Books That Matter to Jennifer Lee


“Creativity” and “business” have become inextricable for surprising reasons. Not only have corporations appropriated creativity as their flag for uniqueness. The revolution I’m witnessing also comes from another direction – business artists and creative shakers & makers who are changing the way we make business.

Three factors have helped shape this revolution: 1) The Internet + digital technology = online entrepreneurship; 2) The economic recession = more people questioning “job security” over life fulfillment before retirement; 3) the Millennial generation – who grew up as digital natives, were weaned on hope for a better world, and who graduated to a bleak economy, and who didn’t grow up with an anti-capitalist bias between art & commerce.

Enter Jennifer Lee – the focus for this Books That Matter feature. Lee has seen both sides of the creativity & business revolution. She spent ten years in corporate America performing management consulting and organizational development – among her clients, Sony, Universal, HP, Accenture. Her final corporate gig was Director of Executive Development at Gap, Inc. After a while, though, prestige and paycheck security didn’t cut it.

In 2006, after several years of personal growth and leadership training, Lee left her job and launched her own path as a coach. As coach, author, and tele-summit founder, Jennifer Lee has ushered in this revolution for a smart set of creatives, service providers, and entrepreneurs – many of them not Millennials. Tens of thousands of people have benefited from her integrity-based leadership. 

If you want to be part of this revolution, then participate for free in Lee’s annual Right-Brainers in Business Video Summit. You’ll connect with other creative shakers & makers and truly revolutionary business artists.

Her latest book – Building Your Business the Right-Brain Way – arrived at my studio yesterday. I had to wrest it from my wife’s hands.

I was curious about the books that have shaped this leader of business artists. Today you can add to your list the books that could spark your own intellectual, imaginative, and spiritual revolution.

– Jeffrey


What one book most took off the top of your head (Dickinson on
poetry) or was “the axe for the frozen sea within” you (Kafka) or
 otherwise just changed something profound within you? What did it do
 for you? Maybe a book that lit you up as a child or that turned you
 on as a young adult or last week that salved some pain or turned
your thinking upside-down.

A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink.

What one detail do you still recall from that book?

That right-brain thinking skills are valuable and much needed in the world. And I loved Dan’s recommendation to make your own font using http://www.fontifier.com/ To this day, I still use my handwritten font on my website and other things I make.

The book I imagined/imagine living inside of is

James and the Giant Peach. I remember when I read it as a kid I could just smell how delicious that succulent peach was and I loved the fanciful world that Roald Dahl created.

The character I still imagine being or being friends or seeking
 counsel from is

Pipi Longstocking because I adore her playful, independent spirit and her unusual strength. Plus she has very cool cool hair!

The one book I have most often re-read is

probably Co-Active Coaching because I studied it for my coach training and reference it every now and then for exercises to use with clients.

The kinds of books I am most appreciating or seeking these days 

ones that spark my creativity with visuals and compelling ideas. I especially admire Austin Kleon’s Steal Like an Artist and his latest Show Your Work. I also love getting lost in an engrossing novel like these ones that I’ve read recently The Invention of Wings, Tale for a Time Being, and Where’d You Go Bernadette.

I will read anything written by

Ruth Ozeki. My Year of Meats is one of my favorite books.

Survey: Roughly what % of books do you read digitally versus in
 paper? (What’s your preferred reader?)

Hmm, a numbers question for a right-brain person, ha! I’d say 60% paper vs. 40% digital. I love the convenience of having books on my iPhone and iPad and that it means less physical clutter on my bookshelves BUT there are certain books – ones that are colorful, creative, and visual – that I just need to hold in my hands and flip through to fully experience and savor them.

Which book would you want every
person who has multiple passions to read? Why?

I want every person who has multiple passions to read Refuse to Choose by Barbara Sher. Instead of making you feel wrong because you can’t focus on one thing, Refuse to Choose helps you embrace your “Scanner” sensibility.  It certainly helped me make sense of how to bring my various passions together. And the people I’ve recommended it to felt such relief learning how they can make their many interests work for them.

The little-known book I most relish and champion is

Guardians of Being. Well, I don’t think it’s little known but perhaps lesser known than its “parent” book The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. I love that Mutts illustrator Patrick McDonnell took passages from The Power of Now and coupled them with heartwarming drawings of our furry friends who remind us to be fully present. It’s such a sweet and wise book to turn to when I need to feel grounded and of course to read it while cuddling with my pooch is doubly grounding!

The one thing I hope readers of my book Building Your Business the Right-Brain Way come away with is

as a creative you actually have innate skills and sensibilities that you can leverage to grow a lasting and profitable business.

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