“You walk away and feel like you’ve read a book” – What can you gain from an encounter with a good book?

“You walk away and feel like you’ve read a book.”

Those were the words of a person who attended my presentation this morning. I presented my synopsis of The EverythingEverything Store Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone for a group of professionals who work in retail.

The woman who said “you feel like you’ve read a book” is not entirely accurate, of course. It is better whenever you can read a book, slowly, thoroughly, for yourself. Slowly, over the long haul, may be the way to go, by the way. Read this article by Michael Simmons: Why Constant Learners All Embrace the 5-Hour Rule.

But when I have an extended time to present one of my synopses – I had about 50 minutes this morning – it allows for a deeper dive into the key content, and then thoughtful consideration and conversation about such ideas as: “how do I respond to this?” (And this book, especially for people in retail, gives plenty to think about).

So, whether you read a book for yourself, or you listen to a good and thorough synopsis of a book, there really are some key questions to answer after your encounter with a book intended to teach and challenge:

How will you think differently?

How will you approach your work differently?

What will you do differently?

Near the end, I asked everyone to share one item from the handout that especially spoke to them, with others at their table. The diverse answers were so revealing. One woman said, “it looks we are going to be disrupted. We’d better do the disrupting ourselves.” She had selected this, from my takeaways:

“Disrupt” yourself – your own company – before someone else does. The premise is simple: whatever you are now doing will change, dramatically. Some disruption in the force will put the old ways out of business. So, since this is true, you be the one to do the disrupting – on purpose. Disrupt yourself, or someone else will do it to you. 

The was just one person’s take.  There were many others throughout the room.

So… What have you learned from a good book lately?


You can purchase our synopsis presentations from our First Friday Book Synopsis gatherings. Each synopsis comes with a comprehensive, multi-page handout, and the audio recordings of our presentations. Check them out at 15minutebusinessbooks.com.


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