Professional Development Tips; Read, Listen & Watch.

Interested in professional development? The pile on the left are the books I have read in 2020 and the pile on the right is the line-up for 2021.
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We know, like us, you probably want to stay at the top of your game. To stay at the top of your game, it is important to participate in ongoing professional development. As an employee at a large corporation, there are usually many training programs available, from ethics training, to corporate policy, anti-harassment and bias training. If you are an entrepreneur, these types of sessions may come second (or lower) on the priority list. As a result, sometimes entrepreneurs may skimp on professional development. That is unfortunate. We believe professional development is a critical component for every organization, no matter the number of employees. We understand not everyone has time to weed through all the how to books, virtual seminars, get rich quick scheme podcasts, videos, and training sessions that have popped up during the past few years.

At KIR Co, we are avid learners. Our Founder is “unapologetically curious” and believes in training. So, we make it our mission to #KeepLearning. We are delighted to share some of our favorite and inspiring professional development tools.

These days we have a lot of choices. There are so many ways we can learn. To make it easier, we’ve broken it down into three categories; Read, Listen Watch. Take a minute to read on to see what might inspire you to keep up your professional development. We hope you learn something useful and are inspired to continue your professional development.

Professional Development Tip #1 READ:

I’m a sporadic book reader, but coming into 2021 I’ve actually been reading. I even purchased a few books. Yes, actual books. I still use the kindle app, and audible for audiobooks. But, in 2020 I bought a bunch of books. Some were business related and some where biographies from authors I was curious about. I am sharing my book pile revelations here. Take a look and see which one’s seem interesting to you.

For those of you not into reading. Skip it. Because, if you don’t feel like buying the books, you can always take a walk and listen to an audible book. Or listen to a podcast or watch a seminar. That is to say, if reading is not for you, skip to LISTEN: or WATCH: below.

2020 pile of books

Key for the book recap listings below. For example, the name of the book is in italics; followed by the name of the author in bold, followed by my thoughts after reading and finally, an overall [letter grade]which summarizes my opinion on the book. I will update the blurbs as I complete the rest of the books, check back to see my updates. Happy reading!

Professional Development: READ. This is a graphic with the words "What I read in 2020" and a photo of a stack of books.
  • God-Level Knowledge Darts by Desus & Mero. Funny, written like a SHO episode. Lots of drug and bodega talk. [A]

Brag Better by Meredith Fineman. A must read. Tips to teach us all how to confidently talk about our accomplishments and “BRAG Better” LOVE this! I am a huge fan. Also bought a copy for my sister. [A++]

SEO 2020: Learn SEO with Smart Internet Strategies by Adam Clarke. Great tips, still working through some of this one. [B]

Notorious RBG by Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik. I had this book on my shelf since I moved from NYC. I read it, and then sent it to my sister to read. [A++]

Disloyal by Michael Cohen. Interesting look at the rise and fall of the consigliere and puppet of #45. I read this and watched The Vow on HBO, the parallels are spooky. [A+]

The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene. I first read this in the 2000’s after taking an NYU management course. Bought it again so I could navigate some 2020 challenges. This book will stay on my desk as a reference manual. [A+]

2021 pile 1:

Professional Development: READ. What's on your reading list? 2021 book stack #1.
  • The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

Sick in The Head by Judd Apatow

The Surrender Experiment by Michael Singer

Crushing It! by Gary Vaynerchuk

Is This Anything by Jerry Seinfeld. A complete record of all the jokes Jerry ever penned, organized by decade. I’m a Seinfeld fan. Beware, this is not a book to read from cover to cover, it is nice to read a few jokes every day. [OK to skip unless you are a Jerry fanatic]

2021 pile 2:

Professional Development: READ. What's on your reading list? 2021 book stack #2.
  • Zero to One by Peter Thiel
  • Non-Obvious Megatrends by Rohit Bhargava
  • Eat a Peach by David Chang. An inside look at the daily grind of chef and owner at Momofuku, the acclaimed NYC restaurant. This book uncovers Changs’ personal and professional life from his manic depression to raging on the staff and some of the sickest staff emails I have ever seen. [A]
  • What It Takes by Stephen A. Schwarzman

Professional Development Tip #2 LISTEN:

We are huge podcast fans. We love to lose ourselves in a juicy podcast while driving on a monotonous road trip. Since road trips have mostly been on hold for us, we knew we had to carve out time. When we are working, we usually listen to a lot of music. We love music and also love making Spotify playlists. Here is a link to Don’t Believe The Hype, our founder’s playlist.

After some consideration, we came to a happy compromise, when we decided to alternate our music fests with some choice podcasts during our WFH. As you may recall, we shared our fave podcast list in 4q20 as part of international podcast day. To build upon our favorite pods, we wanted to share a few specific episodes to get you started on your professional development journey.

The Michelle Obama Podcast

Working Women: Valerie Jarret and the Importance of Mentorship

To learn more about the impact of the Mentor/Mentee relationship, the stories we tell ourselves and much more….listen to Michelle Obama and an early Mentor, Valerie Jarret. During this episode they talk about getting to know each other and their experiences balancing working and raising children.

Tip: Having a Mentor can help your career and life.

LISTEN. QR code for LISTEN: The Michelle Obama Podcast: Working Women: Valerie Jarrett and the Importance of Mentorship.  Quote by Michelle Obama, " Being able to say to my team....let's block out all the things that are my life first. Let me, put me on my calendar first.

If you don’t usually listen to podcasts, you can find them on Sticher, Apple, Spotify, Google and more… On the other hand, you can click on the graphic above and you will be taken to the podcast. Alternately, you can use the QR code and the camera app on your mobile phone to find the original podcast on Spotify.

#mentoring #learn #teach #grow #ProfessionalDevelopment #EverUpward #Equity #Read #Listen #Watch

Across Generations: Michelle Obama and her Mentees

Tip: Becoming a Mentor can help your career and life.

This episode covers more about the impact of the Mentor/Mentee relationship. During this episode, Michelle Obama chats with three of her White House Mentees. They talk about their life experiences, about confidence and self doubt, perceptions and expectations. Above all, this episode is an earnest discussion which we find touching and powerful.

LISTEN. QR Code to Listen to the Michelle Obama Podcast, Across Generations: Michelle Obama and her Mentees. Quote by Michelle Obama, " Let's talk about that, self doubt, ...we all experience that doubt.

Professional Development Tip #3 WATCH:

Since we cannot attend anything IRL, these days we’ve been attending virtual networking groups, panel discussions and seminars. We discovered lots of solid national seminar hosts including; INC, Forbes, FastCompany, AdWeek, & The Female Quotient. We even found some on LinkedIN, like David Meltzer and Gary Vee.

The one seminar we’d like to recommend here today is The Non-Obvious Diversity Summit.

The Non-Obvious Company was founded by Rohit Bhargava. Rohit Bhargava is on a mission to help the world be more open-minded by teaching anyone how to be a non-obvious thinker. Bhargava is an author & speaker with a background as a marketing strategist.


Tip: Create the content you want to see.

Hosted by Monika Samtani with Deniese Davis; producer of Insecure on HBO and Meera Menon; director of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon & Ms. Marvel coming in 2021 to Disney Plus. During this seminar Samtani, Menon and Davis talk about their roles and experiences producing video content and working in the media and film industry.

WATCH. QR code to link to Watch: Non Obvious Diversity Summit: Women of Color: Top Producers Flipping the Script.  Quote by Meera Menon, "I learned how to make a movie, by making a movie."

NONOBVIOUS DIVERSITY SUMMIT VIDEO Casting Calls: How to Create Accurate Representation for Underrepresented Communinities

Tuesday Tip: It is a business imperative to speak authentically to different communities.

Hosted by Zora DeHorter, Casting Director, with panelists, Charlene P. Corely, VP at Nielsen, Y. Shireen Razack Exec. Producer of New Amsterdam, & Lydia Dean Pilcher, President, Producer, Director at Cine Mosaic and author. In this seminar DeHorter leads a discussion about content trends and representation of stories. That is to say, the participants talk about their experiences and share research and stories about the film and media industry.

#LEARN #Laugh #Teach #Dream #MIH #MakeItHappen #BecomeYourDream #ProfessionalDevelopment #Hustle #WomenWhoLead #MarketingTips #Equity #Diversity #Inclusion #Training #Tips #Read #Listen #Watch

WATCH. QR code to link to Watch: Non Obvious Diversity Summit: Casting Calls: How to Create Accurate Representation for Underrepresented Communities.  Quote by Charlene P. Corely, "It takes alot of courage to be first".

Finally, if you aren’t familiar with how to connect to a virtual seminar (these are on YouTube); click on the image above. Then you will be taken to the You Tube video. On the other hand, if you want to use the QR code, please open the camera on your mobile phone and point it at the QR code. After that, click on the link and it will take you to the video on YouTube.

ICYMI: below is the 9.30.20 LinkedIn post listing all of our fave 2020 podcasts.

Professional development: Listen Graphic for : International Podcast Day 2020, our top list of Podcasts....

#mentoring #learn #teach #grow #ProfessionalDevelopment #EverUpward #Equity #Read #Listen #Watch

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Published by KIRSTEN