Summer Reading.

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There’s something traditional about summer for me.  It’s my summer reading list.  Summer presents a good time to catch up on reading, something I truly enjoy doing.  Part of my ritual is stocking up on books that I take along on vacation.  This year I purchased three hard copy books, and began my reading before the official start of vacation.  One of those books offered a perspective on personal interactions, and although I know we’re working in a different age, it confirmed something with which I struggle.  That struggle is my attention span, which seemingly gets shorter as the months pass.  One of the authors discussed a concept mentioned in the book on a posted video where he described the aspect of today’s knowledge economy worker and the impact of interruptions.  What grabbed my attention was the statement that knowledge workers are interrupted every 11 minutes, and within that time, we interrupt ourselves by checking email and text messages.  The impact of this is that we are interrupted every four minutes.  Sadly, I concur – guilty as charged.


Is this good?  It may be the new norm, but is it necessary?  Although I found it to be true, I believe it is not necessary if we take time for discipline and focus.  I’ll confess, my attention span is minimal, and that’s not good.  Before I lose you, let me mention and recommend this book for your summer reading.  The book is titled Touchpoints.


TouchPoints: Creating Powerful Leadership Connections in the Smallest of Moments (J-B Warren Bennis Series) by Douglas R. Conant and Mette Norgaard (May 17, 2011)


The prescription I wrote to myself was to schedule time on my daily calendar to concentrate on something meaningful and for that period of time attempt to remain free from interruption.  It may be difficult, but I’m trying it.


For certain, human interaction changed.  We need to make the most of every interaction.  The world around us is different and Touchpoints, a very easy and practical read, gets to some core principles on human interaction and the importance of genuine communication that forms the core of exemplary leadership.


My summer reading list contains two additional books, and if they provide interesting insights, you may read something about them in my next blog, because we’re approaching the half way point of four minutes, and I definitely don’t want to lose you.  Stay tuned.  Enjoy your summer.


– Tom Leitzel

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