Category Archives: Randy’s blog entries

Entries by Randy Mayeux

Read more books; with a “studying mindset” – Is there a better way to learn?

I recently read an article by a college professor about the new reality in his classes. He said that he had always assigned about 30 pages of reading for each class.  He had done that for years.  And now, his students are simply not capable of completing the 30 pages of reading.  They can’t. It’s not that they won’t.  It’s not that they are too “busy.”  Students have always been busy. It is that they can’t.

He speculates as to why, and places plenty of the blame on the phones that command so, so much of people’s attention.  The perpetual distractions that they afford have literally shrunk the focus capabilities of today’s students. 

I don’t doubt this.

But, the loss is immense. 

Here’s my view:  no Tweet, no blog post, no YouTube video, or Ted Talk, or podcast, provides the in-depth learning that reading a good book provides.

Fully reading a book is unlike any other learning experience. The Washington Book

And I’m not talking about skimming, or speed reading.  I’m not talking about the “Washington read.”  In a NY Times column I Read These Books So That You Don’t Have To, excerpted from his new book The Washington Book: How to Read Politics and Politicians, Carlos Lozado writes: 

The commentator Chris Matthews once admitted that Washingtonians themselves don’t really read such books. Instead, they give them what he calls the “Washington read” — a quick skim, a lone chapter or just an optimistic search through the index. 

I agree; a quick skim does not provide the benefit that a deep reading does.  

Nor do I believe that listening to an audio book provides the same level of in-depth learning.  Especially for nonfiction books, with arguments, and concepts, that require stopping, pondering, thinking… In other words, for books that require a “studying” mindset, reading the book itself is essential.  

There is something about reading a book; fully, completely, even…slowly…reading a book, that cannot be replicated in any other way.  

And, yes, of course, I know that reading my synopsis handouts, or following along on the handouts as I present the synopses, is a woefully inadequate substitute for reading the book for yourself.  (Though, it is enough of an exposure that you can learn plenty; and, if you have read the book, it provides a good refresher). 

But, here is the issue:  is it possible that our society is being hurt in ways that we don’t yet understand by our loss of reading focus?

If students cannot read thirty pages for a class, then fewer adults will read thirty pages, or 200 pages, or 600 pages, later in their life. 

Reading books takes time, and focus.  if fewer people actually read books for themselves  – and yes, the research says that this is happening – then maybe our society will pay some kind of price for this loss. 

Maybe we will fail to understand context, and maybe we will fail to know, or understand, the history behind current realities. …Maybe we will become more shallow.

So, the question is this:  what approach do you follow to keep learning?  

My opinion is this:  there really is no substitute for serious book reading – book reading with a studying mindset. 

Keep reading.  Keep studying. There is so, so much more to learn.

Urban Engagement Book Club, Thursday, February 15, 12:30 pm, over Zoom – The Struggle for the People’s King: How Politics Transforms the Memory of the Civil Rights Movement by Hajar Yazdiha – And, here is my comprehensive handout

 Struggel for the People's King

 

—————–

You are invited – on Zoom, Thursday!

A special encouragement to attend 

the Urban Engagement Book Club

Thursday, Febraury 15, over Zoom, 12:30 pm

Please join us. All details below.

————

Download today’s handout here.

—————-

If you have an open lunch time window Thursday, January 18, 12:30 pm (CST), I am presenting my synopsis of:

The Struggle for the People’s King: How Politics Transforms the Memory of the Civil Rights Movement by Hajar Yazdiha.

This book will help you realize how Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy lives on; how it has been used for the good; and how some miss his point, and misuse his words, to this day…

I encourage you to download my comprehensive handout, print it out, and follow along.

Come join us on Zoom.

Urban Engagement Book Club
Thursday, February 15 – 12:30 pm (CST)

Synopsis presented by Randy Mayeux
We conclude shortly after 1:30.
(This event is free).

And, here is the Zoom link to join our gathering. 

Randy Mayeux is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Join Zoom Meeting

Click here to see the books we presented in 2024.  This link allows you to download the handouts, plus the audio recordings of most of the presentations.

To join us on Zoom today, at 12:30:

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87533966938?pwd=ZTZyNjlEQ0xlZzJROTlFeWxRdm9BQT09

Meeting ID: 875 3396 6938

Passcode: 862561

———————

Here is the more complete Zoom info.

Randy Mayeux is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Urban Engagement Book Club

Time: February 15, 2024 12:30 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87533966938?pwd=ZTZyNjlEQ0xlZzJROTlFeWxRdm9BQT09

Meeting ID: 875 3396 6938

Passcode: 862561

One tap mobile

+13462487799,,87533966938#,,,,*862561# US (Houston)

+16694449171,,87533966938#,,,,*862561# US

Dial by your location

  • +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
  • +1 669 444 9171 US
  • +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
  • +1 719 359 4580 US
  • +1 253 205 0468 US
  • +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
  • +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)
  • +1 305 224 1968 US
  • +1 309 205 3325 US
  • +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
  • +1 360 209 5623 US
  • +1 386 347 5053 US
  • +1 507 473 4847 US
  • +1 564 217 2000 US
  • +1 646 931 3860 US
  • +1 689 278 1000 US
  • +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)

Meeting ID: 875 3396 6938

Passcode: 862561

Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kdlE4Wb3WF

The New York Times list of Best Selling Business Books for Feb. 2024 — Atomic Habits, Elon Musk, Be Useful… and more good books

The New York Times list of best-selling business books for February, 2024 reads like a broken record.  (Is that mixing metaphors?)Atomic Habits

So, yes, Atomic Habits by James Clear is still, and yet again, at the top spot.  This book has been at the #1 spot for practically every month since the early parts of the Pandemic.  One assumes that a lot of people need a lot help getting rid of bad habits, and building good habits.  I know I do.

A word about bestseller lists.  Why do we even pay attention to what the top sellers are?  For a simple reason; if enough people buy a book, that usually means people are talking about the value of the book. Not always; but usually… In other words, we can learn from these books. 

At the First Friday Book Synopsis in Dallas, we have presented synopses of over 620 books since our monthly gatherings began in 1998.  Of the ten books this month, I have presented synopses of five of the books:  Atomic Habits, The Creative Act, Hidden Potential, Elon Musk, and The Coming Wave.  And, my former colleague, Karl Krayer, presented his synopsis of Thinking, Fast and Slow. So, I can definitely vouch for the usefulness and value of six of these ten, and say they are worth your time.

In fact, two of these ten made the short list of finalists for the Best Business Book of the Year of 2023, which is awarded by The Financial Times: Elon Musk and The Coming Wave.  The winning book, Right Kind of Wrong by Amy Edmondson, is a book I also presented last year. Right Kind of Wrong

Here are the ten best selling business books from the New York Times list for February, 2024. Click over to the NY Times site for a link to a review for one of these books.

#1 — Atomic Habits by James Clear

#2 — The Creative Act by Rick Rubin

#3 — Hidden Potential by Adam Grant 

#4 — Elon Musk by Walter Isaacson

#5 — Build the LIfe You Want by Arthur C. Brooks and Oprah Winfrey

#6 — I Will Teach You To Be Rich, Second Edition by Ramit Sethi

#7 — Rich AF by Vivian Tu

#8 — Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

#9 — The Coming Wave by Mustafa Suleyman with Michael Burskar

#10 — Be Useful by Arnold Schwarzenegger

 

——————

You can purchase my synopses presentations from the buy synopses tab at the top of this page.  On that page, you can search by book title. And click here for our newest additions.

Each synopsis comes with my comprehensive, multi-page synopsis handout, plus the audio Academy-logo-02-2048x2048recording of my presentation delivered at the First Friday Book Synopsis in Dallas.

And, please check out these “bundles” of synopses, arranged by key categories, for your own self-paced learning, at my companion site, AcademyofLifelongLearning.com.

What is your mindset? Here are three mindsets to set in your mind… – insight from Carol Dweck, Dan Sullivan, and Sally Jenkins

Mindset — Noun — the established set of attitudes held by someone. Mindset

Not too long ago, the one book that I had presented dealing with the idea of mindset was the modern day classic, Mindset by Carol Dweck.  This book would go near the op of any of my must-read book lists.

In Mindset, Carol Dweck says that there are two mindsets:  the growth mindset, and the fixed mindset.

She writes:

Thus: the two mindsets:
• The Fixed Mindset “carved in stone”
• The Growth Mindset “just the starting point for development”

Ms. Dweck believes that every person still has room to grow, to develop.  And, every teacher, every leader, every coach needs to view those they teach and train and develop as people with room still to learn and to grow.

I especially appreciate this from the book:  “My major conclusion is: What any person in the world can learn, almost all persons can learn, if provided with the appropriate prior and current conditions of learning.”

So, two questions:

  • Do you believe you still have room to grow and develop?
  • Do you believe the people you teach, or lead, or the people you work with, still have room to grow and develop?

Well, once you begin thinking about mindsets, the word mindset, and the idea of mindset, start popping up everywhere.

I recently presented my synopsis of 10X is Easier than 2X by Dan Sullivan and Dr. Benjamin Hardy. The 10X mindset idea is sprinkled throughout:10X

  • “We’ve shifted to a quality over quantity mindset,” he told me. Higher quality, less quantity. 10x is qualitative, not quantitative.
  • Going for incremental progress is a 2x mindset, which at a fundamental level means you’re continuing or maintaining what you’re already doing.
  • The Surprising Simplicity of 10x Growth—Why the 2x Mindset Is the Enemy of Results.

And maybe my favorite mindset idea comes from Sally Jenkins in her book The Right Call: What Sports Teach Us About Work and Life.  In this book, she writes of the athletic mindset:

What is the athletic mindset?

  • The laziest-seeming pro athlete works much harder than the average person, day in and day out, to get better, and is more forthright when it comes to confronting their unevenness under pressure. The Right Call
  • The longer I watch, the more I return to a question my father liked to pose rhetorically. “Who can describe the athletic heart?” he asked. The way he said it made me feel that it was the most important challenge in the world. The following is an effort to answer that challenge—to try to catalog the inner qualities that allow ordinary people to overcome pressures, elevate their performances, and find champion identities, even when they don’t always win. In reading, you may decide an athletic heart is worth acquiring for yourself.

She also includes this:  “Given enough practice and the right mindset, everyone has the potential to excel with regard to pattern recognition and decision making.”

So, here are three mindsets:

#1 – the growth mindset

#2 – the 10X mindset

#3 – the athletic mindset.

Think of the opposite of these three:

#1 – the fixed mindset — people have limits, and once they reach them, they cannot develop or grow any farther.

#2 – the 2x mindset –- only small, tiny improvements are possible.

#3 – The…”settle for mediocre” mindset; rejecting the call to be a champion in whatever arena you tackle.

I know that there are times when I am tired, or dispirited, or feeling defeated, when I want to just settle for what is, and not aim for what could be.

But…but…we are better than that. And the books I read remind me to not settle; to not bog down.  They call me to keep getting…better.

Maybe we all need to work on our mindsets, and aim higher.

The AIM HIGHER MINDSET…that would be a worthy mindset for us all.

——————–

I present my synopses at the First Friday Book Synopsis in Dallas.  Each synopsis comes with the audio recording of my presentation, and the pdf of the multi-page, comprehensive synopsis handout.

Click here to purchase my synopsis of Mindset.  And, click here to purchase my synopsis of The Right Call.

My synopsis of 10X is Easier than 2X will be available soon.

And you can purchase our newest additions to our synopses by clicking here.

Supercommunicators by Charles Duhigg & The Friction Project by Sutton and Rao – For the March 1, 2024 First Friday Book Synopsis –

FFBS, March, 2024 

 

Book Lovers & Lifelong Learners, Join us for two good books: for the March 1, 2024 First Friday Book Synopsis 

TWO COMPREHENSIVE BOOK SYNOPSES — BOOK SYNOPSES FOR THE LIFELONG LEARNER IN ALL OF US!

Come to learn; AND make some great connections!

2024 — Your Year of Learning!

March 1, 2024

COMPLETING OUR 26th Year! — Over 620 books presented – and counting!

WHAT:  The First Friday Book Synopsis

WHEN:  March 1, 7:00 am (presentations begin at 7:25 am)

WHERE:  The Park City Club, Dallas AND streaming live on Zoom

Park City Club, 5956 Sherry Lane, Suite 1700, Dallas, TX 75225

Click here to register for the in-person gathering at the wonderful Park City Club in Dallas.

AND…ZOOM Info: Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83280208373?pwd=QWppaTFFNUI4ZU5VRU8wQjRVdDRqZz09

Meeting ID: 832 8020 8373

Passcode: 445289

——

Every month since April 1998, we have presented synopses of two good business books at the First Friday Book Synopsis, in Dallas.  Now a hybrid event (both in-person at the Park City Cluband on Zoom), it is a true learning event.

———————

The two books selected for March 1 are:

1. Supercommunicators: How to Unlock the Secret Language of Connection by Charles Duhigg.

2. The Friction Project: How Smart Leaders Make the Right Things Easier and the Wrong Things Harder by Robert Sutton and Huggy Rao.

Come join us!

March 1, 2024 – Park City Club (and Zoom) — 7:00 am Central Time — (program begins at 7:25 am)

At the First Friday Book Synopsis, we make each month’s session a genuine learning event.  You learn from the best business books, and then it is up to you to put into practice the things you learn.

Click here to register for the in-person session.  (Zoom info is below).

——————–

In our 26th YEAR of the First Friday Book Synopsis

Randy Mayeux provides thorough synopses of the content of useful, best-selling business books. He provides a comprehensive, multi-page synopsis handout, that concludes with his own lessons and takeaways from each book he presents.

“I love good books; and I read books
And share their core concepts
To help people become more literate
And know what to work on
To do a better job
To build a better company
And, ultimately, to build a better life.”
Randy Mayeux
——————-

March 1, 2024 – Park City Club; and on Zoom 

What to expect:

Two fast-paced synopsis presentations.

For each synopsis , we prepare a comprehensive and thorough multi-page synopsis handout.

For In-person participants, you will be given copies of the two synopsis handouts.  For those attending remotely, you will receive a synopsis handout to download for each of the two books, delivered the day before the event, via e-mail (and, available on this blog).

YOU DO NOT HAVE TO READ THE BOOKS IN ADVANCE! – No pre-reading of the books required!

If you are like many, you do not have time to read all of the books you would like to read. The First Friday Book Synopsis is designed for you.

Our synopses are comprehensive, thorough, and they will give you plenty of the key content from each book. You will learn, and be able to ponder the ideas in a useful way. And, even if you have read the book, my synopsis will help you remember more of what you read.

I hope you can join us.

For in-person participants: click here to register for in-person attendance.

For remote participants:
The cost of this remote meeting is “free.”
But, if you would like to contribute to participate, Randy would welcome you to send $12-$15 directly to him through PayPal. Click here for a direct link to “donate” through PayPal.

For remote participants, here is the Zoom info.  The Zoom meeting requires no registration.

Randy Mayeux is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

——————–

Visit our web site where you can purchase past synopses, with audio recordings + synopsis handouts, at: 15minutebusinessbooks.com

For our most recent synopses, click here.

Purchase past synopses bundled in categories, each with audio recordings and synopsis handouts, at our other site; academyoflifelonglearning.com.

Download the two Synopses Handouts for the Friday, February 2, 2024 First Friday Book Synopsis (over Zoom) — The Geek Way by Andrew McAfee and 10X is Easier that 2X by Dan Sullivan and Dr. Benjamin Hardy

{Note:  you can also still register to attend in-person for the February 2 First Friday Book Synopsis, at the wonderful Park City Club, by clicking here}.

FFBS, for SND, For FFBS Janauary, 2024 copy 

In our 26th Year!

You are invited
First Friday Book Synopsis,
Friday, February 2, 2024, 7:25 am (Central Time), on Zoom.
I hope you can join us!

Meeting On ZoomThe Geek Way,cover

Around 100 people (in our combined in-person and Zoom participants) have been joining us for our First Friday Book Synopsis gatherings. We have had participants from all over the country. Please share this word far and wide — all are welcome!

This Friday, February 2, 2024, 7:25 am – Zoom 

The two books for tomorrow are both worth your time!

1. The Geek Way:  The Radical Mindset that Drives Extraordinary Results by Andrew McAfee

2. 10X is Easier than 2X:  How World Class Entrepreneurs Achieve More by Doing Less by Dan Sullivan with Dr. Benjamin Hardy

About the books:

The Geek Way: The Radical Mindset that Drives Extraordinary Results is written by the co-author of the seminal book, The Second Machine Age.  This book is about far more that technology; it is about an entire culture that has changed, and continues to change, the way organizations can build a better future.

10X is Easier than 2X:  How World Class Entrepreneurs Achieve More by Doing Less by Dan Sullivan with Dr. Benjamin Hardy is like a great, extended coaching session with a revered business coach. 

In other words, both books are very much worth our time. You will learn!

Note: The first presentation will begin around 7:25-7:30 am.

I intend to keep this Zoom gathering free. But, your voluntary participation would be appreciated.  If you would like to contribute to participate, Randy would welcome you to send $12-$15 directly to him through PayPal. Click here for a direct link to “donate” through PayPal.

PRINTING TIP: I strongly encourage all to print out the two handouts. If you will begin printing on page 2, you will still have the full handout, and save the ink that you would use on the front/cover sheet. 

Where:  On Zoom

When: This Friday, February 2— presentations begin at 7:25-7:30 am (Central Time)
The presentations will conclude around 8:35 am
Speaker: Randy Mayeux will deliver both synopsis presentations.

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83280208373?pwd=QWppaTFFNUI4ZU5VRU8wQjRVdDRqZz09

Meeting ID: 832 8020 8373

Passcode: 445289

————————10X Is Easier Than 2X,cover

We are all set for Friday’s Remote First Friday Book Synopsis.

#1 — Download, and print both synopses handouts by clicking here. If you have ever attended our event, you know that I am handout intensive. You really will be able to follow along better with physical copies of the handouts in front of you. So, if you have a printer, please print the handouts.

#2 — Come on in for conversation whenever you can. I have enabled the “enable join before host” button. You will arrive in the waiting room, and be let in quickly. So, you can come in, and talk to folks.

#3 — Here is the info, with the link to join the gathering:

Randy Mayeux is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting

Topic: First Friday Book Synopsis, 2022
Time:  February 2, 2023 07:00 AM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83280208373?pwd=QWppaTFFNUI4ZU5VRU8wQjRVdDRqZz09

Meeting ID: 832 8020 8373

Passcode: 445289

—–

Reminder: The cost of this remote meeting is “free.”

But, if you would like to contribute to participate, Randy would welcome you to send $12-$15 directly to him through PayPal. Click here for a direct link to “donate” through PayPal.

(Note: you can also send money through Zelle, at Randy’s e-mail address). — (Randy’s e-mail address for PayPal, and Zelle, is ).

Please help spread the word far and wide; help make this a success.

————————–

You might want to read this post. It has a printable one-sheet reminder on how to make the most of your remote learning experience.

Remote Learning 101 – Read this before attending your learning session.

 ——————

Here is more complete Zoom info:

Randy Mayeux is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: First Friday Book Synopsis, 2024

Time: Feb. 2, 2024 07:00 AM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83280208373?pwd=QWppaTFFNUI4ZU5VRU8wQjRVdDRqZz09

Meeting ID: 832 8020 8373

Passcode: 445289

One tap mobile

+13462487799,,83280208373#,,,,*445289# US (Houston)

+16694449171,,83280208373#,,,,*445289# US

Dial by your location

  • +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
  • +1 669 444 9171 US
  • +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
  • +1 719 359 4580 US
  • +1 253 205 0468 US
  • +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
  • +1 305 224 1968 US
  • +1 309 205 3325 US
  • +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
  • +1 360 209 5623 US
  • +1 386 347 5053 US
  • +1 507 473 4847 US
  • +1 564 217 2000 US
  • +1 646 931 3860 US
  • +1 689 278 1000 US
  • +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
  • +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)

Meeting ID: 832 8020 8373

Passcode: 445289

Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kBa7nTumc