May 07, 2020

From the Shelves of Credera: Chapter 2

Sarah Barber

Sarah Barber

From the Shelves of Credera: Chapter 2

Books have the power to grow, entertain, challenge, and inspire you. With that in mind, we decided to ask different leaders at Credera, “What are you reading?”

In this chapter, we’re highlighting a few leaders from Credera’s Open Technology Solutions practice. We’ve asked them to share not only their current reads but also the books that have been most impactful in their lives. Read on, friends, and hopefully you’ll feel inspired to add a new book (or several) to your shelf during this season.

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Ben Mead

Chief Information Security Officer, Open Technology Solutions

Current Reads:

Top Books of 2019:

Bonus Entertainment Books:

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Josh Hamit

Principal Architect, Open Technology Solutions

Current Reads:

Current Book: Dialogues Concerning the Two New Sciences by Galileo Galilei

Theme: Great Conversation

Theme Reason: I’ve always been drawn to the timeless classics as the truest form of education. It was actually my original major in college. And I’ve been re-reading this particular collection of books since then, discovering something new each time. Using “first principles” from these works has helped me navigate the ambiguity of consulting and life in general.

Current Book Thoughts: Amazing how he structures thoughts around ambiguous topics using fundamental thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. He then steadily shapes them and supports their grounding in reality with empirical data. When the data doesn’t exist, he creates it through experimentation. It’s also interesting how he uses different characters or personas to view the same topic from a continuously refined perspective.

Current Book: Ecclesiastes

Theme: Meditation

Theme Reason: Besides the spiritual justification, I’ve found early morning meditation accompanied with light exercise to drastically improve my ability to cope with stress and it puts me in a better mood – making my days more enjoyable.

Current Book Thoughts: Great depth of meaning on multiple levels. Reminds me to embrace the present, try everything to see what works, and appreciate the journey.

Current Book: Leadership Without Easy Answers by Ronald A. Heifetz

Theme: Leadership Development

Theme Reason: Personal growth to help me better serve my clients, teams, and family.

Current Book Thoughts: Nuanced theory about how to be lead strongly in a non-authoritarian, emergent, authentic, and empathetic manner backed with interesting case studies.

Current Book: Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant

Theme: Innovation

Theme Reason: SME development. Innovation is currently my focus area for how I serve my clients, so I’m reading a great deal on this topic for research purposes.

Current Book Thoughts: Recommended by a client, so far this seems to be painting an interesting persona of original thinkers and abstracting out a common process.

Influential Reads:

  • MeditationProverbs – I re-read this in its entirety at least once a quarter to keep it’s time-tested “first principles” top of mind.

  • Leadership DevelopmentThe Fred Factor by Mark Sanborn – I love how this book encourages going above and beyond in the minutiae of the day while making every interaction personal. It’s also great how it puts a humble postman on a pedestal. It’s about the journey.

  • InnovationThe Other Side of Innovation by Vijay Govindarajan – This is the predecessor to Vijay Govindarajan’s simplified “Three Box Model” at Harvard. Though a bit dry, you’re able to see the guiding principles and their empirical backing help lay the foundation for a practical theory of how to help make the innovation rubber meet the road.

  • Great ConversationNicomachean Ethics by Aristotle – This book cemented in my mind the symbiotic relationship between good theory and good practice. Neither are likely to survive on their own nor make a significant impact.

  • TechnicalEnterprise Integration Patterns by Gregor Hohpe and Bobby Woolf – This is essentially the bible of Enterprise Architecture. The first read through is dry as a textbook, but you’ll come to appreciate the hard-won wisdom of these approaches. Life as an architect is much easier if you start with these patterns. You’re very likely to end up with a solution mirroring these patterns anyway as you address various bugs, so you might as well take the shortcut to scalable and robust solutions.

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Rachel Slayter

Senior Consultant, Open Technology Solutions

Current Reads:

Up Next:

Influential Reads:

  • Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

    • Dave Ramsey has been a huge influence on my personal finance strategies and this book helped us pay off a mountain of student debt within a few years of graduating college.

  • Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

    • I love reading about the science behind introverts and highly sensitive people. This book helped me understand why introverts are often misunderstood and how to harness the power of quiet introspection.

  • This Naked Mind by Annie Grace

    • Annie Grace explains the psychological and neurological components of alcohol use and how we live in a culture of alcohol dependence. Reading this book changed my relationship with alcohol by helping me see all the subtle (and not-so-subtle) marketing and peer pressure around me.

  • The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller

    • This is one of the best marriage books I have ever read and it helped shape my marriage over the years.

  • The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel

    • Lee Strobel takes an investigative journalism approach to answer the toughest questions and barriers to the Christian faith. I read this book in college when I was doubting my faith and it drew me closer to God and helped me develop a faith of my own.

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