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“Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.” – Lemony Snicket

Behind the scenes at PopUP CleanUP, we are always striving to advance our knowledge and stretch our brains to help our business. There are so many good books out there and we’ve showcased some of them before. Today we’re going to highlight a few more we think are worth the time to stretch your mind.

The Invisible Gorilla by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons

Since Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky made cognitive and behavioral science sexy, there is a whole slew of literature published that seeks to make you less certain of your own certainty. This book is one of the mothers of them, deriving its name from the title of a psychology experiment in which the subject is asked to count the number of ball passes in a video and then asked afterwards if they have seen the gorilla. If I just made you scratch your head, that’s reason enough to read this book. According to the authors’ own description of their work: “We think we see ourselves and the world as they really are, but we’re actually missing a whole lot.” Miss less. Read this book.

Range by David Epstein

While his first book, The Sports Gene, tackled the nature versus nurture debate as to why and how peak performers succeed at athletic competition, Range addresses the question as to whether it’s better to be a generalist or a specialist and makes a very serious case for why the workforce needs both. Our entire economy is founded on the concept of specialization and truly, specialists are necessary to foster growth and progress. However, as the saying goes, sometimes you can lose the forest for the trees, and often, it’s someone who is able to create connections over a wide swath of knowledge and experience who can bring your business and expertise to the next level.

Deep Work by Cal Newport

Cal Newport has written many good books. So Good They Can’t Ignore You, How to Be A Straight A Student, and A World Without Email are all classics. But of all of them, Deep Work resonated most deeply with me—no pun intended. Addressing the fractured nature of our attention and how the attention economy has made us busy but less productive, Newport makes a case for why extended periods of highly focused concentration on one thing are critical to our work and our economy. Indeed, for those of us constantly harassed by email, periods of deep work feel almost luxurious and quaint.

The End of Average by Todd Rose

Our education, our business training and performance reviews, our personality tests and our medical system is all predicated on the idea that there is an average human being, that there is an average intelligence, that there is an average kind of personality and that we should all be measured in life based on this yardstick. According to Mr. Rose, nothing could be further from the truth. He explains the economic and social reasons for this thought process in creating cookie cutter education and training, how this is wrong, and why appreciating the uniqueness of each person is critical to their own ability to self-actualize and perform to their highest promise. If you’ve been stamped as good or bad at certain subjects or pigeonholed into a certain personality (I’m pointing the finger at you, Meyers-Briggs), then this book will free you from those restricting belief systems.

Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande

This book admittedly is a little on the dry side, but for anyone who has to manage complex systems, it’s inordinately helpful at understanding the importance of—you guessed it—checklists. If you ever were under the impression that Van Halen were rock star divas for wanting brown M&Ms removed from their dressing room, this book will definitely disavow you of that impression. Covering everything from how to make surgeries more safe to how to reduce pilot error to how to build skyscrapers that don’t topple, The Checklist Manifesto illustrates why something that seems so simple and perhaps to some, silly, is also so vital to the safety and success of any business.

Indeed, we take implementing our learning seriously, for , PopUP CleanUP uses checklists to make sure we address every nook and corner of your cleaning needs.

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