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Recommendations for the Best Personal Growth Books


I can't stress this enough: You've got to motivate yourself in order to motivate your team. You don't motivate people, they motivate themselves (or they don't). If you model motivated behavior, so will your team! Read on for a few suggestions on books to help you make it great!

You Can Experience...A Purposeful LifeJames Emery White

I recently finished this book, and I strongly recommend it. Pastor White does a fantastic job of reminding us that our call to serve the Lord can come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. I think the biggest thing I learned from this book is that you don't have to be a pastor to serve the Lord and make a difference in the world. By focusing on serving the Lord, you can, as the title says, experience a purposeful life. I know it's definitely helped me re-focus my energies on the right things, instead of just things.

21 Indispensable Qualities of Leadership: Becoming the Leader Others Will FollowJohn C. Maxwell

From Amazon.com's review:Why do some people consistently inspire others to follow their lead? In The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader, Maxwell identifies these top traits as character, charisma, commitment, communication, competence, courage, discernment, focus, generosity, initiative, listening, passion, positive attitude, problem-solving, relationships, responsibility, security, self-discipline, servanthood, teachability, and vision--and then defines them in ways that readers can absorb and utilize.

I can't say it much better than that. The way Maxwell breaks down leadership qualities into easy to understand character qualities is absolutely fantastic. Character is what defines a leader, and these traits are what people of character have. A must-read for leaders in any position.

Now, Discover Your Strengths Marcus Buckingham

It's great to read a book that helps you find what you're strong in and encourages you to work to make those stronger, instead of working against what you know you're good at. You have to buy this book to take the personal survey. A great follow-up to First Break All the Rules, and one I encourage anyone who isn't sure where her/his strengths are. I would encourage you to even buy a copy for each of your team, so they can take the StrengthsFinder test.

Five Patterns of Extraordinary Careers Spencer Stuart

A remarkable book about how to stand out from your peers and have a better career. My favorite lesson: It's better to ask for forgiveness after the fact than it is to ask for permission ahead of time.

Who Moved My Cheese? Spencer Johnson

Of course, what book list would be complete without this book all about CHANGE (or is it just about cheese?) Another book that is well worth the listen, but also worth reading.

7 Habits of Highly Effective PeopleSteven Covey

Another must have in your leadership library. If you read a lot of books, you're practicing one of Covey's habits, "sharpening the saw." I'm also looking forward to reading about the 8th Habit but I haven't picked it up yet.

How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci Discover Your Genius: How to Think Like History's Ten Most Revolutionary Minds Michael Gelb

I've met Michael, and he is so on the mark with his writings. Learn how to think more creatively and be more artistic (yes, that is important no matter what your position, or what you family or bosses tell you)

The Brand You 50Re-imaginePursuit of Wow!Tom Peters

Tom Peters is a new favorite author of mine, and one who is has motivated me to work on many new projects in 2005.

What Should I Do With My Life?Po Bronson

A book that tells us that it's okay NOT to know what you want to do, and that even the people we think are completely happy may not be, but also that we make our own happiness, it all depends on how you deal with it. Buy the paperback because it has 7 new stories!

Rhinoceros SuccessScott Alexander

This was recommended to me by my last manager, and is an incredibly quick read. It's all about leading, and how sometimes you have to do the unpopular (change usually) to make a difference and stand out as a leader. Be a rhino!

Advanced RhinocerologyScott Alexander

This books is a nice sequel to Rhinocerous Success and I enjoyed it a great deal. A few things it reminded me of is that leaders are often under attack from all sides, and it's important to watch your own back because often nobody else will.

Phil Gerbyshak leads a team of IT help desk professionals in Milwaukee, WI, and finds that sharing his knowledge is a crucial component in his success as a leader and as a person. Phil's personal philosophy is paraphrased from Tim Sanders' fantastic book Love is the Killer App: "Share your knowledge, your network, and your love. The rest will follow." Read more of Phil's musings at http://makeitgreat.blogspot.com


MORE RESOURCES:

Dolphins, Vikings search for motivation as they square off with playoffs ...
Minneapolis Star Tribune
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — With the Miami Dolphins at 7-7 and all but eliminated from the playoffs, defensive tackle Jared Odrick talked about playing out the season. "We're on a team that's .500," he said. "If you don't believe that you're a .500 team ...

and more »


Motivation key factor in bowl games
ABC News
With the first five games, though, set for Saturday -- it starts at 11 a.m. ET on ESPN as Nevada and Louisiana-Lafayette meet in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl -- you'll struggle to find a coach or player willing to admit that motivation is a concern.

and more »


Orlando Sentinel

Gators say motivation will not be a problem in bowl despite distractions
Orlando Sentinel
GAINESVILLE — History, circumstance and human nature say otherwise, but UF interim head coach D.J. Durkin said motivation should be no problem for the Gators. A Jan. 3 matchup with East Carolina in the Birmingham Bowl will feature a Gators' squad in ...
Coping with distractions, staying motivated won't be easy for UFflorida.247sports.com
Interim coach DJ Durkin tries to keep Gators motivatedPalm Beach Post (blog)
For Florida players, different motivations heading into Birmingham BowlFlorida Times-Union
MiamiHerald.com
all 18 news articles »


Express.co.uk

Happy Mondays: It's not inspiration you're lacking but motivation
Express.co.uk
It's not that you can't find anything – hard skin removers, microwavable hot water bottles, novelty slippers guaranteed to go to the charity shop the day after Boxing Day. No, it's not inspiration you're lacking but motivation. Or more specifically the ...



Dallas Morning News

Carlton: Baylor using CFP snub, Fiesta Bowl loss as motivation to make ...
Dallas Morning News
Baylor head coach Art Briles shrugs his shoulders as he discusses with the media the Bears' snub following the College Football Playoff championship selection announcement Sunday, December 7, 2014 in Waco, Texas. (G.J. McCarthy/The Dallas Morning ...

and more »


60-80pt 1-line headline
Salt Lake Tribune
But don't tell that to coach Bronco Mendenhall's team, which has insisted since it landed in Miami last Wednesday that it is as motivated to defeat Memphis (9-3) at Marlins Park (noon MST, ESPN) as it has ever been before a game this season. The ...

and more »


Javier: Our Europa League motivation
Liverpool FC
The carrot of Champions League qualification for winning the Europa League will further supplement the motivation within the Liverpool squad to lift the trophy next year, insists Javier Manquillo. A third-place finish in Group B of the continent's ...

and more »


blogs.hbr.org (blog)

What Maslow's Hierarchy Won't Tell You About Motivation
blogs.hbr.org (blog)
At some point in their careers, most leaders have either consciously — or, more likely, unwittingly — based (or justified) their approach to motivation on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow's idea that people are motivated by satisfying lower-level ...



Daily Californian

Israeli military film 'Zero Motivation' explores female friendship
Daily Californian
“Zero Motivation” explores how a total lack of interest in accomplishing goals neither guarantees nor denies the likelihood of success. Director and screenwriter Talya Lavie's debut film chronicles three female administrative officers as they attempt ...
'Zero Motivation': Like 'M*A*S*H,' with female soldiersThe Seattle Times
'Motivation' is lackingBoston Globe
'Zero Motivation' review: Neither dull nor compellingSFGate
Milford Daily News -Heeb Magazine
all 50 news articles »


Writing the book on motivation
U-T San Diego
San Diegan Susan Fowler has worked for more than 30 years as a leadership researcher, consultant and coach. She's not much of a fan of the traditional carrot-and-stick approach to management. Her new book, “Why Motivating People Doesn't Work.


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