I read that former President George W. Bush would read an average of 100 books per year. That made me stop and think, if the President of the United States has time to read 100 books, maybe I should be more diligent. I also love the quote from former President Harry S. Truman - "Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers." So I have a personal goal to read 100 books per year. I will try and share my experiences reading.
Earn the Right to Win, by Tom Coughlin
Tom Coughlin chronicles his time leading the NY Giants football team. He talks about establishing rules and processes and sticking to them in good times and in bad. It was a quick and enjoyable read.
How good do you want to be?, by Nick Saban
Much like Tom Coughlin, Nick Saban talks about the need for discipline and having every person do their job as part of the greater team. He also talks about commitment to excellence.
Measure What Matters, John Doerr
John Doerr gives great insight into the value of accountability. One of my former bosses once told me that he "inspects what he expects," and this is central to what John writes about in this book. John shares stories from several companies that he has worked with and the book is a quick and enjoyable read.
Talk Like TED, by Carmine Gallo
How to Deliver a Great TED Talk, by Akash Karia
TED Talks: The Official TED guide to public speaking, by Chris Anderson
How to design TED worthy presentation slides, by Akash Karia
All of these books were fun and quick reads. They were all filled with examples from the TED.com library of talks. All three authors emphasize the importance of rehearsing and preparing, they talk about the use or non-use of slides and they stress the importance of staying focused on your core message. Also, slides are meant to support your presentation.
Great Leaders Have No Rules, by Kevin Kruse
It's no secret I really enjoy reading Kevin's books and listening to his podcasts. In this book he stresses that people join companies but quit bosses and the importance of being a good boss. He talks about several key things that leaders should do.
Start with Why: How great leaders inspire everyone, by Simon Sinek
Well known book and topic - Simon Sinek talks about how people want to talk about the How and the What. BUT in order to get people excited and really inspired you have to hit on the WHY. This plays to the emotional part of our brain and creates a bond.
The Apple Experience, by Carmine Gallo
Carmine Gallo has written about Steve Jobs and Apple before - he emphasizes Apple's commitment to customer experience in this book. He talks about the Apple Store and a great retail experience.
Awaken the Giant within, Tony Robbins
Tony is awesome, I listened to this one as an audio book and Tony himself was the voice. You could literally hear his smile as he read it. I agree with many of Tony's philosophies, but whether you do or don't - what Tony shares is authenticity and joy in working hard for your goals.
How to win friends and influence people, Dale Carnegie
This book I listened to as an audio book in my car. It was very much a college lecture style. The most important thing I took away was to put yourself in the other person's shoes to understand what is important to them.
How to serve a VIP: 30 tips to earn and re-earn your customer's loyalty, Bryan K. Williams
Bryan is passionate about customer service. He points out that to deliver truly exceptional service, you must love what you do. You cannot fake it. Throughout the book he gives tips on things you can do to show you care one that I use with my work colleagues is the 10/5 rule. Within 10 feet make eye contact and smile, within 5 feet say something positive. Finally, he says - strive to be Exceptional, never settle for Bare Minimum.
Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us, Daniel Pink
Great book! I really enjoyed this one and the two things I like most from it are that "Helplessness" is a learned behavior. People will take care of themselves, until they learn not to. The second is that we each have three innate psychological needs, (1) Competence; (2) Autonomy; (3) Relatedness. These three greatly influence the employee communications that I deliver.
Kevin interviewed a ton of people to get his data. From each of the examples he shared, I took away the word FOCUS. Wealthy, athletic and academic successes were all supported by the person being FOCUSED. The other great tidbit I remember from the book is Mark Cuban's statement to Kevin, "Never take a meeting unless someone is writing you a check." I love that comment.
I wanted to shout "Amen" after every chapter of this book. The underlying message was get up and DO! - One saying that he included in the book, which I have now made into a poster in my office is, "If not me, then who? If not now, then when?"
The effective Executive, Peter Drucker
It is pointed out that effective executive leaders focus on CONTRIBUTION of the team and themselves. Leaders must inspire devotion, affection and loyalty. This requires Communication, Teamwork, Self-Development and Development of others. I always say employees want Communication, Recognition and Growth.
Your Mark on the World, Devin D. Thorpe
Up your game, David Bradford
I know David personally, I had the chance to work with him at Novell and have watched his actions over the years since Novell. David is the consummate personal networker. He is genuine in his relationships, not just trying to build a number.
Bryan shares stories from his own experience in the hospitality industry growing from entry level staff to senior leadership and many of the powerful learning experiences along the way. The most memorable experience for me was when, as a new front desk team member, he gave a customer 7 free nights and how his manager taught him using that experience.
The Joy of Hate: How to triumph over Whining, Greg Gutfield