Why is it important for leaders to be readers?  Reading is a demonstration of humility.  It communicates that a leader understands he/she has not arrived yet.  There is a gap from where they are and where they need to be.  Therefore, leadership demands continual learning.

Also, I have found reading to be the fastest way to discover solutions to the issues a leader faces.  Why go through trial and error, and needlessly waste time, effort, and money when you can simply go to Amazon?  With usually one click you can learn from proven experts who have already figured out how to solve your problem for only a $5- $10 investment.

As a resource to you, pictured above is my 2017 Summer Reading List.  If you do not have a reading list, I highly recommend each of these books.  They are already making me a more effective leader.  Everyone is different but I continually try to rotate my reading from sports (enjoyment), business (work), Christianity (theology and leadership development), military (high-stress leadership) or some combination of the four.  By rotating between these four topics, I feel it helps keep me rounded as a leader.

Below is a brief synopsis of each and how they could help you as well.  You can click the link to learn more and purchase.

  • The Captain Class: The Hidden Force That Creates the World’s Greatest Teams by Sam Walker.  This book about high-performing, elite teams is absolutely one of the Top 10 leadership books I have ever read.  Interestingly, I disagreed with some of his analysis and interpretation of data.  However, he challenges all the pre-conceived notions we have about what effective leadership looks like and what type of leader you should be hiring.  A must-read for your entire executive leadership team.
  • Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant.  The first 100 pages changed the way I view the relationship between artists, creativity, productivity, and facilitating change.  A must-read for every leader.
  • Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Tim Ferriss.  This book is over 700 pages so it needs to be read in sections.  What I love about this book is the content is drawn from hundreds of conversations Tim has had with a wide-spectrum of top industry icons.  Thus the title.  If you are wanting to learn directly from the best leaders, Tim has made that possible.
  • The Road to Unafraid by Captain Jeff Struecker.  If you are not familiar with Captain Struecker then you know his story.  He was part of the rescue mission for Black Hawk Down and now serves as a military chaplain.  This book strikes a great balance between the military tactics and drama of Black Hawk Down and his own spiritual journey.  My father-in-law gave me this book after Captain Struecker spoke at his church.  I want to make it available to you.
  • The Storyteller’s Secret: From TED Speakers to Business Legends, Why Some Ideas Catch On and Others Don’t by Carmine Gallo is the book I am currently reading.  Leadership comes with a microphone so all leaders need to work on their public speaking skills.  This book discusses the back-story of top leaders and the skills they used to deliver famous TED Talks.
  • Legacy: What The All Blacks Can Teach Us About The Business Of Life by James Kerr.  The next book up in my queue I discovered on John Maxwell’s summer reading list.  Kerr goes deep into the heart of one of the world’s most successful sporting teams, the legendary All Blacks of New Zealand, to reveal 15 powerful and practical lessons for leadership and business.  The reviews have been amazing.  I can’t wait.
  • Meatball Sundae: Is Your Marketing out of Sync? by Seth Godin.  I found this at a used bookstore for .49 cents and purchased it to help me with my ongoing development at work.  I had heard about Meatball Sundae for years but just never got around to reading it.  Published in 2007, I was amazed at Seth’s ability to forecast where marketing, communications, and the needs of customers were headed.
  • The Unstuck Church: Equipping Churches to Experience Sustained Health by Tony Morgan.  I just received this book in the mail last week.  Tony is a dear friend and one of the smartest Christian leaders and strategists I know.  I will be reading this book to gain a deeper understanding of church trends and effective leadership tactics.  Anything Tony writes, I read.
  • Powerhouse: The Untold Story of Hollywood’s Creative Artists Agency by James Andrew Miller.  The innovative talent agency, CAA has come to revolutionize Hollywood, representing everyone from Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro, and Steven Spielberg to Jennifer Lawrence, J.J. Abrams, Will Smith, and Brad Pitt.  With a behind-the-scenes look at the business of entertainment, I will be reading this book to better learn how top-tier personalities and leaders think and how to better serve them.
  • The Cubs Way: The Zen of Building the Best Team in Baseball and Breaking the Curse by Tom Verducci.  There are two reasons I cannot wait to read this book.  First, Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci is my favorite baseball writer.  Second, team president Theo Epstein helped break the Boston Red Sox’s curse and now the Chicago Cubs.  Whatever he is doing as a leader is something I need to know and I trust Verducci’s voice to tell it.

What other books are you reading this summer?


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