4 Book Recs from CLI’s Leadership to Motivate, Inspire, and Calm Your Soul

Woman sitting on chair in front of book with coffee

CLI is dedicated to providing interpreting services, so it should come as no surprise that, well, we love language. And our company is full of book lovers. As this pandemic continues, we know that some folks have more time on their hands and are on the lookout for their next book to read, while others just want to immerse themselves in a good story.

We thought this would be a good time to share with you 4 books that CLI’s leadership love. Who knows! Maybe you’ll find your new favorite book . . .

Found in Translation: How Language Shapes Our Lives and Transforms the World by Nataly Kelly and Jost Zetzsche

What was so compelling about this book?

Kristin Quinlan, CEO: Although I’ve been in the language services industry for years, I was still captivated to read about how interpreters and translators impact our society in ways big and small — and not just medical interpreters.

For example, one time the mistranslation of a single word on a global HSBC marketing campaign caused a $10 million rebranding initiative! And did you know there’s an elite team of highly trained interpreters (who are also certified flight controllers) at the International Space Station? One of them, Irina Yashkova, interpreted for 30 space expeditions and more than 50 spacewalks!

Who would you recommend this book to?

Kristin: Anyone who is interested in language, wants to explore real-life anecdotes of interpreters and translators, or is curious about the intersection of language, culture, history, and politics.

Making a Difference: Stories of Vision and Courage from America’s Leaders by Captain Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger

What drew you to this book?

Doriana McGraw, Director of Interpreter Services: I love reading, but nowadays it can be difficult for me to find the time to read. One of the things I love about this book is that you don’t have to start at the beginning — you can start with any chapter, as each one highlights a different leader, all interviewed by Captain Sully.

I picked up the book one evening and started by reading about Susan Sheridan, a woman who has a permanently disabled son because no one recognized his serious jaundice as a newborn. Horrifically, in addition to dealing with this, Susan also lost her husband from a misdiagnosed tumor.

You can easily see how this would destroy most people, but Susan Sheridan became a patient activist and testified in Washington about the need for testing newborns for jaundice. Her story was truly inspiring because she never gave up. She went through a lot of rejection, but always persevered and continued her efforts, and was ultimately successful! It is now mandatory that every hospital test newborns for jaundice. I was inspired by the simple fact that determination and persistence always pay off. AND this is just one of the chapters in this book!

Who would you recommend this book to?

Doriana: Absolutely anyone!

The Leader Who Had No Title: A Modern Fable on Real Success in Business and in Life by Robin Sharma

What made you choose this book?

Art Garcia, Director of IT: What I love about this book is the perspective from the author on how to make the most positive impact on people around you. Sharma claims that success cannot be measured with the position you have reached. This book taught me that no matter what position you have in an organization, you have the power to show leadership to help other people.

Some of the quotes that I found interesting in the book are:

“Be so good at what you do that no one can ignore you.”

Do you know that it takes almost 10,000 hours to master something? It was pretty interesting to realize that success is created through accomplishing small tasks, which over the time produce huge accomplishments.

“Leave every person who intersects your path better, happier, and more engaged than you found them.”

I found this very valuable, as it reminds me of the importance of helping people around you; this could be working with a CLI employee, a customer, or even an interpreter.

I can count this book as one that brought changes in me.

Who would you recommend this book to?

Art: Anyone who is interested in leadership principles or needs a little bit of inspiration.

Still Life with Woodpecker by Tom Robbins

What about this book was significant to you?

Jen Keyes, Director of Corporate Communications: I read this book (for the first time) when I was in my early twenties, and was feeling a bit lost and lonely. An old friend and CLI coworker hid it in the office while I was trapped in the call center alone for 20+ hours during a blizzard, and sent me on a scavenger hunt to find it (it was going to be my Christmas gift from him). Once I found it, I devoured it in between connecting calls from OHSU and UMC, and I felt something spiritual in me shake loose. I fell in love with the imagery, the societal commentary, and the unique way that Robbins tells a story.

Who would you recommend this book to?

Jen: I would recommend this to anyone who likes a great, and imperfect, love story. For anyone who wants to read something incredibly juicy and thought-inspiring. Nobody writes like Tom Robbins, and I recommend everyone read something of his at least once.

Can’t get enough?

A few other book recommendations from CLI employees:

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