I know many of you will agree that one of the best ways to grow personally and professionally is through reading.
I admit that reading was never my passion, that is until I took a professional development course with Topher Morrison of Key Person of Influence, which is now called Dent Global. Since then, I have nurtured an absolute love for reading. I can think of many positive decisions I have made in my professional/business life that have been influenced by what I have read.
For me 2020 was nothing if not a year of growth. Not coincidentally, this year I read voraciously. I’m thankful to have taken the extra time this year to reflect and work on my capacity for leadership, focus, and perspective.
As we bring 2020 to a close, I wanted to share some of the books I read this year that have offered me inspiration, new information, or a fresh perspective. I encourage you to prepare yourself for the next step in your life or career by digging deep and perhaps opening some of these books. Or, others that move you. And, if you have recommendations, please add them in the comments. I’d love to crowdsource some “Best Of” books to pick up in 2021.
“Best of” 2020 Book List
Here’s to hoping that 2021 offers us a bit more than our self-made successes of 2020.
1. Subscribed By Tien Tzuo
Coming from the IT services industry, Recurring Monthly Revenue is ingrained in all of our brains. Mr. Tzuo was one of the early team members at Salesforce, and in the book he breaks down the modeling of how to build a subscription-based business. He offers excellent insights, including financial measurements which are a bit different from a typical transaction-based business. The unforeseen disruptions to businesses in 2020 help drive home the value of a subscription-based business.
2. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
Mr. Pressfield writes from an artist’s point of view, and he covers the inner battles the artist faces. What struck me was his characterization of the great struggle of procrastination as “resistance”. I have found that resistance pops its ugly head up wherever I am trying to do good. I found this book incredibly motivating as I committed to my health and fitness this year despite lockdown exhaustion and stress.
3. The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle
I became highly interested in Mr. Coyle’s book when lockdowns began in March. I was losing sleep trying to figure out how to keep our biggest asset (people and culture) motivated and bought into our #Allin culture – all while they were working remote and challenged at home and in life. The book made me identify and accept some of my communications shortfalls, which became critical areas of improvement. By leveraging our creativity and keeping the focus squarely on our entrepreneurial spirit (i.e/. not becoming a culture of micro-management) we still achieved world class results.
4. The 5am Club by Robin Sharma
I am a big fan of Mr. Sharma’s work even though at times I do cut through some of the storytelling to get to the key points – which are always valuable. As an early riser throughout my adult life, I never understood or thought about the science behind why some folks are early risers. This is a great read for those curious about how to increase their productivity and why so many successful folks start their days in the early hours of the morning.
5. Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink, Leif Babin
How could a book written by two former Navy SEALs be anything less than excellent? It couldn’t be. This is another book that made me look at my communications style, and identify areas of weakness. Along with many other great lessons, Mr. Willink and Mr. Babin share their experiences communicating up and down the chain of command in their Navy SEAL days. This concept was also critical to our success in 2020.