ACCDE19 Survey: The One Book

This year’s Agile Coach Camp 2019 Germany was the 10th time we gathered in beautiful Seminarzentrum Rückersbach to have 3 days of exhausting, inspiring, and connecting Open Space. At the very first coach camp in 2010 I started to do a spontaneous survey with one simple question: “Which ONE book should I read?”

This year – to honor its 10th anniversary – I repeated this survey and here are the results.

People’s reactions were quite different. Some mentioned a book within a few seconds, others needed time to think of the most recommendable book. The question even triggered something in a handful of people so they started to brain dump a list of books. Several people hesitated and wanted to know about the context–should it be a technical book or a novel or related to a special topic? I just didn’t care. The goal was just to name the one book everybody should read.

Have fun browsing the list of recommended books. Try following experiment if you want: take a look at the list but completely ignore the people who recommended the books. Choose the book which sounds most interesting to you. Now take another look at the list and take the recommending people into account. Which book would you choose now? Why? Think about your decision process and how it is related to coaching, leadership, and rock stars. Self-reflect on this and add your thoughts to the comment of this post if you want.

So here are the survey’s results in order of their appearance.

  • The Holy Bible / Die Bibel (recommended by Markus „Schmadl“ Fidelak and Jürgen “Mentos” Hoffmann) — this book was already recommended in 2010
  • Michael Bungay Stanier – The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way Your Lead Forever / The Coaching Habit: Wie Sie mit Fragen führen und dabei das Potenzial Ihrer Mitarbeiter entfesseln (recommended by Udo Wiegärtner)
  • Walter Moers – The City of Dreaming Books / Die Stadt der träumenden Bücher (recomended by Reinald Kirchner)
  • Paolo Coelho – The Alchemist / Der Alchemist (recommended by Ines Kaiser) — this book was already recommended in 2010
  • Evelyne Tribole, Elyse Resch – Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works / Intuitiv abnehmen: Zurück zu natürlichem Essverhalten (recommended by ??? – if you remember that you have talked to me about this book during accde19, please drop me a line!)
  • James Clear – Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones (recommended by Daniel Hommel)
  • Frederic Laloux – Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage in Human Consciousness / Reinventing Organizations: Ein Leitfaden zur Gestaltung sinnstiftender Formen der Zusammenarbeit (recommended by Ulrike Kerkmann, Jordann Gross and Markus Wissekal)
  • John Strelecky – The Why Are You Here Cafe: A new way of finding meaning in your life and your work / Das Café am Rande der Welt: eine Erzählung über den Sinn des Lebens (recommended by Nicole Paterova)
  • Norman L. Kerth – Project Retrospectives: A Handbook for Team Reviews Post mortem / Projekte erfolgreich auswerten (recommended by Annette Harder)
  • Tamsin Hartley – The Listening Space: A New Path to Personal Discovery (recommended by Cosima Laube)
  • Brené Brown – I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t): Making the Journey from “What Will People Think?” to “I Am Enough”: Telling the Truth About Perfectionism, Inadequacy and Power (recommended by Gitte Klitgaard)
  • Elke Heidenreich – Nero Corleone (recommended by Anna Lentner)
  • Shawn Achor – The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology that Fuel Success and Performance at Work (recommended by Armin Schubert)
  • Otto Schirmer – Theory U: Leading from the Future as It Emerges / Theorie U: Von der Zukunft her führen: Presencing als soziale Technik (recommended by Armin Schubert who was not able to pick just one book)
  • Erik Neutsch – Zwei leere Stühle (recommended by Thomas “Tommy Kay” Krause)
  • Patrick M. Lencioni – The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable / Die 5 Dysfunktionen eines Teams (recommended by Veit Richter)
  • Ayn Rand – Atlas Shrugged / Der Streik (recommended by Malte Sussdorff)
  • Amy C. Edmondson – The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation, and Growth / Die angstfreie Organisation: Wie Sie psychologische Sicherheit am Arbeitsplatz für mehr Entwicklung, Lernen und Innovationen schaffen (recommended by Maren Baermann)
  • Christopher Moore – Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal / Die Bibel nach Biff. Die wilden Jugendjahre von Jesus, erzählt von seinem besten Freund (recommended by Falk Kühnel)
  • Klaus Leopold – Rethinking Agile: Why Agile Teams Have Nothing To Do With Business Agility / Agilität neu denken: Warum agile Teams nichts mit Business Agilität zu tun haben (recommended by Daniel Räder)
  • Friedrich Hebbel – Maria Magdalena: Ein bürgerliches Trauerspiel in drei Akten (recommended by Chereen Heinrich)
  • Neil Strauss – The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists / Die perfekte Masche: Bekenntnisse eines Aufreißers (recommended by Marc Kaufmann)
  • Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa – The Leopard / Der Leopard (recommended by Stefan ??? – if you remember that you have talked to me about this book during accde19, please drop me a line!)
  • Marshall B. Rosenberg – Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life / Gewaltfreie Kommunikation: Eine Sprache des Lebens (recommended by Roman Müller)
  • Aaron Dignan – Brave New Work: Are You Ready to Reinvent Your Organization? (recommended by Daniel Kociok)
  • Lolly Daskal – The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness (recommended by Priya Tom Prince)
  • Yuval Noah Harari – Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind / Eine kurze Geschichte der Menschheit (recommended by Silvana Wasitova)
  • Michael A. Singer – The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself / Die Seele will frei sein (recommended by Chris Philips)
  • David Rock – Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long / Brain at Work: Intelligenter arbeiten, mehr erreichen (recommended by Claudius Link)
  • Eric Ries – The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses / Lean Startup: Schnell, risikolos und erfolgreich Unternehmen gründen (recommended by Holger ??? – if you remember that you have talked to me about this book during accde19, please drop me a line!)
  • Tobias Mayer – The People’s Scrum: Agile Ideas for Revolutionary Transformation / The People’s Scrum: Revolutionäre Ideen für den agilen Wandel (recommended by Carolin Metzner)
  • Gene Kim – Phoenix Project: A Novel about It, Devops, and Helping Your Business Win / Projekt Phoenix: Der Roman über IT und DevOps – Neue Erfolgsstrategien für Ihre Firma (recommended by Jürgen Rudolph)
  • Douglas Adams – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy / Per Anhalter durch die Galaxis (recommended by Daniel Liebig and Thomas ??? – if you remember that you have talked to me about this book during accde19, please drop me a line!) — this book was already recommended by two participants in 2010
  • Portia Tung – The Dream Team Nightmare: Boost Team Productivity Using Agile Techniques (recommended by Anja Stiedl)
  • John Izzo – The Five Thieves of Happiness / Die fünf großen Glücksdiebe: … und wie man ihnen keine Chance lässt (recommended by Andreas Schliep)
  • François Lelord – Hector and the Search for Happiness / Hectors Reise oder die Suche nach dem Glück (recommended by Sven Koehler)
  • Don Edward Beck, Christopher Cowan – Spiral Dynamics: Mastering Values, Leadership and Change / Spiral Dynamics – Leadership, Werte und Wandel: Eine Landkarte für Business und Gesellschaft im 21. Jahrhundert (recommended by Ralf Berninger)
  • Mike Cohn – Succeeding with Agile: Software Development Using Scrum / Agile Softwareentwicklung: Mit Scrum zum Erfolg! (recommended by Sylvius Gerber) — this book was already recommended by two participants in 2010
  • Donald Miller – Building A Story Brand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen (recommended by Bernhard Welzel)
  • Lyssa Adkins – Coaching Agile Teams: A Companion for ScrumMasters, Agile Coaches, and Project Managers in Transition (recommended by Olaf Bublitz and Katja ??? – if you remember that you have talked to me about this book during accde19, please drop me a line!)
  • Britta Redmann – Agiles Arbeiten im Unternehmen: Rechtliche Rahmenbedingungen und gesetzliche Anforderungen (recommended by Sonja Jacinto)
  • Gil Broza – The Agile Mind-Set: Making Agile Processes Work (recommended by Allan Rennebo Jepsen)
  • John Strelecky – The Big Five For Life: A story of one man and leadership’s greatest secret / The Big Five for Life: Leadership’s Greatest Secret – Was wirklich zählt im Leben (recommended by Jean-Pierre Wolf)
  • Nassim Nicholas Taleb – Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder / Antifragilität: Anleitung für eine Welt, die wir nicht verstehen (recommended by Kai-Uwe Rupp)
  • Daniel Kahneman – Thinking, Fast and Slow / Schnelles Denken, langsames Denken (recommended by Hogir Habasch)
  • Rini van Solingen – How To Lead Self-Managing Teams?: A business novel on changing leadership from sheepherding to beekeeping / Der Bienenhirte – über das Führen von selbstorganisierten Teams: Ein Roman für Manager und Projektverantwortliche (recommended by Nadine Beaumart)
  • Sun Tzu – The Art of War / Die Kunst der Krieges (recommended by Katrin Bretscher)
  • The Arbinger Institute – Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting out of the Box / Leben ohne Selbstbetrug: Wie Sie aus der Box heraus kommen (recommended by Stanislava „Stani“ Potupchik)
  • Paul Watzlawick – The Situation is Hopeless, But Not Serious: The Pursuit of Unhappiness / Anleitung zum Unglücklichsein (recommended by Markus Reinhold)
  • Nicholas D. Kristof, Sheryl WuDunn – Half The Sky: How to Change the World / Die Hälfte des Himmels: Wie Frauen weltweit für eine bessere Zukunft kämpfen (recommended by Stephy Gasche)
  • Alan Alexander Milne – Winnie the Pooh / Pu der Bär (recommended by Ilja Vishnevski) — this book was already recommended in 2010
  • Brené Brown – The Power of Vulnerability: Teachings of Authenticity, Connection, and Courage (recommended by Bettina Ruggeri)

Now pick a book, take some time, turn off all electronic devices, and enjoy!


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