Friday, December 8, 2023

FALL BACK TO READING SERIES – Featuring Doug Dickerson

This year, as the seasons change and we enjoy fall, I’ve launched my FALL BACK TO READING SERIES. The series will feature two dozen leadership and marketing experts, who will share their inspiration in both fiction and nonfiction, and hopefully, provide the impetus to read more. To quote New York Times Bestselling author Kristin Harmel, “If you give a person a book, you give him the world.” For today’s post, I’d like to introduce Doug Dickerson.

Doug Dickerson has more than 30 years of experience in various leadership positions and first appeared on my Blog back in 2010, after I read his inspiring book, Leaders Without Borders: 9 Essentials for Everyday Leaders. I then appeared on his podcast several times, and we discussed the intersection of leadership and marketing. As Doug explains on his blog, "My purpose isn’t complicated. I am here to share my leadership insights and perspectives in hopes to cut through the clutter and give it to you straight up and simple. My desire is that you will come away inspired, encouraged, challenged, and better equipped as a leader."

QUESTION: Which three business books have made the biggest impact on your career?
DOUG DICKERSON: Here are my three:

(1) Full Steam Ahead: Unleash The Power Of Vision In Your Work And Your Life by Ken Blanchard and Jesse Lyn Stone.

This book has made an impact on me from the standpoint of understanding the importance of making sure that your values are clear and when they are, decision making becomes easier. More than just helping you understand the importance of creating a vision for your company, it guides a reader in discovering how to create a vision for their life.

(2) The Ideal Team Player: How To Recognize And Cultivate The Three Essential Virtues by Patrick Lencioni.

In this book, written as a story (like Full Seam Ahead), Lencioni writes about the challenges of a less than ideal workplace culture and the challenges within it. It's then that Lencioni lays out the three essential virtues for team players: Humble, Hungry, and Smart. When these three are combined in a single individual, it can be transformative not just for the person, but for the organization. It’s a great book and reminder that no matter how bad things are, they can be turned around with the right focus and the right leaders in place.

(3) The 360 Leader: Developing Your Influence From Anywhere In The Organization by John C. Maxwell.

This book was first published in 2005, but in my opinion, it has stood the test of time as one of the most applicable business books about leadership. In this book, Maxwell tackles the myths of leading from the middle of an organization, stresses the importance of leading yourself, how to lead up in your organization, and much more. The wisdom in this book is unmatched and is one that I return to on a regular basis.

QUESTION: Who is your favorite author, and why?
DOUG DICKERSON: As an author and a weekly columnist, I’d have to say that my favorite non-fiction author is John Maxwell. I have been influenced by his writings for three decades. I admire his ability to convey leadership principles that can often be complex and break them down in a simple and straightforward way. His ability to connect with his readers is legendary.

As for fiction writers, my favorite author is John Grisham. I’ve been a longtime fan of his books and enjoy his storytelling skills.

QUESTION: What book did you read in high school or college that, to this day, you still remember vividly, and why?

DOUG DICKERSON: The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway.

I first read the book in high school and have read it numerous times since. I enjoy the story of Santiago and his struggle to catch a fish and his young companion, Manolin, who didn’t give up on him. The story is a gentle reminder about struggles we all face and that everyone just needs someone to believe in them and be a friend.

QUESTION: Do you intersperse fiction with your business reading? If yes, what was the last work of fiction that you read, and what caught your attention about it?

DOUG DICKERSON: Yes. I enjoy reading fiction. Some of my favorite writers are John Grisham and James Patterson. The last fiction book I read was Sycamore Row by John Grisham. I read fiction as a means of escape and to just enjoy a good story.

SHARE THIS: I read fiction as a means of escape and to just enjoy a good story. ~@DougDickersonSC #DebbieLaskeysBlog #Reading

QUESTION: If you created a nonprofit organization to promote reading to children and young adults, what would you name it, and why?

DOUG DICKERSON: Read for Success.

The name, in part, ties in to the business that my wife and I own and operate called The Success Center. The Success Center is a microschool and a tutoring center. Since opening nearly five years ago, we have served hundreds of students in our community through our tutoring services and school. It’s a very rewarding business as we are both educators, and starting a non-profit to promote reading and literacy is very much a desire of ours.

My gratitude to Doug for participating in this year’s fall back to reading series and for sharing his inspiring recommendations!

Image Credit: Emmanuel Ikwuegbu via Unsplash.

Read Doug's previous appearances here on my Blog:
Leadership Is a Marathon, Not a 100-Yard Dash (August 2019)

Tips to Develop Your Leadership Legacy (July 2018)

A Review of “Leaders Without Borders: 9 Essentials for Everyday Leaders” (October 2010)

Connect with Doug at these links:
X (formerly Twitter): @DougDickersonSC

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