December 2014 Carnival of HR

As 2014 comes to a close, do you feel like you are on a Tilt-A-Whirl? The combination of year-end business activities and personal holiday observations can be dizzying.

In the midst of the blur of time and activities, I hope you'll take a moment to enjoy the submissions from this month's participants in the Carnival of HR.

Since I am hosting, and my main business focus is books, this month's post is mostly about books that have influenced people. We relaxed the usual requirement that a post should be no more than two weeks old, so that people could share their favorite books of 2014.

I see the lights of the Ferris wheel ahead; I hear the music of the carousel, and I smell the tempting foods of the midway. Let's see what's ahead in the Carnival of HR...

Dazzled By The Options

Upon arriving at a carnival, it can be a challenge to choose where to start. There are so many choices. When trying to choose which book to discuss as part of the carnival, I couldn't stop at just one. Here are five standout attractions: The Year in Review: Lessons From 2014 Books.

Dan McCarthy shared Scott Eblin's guest post that also addresses the topic of being overwhelmed, along with a feeling of being overworked. The post discusses solutions gleaned from Scott's book, Overworked and Overwhelmed. While your stomach settles from that Screamin' Swing, check out the full post: Why Mindfulness Is For Leaders & Not Just Monks.


Eventually, carnival goers have to make a plan for their time at the event or they'll miss out on the attractions they would have enjoyed the most.

Similarly, John Hunter posts about Gerald Suarez's take on finding direction in his book Leader of One. The Turkish proverb he shared, "No matter how long you have been on the wrong road, turn back", appealed to me: Gerald Suarez Creating The Future.

In keeping with the theme of strategy, Chip Bell encourages us to remember that there is always a way. Yes, it's just a carnival and the decisions between cotton candy versus funnel cakes are not life threatening. But someone has to lead, always. His post about Leaders Open Doors by Bill Treasurer's book is inspiring: The Rules Of Combat & Open-Door Leadership.


And then there's peer pressure. What height-phobic individual hasn't been ridiculed by a friend for being a scaredy-cat? The bungee jump is one thing; choices in the workplace fueled by peer pressure are another. Ben Eubanks feels that there is a positive pressure leaders should apply at work: enthusiastically encouraging (yes, he uses the word force) employees to read. More about his thoughts here: Why You Should Force Your Employees To Read Books.

Leading involves difficult conversations. Karin Hurt recommends the book The Discomfort Zone, explaining that discomfort zone conversations involve a leader who risks making someone uncomfortable enough to allow their beliefs to be challenged. The entire post is here: How To Have A Difficult Conversation.

Leading also involves establishing trust. Susan Mazza discusses how moment-to-moment interactions set the stage for the quality of a relationship. She introduces a book to which she contributed, TRUST, Inc: 52 Weeks of Activities & Inspirations For Building Workplace Trust (Volume 3). Read the full article here: Moments Of Trust.

Let's Take More Books For A Ride

Getting in tune with the times is critical to keeping up. When discussing A World Gone Social, in her blog Deb Mills-Scofield reminds us that "No matter who we are, the more open we are, the more global our impact." Here's Deb's post: If You Haven't Gone Social, You Should Be Very, Very Worried.

Has a carnival employee ever mystified you by guessing your age and weight? Sometimes it is best to avoid the guesswork, keep your money, and trust your own scale at home. David Richter revisits the business classic Built to Last and is reminded of some timeless principles of doing business well, along with some myths to be broken. Read his six core values in this post: My Favourite Book That I've Read This Year.

Andy Uskavitch tells us about getting enlightenment and inspiration from Frank Sonnenberg's book Follow Your Conscience. Read the full article on Andy's blog, SuperVISON Motivation.

Jane Anderson discusses the potential impact of an organizational constitution in her review of Chris Edmonds's book, The Culture Engine. Read the full article on Jane Anderson's blog, Insite Skill.

As The Carnival Starts To Wind Down

There are times in the midst of a carnival's cacophony when you just need to regroup. Paula Kiger talked about the role of the book Yoga Wisdom At Work by Maren and Jamie Showkeir and its application to strategic planning in this guest post: The Dharana Of Planning

After You Have Ridden The Rides & Eaten All The Goodies

When a day at the carnival finally winds down, we leave with fun memories, full tummies, and possibly an over-sized stuffed bear. When we leave the midway behind us, we are back to our regular lives. It seems fitting that Naomi Bloom chose an old book to remind us of everlasting principles.

She says, "I made the contents of a very special book, The Old Testament , also known as The Torah, central to my thoughts on that period of self-reflection and course correction we Jews call "The Days of Awe."  

Obviously some of the points don't apply, and others have been overtaken by thousands of years of human history, but there remains a lot in this list if, taken as intended, would make our workplaces and our world a much better place. Read more about Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, & The Days Of Awe.

On behalf of the Lead Change Group, I hope you have enjoyed today's carnival. For future carnivals, consult the schedule at the Carnival of HR website.

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