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The Coaching Corner with Michael Riegel: What's on Your Reading List?

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This seems like a frequent question lately. I never really know where an interesting thought or concept will come for work or life. I have always been curious and consider myself to be a lifelong learner. Whatever your preferred medium, you will be amazed at how much we still don’t know and the array of choices to feed your curiosity.

I like e-newsletters that deliver content and updates right to my inbox. They provide the headlines and links to dig in deeper. Here are a few that I subscribe to:

Construction Dive – it is an excellent resource to understand our industry. The topics include wages, inflation, infrastructure spending, labor issues, projects, and more.

Seth Godin – His daily blog is short and never fails to bring an interesting perspective. It is a short read and provides a near-universal approach to business situations.

I also enjoy podcasts, particularly on longer car rides. These are some that never seem to disappoint in teaching me something or offering a different point of view:

Against the Rules by Michael Lewis – The author of Money Ball, The Big Short, and The Fifth Risk takes on the topic of fairness in business and society. Season 1 looks at the Ref and Season 2 examines the role and impact of the Coach. Hopefully, there will be a Season 3.

Work Life by Adam Grant – His interviews provide unique insights to the world of work and human nature with everyone from Lin-Manuel Miranda to Malcom Gladwell and Daniel Kahneman. Whatever your area of interest, you will likely find an episode to feed your curiosity.

Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard - His affable nature and personal experience inform his conversations with, well, it seems everyone from the business, media, entertainment, and academic worlds.

As for my go-to authors, many spark interest and feed my curiosity. Right now, I am working my way through Upstream by Dan Heath and Think Again by Adam Grant – both with relevance and applicability to the construction industry. But I find inspiration from other authors that might not be as well-known for delivering important lessons. Bruce Feiler’s Life is in the Transitions explores the concept of a non-linear life and challenges the conventional wisdom of continuous upward progress. Finally, I am nearly finished with Alan Alda’s Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself. He has a humorous and insightful approach to some of life’s enduring questions like: What do I value? and What is a good life?

My perspective? Stretch your brain, challenge your own opinions, and learn to appreciate someone else’s – even when you disagree. In our dynamic and changing lives at home and at work, the value of being a lifelong learner and assessing new information will serve you well.

Now I have one question for you – what is on your reading, listening, or viewing list? As always, you can reach me at to keep the conversation going.

Michael Riegel


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