What Are They Reading Now?
Suggestions for Continuing
Education Through Books and Resources
committed to being a lifetime learner, and whenever I hear somebody
say, "I've learned everything I can learn from ____,"
I clearly recognize the act of that very same somebody putting
up some self-imposed walls. I learn every day, from my staff,
my clients, my customers, and even my little girl. Much of that
learning is random, much of the information I acquire is reinforcing
of that I already knew or believed, and much of it is clearly
developmental, but every bit of it proves extremely valuable.
In addition to capturing the lessons life holds for me, I am always
proactively cruising through a book, sometimes fiction, but more
often than not a book that teaches me something related to influence,
success, leadership, or growth.
used to attempt to teach my staff by taking what's already in
my brain and delivering it through the spoken word, but I've grown
smarter over the years. I now share my "Best Reads"
with my staff, and we make it a point, as a team, to read and
discuss those books I bring to the table knowing they hold practical
lessons of extreme value. Of course the staff members are free
to suggest books they find life-altering as well.
professionals continually ask me to recommend resources, so to
provide that information for greater numbers of people, I've decided
to keep individuals who seek greater knowledge posted on what
my staff is reading per my recommendation. I'll update this page
frequently, but limit the suggestions to books I personally have
found benefit in reading, and that have also rolled over
to create growth within the organization. Some of the books will
just make you think . . . and we know how valuable that can be.
Others will provide an immediate A-ha. Still others will remind
you of ideas, methodologies and strategies you've already heard
but haven't fully integrated.
question I get faced with frequently is, "how in the world
do you find time to read." I have several answers. One, I
schedule it. I workout first thing in the morning and then I devote
20 minutes to my post-workout meal and at least a few pages of
the book I'm reading. I find it allows me to clear my head of
the pressing tasks and obligations that can become burdensome,
and I also find it inspires me to make the day as productive as
possible. In addition, I find myself on lots and lots of airplanes.
Airports and airplane seats have become my private libraries and
I take advantage of travel time by writing, reading, or listening
to audio CD's. Time management is always an issue so I also use
your driving time. Most of the great books are available on audio
CD's and that has allowed me to absorb twice as much information
as I would if I limited my intentional learning to flipping through
found Books-A-Million to be a great ally. It's worth the $10 fee
for an annual Millionaire Club membership. Mine has paid for itself
hundreds of time over already. They also have some advantages
for business owners (their B2B program), and since I often order
a dozen books at once (for my staff), I never pay shipping charges.
I'll include links so if you opt to invest in any of the books
or audios I suggest, your copy is just a click away.
book my staff is reading now is . . .
Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big
Giants, written b
Inc. magazine editor Bo Burlingham, takes what I find to be a
wonderful perspective on business success. It shares the success
stories of companies that grew, not through conventional expansion
such as those addressed in Good to Great, but through unique abilities
and a desire to remain extremely connected to their customer base(s).
With the major health club chains aside, this perspective on business
success is refreshing and of immense value since health clubs,
fitness studios, and personal trainers have an innate ability
to connect with a local audience and create local evangelists.
One of the unifying properties the Small Giants all had is a type
of charisma, a passion that became contagious. I've introduced
my staff to a word I invented, CONTAGIASM. Small Giants manages
to isolate companies that found benefit in playing off of that
electric spirit. One of the most striking stories for me involved
Gary Erickson, the founder of Clif Bar. He developed the bar living
very modestly and it evolved out of his passion for mountain climbing
and biking as a grab-and-eat nutritious snack. In 2000 he walked
away from an offer to sell the company for $120 million because
he wanted to preserve the integrity of the product. I love that!
I think most personal trainers would relate to that story as we
love to prosper by bettering the lives of others, but lose comfort
when the quest for money grows beyond the passion for helping
folks. I think Small Giants is a great read.
that we read . . .
A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results by Stephen
Lundin and Harry Paul and John Christensen
book expresses that attitude is a choice, and shares the story
of the Pike Street Fish Market in Seattle. The simple lesson is,
if the people who work in that renowned fish market, a tourist
attraction, a place where people go for fun, can make tossing
smelly dead fish around exciting, if those people thoroughly enjoy
what they do for a living. . . imagine what you're missing out
on if you ever allow your "job" to become mundane. The
lessons are simple, powerful, and easily translatable to any fitness
organization. It's a very easy read and is a little book that
even the "we hate reading" members of your staff will
complete. Four Stars for Fish! I would like every single new hire
to read this book before the first day of work.
time to read? Get FISH! on audio CD
that we read . . .
Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham
Discover Your Strengths is an incredible eye opener, especially
when utilized by a multi-member team to discern how each team
member best plays into the overall success of the organization.
After my staff read the book and took Strengths Finder quiz online,
we shared our results and we continue to base involvements in
various projects and planned contributions to the teams' success
in part upon the individual strengths we discovered. This was
the first book my PEAK Roundtable group read and it will continue
to be a resource for me in understanding people's talents and
connecting them with the parts of their jobs they can best connect
with for optimal productivity.
time to read? Get Now, Discover Your Strengths on audio CD!
backward, before Now, Discover Your Strengths, I attempted to
get my management staff to immerse themselves in . . .
one of the best strategy, positioning, and business perspective
books I've ever read. The subtitle, How to Create Uncontested
Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant, sums it up. If you're
into innovating, if you want to seperate yourself from others
in the field, and if you're willing to put your brain to work,
all I can say is . . . WOW! This is far and away the most insightful
view of business strategy I have ever come across. Before you
get your copy, I should note, several of my staff members hated
this one. They found it was too much like a textbook. Most of
the other books I have my staff read are easy reads with clear
lessons. With that said, once we opened up the discussions they
were intrigued by the material. In other words, they loved "what
the book is about," they just didn't enjoy reading it. I
felt differently, as did the higher level partners, managers,
and owners I shared this with. This is a book that entrepreneurs
will keep going back to, trying to figure out how to create their
own Blue Oceans. If you're looking for a light fun read, this
isn't for you. If you're looking to pump new life into your business,
and potentially capture a massive market share, you're at a major
disadvantage if your competitors read this before you.
we found the Blue Ocean, applause abounded for . . .
Full is Your Bucket.
All of my staff members loved this one. It's another very simple
read, but the lessons are clear, proven, and powerful. It's only
128 pages and it can help to shape a company culture, as well
as radically improve human interaction at any level. The concepts
aren't pulled out of left field. They're backed by 50 years of
scientific research, but the beauty of the delivery lies in the
simple analogy of a dipper and a bucket serving as an awareness
model for the impact you have upon other people.
time to read? Get How Full is Your Bucket on audio CD
whether you love or hate the idea of "selling," if you're
in business you'll gain a new perspective on sales by getting:
Little Red Book of Selling by Jeffrey Gitomer
"must read" books I personally found life-changing that
should serve as the foundation of any success library:
Things First by Stephen Covey
& Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
time to read? Get Think & Grow Rich on audio CD)
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