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Can a Book Make You Better?

Posted by on October 30th, 2019
Posted in Blog, Foundations, Independent Schools, Nonprofit Communications   

This week, as Book Lovers Day approaches, our Mission Minded team members are thinking about one of our core values: Improve, Always

As a company, we constantly strive to find ways to serve our clients better. And, as individuals, we’re also working to understanding our personal strengths and growth areas in ways that lead to improvement. We take personal responsibility for pushing ourselves to be better.

And, with Book Lovers Day coming this Saturday, November 2, we saw an opportunity to let our push for improvement resonate across our network of friends, colleagues, clients, and thought-partners. We’re always reading and recommending books that relate to our work and our lives on our company Slack channel. Today, instead of keeping those recommendations to ourselves, we want to share them with all of you. 

The books we’re recommending below do more than inform; they inspire. And who couldn’t use a little inspiration? 

White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo 

Jennie Winton, Mission Minded Co-Founder and Partner recommends this title as the most important book she’s read all year. Jennie says, “I thought I had a basic understanding of the reality of racism in America and learned I was wrong. Really wrong. The narrative and examples in this book are accessible, if hard to hear, I hope everyone I know reads this. White Fragility offers invaluable insight into what privileged white people must understand (and change) before racial equality can manifest.”

Great Mondays by Josh Levine

Brand Strategist, Zack Kushner points to this quick, easy, clearly written primer on how culture keeps brand active internally so it can sing externally. While many of us — in nonprofit and business worlds — tend to see culture as something that comes from examples set at the top, the reality is more complicated and more empowering. Organizational culture grows from all tiers and it’s where brand comes to life most vibrantly. 

New Power by Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms 

Exploring the differences between power models is what’s intriguing to Matthew Shaffer, Senior Brand Strategist at Mission Minded. This book compares the old models (top down, hoarding value, secretive) with new ones (collective decision-making, shared value, open platforms) to see how, in a connected age, we’re all pursuing improvement. New Power, says Matt, is surprising and interesting. For example, did you know that the Ice Bucket Challenge for Lou Gehrig’s disease was inspired by a British pub game?

The Privileged Poor: How Elite Colleges are Failing Disadvantaged Students by Anthony Abraham Jack 

Our Director of Brand Strategy, Sarah Moore, chooses to share this eye-opening sociology book, filled with excerpts from over 100 interviews conducted over two years of ethnographic research at an unnamed elite East Coast college. Sarah says, “As colleges make efforts to recruit a more diverse population, they need to re-examine the cultural norms they’ve held dear for so long. A great example is how kids perceive ‘office hours’; those in-the-know recognize them as a chance to bond with professors and open doors while kids from under-performing high schools frequently haven’t heard the term before and assume they’re times you SHOULDN’T bother your professor.” Just imagine the repercussions of that — and examples like that — and you can get a sense of what this book has to teach us. 

Whether you’re reading one of the above titles or something else, we wish you all an inspiring, improvement-filled Book Lovers Day. 



Stephanie is a Mission Minded Brand Strategist and a huge Harry Potter nerd.

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