Eric Schmidt recommends3 min read

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Former Google CEO talks about books that help you understand IT

                  “Search Inside Yourself“ by Chade-Meng Tan, Daniel Goleman and Jon Kabat-Zinn

Eric Schmidt

Also mentioned in Tony Hsieh Recommends 7 Books That Will Blow Your Mind

According to a Google worker, a Stanford scientist, and a Zen master, meditation should contain a reality larger than head-shaving in the East and West Coast attempts at communes. Somewhere between Meng’s compulsive engineering mindset and Goleman’s insights on emotional intelligence, the average reader can get insight into how they can gain self-awareness without neglecting empathy or leadership skills. Inner joy should not have to shift aside for work demands, and happiness should not come at the expense of creativity or satisfying relationships. From the Greater Good Science Center to The Economist, this book receives both business and mindfulness accolades.

                  “Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World” by Don Tapscott

Eric Schmidt

One example of growing up digitally is finding out that this book appears online in the 2009 McNaughtons Best Sellers List, between the magical “Tales of Beedle the Bard” and Roizen’s “You, Being Beautiful”. Perhaps every parent knows that the younger generation has taken multitasking and turned it into a magical art. However, this 1998 Amazon Bestseller gives pointers on how older Boom and X generations can harness this knowledge the way that the younger ones harness the Web. Also, there’s a hopeful note about the Net Generation’s talents and abilities being put to good and democratic use, rather than drowning in passive entertainment.

                  “Adventures of an IT Leader” by Robert D. Austin, Richard L. Nolan, Shannon O’Donnell

Eric Schmidt

Perhaps Jim Barton is a fictional executive, but that doesn’t make the situations or crisis examples any less real. Between staff, a board of directors, and the CEO, Jim must receive and transmit the right messages. The book is illustrated and written like a graphic novel, which greatly adds to the appeal of business application. Realistically, the challenge of CIO status is displayed head-on, with Jim staggering back from his ‘promotion’ that might as well be a reassignment or a casualty of layoffs. While the initial lesson (‘IT management is about management’) may not inspire, notes on The Road of Trials and The Runaway Project certainly will.

                  “Information Rules: A Strategic Guide to the Network Economy” by Carl Shapiro, Hal R. Varian

Eric Schmidt

From the Information Economy to pricing and rights management, from lock-ins to a standards war, Shapiro and Varian put feet on the idea that technology changes while economic principles remain the same. In the same way that train and coal moguls made telephones and transportation work for them, executives and entrepreneurs can make the information age and networking tools work for them. The battle between the cost of information, the cheapness of reproduction, and working through intellectual property rights is clearly outlined from the first chapter onward.

                  “Artful Making: What Managers Need to Know About How Artists Work” by Robert Austin, Lee Devin

Eric Schmidt

Amid all the talk on harnessing ingenuity and creativity, these authors have wrapped research around ideas on how to make creation possible. Between playwright Devin and Professor Austin from Harvard Business School, the dance between improvisation art and business deadlines is outlined and choreographed. Also, in the tension between a possibly mapless destination and immovable targets, it’s still possible to get ‘knowledge work’ done efficiently without either having to be a slave to detailed objectives or drowning in analysis.

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