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Books That Matter to Author & Entrepreneur Jonathan Fields

Books That Matter

Note: Books That Matter is Tracking Wonder’s interview series that showcases influential thinkers’ and authors’ relationships with books that matter to them.

The times, they are a-harried. Yet the very act of reading books lets us shape meaning of our own lives’ dashing moments.

Today’s Books That Matter guest Jonathan Fields seems to live this truth. Jonathan’s life has evolved in myriad, beautiful ways – even in the few years I’ve had the pleasure to know him. The current tags he goes by – “entrepreneur” and “media producer” and “award-winning author” – seem like vehicles for how Jonathan ceaselessly makes meaningful experiences for himself as well as for the audiences he loves and engages. The kinds of books he’s shifted to writing, to reading, and to returning reflect Jonathan’s ongoing pursuit of meaning.

In this Books That Matter feature, Jonathan shares an astute prediction for the future of publishing as well as the two books – the philosophically profound and the playfully profound – he most often re-reads.

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Brand/Innovation Digest – January 2017

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Research assistance from TW Team research assistant Gianna Kaloyeros.

Periodically Tracking Wonder’s research assistant Gianna Kaloyeros and I will curate some of what we deem the most relevant studies, stories, and news that will help you and your team excel at having the most impact and influence via branding, storytelling, and innovation.
– Jeffrey, Chief Tracker at Tracking Wonder

 

Connecting with People and Branding Comes Naturally

from The Times of India
In a media landscape of inauthentic messages, authentic branding will always rise above the noise, says Shubham Nagdeve. “Branding comes automatically when you connect with people,” Naresh Jakhotia reminds The Times of India. It’s through connection that a brand earns trust and defines its meaning. Small and large brands alike can benefit from genuinely connecting with clients to contribute value. Read more

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Join the #Quest2017Chat Conversation

content creator, community, thought leader, business owner, blogger

We have a lot of work to do for our future, but have you noticed how difficult it is to get perspective on your vision for your future when you’re just spinning in your own cognitive cog? You probably wouldn’t think a TwitterChat is what you need, but then again consider this.

I find truth in conversation. In working with so many thought leaders and influencers, I realize that – introvert, extrovert, or ambivert – when we speak up, we find clarity. We discover new directions when we tell our visions out loud.

With an open ear and a supportive reply, we give other people the courage to live their visions with commitment.

Can you start that kind of conversation in 140 characters or less at a time? I think it’s worth a try. Read more

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4 Levels of Civil Discourse

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Most of us, I’ve realized, aren’t taught how to own our voice in ways that elicit healthy discourse. But I’ve also learned we each can change that.

If you’re a conversation leader, creative, blogger, business owner – anyone who might have influence if and how you voice your views – consider this:

How is as important as what. When it comes to having a healthy influence, how you express your views on important issues is as important as the content of your views.

If you want the take-aways without the personal story – or your own reflection – skip to the end.

A Vision without a Voice

When I was a boy, no one talked about ideas as I recall. It was not like what Teddy Kennedy described growing up in which the only way to get his father’s attention at the dinner table was to have something substantial to say on an issue.

My father watched the Watergate trials on a hotel tv while we vacationed in Mexico, much to my mother’s chagrin. I watched Nixon resign on my grandparents’ television while my mother cried. But otherwise no one voiced any political or social views.

I didn’t know how to hold a conversation, think well, tell a story, or take a stance. We basically had one allowable emotion in the family – happy. Which meant we buried a lot of unspoken anger.

I grew up shunning people with strong views and closed off around any dispute. When I defended my master’s thesis, my committee of professors praised my written thesis for its depth and nuance, but as they asked me question after question I could not “think on my feet” or defend it. I shut down. One professor with a fierce reputation looked almost remiss in grilling me and then tried to help me with the process.

“It’s a fine thesis, Jeffrey. Really. We have to ask you these questions, though,” he said. “It’s not personal. We just want to hear you articulate your position.”

It was foreign turf, and that embarrassment became a private call-to-action.

I had vision with no voice, but I was ready to change that. And you can, too. Read more

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Books That Matter to Author & Psychology Professor Dacher Keltner

Note: Books That Matter is Tracking Wonder’s interview series that showcases influential thinkers’ and authors’ relationships with books that matter to them.

IMG_0419-Dacher-2Some men chase money and power. Dacher Keltner pursues compassion and power. The faculty director of the UC Berkeley Greater Good Science Center, Dacher has shared the stage with the Dalai Lama, counseled Pixar for depicting emotions for the film Inside Out, and has advised Facebook on the use of emoticons. When I spoke with and interviewed Dacher a few years ago on his pursuit of wonder and awe, it became clear that Dacher lives  according to the interests he pursues and studies – compassion, awe, power for the greater good. His latest book, The Power Paradox: How We Gain & Lose Influence (Penguin Press 2016) challenges the old story that power corrupts. From the book description: “Power isn’t the capacity to act in cruel and uncaring ways; it is the ability to do good for others, expressed in daily life, and itself is a good thing.”

In this Books That Matter feature, Dacher shares the book that changed something profound in him, the little known book he champions, and the book that offers timeless, paradoxical wisdom that he most often re-reads.

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Books That Matter to Author & Editor Brian Clements

NoteBooks That Matter is Tracking Wonder’s interview series that showcases influential thinkers’ and authors’ relationships with books that matter to them.
20150714_155349“Assemble a congregation. The congregants may come from your workplace, from the street, from a store. You may assemble them in any room. Even though they ask, it is not necessary to explain to them the reason for their congregation. You may not, however, lie.” – from “Ritual for Beginning,” Brian Clements

I met Brian Clements nearly 20 years ago at a reading for his first book Essays Against Ruin. His imaginative daring within the sentence – versus the poetic line – instantly drew me into his world, and I’ve never quite left it as our paths have intersected in publishing, teaching, and more.

Clements once said that “Writing tends to be for me a kind of problem-solving, exploratory in the way that a land-surveyor explores—mapping out a piece of land, finding its contours, its boundaries, getting to know it by knowing its possibilities.” Author of numerous books, he is equally committed to being a writer as he is to being a caring professor, husband and father, and activist community member of Newtown, Connecticut – struck by the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, where his wife taught second grade.

Among the many things I admire about Brian is his insistence – amidst inevitable limitations in our humanity and in language – upon staying attuned to possibilities.

In this Books That Matter feature, Brian shares the book that opened his teenage eyes to the possibility of writing in a contemporary voice, the kinds of books he is seeking, and the book he is embarrassed to have never read.

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Books That Matter to Poet and Author Kazim Ali

NoteBooks That Matter is Tracking Wonder’s interview series that showcases influential thinkers’ and authors’ relationships with books that matter to them.

Kazim Ali HeadshotWith a deft ear for sacred sounds engraved in political moments, Kazim Ali is a rare poet, writer, teacher, and publisher. His character is at once tender and fierce as can be his poetry and prose.

In this Books That Matter feature, Kazim shares the dangerous book he would like to live inside, the two books he has stopped reading in the middle because he didn’t want them to end, and his forecast for the future of publishing.

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Books That Matter to Splitopia Author Wendy Paris

NoteBooks That Matter is Tracking Wonder’s interview series that showcases influential thinkers’ and authors’ relationships with books that matter to them.

Wendy Paris HeadshotMix verve, poise, an impassioned appreciation for applied science, and an ongoing curiosity in relationships, and you come a little closer to understanding what makes Wendy Paris distinct as a captivating author and a vibrant human being. She’s worked as a print journalist, an editor for Psychology Today (when I met her), and a mentor-editor at the OpEd Project that boosts the profile of under-recognized women thought leaders & experts.

In this Books That Matter feature, Wendy shares the books that changed something profound in her at different stages of her life, how she might be Holly Golightly-meets-the-Oracle-of-Delphi, and the one thing that she hopes people come away with from her new book, Splitopia (Atria Books).

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Thought(ful) Leader Series: Author & Productive Flourishing Founder Charlie Gilkey

 

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I have asked leaders in different fields whom I respect their views on leadership today and what conversations they think we need to be having.

This week’s guest is ally and colleague Charlie Gilkey. A former Army officer in Iraq with a philosopher’s reflection and a productivity hack’s action, Charlie often raises questions & checks assumptions about the field of digital entrepreneurship and business itself.  An influential soul more prone to questions than answers is, in my book, a thoughtful leader.

In this Thought(ful) Leader interview, Charlie shares when he realized he was leading his field, how to face the hard, and whom he looks up to.

– Jeffrey

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Thought(ful) Leader Series: Author & Playing Big Leadership Program Creator Tara Mohr

 

Tara MohrI have asked leaders in different fields whom I respect their views on leadership today and what conversations they think we need to be having.

This week’s guest is Tara Mohr. With unflinching grace, Tara has raised conversations around women – talented, capable, more-than-competent women – playing small with their lives & ideas. She set out to change that, and she has. Tara’s Playing Big model has influenced the way tens of thousands of people have taken bold steps to follow their callings.

In this Thought(ful) Leader interview, Tara will share with us why “new” leadership isn’t necessarily the answer, why she looked up to her dance teacher, and why she doesn’t want to be remembered.

– Jeffrey

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