We hear from William L. Sparks, director of the graduate program in organization development, and associate professor of business and behavioral sciences at McColl School of Business at Queens University of Charlotte. Comments are edited for brevity:
“Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl is hands-down the most influential book in my professional life. Frankl influenced everyone from Stephen Covey in the “7 Habits” book series, to most of the current research on resiliency today. His lessons are timeless: The more you fear something, the more likely you are to experience it; your only guaranteed freedom is your ability to choose your attitude to any situation; and when you find meaning in your suffering, it ceases to be suffering. This book is the core text of my Leadership Development courses, and I read it at least once a year.
A short paperback book, “Roger’s Rules for Success,” influenced me early in life. Henry Rogers of Rogers & Cowan public relations firm fame writes about concepts related to risk, personal accountability, and emotional intelligence. The book motivated me to return to graduate school and rethink who I wanted to be. I still have it on my bookshelf and will re-read chapters from time to time. Celeste Smith