December 08, 2010
After all, the season gives us an opportunity to give to others - and our business partners and co-workers deserve something under the tree from us! We might worry that the gift is too personal, too expensive or just too whimsical. So we look for clues, or even worse, guess. Sometimes, we grab some swag from the company closet or hit up Sam's Club for high calorie tokens of Biz Love.
But that's not the way to 'multiply the value' in this world. The best give you can give someone at work is a dollup of know-how. The best source of that is in books. When you hand pick a book for someone, based on their needs or dreams, you are prescribing a better life for them. When he reads it, he'll get inspired to do something with the insight. He might even share it with others. Who knows, he might become a book reader.
If you give books, encouraging knowledge sharing, you'll create a more innovative culture - prone to solving problems with ideas instead of worrying and fretting. At Yahoo!, I loved to find specific 'book solutions' for people in my life - and give those on holidays of all types (as well as birthdays). Several of my friends called me Dr. Tim because of this tendency.
NOTE: Giving current books reduces the risk that your recipient has already read it. You can also casually ask someone if they've read any of the three or so books (still not divulging your strategy).
Here are four great books to give this year:
1 - Mesh: Why The Future Of Business Is Sharing by Lisa Gansky
2 - Rework by Jason Fried and David Hansson
3 - Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsiesh
4 - Multipliers: How The Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter by Liz Wizeman
If you'd like to suggest some great books, do so in comments.