I’m not sure where or when I came across the concept of paying it forward, but it is certainly an idea that I like. The idea is instead of paying someone back for a gift, you pay it forward by passing on your gift (or something else) to those less fortunate than yourself. A very altruistic notion, and one that chimes with my personal values.
At the L&D Connect Unconference, we’re going to have a space for a variation of this to happen. Doug Shaw got in touch with me to let me know he had four copies of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni that he’d like to make available to others at the Unconference. I thought this was a wonderful offer, and will be adding this to the mix of the day.
One of the main ways we L&Ders increase our understanding of the world is via reading. And we all have a complete range of reading interests and topics that we find interesting. Personally, I enjoy books from Malcolm Gladwell. I like his style of writing, and what observations he has to make about society and the way life works. Making his stuff practical is a challenge, but it certainly gets the cogs turning. I have since made available my copies of Tipping Point and Blink which is a shame as I would have made them available here. However, I have Freakanomics by Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt, .59 Seconds by Richard Wiseman and some others which I will be making available on the day.
I enjoy reading, and is why I have the Kindle app on pretty much every device I have, the Guardian app so I can read the news in my own time, RSS subsrciptions so I can read what people are saying on their blogs, and Twitter, because it’s the ultimate reading experience.
And what is the idea? To pay it forward by giving these books to the delegates at the Unconference, either for themselves, or to give to people they know because it might be of interest. I could add a proviso along the lines of writing a review of the book once it’s been read, but that’s not cricket. We make of the reading materials available to us what we will. And ultimately it’s up to us how we share that, so at its best I’m hoping we can all take part in paying forward the books we own.
If you’re going to be at the Unconference (which can be booked here), and want to take part in paying it forward with your books, leave a comment below so we can keep track of the books, and help others to see what reading they might be able to look forward to. Also, it occurs to me that you may want to take part in this even though you may not be able to attend. If this is the case, we’ll figure out how you can be part of this, just comment below.