By: Kelley Himmelberg
VP, Director of Human Resources
Other than personal experience, which often takes years to accumulate, the simple act of reading provides a valuable opportunity to learn about a vast range of topics to drive your career, from leadership and management to business technology.
At INB, we know that reading promotes leadership and professional development, and our staff at INB actively engages in reading books together and exploring new ideas in professional groups. So we asked around our team: What ONE book would you recommend to a professional colleague?
American Icon by Bryce G. Hoffman
“Last year, I (and actually a few others at the bank) read American Icon, the story of the turnaround of the Ford Motor Company under the direction of CEO Alan Mulally,” said Brenda Tuttle, vice president of business solutions at INB. “It reads more like a thriller or mystery than you would expect! The author provides riveting, real-life accounts of how Mulally transformed Ford Motor company; Mulally’s leadership style offers valuable lessons for anyone.”
Fish: A Proven Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results by Stephen Lundin, Harry Paul, and John Christensen
“From entry level staff all the way to the top, this book really gives insight into boosting the morale of the workplace in order to improve your bottom line,” said Cayla Keyes, branch manager of INB’s South 6th St. branch.
INB’s branch management group read Fish together to discuss what lessons they could apply from the book to the way we serve our customers at INB.
“We even came out with great ideas to make our workplace more fun — not only for us, but also our customers. Since reading the book, I have added a couple toys to our lobby waiting area for children, and I am arranging an employee area with a yoga mat and puzzles or games for de-stressing during lunch or break times,” Cayla explained.
She found that, most importantly, reading the ideas in Fish challenged her in what it means to be present for not only INB’s valued customers but also her employees.
“Having a positive attitude at work brings optimism and motivates success, reduces stress, and creates happier employees…and therefore increases the happiness in the people we serve every day,” she said.
Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude by Jeffrey Gitomir
“The Yes! Attitude is a book I try to read every day,” said Steve Miller, vice president of client services & sales development coach at INB.
The Gold Book of Yes! Attitude encourages readers to approach situations with a yes – that is, figuring out how something may be achieved versus defaulting to “no, that can’t be done.” It offers specific ways you can maintain your intensity, drive, and commitment within every day.
“It is an older book publication, and the author writes about that you have a choice on how you approach your day and live your life and the power of the word ‘Yes’,” Steve said.
The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy by Thomas Stanley and William Danko
“I’d encourage colleagues to read The Millionaire Next Door,” said Rick Schramm, senior vice president of commercial lending.
The Millionaire Next Door identifies seven common traits that show up consistently among those who have accumulated wealth, making the argument that the truly wealthy in the United States don’t “act rich” but instead build wealth slowly by spending less than they earn.
“Many people today don’t have the correct mental filters for creating wealth,” Schramm said. “We are led to believe wealth is created by high income; in reality, wealth is a function of low consumption/high savings. This book challenges preconceived notions about the attainability of wealth.”
Killing the Rising Sun by Bill O’Reilly
“While I typically read leadership books, I just finished a different kind of leadership book: Killing the Rising Sun,” said INB President Sarah Phalen. “In this book, I learned lessons of leadership as displayed by the likes of General Patton, General Eisenhower and President Truman. The book does not try to convince you one way or the other as to whether the U.S. should have used the atomic bomb in World War II; it simply gives you the facts so that you can decide. But the detail in which the situation is described really gives you such appreciation for the weight of the decision to drop the bomb. Every single voter should be required to learn the details of the deep sacrifices and difficult decisions that enable us the opportunities we have today!”
“Leadership is never easy,” Sarah pointed out. “There are tough decisions to make, and many will second-guess you. History always repeats itself, and thus I feel it is everyone’s responsibility to learn about the past and study the details of why it happened, so that we can make better informed decisions moving forward.”