On Marshmallows and Books - Conway Center for Family Business

On Marshmallows and Books

marsh 2We had a great session at our Women in Family Business Peer Group! We started off with the Marshmallow Challenge: Two teams of 4 were tasked with building the tallest structure they could manage using string, tape, and dry spaghetti. A jumbo marshmallow had to be placed on top – and the structures remain sound – in order to succeed. The tallest structure wins!


Here is a great website on the ins and outs of the Marshmallow Challenge and who performs best – it’s not who you might think! (Spoiler: kindergarteners outperform CEOs and recent MBA students.) The 6 minute Ted Talk is worth your time.



winnerOur discussion moved on to favorite business books. Here’s a list:

  • A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Building a Great Business – Weinzweig
  • A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Being a Better Leader –   Weinzweig
  • Built To Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies- Collins
  • Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us  – Pink
  • FamilyBusiness Basics: The Guide to Family Business Financial Success – Wolper & Emens
  • Go-Givers Sell More – Burg & Mann
  • Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t – Collins
  • Halftime: Moving From Success to Significance – Buford
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People – Carnegie
  • Hug Your Customers: The Proven Way to Personalize Sales and Achieve Astounding Results – Mitchell
  • In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America’s Best-Run Companies – Peters & Waterman
  • Leadership Is an Art – DePree
  • Mastering the Seven Decisions That Determine Personal Success – Andrews
  • Ownership Thinking: How to End Entitlement and Create a Culture of Accountability, Purpose, and Profit – Hams
  • Power Questions: Build Relationships, Win New Business, and Influence Others – Sobel & Panas
  • Quick and Nimble: Lessons from Leading CEOs on How to Create a Culture of Innovation – Bryant
  • Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking – Cain
  • Shogun – Clavell
  • Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior – Brafman
  • Swim with the Sharks: Without Being Eaten Alive; Outsell, Outmanage, Outmotivate and Outnegotiate Your Competition – Mackay
  • Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business- Wickman
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change – Covey
  • The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You- Maxwell & Covey
  • The Art of War – Sun Tzu
  • The Business Coach – Sugars & Sugars
  • The Butterfly Effect: How Your Life Matters – Andrews
  • The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance—What Women Should Know – Kay & Shipman
  • The Culture of Success –  Anderson
  • The Customer Rules: The 39 Essential Rules for Delivering Sensational Service – Cockerell
  • The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done – Drucker
  • The Energy Bus – Gordon (also Soup and The Seed)
  • The Fearless Front Line: The Key to Liberating Leaders to Improve and Grow Their Business – Attiyah
  • The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable – Lencioni
  • The Go-Giver: A Little Story about a Powerful Business Idea – Burg
  • The Greatest Secret in the World – Mandino
  • The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work – Achor
  • The Heart Mender: A Story of Second Chances – Andrews
  • The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy – Stanley & Danko
  • The One Minute Manager –Blanchard & Johnson
  • The ROI of Business Travel – McGill
  • The Second Shift: Working Families and the Revolution at Home – Hochschild & Machung
  • The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference – Gladwell
  • The Traveler’s Gift: Seven Decisions that Determine Personal Success – Andrews
  • The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century – Friedman
  • What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures – Gladwell
  • What Leaders Really Do – Kotter
  • What’s the Secret: To Providing a World-Class Customer Experience – DiJulius
  • Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements –  Rath & Harter
  • Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life – Johnson

Also of note, Success Magazine – bi monthly and includes a CD.

If you are interested in personal and business development, this list is a good place to start. Happy Reading! 

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