The Fearless Mind

The Fearless Mind

  • November 8, 2018

For my October Book of the Month, I’m recommending The Fearless Mind: 5 Essential Steps to Higher Performance by Craig Manning. Anyone can benefit from the lessons that author and sports psychologist Craig Manning teaches whether or not you are an athlete. If you want to conquer your fears and insecurities, gain more confidence and become more successful in any endeavor in your life, pick up this book and thank me later. Summary Life is a performance whether you’re on the field, in the courtroom, or running a small business. However, many of us, when asked to perform, are overcome by fear. We lose our confidence and allow our insecurities to hinder us. In The Fearless Mind: 5 Essential Steps to Higher Performance, author Craig Manning teaches you how to beat mediocrity and embrace greatness. With many years of experience as a pro tennis player, collegiate tennis coach, and doctor of philosophy, Dr. Manning will help you overcome your fears, expel anxiety, build confidence, and become a high-performing individual. You will learn how to unlock your mind to reach your greatest dreams. Craig Manning says, “there are many mental pathways to performance, but there is only one pathway to true…

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Measure What Matters

Measure What Matters

  • September 11, 2018

Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs is the book that I’ve chosen to feature this month. Author John Doerr shares examples of how Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) can help any team succeed whether you are running a small business, coaching a team or leading at a management level in a large organization. Personally, I’ve been successful building businesses using the principles he teaches--having specific goals that can be measured with a deadline to achieve them.   Summary In this book, legendary venture capitalist John Doerr reveals how the goal-setting system of Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) has helped tech giants from Intel to Google achieve explosive growth—and how its principles put into practice can help any size organization thrive. In the fall of 1999, John Doerr met with the founders of a start-up named Google--a company he had just invested $12.5 million in. Larry Page and Sergey Brin had amazing technology, entrepreneurial spirit, and great ambitions, but no real business plan. Doerr taught them about a proven approach to operating excellence: Objectives and Key Results. He first discovered OKRs in the 1970s as an engineer at Intel, where CEO Andy…

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Find Your Why

Find Your Why

  • August 3, 2018

I recommended Simon Sinek’s bestselling book entitled Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action a few months ago. This month I’m recommending his book that he co-wrote with Peter Docker and David Mead called Find your Why: a Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose For You and Your Team. This book has the “how to” action steps to help yourself and your team succeed. If you haven’t read Start with Why yet, I would advise you to read it first before reading this one as it picks up where Start with Why left off. Summary In 2009, Simon Sinek gave a TED Talk about finding your WHY and it became viral because his impactful message resonated so strongly with people around the world. Simon Sinek’s book Start With Why has led millions of readers to rethink everything they do – in their personal lives, their careers and their organizations. Now Find Your Why shows you how to apply Simon Sinek’s powerful insights so that you can find more inspiration at work -- and in turn inspire those around you. With detailed exercises, illustrations, and action steps for every stage of the process, Find Your Why can help…

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Broadcasting Happiness

Broadcasting Happiness

  • April 4, 2018

This month I’m recommending a book called Broadcasting Happiness by Michelle Gielan. We are all “broadcasters” and are constantly transmitting information to the people around us. The messages we choose to broadcast can either create success or hold us back. By using the principles and strategies highlighted in Broadcasting Happiness, I’m confident that you will not only be happier and more successful, but become a better leader impacting others in a positive way. Summary New research from the fields of positive psychology and neuroscience shows that small shifts in the way we communicate can create big ripple effects on business and educational outcomes, including 31 percent higher productivity, 25 percent better performance ratings, 37 percent higher sales, and 23 percent lower levels of stress. Broadcasting Happiness will help you: - Inoculate your brain against stress and negativity - Drive success by leading a conversation or communication with positivity - Rewrite debilitating thought patterns and turn them into fuel for resilience and growth - Deal with negative people in a way that lessens their power - Share bad news more effectively - Create and sustain a positive culture at work and home - Help people move from negative to positive in…

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Capital Gaines

Capital Gaines

  • March 2, 2018

The book that I’m featuring for my book club this month is Capital Gaines: Smart Things I Learned Doing Stupid Stuff. I know that this isn’t your typical business book. However, this book is full of Chip Gaines’ enthusiasm for entrepreneurship, his willingness to take risks and his positive outlook on life. Chip and his wife Joanna are the stars of the hit HGTV show Fixer Upper and ended their fourth season with 5.21 million viewers.  Within 4 years, the Gaines went from a handful of employees to 600 plus. In 2017, their shopping complex, Magnolia Market drew an average of more than 30,000 visitors a week, and had approximately 1.6 million people pass through, according to the Waco Convention and Visitors Bureau. Chip and Joanna’s influence have brought thousands of tourists specifically to visit Waco to have the “Magnolia experience”. Personally, as an entrepreneur, I’m impressed with these numbers. They have not only created a powerful brand, but have become icons of faith, family and affordable home design to millions of Americans. Summary The funny and talented Chip Gaines is well known to millions of people as a TV star, renovation expert, bestselling author, husband to Joanna, and father…

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The Darkest Hours

The Darkest Hours

  • February 5, 2018

I have always been an avid student of history. One of the people that I greatly admire in history is Winston Churchill. Therefore, this month I’m recommending the book Darkest Hour: How Churchill Brought England back from the Brink. In the beginning of the book it states, “when Winston died, it was said of him that in those dark days in 1940, when Britain stood alone before a monstrous enemy, he mobilized the English language and sent it into battle.” I believe that he was not only one of the most brilliant orators the world has ever known, but one of its best leaders. This book covers the twenty-five crucial days in 1940 that made Winston Churchill the icon he became. Summary In May of 1940, Great Britain is at war. The horrors of blitzkrieg have seen one western European democracy after another fall to Hitler’s fascist regime. Invasion of Great Britain may be mere hours away. Just days after becoming Prime Minister, Winston Churchill must not only deal with this horror but a skeptical King, and pacifist politicians and citizens who still remember the devastation of WWI. How can he build trust and lead his nervous nation to rise…

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How Not To Die

How Not To Die

  • January 9, 2018

Once in a while you read a book that profoundly influences you and then you want to share it with everyone you know. How To Not Die is one of these books. I was already eating relatively healthy, but since I read it I have been practicing the nutritional principles Dr. Michael Gregor expounds on in this fascinating and life-altering book. Trust me when I say--pick up this book and plan on living a healthier and possibly longer life. Summary The CEO of Whole Foods Market, John Mackey said, "How Not To Die is one of the most important books on health ever written. Dr. Greger shows us how to prevent and sometimes reverse all the major diseases that are killing us. This book is the scientific road map we need to do exactly that." Dr. Michael Greger, the internationally-renowned nutrition expert, physician, and founder of NutritionFacts.org, examines the fifteen top causes of premature death in America--heart disease, various cancers, diabetes, Parkinson's, high blood pressure, and more--and explains how nutritional and lifestyle interventions can sometimes trump prescription pills and other pharmaceutical and surgical approaches to help prevent and reverse these diseases, freeing us to live healthier lives. The simple truth…

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Finish : Book Of The Month

Finish : Book of the Month

  • November 3, 2017

I’ve chosen Jon Acuff’s new book Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done for my November Book of the Month. Many people are great at setting goals and starting projects, but have a hard time finishing. According to studies, 92 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail. Jon Acuff observes that one of the obstacles to meeting your goals is not laziness, but perfectionism. We’re our own worst critics, and if it looks like we’re not going to do something right, we prefer not to do it at all. I featured Jon Acuff’s book Start as one of my Book of the Month books earlier this year. I like how this book completes the circle. So pick up this book and finish those goals you started earlier this year. Summary The strategies in this book are counterintuitive and might feel like cheating. But they’re based on studies conducted by a university researcher with hundreds of participants. You might not guess that having more fun, eliminating your secret rules, and choosing something to bomb intentionally works. But the data says otherwise. People who have fun are 43 percent more successful! Imagine if your diet, guitar playing, or small business was 43 percent…

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The Power Of Habit

The Power of Habit

  • October 6, 2017

Aristotle said, “we are what we repeatedly do. Success is not an action but a habit.” I have always been a staunch believer in the power of good habits to become successful.The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business combines scientific research, personal life-stories and journalistic interviews to demonstrate how habits affect why we do what we do. I believe that anyone seeking self-improvement will find this book helpful to understand more about the way their brain works in setting good habits and changing or eliminating negative ones. Summary In The Power of Habit, investigative reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed.  Taking us from the boardrooms of Procter & Gamble to sidelines of the NFL to the front lines of the civil rights movement, Duhigg presents a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential. At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, being more productive, and achieving success is understanding how habits work. As Duhigg shows, by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses,…

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Grit – How Tenacious Are You?

Grit – How tenacious are you?

  • September 7, 2017

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perserverance is the book that I have chosen for the month of September. Pioneering researcher and psychologist Angela Duckworth shows anyone striving to succeed that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent, but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls “grit.” I have observed that talent and intelligence can only take you so far - it’s up to you to find the “grit” deep inside you to see you across the finish line. Summary Drawing on her own powerful story as the daughter of a scientist who frequently noted her lack of “genius,” Duckworth describes her eye-opening stints in teaching, business consulting, and neuroscience, which led to the hypothesis that what really drives success is not “genius” but a unique combination of passion and long-term perseverance. In Grit, she takes readers into the field to visit cadets struggling through their first days at West Point, teachers working in some of the toughest schools, and young finalists in the National Spelling Bee. She also mines fascinating insights from history and what can be gleaned from modern experiments in peak performance. Finally, she shares what she’s learned from interviewing dozens of high achievers.…

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The Compound Effect

The Compound Effect

  • August 11, 2017

I’ve chosen The Compound Effect, Jumpstart your Income, Your Life, Your Success by Darren Hardy for my recommended reading this month. Darren’s message is that small, smart choices plus consistency plus time equals a radical difference. Even one small change in your life can make a massive difference on your path to success. This small book could be that change. Summary The Compound Effect is based on the principle that decisions shape your destiny. Little, everyday decisions will either take you to the life you desire or to disaster by default.  This book reviews the fundamental principles that have guided the most phenomenal achievements in business, relationships, and beyond. Darren’s easy-to-use, step-by-step operating system allows you to multiply your success, chart your progress, and achieve any desire. He provides action steps at the end of each chapter and has worksheets to fill out in the book as well as free online resources to accompany the book in helping you achieve more. If you’re serious about living an extraordinary life, use the power of The Compound Effect to create the success you want. Bio As a business leader in the personal growth and success industry for more than 20 years, Darren…

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Mindset – Reach Your Potential

Mindset – Reach Your Potential

  • July 10, 2017

In Carol S. Dweck’s brilliant book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success,  she shows how success in school, work, sports and almost every area of human endeavor can be dramatically influenced by how we think about our talents and abilities. People with a fixed mindset are less likely to flourish than those with a growth mindset. Mindset reveals how great parents, teachers, managers, and athletes can put this idea to use to foster outstanding accomplishment. Some people may already be aware of this profound truth. However, Carol proves through fascinating psychological studies why this is the case. With the right mindset, you can motivate those you lead, teach, and love—to transform not only their lives but your own. All leaders should read this book! Summary In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe talent alone creates success - without effort. They’re wrong. In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work - brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a…

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Must Read Books (Updated)

Must Read Books (Updated)

  • May 23, 2017

* This post is an update to one that I published last year.  Since publishing that original post, I've been featuring books that I believe will make you a better leader, entrepreneur and person, if you'll apply what's inside them. (Scroll down to the bottom to see the books I've added to the list.)   Do you want to grow your business? Do you want to become a more disciplined achiever? Then I cannot stress enough how important it is that you set aside some time every day to read personal/professional development books. I’ve listed some of what I consider ‘must read’ books as a starting place for this discussion.  You may have already read some of these, but if it’s been awhile, then pick them up again. Create a study group or find a reading partner that you can have discussions with. There are too many books to include on this list, so I’ve narrowed it down to a few great classics: Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey As a Man Thinketh by James Allen The Magic…

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Start – Do Work That Matters

Start – Do Work That Matters

  • March 6, 2017

For the month of March, I’m choosing the book Start by Jon Acuff. The subtitle of his book is Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average, Do Work that Matters. Some days, to get where you want, you do have to punch fear in the face! I don’t think that anyone wants to be just average and we all want to do work that matters. I think you'll find plenty of ideas to motivate yourself to Start and to follow through so you can get to the goals you set for yourself. Summary  In this book, Jon Acuff reveals the steps to getting unstuck and back onto the path of being awesome. Start gives readers practical, honest, actionable insights to be more awesome, more often. For those of you who have started, are extraordinary and doing work that matters, this book will still benefit you as everyone has peaks and valleys along  their success journey. For others it’s time to Start.   Start.: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average, Do Work that Matters can be purchased HERE.       Bio Jon Acuff is the New York Times Bestselling author of five books. For 19 years he’s helped some…

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Start Your Day With The Miracle Morning

Start Your Day With The Miracle Morning

  • February 4, 2017

The Book of the Month that I’ve chosen for the month of February is The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. This is a quick read that promises a huge impact for your life. Hal challenges his readers to get up earlier each morning and focus on 6 key elements to transform their lives and catapult them to to be more productive and achieve incredible success. He teaches how you can achieve this between 6 minutes and 60 minutes each day (optimal time 60 minutes). Thousands of people around the world have joined The Miracle Morning community and committed to create the life they’ve always wanted. I challenge you to read this book by the end of February and in the month of March practice these principles for 30 straight days (or as soon as you are ready). I can’t wait to hear the feedback from everyone as they do this challenge. Will you commit to read and take my challenge? If you have already read this book and are currently doing The Miracle Morning please share how it has impacted your life. Summary Hal did extensive research and personal experimentation with the best practices of personal development and incorporated them…

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Five Dysfunctions Of A Team

Five Dysfunctions of a Team

  • January 3, 2017

To start off 2017, the Book of the Month that I have chosen is The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni. This book is written as a leadership fable and is a quick read. Lencioni discusses five components or dysfunctions that keep teams from being effective and proposes some compelling solutions. His message to become a stronger and more impactful leader applies to all leaders of any size team. Over the years, I’ve worked with leaders of teams of all sizes and I’ve seen these dysfunctions cripple what could have been successful teams. I’m confident that reading this book will give you some solid insights to being the best leader that you can be. Summary Kathryn Petersen, a new CEO of a struggling company, faces the ultimate leadership crisis: Uniting a team in such disarray that it threatens to bring down the entire company. Will she succeed? Will she be fired? Will the company fail? Lencioni's tale serves as a reminder that leadership requires as much courage as it does insight. Throughout the story, Lencioni reveals the five dysfunctions which go to the very heart of why teams often struggle. He outlines a powerful model and actionable steps…

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The Last Lecture

The Last Lecture

  • October 18, 2016

"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand." --Randy Pausch For my October Book of the Month selection, I thought I would choose a short book. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch is a book that has wisdom that is timeless. It was a national bestseller in 2008 and as many of you may have read it, I think it is worth picking up and reading again. Randy understood that three of the most important things in life are family, focusing on really living and leaving a legacy of having lived a life that mattered and continues to matter from the impact that you have in this world. I really try to focus on these three things in my life. I would love to hear how this book either impacted you in the past or your thoughts if you re-read or read it this month. Summary A lot of professors give talks titled "The Last Lecture." Professors are asked to consider their demise and to ruminate on what matters most to them. And while they speak, audiences can't help but mull the same question: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we…

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Malcolm Gladwell Transforms Our Understanding Of Success

Malcolm Gladwell Transforms Our Understanding of Success

  • September 9, 2016

Success is not always easy to describe since people have different definitions of what success is, what it looks like and how to achieve it. In the book I’ve chosen for September, Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell takes on the subject of success and tells a different story than we’re used to hearing. He is also the author of The Tipping Point which changed the way we understand the world and Blink where he changed the way we think about thinking. I hope you enjoy the book. Please let me know what you think. Summary In Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of "outliers"--the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different? His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the experiences of their upbringing. He examines how a person's environment, in conjunction with personal drive and motivation, affects his or her possibility and opportunity for success. Along the way he explains the secrets of software…

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Book Of The Month – August

Book of the Month – August

  • August 8, 2016

If you understand your Why then the How and What become clearer. For August, I’ve chosen Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek. Drawing on a wide range of real-life stories, Sinek weaves together a clear vision of what it truly takes to lead and inspire. This book is for anyone who wants to inspire others or who wants to find someone to inspire them. Summary Why do you do what you do? Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty from customers and employees alike? In studying the leaders who've had the greatest influence in the world, Simon Sinek discovered that they all think, act, and communicate in the exact same way -- and it's the complete opposite of what everyone else does. People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers might have little in common, but they all started with "why." It was their natural ability to start with "why" that enabled them to inspire those around them and to achieve remarkable things. Sinek calls this powerful idea "The Golden Circle," and it provides…

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Book Of The Month – July

Book of the Month – July

  • July 2, 2016

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow them and People will Follow You by John Maxwell is the book that I am recommending as my July Book of the Month. Maxwell supports his 21 laws with real business stories and leadership anecdotes. I’m confident that these 21 laws will benefit you along your leadership journey. One of his laws is the law of addition which states that leaders add value by serving others. As a leader, I strive to look for how I can serve others. I appreciate the leaders in my life that have been a wonderful example of service to me. Summary Many books on leadership are long on theory, but don’t help the reader understand how to put the theory into practice. Maxwell does not fall into that trap. At the end of every chapter, he lists three activities you can do to apply the law to your life. Not every leader will have a proficiency in all 21 Laws. Maxwell admits that there are laws that he still has to work on. In the Appendix, Maxwell presents a short leadership test to help you understand your strengths and weaknesses as they relate to the laws. Instead…

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