Summer Reading List

Summer is always a great time to catch up on reading, and there are so many choices out there. I was a huge John Grisham fan; reading literally everything he wrote. More recently, I have gravitated towards business books. There are some pretty amazing materials rolling off the printers. Tony Robbins, John Maxwell and others are surely making their mark in the book world. I am particularly drawn to John Maxwell’s writings; he is truly gifted. Here are two of John Maxwell’s books plus another author you might enjoy this summer:

No Limits by John C. Maxwell: In his newest book, John Maxwell identifies 17 core capacities. Some of these are abilities we all already possess, such as energy, creativity and leadership. Others are aspects of our lives controlled by our choices, like our attitudes, character, and intentionality. Maxwell examines each of these capacities, and provides clear and actionable advice on how you can increase your potential in each. He will guide you on how to identifygrow, and apply your critical capacities. Once you’ve blown the “cap” off your capacities, you’ll find yourself more successful–and fulfilled–in your daily life.

John Maxwell’s writing in “No Limits” really resonated with me. Many of the principles are similar to the B2B CFO philosophy, especially the importance of valuing people. I also appreciated the idea of the God Room as being the space between what we see as possible and the impossible.

Make your Bed by Admiral William H. McRaven (U.S. Navy Retired): On May 17, 2014, Admiral William H. McRaven addressed the graduating class of the University of Texas at Austin on their Commencement day. Taking inspiration from the university’s slogan, “What starts here changes the world,” he shared the ten principles he learned during Navy Seal training that helped him overcome challenges not only in his training and long Naval career, but also throughout his life; and he explained how anyone can use these basic lessons to change themselves, and the world, for the better. Admiral McRaven’s original speech went viral with over 10 million views.

Building on the core tenets laid out in his speech, McRaven now recounts tales from his own life and from those of people he encountered during his military service who dealt with hardship and made tough decisions with determination, compassion, honor, and courage. Told with great humility and optimism, this timeless book provides simple wisdom, practical advice, and words of encouragement that will inspire readers to achieve more, even in life’s darkest moments.

I like the fact that Make your Bed was a quick read. It was also an excellent reminder of the importance of discipline, and how you really have to put in the work to achieve greatness!!

How Successful People Think by John C. Maxwell: Napoleon Hill said, “What the mind of a man can conceive and believe, the mind of a man can achieve.” Those of us in business or who have played any kind of competitive sport, know how true this is. Yet, many of us don’t carve out quality time to think. Well, the successful people do make time to think.  How Successful People Think by John C. Maxwell is an excellent reminder of things that perhaps we practiced at one time, and how important it is to be intentional about Thinking. Change your thinking, change your life. Following are some of the key points from the book.

  1. Expose yourself to good input: In computer science, there is a concept called garbage in means garbage out, and so it with your mind. This means that you have to read the right books, review magazines and trade journals, listen to tapes of experts in the field and spend time with thinkers and innovators each week to improve the quality of your thoughts and ideas.
  2. Expose yourself to good thinkers: Because of social media networking, it is now easier than ever to gain access to innovators and thinkers who were once inaccessible to you. Make use of the opportunities. Good thinkers are forever growing and learning, so take a page out of their book.
  3. Choose to think good thoughts: This is easier said than done. However, it is worth the effort. Begin by scheduling time for thinking and when your mind wanders, refocus your thoughts. Create the right environment with few distractions, so you can concentrate on thinking. Your elementary teacher was on the something when she told you to put your thinking cap on.
  4. Act on your good thoughts: Ideas are a dime a dozen, so when you get an excellent idea, write it down so that you do not forget it, and start acting on it right away.
  5. Allow your emotions to create another good thought: Schedule time for thinking even if you are not in the mood to do so. Once you get into the process, ideas emerge and you can build on them by connecting the ideas to what you already know and in no time other ideas will emerge.
  6. Repeat the process: If you schedule time for thinking, you are making your mind a fertile ground for great ideas.

This book was a quick read and some key takeaways are to see the big picture, learn continuously, the world is bigger than you think, be teachable, and seek the counsel from others who are more knowledgeable.

If you have read some good books this year, please share them with me. I am always on the lookout for good reads.

I can be reached at if you need more information or if you would like to schedule a complementary Business Assessment. You might also enjoy the following recent articles:

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Make it a great day!!

photo credit: suzyhazelwood DSC00390-02 via photopin (license)

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