February 2017 Reads: 7 Habits of Leaders, Mad Genius, & More

reads Mar 01, 2017

If you follow my posts you know that I am on a mission to listen to 52 audiobooks this year and read 12 books in text. My idea is that I can listen to one audiobook per week and read one book per month. Well, I have some good news! I am much ahead of the game, as of the end of February I have already finished 14 audiobooks and 2 books (in 8 weeks). Looks like I need to up my goal! This is one of the best decisions that I have ever made in my life. I highly recommend to anyone who reads this that they develop a personal development strategy centered around the areas that they intend to grow. In my last post "Life Hack: The 90 Minutes Difference That Can Make All The Difference", I outlined exactly what you can accomplish if you take on my strategy.

"If I only include weekdays, I spend approximately 23,400 minutes in my car per year. That’s a lot of learning time, in fact, that’s almost as much as you would spend in two semesters worth of college. With this amount of time, I should complete 78 Audiobooks this year. … And so can you! IN YOUR CAR!!! It’s crazy to think that the average American reads one book per year."

Here are my February 2017 Reads:


Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt

I recently found myself suggesting this book to several different authors and aspiring authors. Michael Hyatt, former CEO and current Chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishing, gives his readers a book packed full of great information on finding their voice, growing their audience and marketing online. This book hits on many different forms of marketing and selling, specifically for people who want to get noticed in the publishing world. As a millennial, I found much of the information found in this book on par with what many digital marketers teach their clients about the use of social media to get their message out there. As a marketer, I did find the information in the book to be pretty basic and not too deep... But that's coming from someone who already has 10 years of experience in digital marketing. I definitely recommend this book for all those who need to get their foundations in marketing established and not for the seasoned expert. There are many great principles, tips and tricks described in this book that will help most people get a grasp on getting noticed online. This is why I have recommended this book to several people already. If you are not familiar with Michael Hyatt's work, it's time you did! He is by far my favorite blogger and now already one of my favorite authors because of his authentic approach to business and leadership.  

Managing The Millennials by Chip Espinoza

This book is a valuable tool for anyone who wants to effectively manage and motivate twenty-something workers. Many books are being published on how to manage employees of the "millennial" generation, but the solutions offered are pretty anecdotal. Answering the perplexing question of how does one lead and manage younger employees, this book offers research-based guidance on getting the most from millennial employees, answers common questions and outlines practical solutions.  This book help the readers learn how to build better relationships between the younger workers and the people who manage them. I found much of the book to be centered around understanding the generational gaps that exist and finding out ways to bridge that gap. There are actionable steps that can be taken for all generations to understand each other. All leaders who lead and manage must continually find new ways to lead and engage their team. The study of generational concepts should be a development strategy that all leaders must continue to develop. This book should do the trick!    

Be Obsessed or Be Average by Grant Cardone

I first found Grant Cardone about a year ago when looking for business podcasts to listen to. I gave several different one's a try and I realized one thing... I don't always agree with everything he says but regardless... This guy is entertaining! Along with the entertainment value, he also is very thought provoking and inspirational as he discusses his view on the business world. From the outset, it seemed like Grant's "Be Obsessed or Be Average" AKA "BOBA" as he likes to call it was something that I would not agree with at all. I mean, anyone who is obsessed with their business and money has a real problem right? Wrong. Grant's book was written because he use to be a drug addict. He was heavily addicted to drugs in his early twenties and suffered from other obsessions in his life. His obsessive personality was overcome by much negativity and he learned how to harness that energy into something positive. He now is channeling his obsessions into something that has much more positive effect in his life. Although parts of this book are much too "money-driven" for me, I did leave with some inspiring stories and examples of not living a mediocre life, pushing beyond your comfort zones and making things happen with perseverance. I recommend this book purely for the motivational aspect that it plays. While listening, I feel like I can almost do anything if I put my mind to it. So if you are coming off of a big failure or are looking for a motivational tool, this is it. As far as the concepts it discusses and finding a book that can translate into results, I would look elsewhere.  

Mad Genius by Randy Gage

This is a manifesto about ideas. Big ideas, small ideas, and outlandish ideas. Ideas that innovate, ideas that disrupt markets, and especially ideas that irritate. More than ideas, though, Mad Genius is about how ideas are born and the role they play in entrepreneurial thinking. This is a manifesto for managers who want to become leaders and leaders who want to blow up mediocrity. Because whether you work in a traditional business, a nonprofit service organization, or the public sector, the best way to create fresh and innovative solutions is to think like an entrepreneur. Mad Genius takes you through the entrepreneurial mind of creative mind-storming, innovation by thinking and channelling energy into positive outcomes with genius-like strategies. This one was a fairly quick read and definitely worth the time!    

H3 Leadership by Brad Lomenick

This book was recommended to me by my pastor at my church. It is a Christian-based leadership book that deep dives into 20 essential leadership habits organized into three distinct filters he calls “the 3 Hs”: Humble (Who am I?), Hungry (Where do I want to go?) and Hustle (How will I get there?). These powerful words describe the leader who is willing to work hard, get it done, and make sure it’s not about him or her; the leader who knows that influence is about developing the right habits for success. The book is very inspiring and gives leaders some faith-based advice on how to lead teams. It is direct, honest, real and isn't full of fluff and filler. The stories, quotes and illustrations used to illuminate the main points are a great compliment to the book and are not distracting or laborious. I found myself highlighting sentences and points from nearly every paragraph as well as entire paragraphs at a time. The text was well organized and laid out in a comprehensive and easy to digest way. While there is much that I like about this book and many lessons a leader can take away from it there is a lot of information that can be applied. I can see myself re-reading this a couple more times in various seasons.  

Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill

This was the second time that I have read this book. The first time was when I was in my early 20's when I was still trying to find my grasp on the "real world". I remember loving this book for one particular reason, it challenged me to think differently. Although this book gives much insight on how to use the power of the mind, I feel that it relies too heavily on the mind in a spiritual kind of way. Yes, the mind is powerful and it is a huge contributor to our overall success, but the book can go slightly too far down this path. Some of the concepts discussed are can be learned and applied very easily, and other concepts may need to be examined through a larger lens before implementing. Overall, because it is a classic book, I do recommend that it be added to any collection. For me, I tended to listen with caution after it offered some questionable advice on certain topics. As with any book, you can learn from the things that you agree with.  

The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone

Yes, I'm almost embarrassed to say that I listened to TWO books by Grant Cardone this month. I try to keep a variety, but it turns out that I launched a program called 10X Leadership a few weeks ago and I wanted to find out what this book was all about since it had a similar name. Just like his "Be Obsessed or Be Average", Grant definitely displays again that he has this view of the world that is different from most people. On of the unique things that Grant does for his audiobook is that he reads his book and ad libs the content at the same time. He does this on all his audiobooks, which takes the monotone completely out of listening. This is something that I really like and would probably implement if I ever did my very own audiobook. It is quite inspiring to listen to the passion in his voice the entire time talking about how to 10X your results with pure grit and determination. I hadn't gone through a good book that was focused on sales in quite a while, so it was refreshing to reflect on some of the concepts here and retain some golden sales nuggets. In my opinion, most of this book is purely focused on the sales mindset and throwing an immense amount of energy at your career. After reading "Essentialism" by Greg McKeown last month and "Do Less, Achieve More" this month (March). I don't know if I agree completely with this book over the others. Nonetheless, there could be found a balance between them all. Again, Grant Cardone does not disappoint when it comes to his specialty with money and sales topics.  

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Leaders by Stephen Covey

Well, this one was surprising... And not in a good way. I had heard many great things from this book and it had been recommeded to me several different times. The truth is that I found this book very elementary. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People look like this... 1.Be proactive, 2.Begin with the End in Mind, 3. Put First Things First, 4. Think Win-Win, 5. Seek First to Understand, then to be understood, 6. Synergize, and 7. Sharpen the Saw Which sounded great and all... Kinda. I figured that once I got deeper into each topic I would feel a sense of deep understanding on the topics. Nope. Maybe it's just me, but I think the list above is all that was needed with maybe one paragraph of explanation. I felt like this entire book was filled with filler-content and lacked actionable content.  

The 8th Habit by Stephen Covey

You might be wondering why I read this book after I did not like the first one. Well, because it's Stephen Covey! Again I was told that this book was better than the first... I gave him another shot. Same conclusion. I felt the book rambled in many places, and it seemed like the author needed to fill the book, so we have many examples provided, but the message could have been delivered in a cleaner form with less fluff. I think the book is heavy on concepts, but light on practical details. I finished it and thought—OK, I have no idea what to do with this... Which is something you absolutely don't want to say after reading a book.        

  Over the course of this year, I will be publishing updates on my reading. Keep up to date by following us on social media and subscribing to our email newsletter.


  Oh, and by the way...

Here's a sneak peak at my March 2017 list:

  • Do Less, Achieve More by Shaa Wasmund
  • Self-Discipline for Entrepreneurs by Martin Meadows
  • Start With Why by Simon Sinek
  • Counter Culture by David Platt
  • The Power of Self Discipline by Brian Tracy
  • The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin
  • Growth Hacker Marketing by Ryan Holiday
  • The Power of the Other by Dr. Henry Cloud

50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.