Markus Gull

Reading recommendation: Five enlightening books for the reading autumn.

Two weeks before the Frankfurt Book Fair opens its doors - this year, by the way, with a focus on France - I'm also rustling a little in my library and recommending five books to you, because that's the only place where inspiring thoughts are in good hands.

These five books have been particularly helpful to me in my work, each in its own way, and I hope they do the same for you.

By the way: the links to Amazon are meant as a service to sniff around and in case you want to feed your Kindle right away. Every bookseller is happy about a purchase and gets every book in no time - sometimes the hand is turned around two or three times ...

The reward for this is that there is always a lot to discover during a visit to the bookshop, and I am also happy to receive relevant tips - not only from the non-fiction corner. Because no matter which shelf we stand in front of, my grandmother, old Story Dudette, stands next to us in spirit with her bookworm on a leash and whispers to us: "No Story. No Glory."

Autumn reading

For all world champions of procrastination who want to end their successful career ...

This book will change your life, for the better. At least it did for me. Because Steven Pressfield wrote this book just for the two of us. For us experts in procrastination, for us procrastination world champions of all classes and favourite victims of the inner pig.
It's strange that we don't start projects that are particularly close to our hearts. Writing the book that we have been carrying around for - yes, that's right: decades! - with us for decades? Get a special project off the ground? Realising a lifelong dream? Don't we all have two lives? One that we lead and one full of things we would like to do ...
In between is something Steven Pressfield calls Resistance.
"The War of Art" is about resistance and how to overcome it. The first step is to read this wonderful book, which you will not be able to put down and devour in two hours, while you should actually be doing something else...


Autumn reading

For all those who are not only sick of "post-factual" factual, but the opposite ...

A wonderful essay in book form. A timeless classic - more relevant than ever in the post-factual age. Especially now, in times of election campaigns in Germany and Austria, almost a little comforting. The original of all anger books and an indispensable basic work of applied stupidity research from the pen of the American philosopher Harry G. Frankfurt.

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Autumn reading

For all those who have to lead creative groups. So actually for everyone who has to lead ...

If you want to be better than your competitors or than the next robot that is already greedily eyeing the well-warmed workplace, the best way to fight back is with good old-fashioned ingenuity. - Open innovation and crowdsourcing are part and parcel of good practice. The best way to learn how to lead creative groups is from someone who does it all the time.
Ed Catmull, with John Lasseter and Steve Jobs, one of the founders of Pixar Animation Studios, had the dream as a young man to make the first computer-animated film and so it happened: Toy Story changed the world of animation forever. The company has been producing blockbusters such as Finding Nemo/Dorie, Cars and Ratatouille for over 25 years. In "Creativity, Inc.", Catmull shows, for example, why you achieve much more if you give employees freedom and how you can overcome destructive forces that exist in every company.


Autumn reading

For all those who want to know how evolution turns us all into storytellers ...

The immense power of stories and storytelling is not an abstract assumption, but is deeply rooted in our humanity. Much more than that: it was only when evolution gave us the ability to define our existence through values that we became humans - storytelling animals. We think in stories, we explain the world to ourselves in stories, we share stories. Yes. We even dream in stories.
Jonathan Gottschall illuminates this scientific evolutionary aspect in "The Storytelling Animal" in an easy-to-read and engaging way. The perfect book for anyone who wants to know more about the origins and effects of story. By the way, there is also a TEDx Talk to it.

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Autumn reading

For all those who have realised that meaning has a special driving force in life as in marketing ...

Anyone who has attended one of my workshops or keynotes knows my mantra: a brand that creates meaning and benefit has the strongest brand story engine of all, because it is never about the product and always about the values.
Jürgen Schöntauf shows that companies that create meaning for their employees and society are more successful in the long run. A look at global megatrends proves that many things are changing for the better and that SMEs in particular can benefit from this development. Numerous examples, such as Lunzer's Maß-Greißlerei in Vienna, underline how much it pays to align a brand with values.


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