Books That Matter to Pam Slim

UntitledEver yearn to break out of your work cell? I have the book for you, Escape from Cubicle Nation. Once you break out of that cell, do you yearn to find the “thread that ties your story together”? I also have the book for you, Body of Work. And they’re both by the same author: Pam Slim. Both books are fueled by Pam’s deep desire to help people find success and happiness in this new world of work via her books and her world-class, worldwide entrepreneurial coaching. She gets “story,” too – especially the small-s “stories” that can get in your way or get you on your way.

In this week’s Books That Matter feature, I am honored that Pam lets us in on the book that changed her own life’s direction and the book she’d really love to write. 

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.

I read Martha Beck’s Finding Your Own North Star about 11 years ago. I had been a consultant for almost 10 years, and had always had a hunger to know how to help people find their true career path. She was such a powerful, funny storyteller that I was totally carried away by the book. I read it in one weekend, and got a huge, inexplicable desire to meet Martha in person (It took me three years, but I eventually did!). The book made a huge impact on me personally, and I have used the tools in many aspects of my work.

What one detail do you still recall from that book?

I remember the difference between your essential self (the true, unedited part of yourself, your inner 2-year old) and your social self (the part that is shaped by family, culture, media and expectations). This distinction has helped me coach hundreds of people to make decisions that are based on their true desires and best interest.

The book I imagined/imagine living inside of is______.

The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. When I was in fifth grade, I spent two weeks of winter vacation by the fireplace, reading the entire seven book Narnia series. I got so excited by the adventure, the excitement and the mystery of the story. And I love the idea that behind our everyday, average lives, there are magical worlds to explore.

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

Phoebe from The Secret Garden, because she has a wonderful persistent optimism.

The one book I have most often re-read is ______ because_____.

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. It is such a practical book, and the advice deepens and makes more sense each time I read it. I have probably recommended the book to over 100 clients. It is one of the few books that sits right on top of my desk.

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

Great stories. I am on a search in the next three years to discover all kinds of story patterns, and story examples. I will be reading books about telling stories, books that are great stories, and books that analyze storytelling in the multimedia age. I want to get back to reading more fiction, including my favorite genre, magical realism (notice a theme?).

I will read anything written by_______.

Nancy Duarte. She is a master storyteller, does impeccable research, and always has her books designed to the highest graphical standards.

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

I still read 80% of books on paper, but I just got a Kindle Fire, since I cannot stand to look at one more pile of books in my office. I am learning to love reading a digital version of a book, but it may take a bit of time.

Which book would you want every
(child/boy/girl/woman/man/daughter/son/business person/thought
 leader_____ – you choose the category) to read? Why?

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. I have never read a better written, more lyrical, truly masterful story. And the illustrations are divine! Everyone can learn to be a better writer by reading that book.

The little-known book I most relish and champion is ______.

If You Want to Write: A Book About Art, Independence and Spirit by Brenda Ueland. Brenda wrote the book in 1938, and it is an uplifting, funny, clear and useful guide for anyone who longs to write. She was a woman ahead of her time.

If I had the time, talent, grit, and support, the book I would
 write is_______.

A book on how to parent, written through the advice and voice of my children.


Find out more about how Pam Slim’s work can renew your hope and happiness when it comes to work: http://www.escapefromcubiclenation.com.

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