Favorite Books 2015

I read a lot.  And, though most of my reading is about leadership and personal development, that’s not all.  Since I believe that leadership is about your ability to connect with people and to influence others, reading a wide variety of material makes one interested and interesting.  It allows you to connect with others where they live, not just in your own field of expertise.

So you might find some of my recommendations surprising, but of the 30+ books I read this year, here are those that made the biggest difference in my life, not necessarily in order of importance:

Becoming Deliberate by Cheryl Bonini Ellis

Yes, I wrote it. And this book made the most dramatic difference of anything I did in the last few years.  If you are thinking you have a book inside you, I encourage you – with all my heart – to go ahead and write it.  The experience is transformational.

The Success Principles by Jack Canfield

This book is one of my bibles, written by one of the mentors and teachers who’ve had the biggest impact on my life. And the 10th anniversary edition is fully revised and updated with new stories and examples—and more powerful than ever.  A few of my friends and colleagues’ stories are even included, which makes it doubly special for me.

Money, Master the Game by Tony Robbins

His first book in over 20 years and a must read for anyone who wants to understand money better. Even as a former career banker, there was so much I learned from this book and I have huge admiration for Tony for what he undertook to do here:  take the lessons us.

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

This book has been in best seller status most of the year. It’s a quick read and yet, transformational in its impact.  Look, I’ve worked with lots of professional organizers over the years trying to simplify my life and “de-clutter,” but not until Marie’s book did I find a methodology that really works for me.  And by the way, everyone to whom I’ve recommended this book has thanked me!  There is nothing more elevating than getting rid of the superfluous in your life.  Doing so makes room for more – and better — opportunities and possibilities and the right people and the right things.

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

Another perennial favorite. This time, I listened to it, which was a different experience.  I often quote Frankl because he is the epitome of understanding the power of choosing your thoughts, your attitude, your feelings, and your beliefs.  If you haven’t yet read this book, make it a point to do so.

The Snowball: Warren Buffet & The Business of Life by Alice Schroder

Buffet gave the author carte blanche in telling the important stories of his life in the “least flattering light.” And yet, there is so much to learn from this very wise man, who is imperfect, as we all are, and knows it.  It’s a big commitment to read this book, and worth it.  There are many wonderful stories that really reinforced the importance of integrity and trust in business and in life.

The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah

This is actually one of several novels I read this year set during World War II, that provided some insight into what life was like during that time and how ordinary people did extraordinary things to survive and to help others survive, even at great personal risk. Very impactful story.

Good Leaders Ask Great Questions by John C. Maxwell

As a coach, I am always interested in finding the questions that will most help with my clients’ self-discovery process. John is, of course, an expert at asking tough questions of himself and of others in order to develop better leadership ability and credibility.  I never get tired of John’s unique voice and the way he teaches.  I loved this book!

Letting Go: The Pathway to Surrender by David Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D.

This book was recommended by a good friend who said it completely changed her life and I can see why. The message here is very profound and for a person like me, who has been diligently and deliberately working on herself for many years now, this process and the insights were enormously valuable.  I still have a lot of work to do, which is good news!

That’s my list for this year.  Some heavy lifting and some light reading and lots of variety.  I hope you benefit from these reads as much as I did!!