Volume 39, Issue 5, May 2004
“You made me want to buy the book,” the caller said, referring to my column last month in which I talked about a book I’d read recently and some of the lessons I learned. “I went right out and got it,” he said.
I felt a slight twinge in my stomach. It wasn’t a really great book, and I had hesitated mentioning it in the column at all. I thought I’d tempered my comments ever so carefully so no one would think I was recommending it. Evidently, that wasn’t the case.
I never like to recommend restaurants or books to other people—don’t want to be responsible for inflicting my taste on anyone, lest they don’t enjoy either as much as I did.
Then I got to thinking about how much I’ve learned from reading books that others have recommended to me—particularly by those in the glass industry.
I would have never learned about the inspirational message of “The Goal,” were it not for Tubelite’s Ken Werbowy, who told me years ago how much he had enjoyed and learned from that book.
Never in a million years would I have read “Who Moved My Cheese?” without having learned of the glass shop owner who conducted quarterly employee educational sessions based on it. I wouldn’t have read “Clicks and Mortar” about the Internet or “Barbarians at the Gate” or “Five Frogs on a Log” without the urgings of those I respect in the industry.
I have also learned things that you might not expect. Jim Bradford, formerly of AFG Industries, made his love of poetry sound so exciting that we traded book lists and I learned a lot of new things about poetry.
So, I got to thinking that there must be others out there like me who love books and what they teach us (even a bad book teaches us that we could write a better one). So, with apologies to Oprah, I am wondering if anyone would be interested in joining me in an online glass industry book club. We could choose the books, read them and then discuss in an online chat room on glass.com. I figure we’d probably want to choose a book a month, not necessarily business books either.
If you have an interest, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll endeavor to set it up. This is “Book Club Lite” (no pun intended) because we will do everything online and it won’t be a big time commitment. It could be fun and educational.
Even if you are not interested in the book club, please e-mail and tell me your all-time favorite books—business or otherwise—so that I might learn from you.
Speaking of learning from others, this issue is chock full of discussions about the learning that goes on between architects and glazing contractors. Occasionally described as the “oil and vinegar” of a construction project, architects and contract glaziers have a unique relationship. Nowhere is that better seen than in the article on page 46, that looks at the same job through both their eyes. You’ll have to draw your own conclusions, but I think the view from each side is illuminating.
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