My Reading List – Fall 2014

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I didn’t read as many books as I had intended to during the Fall and early Winter months, but I did read a handful of really good ones. I have listed them below with a rating and a brief summary of what I learned from the book, as well as how I think it might add value to your life. (You can also take a look at my reading list from Summer 2014 here.)

My Rating Scale

5 – Simply Amazing: Loved the style and the content; added significant value to me, and will be one I re-read.
4 – Very Good: Engaged with the majority of the content and found some fantastic nuggets all throughout. (Check out Jon Acuff’s blog post where he talks about engaging with a book.)
3 – Good: Had a great chapter or two; overall was average.
2 – Ok: Had one or two things that I resonated with or found helpful; as a whole was just so-so.
1 – Pass: My time was better spent elsewhere.

5-Star Reads

Love Does by Bob Goff
Truly an inspiring and motivating book. Goff’s love for life is infectious. The stories that he shares are sweet, tear jerking, and heart-warming. His perspectives about the meaning of life are rooted in an authentic desire to love people so much that they seek to create the best life possible for themselves and those around them.

4-Star Reads

The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni
This is a must read for senior leaders who have reached a plateau and need a game-changer for their organization. Lencioni’s masterfully constructed case for organizational health is that game-changer. The disciplines he outlines are not complex, but when executed really will create a significant advantage.

Quiet by Susan Cain
A fantastic in-depth look into the world of introverts. The depth of research that Dr. Cain did for this book is awe-inspiring. Her chapters on the value that introverts add to the workplace, to our business culture, and to our organizational environments are incredible. Managers everywhere would be smart to read Dr. Cain’s book where they will learn how they can make their teams and departments stronger by having the right mix of introverts and extroverts.

Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo
An exceptional tutorial on becoming a better presenter and speaker. Gallo does a great job of showing what did and didn’t work for TED speakers, and how to touch your audience’s hearts, and teach them something new through a presentation that they’ll never forget. Very useful insights and tips for anyone who wants to become a better speaker. Dave Savage of Mortgage Coach hosted Gallo on one of their monthly webinars; you can watch here as Gallo shares the main aspects of the book.

48 Days to the Work You Love by Dan Miller
This is a must read for anyone who is considering a career transition. Miller leads the reader through a very sequential process of defining your gifts and skills, and then identifying how best to put those gifts and skills to work in something that you are passionate about and will gain fulfillment from. By following his detailed step-by-step process, success is certain.

Storm Siren by Mary Weber
I don’t read very much fiction, but when I do I usually prefer fantasy or adventure (i.e., Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, Hunger Games, Harry Potter, etc). I was excited to pick up this first of Weber’s trilogy and be invited into a fun and engaging story. When you just want to escape to a whole other world, this book will lead you there.

3-Star Reads

Great by Choice by Jim Collins and Morten T. Hansen
Building on principles identified in Good to Great, Collins and Hansen outline how companies can architect their own future by establishing certain disciplines, which will also help them to weather storms and thrive. The concepts around SMaC and Bullets, then Cannonballs are the best aspects of this book, providing the best direction for today’s organizations.

Eat More Chikin: Inspire More People by S. Truett Cathy
Down to earth practical insights and wisdom, Cathy makes leadership feel natural and simple. A good and quick read that shows leadership in a common sense way.

My Next Review Will Include

Below are some of the books that I am reading or re-reading over these winter months. I will post a blog in early April that provides my ratings and reviews for everything that I read between now and then.

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk
Secrets of Dynamic Communication by Ken Davis
Time Traps by Todd Duncan
Essentialism by Gary McKeown
Wrecked by Jeff Goins
The Art of Work by Jeff Goins
The Obstacle Is The Way by Ryan Holiday
Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

What was one of your 5-star reads of 2014?
What is on your reading list this Winter?

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