If you are looking for holiday reading can I suggest…

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Given the heat wave conditions much of Australia has been experiencing over the last week quite a bit of time over the Christmas/New Year Festivities will be spent chilling out in a spot where we can put our feet up and catch a cool breeze. If you are like me, it’s also an opportunity to catch up on that pile of books you gathered throughout the year.

Here’s what’s in that pile that I’ll be tacking over the break:

  • The Roman Empire, Rise and Fall; Stephen P. Kershaw. I’m going to reread this book as my interest was sparked by a great article in the Australian Financial Review[1] in recent days by respected American economist Nouriel Rubini where he suggests Donald Trump, the president we all like to watch, is a plutocrat and Rubini draws parallels between “the Donald’s” behaviour and politics and that of Nero and Caligula.
  • The Leadership Mind Switch; D. A. Benton and Kylie Wright-Ford. We are in an era of unprecedented and constant change; some have called it the Fourth Industrial Revolution. What is clear is that the lines between the physical and digital spheres are dissolving and the traditional leadership approaches from the 20thcentury that still persist in so many companies are rapidly losing or have lost relevance. I’m interested in the insights of these authors.
  • Robot-Proof: Higher Education in the Age of Artificial Intelligence; Joseph Aoun . “How can higher education prepare students for their professional lives when professions themselves are disappearing? Joseph Aoun proposes a way to educate the next generation of college students to invent, to create, and to discover — to fill needs in society that even the most sophisticated artificial intelligence agent cannot.” I read this quote on Amazon and just had to buy the book.
  • This is a book a number of people mentioned to me in recent months Turn the Ship Around! A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders; David Marquet. This US Naval Officer offers what he learned through his experience of turning around a ship dogged by poor morale, poor performance, and the worst retention in the fleet.
  • For pure pleasure I intend to finish Ghost Empire written by Richard Fidler renowned ABC journalist and host of Conversations. As I often do, I found this book while browsing in an airport bookshop. He takes us back in time to Constantinople (now Istanbul) the lost capital the eastern Roman Empire. This city was the greatest wonder of its age. It was an imperial capital, an emporium, a shrine and a fortress. He shares tales of emperors and empresses, crusader knights, floating nuns, mechanical trees, Vikings, Huns, Goths and Khazars. In the 11 centuries of Constantinople’s existence we see the clash of civilizations, the fall of empires, the rise of Christianity.

Whatever you decide to read (or not), my every best wish for the Festive Season. May it be one that is filled with the joy that comes from being with family and friends. I am going to take break myself and will resume writing in the New Year.


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[1] http://www.afr.com/opinion/columnists/donald-trump-elected-as-a-populist-governing-like-a-plutocrat-20171212-h030i5