himself with more people just like him. He says that doing so “prevents you from hearing the feedback you need because these individuals sincerely and honestly don’t disagree with you.” Brian loves that in Shirkani’s book, she shows that healthy conflict leads to new perspectives and better decision-making.
The Power of Noticing: What the Best Leaders See by Max H. Bazerman
In this book, Max H. Bazerman—Harvard Business School professor and co-director of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership—uses real-world situational examples to highlight information that is ignored. He then uses that to teach individuals how to pay attention to what doesn’t occur—and why doing so could help them become more successful.
Brian learned that the power of noticing is “the trick of hearing the dog that didn’t bark”—a reference to Sherlock Holmes’ deductions about noticing what doesn’t take place. He goes on to explain that he truly feels that “what is not being said can be more powerful than what is being heard.”
Charlotte Bohnett | Content Marketing and Communications Manager
Hug Your Haters by Jay Baer
In Hug Your Haters, Jay Baer explains that true customer service encompasses how you treat every customer—not just the happy ones. He provides real-life examples of companies that have successfully adapted this philosophy and lays out practical steps businesses can take to handle “every complaint, in every channel, every time.”
Charlotte loves all of Baer’s concrete examples of how businesses have applied his principles and succeeded. More specifically, she loves seeing just how dedicated those companies are to helping their customers. Her favorite example: Dutch airline KLM received negative feedback and has since adapted its Twitter cover photo to incorporate an accurate request response time. You can check it out here, on KLM’s official Twitter page.
Bradley LaFave | Training Manager
Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi
Never Eat Alone is a book about how to build relationships. Ferrazzi uses his experience of building a massive network that includes everyone from representatives in Washington DC, to the stars in Los Angeles. The author wants to help others learn how to make genuine connections using practical, proven principles.
Emotional Intelligence Training by Karl Mulle
Bradley is also learning about emotional intelligence training as part of his effort to create a brand new training experience at WebPT.
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
Being a science-fiction fan, Bradley recently saw the trailer for the movie version of the 5th Wave. So, before he watches the movie, he wanted to see what the story was all about. In a nutshell: human-like beings are attacking Earth, and one of the last survivors has to make tough decisions about rescuing herself and her brother.
Bradley combined everything he learned in these three books into two solid points:
- Emotional intelligence is a vital workplace skill.
- When it comes to alien attacks, you can never be too careful.
Shawn McKee | Head of Marketing
Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It… and Why the Rest Don’t by Verne Harnish
This book argues that any individual—at any level in a company—can help the business grow. It contains tips on everything from people and strategy, to execution and cash flow. The author does a great job of helping leaders address difficult situations and propel their companies forward.
Shawn likes the way this book outlines “good tactics and framework to minimize growing pains.” He also loves that the author shows how other leaders have made mistakes—and explains what readers can learn from those mistakes. He says that “whether you have two employees or 200, if you’re trying to grow your business, you’re going through transitions and making mistakes along the way.” According to Shawn, the book reinforces the idea that all businesses have growing pains—but your success as a business leader depends on how you handle the transitions.
The Princess in Black by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale
The Princess in Black is about a princess that bucks tradition and and fights monsters with ninja-like moves. The main character is much more than a prim princess in pink.
With young girls at home, Shawn says The Princess in Black is “pretty great.” He likes it because the main character is brave and kind—two qualities he’s trying to instill in his daughters. Right now, Shawn is reading the book to his oldest—who loves princesses and pink, but also loves monsters and is obsessed with practicing her ninja moves. He says this book provides a little bit of everything for her.
There you have it: a little literary peek into what we’re up to here at WebPT. Now it’s your turn. What’s in your library? Have any favorites you’d like to share? Do you also have to do some Nerf-dart dodging while sneaking in a chapter (or two)? Let us know in the comments section below.