On My Shelf with Lena Haydt — Senior Product Manager at XING (Barcelona)
I’m Lena — one of the founders of PM Library. So it might not be a surprise to you that I love reading!
Next to that, I’m a curious and passionate Product Manager. I love building things, testing ideas and most of all, working in a high-paced environment with a talented team.
Reading is an amazing way to learn. Books can take you into areas and places you’ve never been before, they can teach you from failures and successes and they can tell you thrilling stories about people, products and teams. With PM Library we want to help you explore new books, areas, and interests because we believe that’s how we all grow in our careers and personal lives.
On my shelf
Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity
by Kim Scott
Radical Candor is one of the books you pick up and don’t stop reading until you’re done. At least that was my experience with it. Kim Scott teaches you about the human factor in leadership whilst telling exciting and valuable stories from her life as a leader at Google and Apple.
This book helped me to get another view on how to get to know people you closely work with, about giving and receiving feedback, about motivating people to work as a team and how to deal with my own mistakes:
I don’t mind being wrong. And I’ll admit that I’m wrong a lot. It doesn’t really matter to me too much. What matters is that we do the right thing. (Kim Scott)
272 pages, St. Martin’s Press 2017
Women, Work, and the Will to Lead
by Sheryl Sandberg
Lean in is one of the books, I keep picking up from time to time. It’s full of advice on how to deal with certain situations in a world still dominated by men. It was eye-opening when I read it the first time and it’s probably the book I’ve recommended most to other people (especially men).
In her book, Sheryl Sandberg takes on the challenge between career and motherhood, women’s compensation, internal obstacles that hold women back and motivates how to push back and “lean in”.
The book is also highly personal and full of stories from Sheryl’s own life.
“A truly equal world would be one where women ran half our countries and companies and men ran half our homes.” (Sheryl Sandberg)
240 pages, Knopf 2013
Escaping the Build Trap
How effective product management creates value
by Melissa Perri.
You know that feeling when you read a book and you want to print out every page to hang it up in the office next day? That is Escaping the Build Trap for me. Melissa Perri focuses on the most common pitfalls Product Managers and companies fall into when releasing feature by feature instead of focusing on the customer’s needs. She helps you to identify whether you are caught in the “build trap” and more importantly, gives you practical advice on how to escape it. She brings together her year-long experience of building products and deep knowledge of how product-lead organisations work.
200 pages, O’Reilly Media 2018
Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
by Ed Catmull
In Creativity, Inc. Ed Catmull shows what it takes to build a creative organisation. While he tells the story behind Pixar, Catmull teaches how to create a fearless culture that enables people to explore new areas and pursue creative ideas. Catmull explains how the studio he co-founded made hits like Toy Story, Up and Wall-E, but also talks about big failures and how these formed Pixar’s culture.
This book is a manual for managing people in a creative business as well as an almost novel-like story about Pixar.
368 pages, Bantam Press 2014
by Tara Westover
This book leaves you with a rough idea of what you could possibly achieve if you’d have the guts to keep going and fight for it.
Educated is the story about a young girl who, without any degree from school, leaves her Mormon family and goes on to earn a Ph.D from Cambridge University. This book is heartbreaking and amazing at the same time, and most of all: truly inspiring.
342 pages, Random House 2018
The PM Library series “On my shelf” features Product Leaders from all over the world who are passionate about reading and sharing with the community. If you want to join the movement and share your reading list with others send us a message or fill out the following form. Let’s get better together 📚.