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  • David Donaldson

"Too many books!" ...impossible

Books. Then, again, more books


“You have too many books!” my friend said as he was helping us move. “That’s impossible!” I thought, but said: “Really? I got rid of a lot when we moved last!”

Later, I enjoyed unpacking the many boxes of books and putting them on the shelves (I think I need another shelf…) They are not in alphabetical order, nor Library of Congress nor Dewey Decimal order, but in a kind of theme – or life period – order, known only to me.

As I unpack them, I notice that they represent the last 20 years of my life. Those years can be divided into a few chunks: chunks that led me to where I am with www.acrossculture.ca.

Chunk one: Leadership.

During the years I worked with the early stages of the Global Leadership Summit, read The Power of Vision, Guilt to Last, Good to Great, Transformational Leadership, 360 degree Leader…

Out of those years – and those books – a few things have stayed with me: Leaders create the culture of their organizations, and that culture has to be created intentionally. Success is never an accident!

Chunk two: Master of Theological Studies.

The boundary between chunk one and two is fuzzy: my focus in Seminary was leadership and empowerment. I read and re-read Real Power, Doing Theology in a Post Modern World, Kingdom Ethics, The Story we Find Ourselves in, Learning while Leading, Where we Stand:

Class Matters. The book, Class Matters is one that impacted me: class, culture, life experience and expectations matter. Further it illustrated that diversity – a buzz-word, to be sure and almost a cliché today – but real. We see the world through different glasses, and that matters. How we understand those glasses – our culture, to be a bit simplistic – makes a huge difference on how we “succeed” in this world.

Somewhere between chunk one and two I wrote a novel Mission of Mercenary that, although I didn’t know it at the time, solidified my interest in cross-cultural engagement.

Chunk three: Africa, and Cross-Cultural experience.

This might have started with the movie (Hollywood take on the event) Hotel Rwanda and the book Shake Hands with the Devil. These introduced me to Africa, and I read: Left to tell, Africa Enigma and Leadership Solution, Our Turn to Eat amongst others. This led to a formal study of cross cultural engagement: Foreign to Familiar, Cultural Intelligence Difference, Cross Cultural Conflict, Cross cultural Servanthood, Cross Cultural connections, Leading with Cultural Intelligence and Culture Map.

With all those books on the shelf, how am I spending this time of isolation? Re-reading Lord of the Rings!

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