l=14 “How Full is Your Bucket?” by the late Donald Clifton and his grandson Tom Rath (Gallup Press, 2004) is a quick read with a simple message: Personalized acknowledgments and expressions of support are better motivators than just about anything else. And there’s an added bonus: Filling someone else’s bucket with deserved praise nourishes the bucket-filler as well. This philosophy is based on the insights of Clifton, formerly chairman of the Gallup Organization, who is also known as “the father of positive psychology.” Try this one at home. If you don’t know Margaret Wheatley, an inspirational writer and organizational consultant with Peace Corps experience who gained fame from her 1992 best-seller, “Leadership and the New Science: Learning about Organization from An Orderly Universe” (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 1992), you should pick up one of her books for thought-provoking perspectives on challenging problems. In her latest book, “Finding Our Way: Leadership for an Uncertain Time” (Berrett-Koehler, 2005), Wheatley offers essays applying her unique take on a variety of topics, from parenting to running organizations. f=LB Helvetica Black s=14Mind-Expanding l=14 Still on my to-read list are “China, Inc: How the Rise of the Next Superpower Challenges America and the World” by Ted C. Fishman (Scribner, 2005) and “The Long Emergency: Surviving the Converging Catastrophes of the 21st Century” by James Howard Kunstler (Grove/Atlantic, 2005). Fishman, the rare business writer with business experience, focuses his lens on a trading partner all Americans should get to know better. Kunstler’s book, which predicts the decline of the global oil supply and a shortage of alternative energy to take its place, expects a Dark Age to descend. What better way to relax on the beach? As always, the riches of reader feedback are welcome. What’s the most inspiring book you have read this year? Let me know. Leslie Whitaker is co-author of “The Good Girl’s Guide to Negotiating.” Write her at [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 f=LB Helvetica Black s=14Passion l=14 It’s a key to so many people’s success. Stick with the complexly structured “Chronicles: Volume 1” by Bob Dylan (Simon & Schuster, 2004) for a window into this extraordinary artist’s inner drive to soak up American musical history. Read “Crossing to Safety” by Wallace Stegner (Modern Library, 2002), originally published in 1987, for an insightful fictional account of what happens when a passion is put aside for more practical concerns. f=LB Helvetica Black s=14Humility l=14 Despite the reviewers’ charge that Ron Howard’s latest film, “Cinderella Man,” is a sappy version of boxer Jim Braddock’s inspirational comeback during the Great Depression, the movie is a terrific reminder that past generations and, indeed, millions of people around the world today have accomplished much without all the comforts that so many Americans enjoy. The book on which the movie is based, “Cinderella Man” by Jeremy Schaap (Mass Market Paperback, 2005), paints a fuller portrait of the boxer, providing more humanizing details, such as what Braddock’s favorite card game was (Hearts) and what movies he most enjoyed (any starring Charlie Chaplain). f=LB Helvetica Black s=14Mutual gain Dear Readers, It’s that wonderful season again summer, a great time to slow down and pick up a book. I have a tall stack of books on my own bedside table, waiting to be read, dwarfing the number of volumes finished earlier in the year. Below are some of my favorite picks, business-oriented or simply stimulating, from both stacks: f=LB Helvetica Black s=14Imagination l=14 Fiction, any fiction, is always first on my list of recommendations. If you aren’t in the habit of reading fiction because you run on overload, you’ll be surprised at how efficient it is, relaxing and stimulating the brain at the same time. If you happen upon a character you like, you’re likely to get some useful insights into your own life, useful both at home and at the office. If dipping into fiction helps you in the summer, imagine what it could do year-round.