Book Review

I don’t count books, shoes, or handbags

angie

Angie Mureng’a, CEO, Kingdom Business Solutions, Author of The Real You, Leadership Coach. PHOTO | POOL

Angie Mureng’a

CEO, Kingdom Business Solutions, Author of The Real You, Leadership Coach

What do you read?

Books that inspire and motivate me on subjects such as leadership, people’s life lessons and experiences.

What are you currently reading?

I read several books at a go. Currently, on my table, I have ‘How Women Rise’ by Sally Helgesen and Marshall Goldsmith. I encouraged women in my community to also read the book and we have formed circles to discuss the book, like a book club. I can see myself in the book!

For younger people, I would recommend the book because it would give them a great head-start. Through the book clubs, we are learning, sharing and discovering how alike we are as humans.

I am also reading ‘Leadership and Loneliness’ by Joseph Walker. The book presents important conversations which need to be had. Thirdly, I am reading ‘Communicating for a Change’ by Andy Stanley and Lane Jones.

I am in my legacy-building years and the book makes me think about how to communicate in a way that impacts people. The fourth book I am reading is ‘Forgiving What You Can’t Forget’ by Lysa TerKeurst. Unforgiveness holds us back and the book is providing insights about how to make life beautiful again.

I want the second half of my life to mean something. ‘Permission Granted to do Church Differently in the 21st Century’ by Gary Goodell and Graham Cooke is the fifth book I am reading. As a marketplace minister, this book edifies my work. Finally, I am reading ‘Becoming’ by Michelle Obama. I am a very slow reader, I must add.

Why do you read?

Whenever I can, I block my Thursdays for reading, for research, for developing myself. I must develop myself to translate that into something impactful for others. I mentor many people and because of that, I like to be in step with what is going on in the world, what other people’s experiences are, and merge with my experiences and those of people in my community.

I also do three videos a week on the Just Angie platform so I have a responsibility for the content that I put out, the wisdom I am gaining, the understanding I get.

Any books that have influenced you during this period?

‘Crushing’ by TD Jakes, which is also currently on my reading table. I like the concept of turning pressure into power. In the current Covid-19 world, there is a lot of pressure, how do we turn that pressure into power.

I like the analogies he uses such as diamonds and olives which become better when crushed. Instead of completely crushing, we can produce something great out of the pressure we have.

What attracted you to reading?

My English literature teacher was very instrumental in inculcating in me a reading culture. I enjoyed the classes. My classmates also loved reading, so I think that culture added to my love for reading. I read a lot of fiction in my younger years. Enid Blyton and Nancy Drew come to mind.

Why did you choose to write a book?

To tell my story and translate my life and value to others. I want many generations that will come after me to know what I looked like and read about my values and the things I stood for. As a leader, writing is my way of translating my experiences and what I have learned and communicating with others in different formats such as books, and online platforms.

I also want to do podcasts, workbooks, and audiobooks in both English and Kiswahili. I believe everybody has a reason to write a book.

How many books do you have?

228.

susan

Susan Ngula, Certified coach, Operations and Customer Experience Director, Tala. PHOTO | POOL

Susan Ngula

Certified coach, Operations and Customer Experience Director, Tala

What types of books do you read?

Everything from fiction to non-fiction. I believe that as a person, I have social, physical, emotional, spiritual and mental components, which I need to feed. I gravitate towards fiction books from which I can draw life lessons such as Paulo Coehlo’s books. My non-fiction catalogue includes books on leadership, coaching, nutrition, spiritual and motivational books.

Leadership continues to evolve and no matter how many years one has been a leader, there is always new knowledge to acquire, a fact John C. Maxwell realised, and has written many books on the subject.

Some of my favourite business classics include ‘Good to Great’ by Jim Collins; ‘The Art of War’ by Sun Tzu; ‘Think and Grow Rich’ by Napoleon Hill; ‘Who Moved My Cheese?’ By Spencer Johnson; ‘Lean in’ by Sheryl Sandberg, and ‘Coaching for Performance’ by John Whitmore. Being a very spiritual person, I am drawn to Bible-based fiction such as books by Francine Rivers, or resources on scripture interpretation.

What don’t you read?

You will not find a horror novel on my pedestal, and I do not own any science fiction books either.

When did you start reading?

Early primary school. I read everything by Mills & Boon, Nancy Drew, Secret Seven, Danielle Steel, Robert Ludlum— any book that piqued my curiosity. As an introvert living in an extroverted world, my preferred mode of recharging has always been quietly reading a book.

Any book recommendations for other leaders during this season?

‘Multipliers’ by Liz Wiseman. The book explores two types of leaders – multipliers and diminishers. Multipliers inspire employees to stretch themselves to deliver results that surpass expectations. Diminishers drain the energy of the people they lead.

A second book would be ‘Mastering Leadership’ by Robert Anderson and William Adams. The book explores creative competencies, reactive tendencies, task and relationship focus and is aligned to my coaching maxim of partnering with clients to maximise their personal and professional potential.

A third book that is applicable not only for this season is ‘The Five Dysfunctions of a Team’ by Patrick Lencioni. This leadership fable explores how the absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability, and being inattentive to results can keep even the most talented teams from realising their potential.

Are there books you have read more than once?

I have read the Bible more than once because I regard it as a life manual. I am also re-reading ‘Atomic Habits’ by James Clear. With the second read, I am seeing the principles in a much more practical sense than when I first read the book.

What is your reading style?

I read more than one book at a time, so I keep them right next to my bed as a reminder. I tend to read in the evenings and over the weekends. I challenge myself to read a chapter a day although I am not always successful. I am more likely to read a book than watching a movie while traveling.

Do you lend out your books?

Whenever I lend someone a book, I reconcile myself with the possibility of never getting it back.

Do you know how many books you have?

I do not count my books, shoes, or handbags!