Books: Be You
Bring your authentic self to work, Porter Braswell argues in Let Them See You.
Let Them See You: The Guide for Leveraging Your Diversity at Work
By Porter Braswell; Lorena Jones Books; 224 pages; $19.99
Porter Braswell, one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business, is clearly frustrated as he urges more aggressive tactics for increasing diversity and inclusiveness in America’s workplaces. In Let Them See You: The Guide for Leveraging Your Diversity at Work, he’s talking to both organizations and the 40 million people of color working across America.
To organizations, he urges them to join “the movement” by upgrading their D+I programs to genuinely embed practices and policies proven to work: creating an early-talent pipeline for people of color, offering mentoring and apprenticeship programs, ensuring consistent cross-training to develop transferrable skills, and assigning passionate professionals to lead such programs and outreach.
Of particular interest to associations may be Accenture’s “diversity-focused referral program,” which “prioritizes diversity and incentivizes employees to refer diverse employees” for next-level jobs and entry-point positions into the organization.
However, Braswell spends more time coaching individuals of color to “raise your hand” and double-down on skill development and professional growth opportunities that may intimidate at first. He especially emphasizes the subject of bringing your authentic self to the office to add positivity and productivity to any workplace, providing language to build a personal brand and leverage career-building situations.
“This is our time, friends, and it’s up to us to seize the moment and take the lead,” writes Braswell. “Let them know we’re here, we’re capable, we’re united—and we’re the future.”
A persuasive call to action written with passion and urgency.
This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See
By Seth Godin; Portfolio; 288 pages; $24
The latest book by prolific marketing guru Seth Godin explores less of the how and more of the why. Pulling from “a 100-day seminar of peer-to-peer coaching around shared work” on TheMarketingSeminar.com, Godin emphasizes that while tips such as “focus on the smallest viable market” and “if you can’t see the funnel, don’t buy the ads” are important to learn, more significant is mentally reframing your marketing as “the generous act of helping someone solve a problem.”
Too many marketers feel guilty about their jobs and forget that good marketing builds authentic, trusting relationships. Cut it out, he directs. “It’s time to stop confusing social media metrics with true connections,” which should be your real aim.
Check the back for a Simple Marketing Worksheet and suggested reading list.
Becoming Essential—For Associations, the Question Is: Do You Want to Survive, or Do You Want to Thrive?
By James Meyers; Imagination Publishing; 217 pages; $24
Books specific to association management are less common among business literature, so you’ll enjoy reading relatable lingo and sector-specific advice from the 20 recognized association leaders interviewed by author James Meyers, founder of the content marketing agency Imagination.
Through his association clients, Meyers became interested in the conversation around what has become the core concern of many organizations: How do we stay relevant? He approaches the question from three angles: evaluating your disruptors, exploring your current and future relevance, and executing the inevitable transitions that result from self-reflection. Reconsidering purpose and audience are among the most critical areas examined.
This is not a big a-ha book, but it provides a good overview and action framework for the why-should-I-care reality of today.