Books for Professionals – Brawns & Brains
The art of security is like an iceberg. What you see is just the tip. Most of the power and importance lies below the surface. Its strength and mass are formed over time and are a combination of elements and nature that make it so strong.
A true security professional is no different. An exceptional pro is a study of brawn and brains. To prove this theory, our team is constantly striving and reaching to better themselves both physically and mentally. It is not unusual for our training sessions to include both the gym…and the library!
To prove that point, our core team has assembled some of their favorite books. And they dive into why the information on these pages resonated so significantly with them.
Welcome to…Extrity Services Book Club! Our leaders are here to share their favorite books with you.
Extrity Services Owner, David Coleman’s Pick:
Visual Intelligence: Sharpen Your Perception, Change Your Life by Amy E. Herman
Amy E. Herman is an art historian and a lawyer with a resume that would make your head spin. She is the founder of The Art of Perception, Inc., which provides leadership training to the echelon of security professionals. She has guided teams from the FBI, NYPD, Department of Homeland Security, Navy SEALs, the Peace Corps, and the Department of Defense, just to name a few. She holds a BA in International Affairs from Lafayette College, a JD from the National Law Center at George Washington University, and an MA in Art History from Hunter College. In short…she knows what she’s talking about when it comes to innovative thinking as it pertains to defense.
Why her book resonated with me is because she uses minor differences in art and natural structures to illustrate that we all have predisposed perception filters. These filters only allow us to process things through our experiences. As a result, our brains sometimes treat assumptions as facts. It fills in gaps and tells our brain details that are not there.
What her insight provides are mind-blowing skills that teach the reader how to look past the obvious and see the truth in the details our preconceived notions sometimes miss. Her book explains why it is so important to not overlook the nuances that can sometimes make all the difference in situational experiences. The pages are a security professional’s invitation to see below the surface. It helps adjust the lens to allow them to see the actual data that their eyes are giving them. It teaches a true professional how to look for the subtle nuances inside of crowds.
I was blown away by some of the content. A few resonating moments for me were when she gave me tools on how to concentrate on things that are naturally camouflaged by my sensory system. Her breakdown of the dangerous risks of assumptions has been critical to our internal training system at Extrity Services.
Director of Operations, Steven Lindsay’s Pick:
Steve is a chronic overachiever, so he comes to the table with TWO books of choice.
Lead the Field by Earl Nightingale
Lead the Field: Earl Nightingale was an American author and radio speaker, whose subjects focused on human character development. While his life began simply, he experienced significant moments in his life that changed his course. As a Marine and one of only fifteen survivors on the USS Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor, he built a foundation on exceptional experiences that happen to ordinary people.
Nightingale’s post-war professional career in the radio industry put him on a path to motivational speaking. This journey leads him to become the author of The Strangest Secret, which some economists have touted as “one of the greatest motivational books of all time.”
Lead the Field was Nightingale’s book that focused on insight and guidance into management philosophies. It became known as “The Program of Presidents” because of the enormous support of avid top executives and business leaders.
Why this book moved me was because it opened my eyes to the reality that your surroundings are a reflection of you. Our environment is a mirror of ourselves. Great attitudes equal great results.
Nightingale’s book illustrated the possibilities of doubling your mental capacity with shifts in ways of thinking. In its pages, I learned how to recognize and overcome predisposition stumbling blocks. The lessons it taught gave me insight on how to dramatically improve my luck just by changing simple things in my life. It allowed me the tools to assess and recognize my potential worth, as well as the keys to increasing it with simple mental exercises.
The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science
This long-titled book was incredibly interesting to me. This book was the epitome of mind over matter. It showcases how the brain can change itself. It focuses on the science of Neuroplasticity and provides stories upon stories of how humans can alter our brain anatomy.
It was a fascinating read on the power of human potential. When applied to the art of security professionalism, it showcases how we can continue to hone the tool of humankind.
HR Director, Devon Lindsay’s Pick:
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
How to Win Friends and Influence People has been one of the best-known motivational guides in history and has sold tens of millions of copies. It has been translated into every known written language. This timeless bestseller has been in the hands of powerful leaders since 1936! This goes to show you that some foundational lessons are always classic.
What I loved about this book was how it taught me more effective ways to communicate. The lessons in the pages were immeasurable. Dale Carnegie had an exceptional way of teaching valuable lessons through storytelling, which made the insights land completely.
As the HR Director, my day-to-day is trenched in “humaning”…dealing with people, and communicating with them all day, every day. Not every person learns or communicates in the same way. And sometimes those subtle differences in individuals can make or break a successful and effective conversation if approached from the wrong angle.
This timeless book taught me very valuable lessons in the art of discussion. Some of my favorite takeaways were grounded in perceptions…those we have of others, as well as those that others have (or can have) of us. It was understood that success in dealing with people is completely grounded in having a sympathetic grasp of another’s viewpoint. It allowed me to understand that being truly engaged with a person (even the act of simply remembering and calling their name) was showcasing my interest in them as a person. As a team leader, it showed me how to encourage intrinsic eagerness in another to have a successful team dynamic.
What books for professionals has the organization read that contributed to their overall success? We’d love to hear more about how you harness the power of reading to build your team.