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Matthew Fleharty

Reading Recommendations for Contracting Professionals

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Thank you Pepe! That one looks fascinating.

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Mastery (2013) by Robert Greene.

Quote

As we continue to observe and follow the lead of others, we gain clarity, learning the rules and seeing how things work and fit together. if we keep practicing, we gain fluency; basic skills are mastered, allowing us to take on newer and more exciting challenges. We begin to see connections that were invisible to us before. We slowly gain confidence in our ability to solve problems or overcome weaknesses through sheer persistence.

At a certain point, we move from student to practitioner. We try out our own ideas, gaining valuable feedback in the process. We use our expanding knowledge in ways that are increasingly creative. Instead of just learning how others do things, we bring our own style and individuality into play.

As the years go by and we remain faithful to this process, yet another leap takes place -- to mastery.

 

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On 8/18/2016 at 4:32 PM, Matthew Fleharty said:

Provide just one recommendation for a book that would be beneficial for a contracting professional to read.

The FAR.

LOL sorry, I had too. But seriously, Matthew nailed it right off of the bat... Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. This book was recommended to me by one of my favorite grad school professors, and I thought it was excellent. Definitely had to wait until winter break to fully dive in, but well worth the read.

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If you liked Thinking, Fast and Slow, then you'll like The Undoing Project, by Michael Lewis (2016), which is about the collaboration between Kahneman and Amos Tversky. Their theoretical papers had a significant influence on decision analysis and acquisition decision making. Tversky died in 1996. His obituary is here: http://www.nytimes.com/1996/06/06/us/amos-tversky-expert-on-decision-making-is-dead-at-59.html

You can find many of their papers on the web. 

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Excellent, I received The Undoing Project as a Christmas gift, but haven't had a chance to crack it open yet. My mom seems to pick out the best books haha! I will move this to the top of my reading list.

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The Pocket Universal Principles of Design by Lidwell, Holden and Butler (2015). A nifty handbook describing 150 design principles applicable to many functions. Each page identifies and states a principle and then provides a brief explanation. Some of the principles are generally applicable and would apply to acquisition and source selection planning, etc. Others obviously apply to hardware and building design, but are adaptable for other purposes. Two of my favorites: "Depth of Processing: Thinking hard about a thing improves the likelihood that it can be recalled" and "Five Hat Racks: A metaphor representing the five ways that information can be organized."

There is also a full sized version that goes into greater detail.

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Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence by Daniel Goleman

To Sell is Human by Daniel H. Pink (negotiation related)

Negotiation Genuis by Deepak Malhotra and Max Bazerman (TBD - if anyone has read this, what is your take? I just checked it out from the library.)

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53 minutes ago, Jamaal Valentine said:

Negotiation Genuis by Deepak Malhotra and Max Bazerman (TBD - if anyone has read this, what is your take? I just checked it out from the library.)

Funny you mention this book - I'm reading it currently and despite the corniness of the title and usage of the term "negotiation genius," what I've read so far (144 of 303 pages) is fairly practical and diverse when it comes to the issues they cover.  Though with that diversity comes a lack of depth on most topics...still, there is enough (a brief example and some analysis) to provide an understanding of the points the authors make.  My favorite negotiations book is still "Getting to Yes" by William Ury and Roger Fisher.

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On ‎1‎/‎26‎/‎2017 at 3:34 PM, Don Mansfield said:

Currently enjoying How Not To Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking by Jordan Ellenberg. 

I have about 50 pages left, but I don't need to finish to second Don's recommendation of this book.  There are some math focused/intensive sections, but the perspectives offered throughout the rest of the book were fantastic.  Thanks for sharing Don!

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Vern...thank you for posting this.  I just had my mid-year review, and the feedback that I received from my supervisor has been the same every review period for the past 2 years:  learn better habits with executive communication.  The way my supervisor sees things makes sense.  My executive gets maybe 2 hours per day to read and respond to emails.  She may spend no more than 40 seconds per email, therefore make it short.  I write and think in complete sentences and struggle with bullets because I find details and context necessary to communicate for decision making.  Not only the what's but also the why's.  

Further, internal communication is a funny thing in a bureaucracy and often a message from below ends up being either miscommunicated or changed when moving up the chain due to other's ignorance or self-interests.  Communication ends up being what the person wants to communicate about a situation rather than an accurate reflection of the situation.  We use the BLUF technique, but I struggle with this constantly.

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Matthew, et. al.:

I found a great site that provides an impressive list of executive summaries for many of the books listed above.

http://m.summary.com/home

Air Force personnel have free access through Skillsoft's Books24x7 program via the Air Force Portal.

The program is labeled as providing leading on demand business, management, leadership, computer, technical and engineering content containing thousands of digitized "best in class" books, book summaries, research reports and best practices. The Books24x7 On Demand Platform enables users to search, browse, read and collaborate with other users of these vast professional libraries.

I use it as a try before you buy site.

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There is a long-standing Air Force publication that some of you may know about entitled, The Tongue and Quill, Air Force Handbook 33-337. I think it's pretty good. There is a good discussion of email in pages 134 - 142.

http://static.e-publishing.af.mil/production/1/saf_cio_a6/publication/afh33-337/afh33-337.pdf

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