Administrative and Management Skills

2019 Summer Learning on Leadership and Management

Looking over the ALSC Blog archives, I was inspired by 2017’s Summer Reading for Managers list, which included a number of stellar titles (go read them already!) As part of my own professional summer reading and podcast listening, I’ve been focusing on the topics of time management and habit change, both of which help prevent burn-out by allowing us to play the long game.

Currently, I’ve been inhaling Laura Vanderkam’s work, re-reading 168 Hours, I Know How She Does It and Off the Clock. I appreciate that Vanderkam starts from an abundance mindset, instead of one of scarcity. All of us have the same 168 hours in a week, which over the course of a month provides plenty of time both for obligations and the hobbies or causes that we are passionate about. Vanderkam is a big proponent of time tracking to pinpoint when we are spending our time on low-effort/low-value items (I’m looking at you Netflix binges, Pinterest & Facebook) rather than pleasure reading, learning an instrument or game night with friends and family. She also suggests writing out a list of 100 dreams or goals to help determine what those higher value activities are for you.

I also enjoy both of her podcasts, Before Breakfast, which contains short segments of 5-7 minutes and Best of Both Worlds, cohosted with Sarah Hart-Unger and aimed at working parents (decidedly not my demographic). So much else that I’ve seen recently focuses on retiring early, so it is refreshing to me to listen to two people who love their jobs and want to excel in them, while still having time for relationships and self-development.

I recently finished Think Small by Owain Service and Rory Gallagher, which provided a great reminder that big goals are reached by dividing them into a series of smaller, more manageable steps, which might include building rules to follow to avoid decision fatigue.

One of my other favorite resources on habit change is the podcast Happier by Gretchen Rubin, author of Better than Before, which suggests a number of strategies based on the idea that there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to creating or eliminating habits. She’s also developed a framework called the “Four Tendencies”, which has been useful in understanding myself and others.

What other professional topics are you learning about? Please leave your suggestions for other inspiring leadership or management reading/listening in the comments.

Today’s blog post was written by Kristin Piepho, Library Manager at the Mountlake Terrace Library (Sno-Isle Libraries), on behalf of the ALSC Managing Children’s Services Committee.

This post addresses the following ALSC Core Competencies:  VI. Administrative and Management Skills and VII. Professionalism and Professional Development.

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