Reading is one of my favourite things to do and one of my goals for 2017 was to read/listen to a book every 2 weeks – 26 books in total for the year. I have set this same goal for the past few years and have yet to meet it!!! With all great goals, it’s a matter of ploughing on and trying harder next year. In saying that I did manage to read/listen to 22 books and enjoyed each and every one immensely.
This was by far my favourite book of 2017 and the best book on leadership I have read in a long time.
This is a story about how war can teach us the most valuable leadership lessons and how these leadership lessons can be used in all areas of our personal and professional lives.
Most of us don’t work in the extreme conditions of war in Iraq where this book is based and so we may think that what Jocko and Leif learned on the battlefield wouldn’t apply to our daily lives. This is so far from the truth.
What I loved most about this book is the fact that the leadership lessons that Jocko and Leif share through their incredible experiences are so simple. With all the complications, complexities and dangers of war, the lessons shared are ones we can all learn from and apply.
The leadership basics of solid, clear and consistent communication, keeping everything simple, effective teamwork, planning, planning and more planning, prioritisation, accountability and courage are woven into all of the fascinating true-life stories that Jocko and Leif tell.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough and if you’re a fan of audiobooks it’s narrated by the authors which is always a treat!
I Had To Survive (How a Plane Crash in the Andes Inspired My Calling to Save Lives) – Roberto Canessa
An incredible true story of survival, leadership, the strength of the human spirit and the will to live in the most difficult circumstances. A plane carrying a Uruguayan rugby team with friends and family crashes in the Andes in 1972. After living for two months in the wreckage of the plane the only hope of survival is to cross the Andes to find help. This story is told by Roberto Canessa, one of the rugby players who trekked for 10 days across the Andes to raise the alarm, saving himself, his trekking partner Nando Parrado and 14 of their friends. Roberto Canessa went on to become a paediatric cardiologist saving the lives of newborns with heart complications throughout his esteemed career. A true hero, an incredible story and a magnificent read.
The film documenting this incredible story and book of the same name ‘Alive’ are equally as enjoyable as Roberto’s book.
Simon Sinek is one of my favourite thought leaders. Simon’s Ted Talk is one of the most viewed videos on YouTube. This book is an excellent follow on from this video as it dives deeper into the necessity and benefits from knowing your ‘WHY’ and starting with your ‘WHY. You can watch the video here,
In his remarkable book, Josh outlines everything you need to know to succeed in life and business in an easy to understand, simplistic approach. Josh’s understanding of business, psychology and systems ensures you have a lot more than the basics required to succeed on completing this book.
If you’re looking for more books of a similar calibre, here is Josh’s personal recommendation of the best 99 business books.
The Remedy (Bringing Lean Thinking Out of the Factory to Transform the Entire Organization) – Pascal Dennis
Pascal Dennis is one of my favourite Lean authors and Lean thought leaders.
Having read and loved the other 2 books in Pascal’s trilogy ‘Andy and Me’ and ‘Andy and me and the Hospital’ I knew I was in for a treat on reading ‘The Remedy’ and was not disappointed.
Keeping the two much loved characters of the other 2 books, Tom Pappas and Andy Saito and introducing us to Rachel Armstrong, this book tells an excellent story of how Lean can be implemented across an entire business and not just on the manufacturing floor.
A must read (as is ‘Andy and Me’ and ‘Andy and me and the Hospital’) for anyone in business and interested in Lean.
Real Magic, The Power Of Intention, Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life – Dr Wayne Dyer (RIP)
I know this is 3 books but I have counted them as one as they are all from the same author. I am a huge fan of the late great Wayne Dyer and every single one of his books are as enjoyable as they are unique.
The following books also made it to my Top 10 in previous years, I have a habit of reading some great books time and time again, each reading bringing a deeper understanding of what the author is teaching,
I read ‘Platform’ a few times this year as I created, launched and marketed this new website. Platform is an extremely well written book on building and sustaining an audience online and jam packed with excellent advice from a man who really knows what he is talking about. Michael Hyatt has spent most of his career in the publishing world and now runs his highly successful blog where he shares his knowledge and wisdom generously.
If you are a blogger, writer or any type of business owner and want to know more about growing your blog, readership and business through social media, I highly recommend this book. It’s easy to read and the wisdom shared is easy to implement.
Tony is a master when it comes to finance and in this book he not only shares his own wisdom but also leverages the wisdom of many of the world’s finest financial advisors to share their advice, insights and experience. Tony’s book is written in an easy to understand format for all levels of wealth which is why I liked it so much. The spectrum of financial guidance goes from the simple advice of ‘spend less, save more’ to investment advice in stocks and shares and hiring a fiduciary to help you with same.
For anyone like me who doesn’t know much about stocks and shares, the steps to assist with ‘spending less and saving more’ are reason enough to buy and read this book.
10% Happier (How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works – A True Story) – Dan Harris This is an insightful, uplifting and really funny book. In this book Dan Harris takes us through his journey to the top of his game in television and journalism which culminated in a nationally televised panic attack. The lifestyle changes Dan makes after this panic attack take him on a different journey, a more inward journey that leads him to a much happier place. Dan’s upbeat, honest and humorous personality is what makes this book such a pleasure to read.
I have lost count of the number of times I have read ‘The Power Of Now’. The first time I read this book I didn’t really understand it, however what I did understand was that there was a very powerful message in the book. Each subsequent reading has brought a deeper understanding of the simple principle that Eckhart teaches. There is only the ‘Now’, there never was and never will be anything other than the ‘Now’. A deep and powerful book – if this book sounds interesting to you, be prepared to give it the time it deserves. One of the best and most powerful books I have ever read.
Other books I read/listened to and thoroughly enjoyed in 2017 are,
What were your favourite books of 2017?
What is on your reading list for 2018?
Keeping it Simple,
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