• Book Reviews

    Rick has now reviewed 204 books.

    This Is Your Brain on Music
    by Dr. Daniel J. Levitin, 2006

    “If you like learning about the brain, you will enjoy this different scientific perspective. If you enjoy rock music or Frank Sinatra, you will enjoy the music stories. I like learning about the brain, rock music, & Frank Sinatra so I really enjoyed this book. While I was reading it, I couldn’t help but wonder if Daniel Levitin knows Steve Jones, the author of ‘Brand Like A Rock Star’…these two would have lots to talk about.

    Here’s one of my favourite quotes from the book, “We’ve learned that the cerebellum is one of the oldest parts of the brain, evolutionarily speaking. In popular language, it has sometimes been referred to as the reptilian brain. Although it weighs only ten percent as much as the rest of the brain it contains fifty to eighty percent of the total number of neurons.”

    The Winner’s Brain – 8 Strategies Great Minds Use to Achieve Success
    by Jeff Brown & Mark Fenske, 2010

    “5 BrainPower Tools – Opportunity Radar, Optimal Risk Gauge, Goal Laser, Effort Accelerator, & Talent Meter – provide concrete images of how successful people go about being successful. 8 Win Factors – Self-Awareness, Motivation, Focus, Emotional Balance, Memory, Resilience, Adaptability, & Brain Care – describe what it takes to win.

    Here’s an instructive quote,“The more tasks you can automate and the more information you can shift to implicit memory, the lighter the load on the attention systems and the more control you gain over your powers of Focus and concentration.”

    The 4 Imperatives of Great Leaders
    by Stephen R. Covey, 2007
    “Covey summarizes 4 Imperatives:

    1. Inspire Trust
    2. Clarify Purpose
    3. Align Systems
    4. Unleash Talents

    And I particularly liked his 4 Disciplines of Execution:

    1. Focus on the Wildly Important Goals
    2. Act on the Lead Measures (the key 80/20 activities)
    3. Keep a Compelling Scoreboard
    4. Create a cadence of Accountability”

    The Six Value Medals
    by Edward de Bono

    “This book is about adding value now that competence, information, and technologies are becoming increasingly ‘commoditized’. de Bono states “When everything becomes a commodity what is going to matter is the ability to design and deliver value. That needs creative and design thinking.”

    Situations in which value scanning is essential: Choice of Ideas, Allocation of resources, Timing, Cost-cutting, Design, Strategy & Plans, Start-up, & Disputes.”

    The Selfish Gene
    by Richard Dawkins
    “In 1976, the book broke some moulds: enraging some people, depressing others, and educating many. Richard Dawkins does not mince words. He presents his views with an emphatic tone.

    In summary: Atoms joined to create molecules. Molecules combined to create stable [or somewhat-stable] pieces of chemistry. These pieces of chemistry formed the basis of organic life – ‘living things’. We now call these pieces of chemistry ‘genes’. And, genes have a purpose. Their purpose is to replicate…this is done via chemical activity, with an emphasis on proteins. Over time, genes have been able to ‘work with one another’ to direct complex tasks such as determining eye colour. Genes direct a stupendously-large number of chemical processes. Genes have been able to ‘find their way’ to combine and create plants and animals [‘living’ bodies]…great places to replicate. Our bodies are the consequence of genes innate purpose – to replicate.

    Dawkins states clearly: human beings do have the ability to make decisions…genes do not control us…100%. Regardless, according to Dawkins, genes came into existence eons ago and, over time, they replicated and joined with other genes to grow into every organic thing now existing on Earth.”

    As A Man Thinketh
    by James Allen

    “An interesting little book…laced with Law of Attraction thinking. And, laced with excellent quotes.

    Here’s one…

    “Cherish your visions; cherish your ideals; cherish the music that stirs in your heart, the beauty that forms in your mind, the loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts, for out of them will grow all delightful conditions, all heavenly environment; of these, if you but remain true to them, your world will at last be built.”

    The Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True
    by Richard Dawkins, Dave McKean

    “Buy the audio book…the voices add to the experience.

    Dawkins delivers a multi-disciplinary education, aimed at answering the big questions like “Where did Man come from.” He considers physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, archaeology…and myth and magic.

    If I was a science teacher then I would definitely introduce young learners to this audio book. That would spark imagination. That would also inspire learning…hopefully, life-long learning.

    [I am not saying I accept every argument presented by Dawkins…or that I disagree with them…I am still thinking about many of them…which I attribute to the quality, depth, and audio-presentation of the book.]”

    Idea Spotting: How to Find Your Next Great Idea
    by Sam Harrison

    “A practical guide to innovative and creative thinking with an easy-reading format…lots of ‘white space’, lots of quotes, lots of suggestions, and lots of little practice exercises.

    I believe creativity thrives in the right atmosphere…so, the following tidbits of advice resonated:
    “Think of ways you can display pencils, pens or markers to have them handy when inspiration strikes.”

    “Index cards are the darlings of the pocket-protection crowd, offering endless opportunities for filing, color coding, and the Dewey Decimal System.”

    “But many creative people also rave about index cards.”
    “It’s inspiring to shuffle idea-filled cards around a table, detecting patterns and making connections.””

    Donald Trump- Building a Fortune in Business
    by Trump University

    “A comprehensive package of audio, reading, and video information …a 1-year university course to be reviewed, reread, and practised. Contains candid and straightforward advice and business education. The education is delivered by a handful of experts…and, of course, Donald Trump shares some of his thoughts.

    Trump’s thoughts about money caught my attention:

    “Money should never be the central focus. I think that happiness should be the central focus. And there are some people who can be happy without money. I don’t know too many of those people, but they can. And there are other people that just couldn’t do that.”
    “I just found that over a period of time, money, it doesn’t buy happiness but it makes life a lot easier.”

    Brand Like A Rock Star: Lessons from Rock ‘n Roll to Make Your Business Rich and Famous
    by Steve Jones

    “This book is packed full of facts and stories…about rock stars & rock bands, about big-name and not-so-big-name marketing & brands.

    Each chapter ends with “A Rock Star Five-Step Program” summary…very well done.

    If you are a fan of rock music, you will get a kick out of the bands and performer stories. If you are a student of marketing, you will benefit from the clarity of the messages and 5-step summaries. If you are a fan of rock music and a student of marketing then you must add this book to your library.”

    Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?
    by Seth Godin
    “This book contains an eclectic mix of Seth Godin thoughts. As the title says, the book focuses on being a Linchpin – a person who is indispensable. Godin describes the attributes of a Linchpin. There is an Eastern-philosophy aspect…as I was reading this book I could not help thinking about James Allen’s writings [vintage – about 100 years ago]…and the 1991 book ‘ZEN and the art of making a living’ by Laurence G. Boldt.

    While many business gurus are writing and talking about getting back to better values and work ethic, Godin is writing about your creativity, your ability to innovate, and your unique ability to master the art of your work.”

    The Power of Focus
    by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Les Hewitt

    “If you are interested in understanding how to improve your personal or business focus then this book is helpful. Focus is one of the primary executive functions performed with the help of our pre-frontal cortices.

    Focus is also tied to personal strengths…in summary; it is easier to focus on things we like and…we tend to like things we are good at. So, there is a relationship and interplay between individual’s strengths, the ability to focus, and the likelihood of successful results.”

    Jeffrey Gitomer’s Little Teal Book of Trust: How to Earn It, Grow It, and Keep It to Become a Trusted Advisor in Sales, Business and Life
    by Jeffrey Gitomer

    “Another of Gitomer’s ‘Little Books’, published in 2008. Again, Gitomer spares no blows. He provides clear advice [aimed at all readers, but particularly unhappy sales people].

    Here’s an excerpt:

    “The reason you have to say ‘Trust me!’ is that you haven’t earned it and are forced to ask for it – bad move.”

    An interesting perspective: Gitomer defines trust and he starts by stating ‘trust is a risk’…”Trust is risky, especially when you’re giving it to someone else.””

    Strengths-Based Leadership
    by Tom Rath, Barry Conchie

    “Another book from the series linked to Gallup/StrengthsFinder.

    This book specifically focuses on leadership, identifying 4 main ‘Domains of Leadership Strength’: Executing, Influencing, Relationship Building, & Strategic Thinking. It then organizes the 34 Gallup talent themes under the 4 domains…a helpful guide to understanding leaders [i.e., what it takes to make great leaders and how to identify areas where leaders need support].

    The series of Gallup/StrengthsFinder form an educational series, theory and practice…a great little library section.”

    Outliers: The Story of Success
    by Malcolm Gladwell

    “Another great book by Malcolm Gladwell. 10,000 hours of practice: that’s what even the most talented people must do to become world-class performers. This applies to sports people, musicians [even the greatest, like Mozart]…and it applies to business people too.

    In terms of Spirited Leaders – consider business leaders:

    – Does the business leader possess innate talent for leaders?

    – Has the business leader sought out and learned the specialized knowledge required to excel?

    – Has the business leader practised business leadership with a view to changing for the better …practised for 10,000 hours?”

    The 360 Degree Leader: Developing Your Influence from Anywhere in the Organization
    by John Maxwell
    “This audio with booklet provides a concise education on 360 Degree Leadership … an excellent reference tool.”

    Culture Connection: How Developing a Winning Culture Will Give Your Organization a Competitive Advantage
    by Marty Parker

    “Great food for thought. While the book provides details on big-business culture, as examples – CN, Maple Leaf Foods, & Tim Hortons, the concepts are transferable to small- to mid-sized businesses.

    Chapter 5 covers ‘The Culture Conversation’…important stuff.

    The chapter opens with a quote/important message from George Bernard Shaw:

    “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.””

    The Grand Design
    by Stephen Hawking, Leonard Mlodinow

    “Stephen Hawking co-wrote this book with Leonard Mlodinov…another physicist. Due to Hawking’s physical state, writing the book was slow and laborious. But, the result is awesome.

    If you want an update on recent developments in Physics & related Mathematics, this is an excellent audio-book.

    In the last 100 years, Physics know-how has expanded exponentially….like the growth we have seen in ‘computer science’. The more physicists learn, the more-complicated the puzzle becomes.

    As I listened to the complexity, I couldn’t help thinking…

    …with 100 Billion stars in our galaxy and 100 billion galaxies in our Universe and, now, 11 dimensions and an infinite number of Universes…how does one know where/how to start a career in Physics?”

    Hawking is legendary. Mlodinow is gaining a reputation as a Renaissance Man. His writing covers a variety of topics beyond the bounds of physics. I recommend his recent work ‘Subliminal’…this book provides an introduction to Mlodinow’s character and his sense of humour.”

    Deep Leadership
    By Jope MacInnis

    “My friend Marilyn gave me a copy of this book…what an awesome gift!

    Leaders, heroes, Canadians, and success stories: that’s what this book is all about. And, the great stories are highlighted with a wonderful series of photographs.

    After reading this book, I must study James Cameron. Not only have his films won numerous Academy Awards, he is truly a great Canadian leader and a hero.

    About James Cameron, the following grabbed my attention:

    “Early in his career, if you had been the object of one of his withering tirades, you would have been sure he didn’t give a damn about people’s feelings. But as time went on he turned his introspective eye on himself, and his temper became a thing of the past.”

    [a huge leadership lesson embedded in those words]”

    The Charge
    by Brendon Burchard

    “This book energizes the reader. It is a ‘strategy for human potential’.

    The author provides a number of poignant autobiographical sections where he discusses difficulties he has faced and overcome. The stories are ‘human’, the reader can relate to them, and they are presented with an ego in balance.

    The author talks about people being:

    • Caged: feeling trapped, insecure, unadventurous
    • Comfortable: accepting their ‘lot in life’, lacklustre
    • Charged: living life to the fullest”

    Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (Collins Business Essentials)
    by Robert B. Cialdini

    “The author simplifies the topic by packaging influence/persuasion tactics into 6 principles: consistency, reciprocation, social proof, authority, liking, and scarcity. These 6 principles capture all the ways people go about ‘causing’ other people to buy into arguments, buy products & services, etc.

    Here is one of my favourite quotes from the book:
    “But because it is so typically in our best interests to be consistent we easily fall into the habit of being automatically so, even in situations where it is not the sensible way to be.”
    This quote is insightful with respect to habits & situations…and how people deal or do not deal with them.”

    Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home and School
    by John Medina

    “I am re-listening to the 2008 audio tape…and enjoying it as much as I did the last time. This time, I am capturing some quotes – John Medina is witty & colourful…a great speaker.

    If you are interested in learning about the brain [even if you already know much about it] this audio is well worth listening to. As one example, Medina, using straightforward words, clarifies how physical exercise helps brains function better. In addition, he provides his [evolution-backed] view on why this is the case.”

    The Character of Physical Law (Messenger Lectures, 1964)
    by Richard Feynman

    “Richard Feynman is one of my favourite physicists. He had a wonderful personality, a brilliant mind, and an ability to communicate complex things in easier-to-understand ways.

    The Cornell University “Messenger” lecture series provides a good introduction to physics and a good introduction to Feynman…the bongo-playing genius.

    One can imagine the effect Feynman must have had on student audiences…and, of course, the physicists of his day who benefited from his clear thinking coupled with clear communication.”

    Hiring for Attitude: A Revolutionary Approach to Recruiting and Selecting People with Both Tremendous Skills and Superb Attitude
    by Mark Murphy

    “A good read…a 2012 guide to hiring. The book contains useful tools. I particularly like the section titled “Word Pictures Work For Any Topic”, which contained an example titled “Word Picture For Leadership”…a tool designed to illustrate how to ‘get a picture’ the candidates leadership strength: the example lists 24 word pictures describing leaders leading. The 24 word pictures help sort leaders into 3 categories: Need Work on Leadership, Good Work on Leadership, and Great Work on Leadership.”

    The Attractor Factor, 2nd Edition: 5 Easy Steps for Creating Wealth (Or Anything Else) from the Inside Out (Your Coach in a Box)
    by Joe Vitale

    “If you are not familiar with Joe Vitale or his work, this 2009 audio book, read by the author, provides many personal stories. The topic is ‘The Law of Attraction’. The book contains self-tested views and processes.

    Interesting: the book contains references for a few circa 1920 authors/books on The Law of Attraction…names I have not heard.”

    Nature by Ralph Waldo Emerson
    by Joe Vitale
    “This book is another terrific introduction to Ralph Waldo Emerson.If you have not read Emerson and you are interested in a concise introduction to this great 19th Century American author and philosopher…this is the book to buy.”

    McGraw-Hill’s Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs
    by Richard Spears

    “This is a fun book. If you are a writer then this book will trigger lots of ideas…this is especially true if you like to write ‘light-humour’.

    If you want to trigger creative thinking…again, this book is a great tool.”

    How to Be Rich (Tarcher Success Classics)
    by Napoleon Hill, Joseph Murphy PhD D.D., Wallace D. Wattles, Robert Collier
    “If you have not read “New Thinking”, a phenomenon that spread quickly about 100 years ago, then this is a worth-the-money starter book. It contains many examples of Law of Attraction and Abundance Thinking from century-old classics including works by Trine, Marden, Allen, Wattles, Collier, and my favourite – Napoleon Hill.”

    The Prince: Second Edition
    by Niccolo Machiavelli, Harvey C. Mansfield

    “I have now read this 500 year old book and listened to the audio.

    At first thought, it is a matter-of-fact handbook on how to rule people. Machiavelli provides advice that is so objective and matter-of-fact in places it comes across as harsh and downright cruel.

    Recognizing Machiavelli was a very perceptive and intelligent man, it is easy to imagine there is much more behind the book, which was written about 20 years before his death…and published after.

    His reputation was widespread…unfortunately, his name became synonymous with the bad-to-worst aspects of leadership.

    His book has survived 499 years.”

    E-Myth Mastery: The Seven Essential Disciplines for Building a World-Class Company [Abridged][Audiobook][Audio CD]
    by Michael E. Gerber
    “This book was a written as a follow up to ‘E-Myth Revisited’. Michael Gerber, over 70 years old at the time of the writing, expands upon his philosophies about entrepreneurs. Again, he spins a story with much detail.”

    The Wisdom of Wallace D. Wattles: Including: The Science of Getting Rich, The Science of Being Great & The Science of Being Well
    by Wallace D. Wattles

    “This book was first published in 1910.

    It contains thoughts about ‘formless substance’ closely tied to thought…the ‘Law of Attraction’ and abundance-thinking.
    The author was prescient: he forecast the use of airlines for distribution of goods and the use of electric trains to replace steam locomotives.
    The author had harsh words for the industrial leaders of his time and the ‘industrial trusts’ created by J.P. Morgan, Andrew Carnegie, etc.

    The book is a classic.”

    The 5 Levels of Leadership
    by John C. Maxwell

    “Here’s another audio book I like so much I immediately ordered the hard copy…[see ‘change any-thing’ below].John C. Maxwell is brilliant and eloquent. Not only did I buy the hard copy of this book, I bought 2 other books by the author. So, now I almost have a library section of this author’s books.Maxwell is one of my Top 100 authors…chock full of common sense, wisdom, and stories….a must-read for any leader.”

    Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success
    by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler

    “A valuable resource for students of change, both personal and business [involving others]. I liked the audio so much I immediately ordered the hard copy.

    Change is extremely challenging…this books provides theory for those who like to start with knowledge…this book also provides practical, hands-one processes for those who want to develop skills.

    As the Gallup fellows teach: Strength = Talent + Knowledge + Skills

    If you want to develop “Change-Strength” then this book will be of value.

    Also, you can visit www.rickbaker.ca and type the word ‘change’ in the search box.”

    The Portable Emerson (Viking Portable Library)
    by Ralph Waldo Emerson
    “This book contains a range of Emerson’s work…a great introduction to his philosophy and wisdom.In particular, I like his essays on Compensation and Self-Reliance. These essays/discourses are concise [each is under 30 pages], clear, and eloquent….almost musical.”

    Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude: How to Find, Build and Keep a YES! Attitude for a Lifetime of SUCCESS
    by Jeffrey Gitomer

    “More than anything else, Jeffrey Gitomer is inspirational. He exudes enthusiasm and positivity.

    He also has a full and unique sense of humour. That comes through in this book [and all his other books].

    Here’s a Gitomer quote from this 2007 book to explain…

    “A YES! Attitude is the difference between saying “I’m sorry,” and saying “Thank You!”

    Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting out of the Box
    by Arbinger Institute
    “If you liked the E-Myth [Michael Gerber] and you are interested in self-improvement then you should enjoy this book. It is written in a story-telling, conversational style that reminded me of E-Myth.Human perceptions and reactions…interesting territory.”

    A User’s Guide to the Brain: Perception, Attention, and the Four Theaters of the Brain
    by John J. Ratey

    “If you are interested in understanding how brains work, this book is a good introduction. It covers the scientific side [as examples: anatomy & chemistry]…and it is the best “user’s guide” I have read about the brain.You do not have to be a scientist to understand the book.

    It contains an interesting chapter on language.

    PS: the author was inspired by Temple Grandin.”

    Effective Speaking in Business
    by Alfred Huston

    “This book, written in 1955, has survived the test of time. It, in essence, is a very detailed textbook on business communication.

    In addition to communicating with the ‘Able Man’, the authors provide detailed explanations in other areas such as conference speaking.”

    The Art of the Sale: Learning from the Masters About the Business of Life
    by Philip Delves Broughton

    “If you are interested in sales then this is definitely a book you should have in your collection. The book contains, for example, an excellent ‘history of sales’…interesting stuff.The author is not a sales guru…that makes the book all the more refreshing.

    The book contains terrific stories about and valuable insights from the author’s visits with sales people around the world.”

    The Dark Side of Man
    by Michael Ghiglieri, Joshua Bilmes
    “If you want to understand the extremes of human nature…this book provides a scientific explanation.”

    The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation
    by Matthew Dixon, Brent Adamson

    “Now – this is a good book.

    Definitely, on my Top 100 list.

    I wonder how many sales people will understand the field-sales personalities that are the roots of this package of research/statistics/conclusions.”

    The Book of Five Rings (Bushido–The Way of the Warrior)
    by Miyamoto Musashi, William Scott Wilson
    “In follow up to reading ‘The Japanese Samurai Code’ by Boye Lafayette De Menthe I bought a copy of this translation of 400-year-old classic. Miyamoto Musashi was a Japanese swordsman [a renowned martial artist]. He was undefeated in 60+ duels….a Kensei.As was the practice in early 17th Century Japan, the greatest warriors were multi-talented…Miyamoto was a painter. And late in his life he wrote this book to record his philosophies and guide future martial artists. “

    The Tyranny of E-mail: The Four-Thousand-Year Journey to Your Inbox
    by John Freeman

    “John Freeman has an elegant writing style…and a mission. His mission [in this 2009 book] is about meaningful work and the importance of relationships. He provides well-constructed arguments and a number of interesting, scientific facts.

    He offers 10 suggestions on how to reduce/remove e-mail tyranny.”

    Relieve Stress with Medical Hypnosis
    by Steven Gurgevich
    “The author provides an interesting description of ‘hypnosis’…then proceeds to describe the problem with stress and benefit of hypnosis in stress-relief.Comparing this book to Mindfulness [by Williams & Penman]…there is much common ground.”

    Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World
    by Mark Williams, Danny Penman, Jon Kabat-Zinn

    “This book is one of many I am reading to gain an up-to-date understanding of mindfulness and its relationship with stress relief and concentration.

    The author provides exercises, designed to introduce simple exercises.”

    The Japanese Samurai Code: Classic Strategies for Success
    by Boye Lafayette De Mente

    “A detailed introduction to ‘samurai’ and the Japanese culture, the history and the effect on Japan’s approach to present-day business.The words ‘spirit’ and ‘spirited’ appear many times throughout the book, reflecting the importance of ‘spirit’ in the Japanese culture.The explanations signal many practical ways to apply Japanese wisdom to improve business in North America. [‘ii toko dori’].”

    The Purpose Driven Life (QR Code Enhanced Edition): What on Earth Am I Here For? (Purpose Driven Life, The)
    by Boye Lafayette De Mente

    “A deeply-Christian perspective on life-purpose, delivered by a passionate religious leader. Well-packaged…into 40 lessons.

    The section on ‘Temptation’ offers a good explanation of how we fall into the worst of bad habits. These bad habits develop in 4 steps: desire, doubt, deception, and disobedience.”

    The 3rd Alternative: Solving Life’s Most Difficult Problems
    by Stephen R. Covey

    “A very sensitive, yet practical, explanation of how people can get beyond battles of will.Of all the Covey books I have read, this book strikes me as the most-deliberate and the most carefully worded.Stephen R. Covey is solidifying his legacy.”

    Imagine: How Creativity Works
    by Jonah Lehrer

    “If you are interested in how your brain deals with creativity and innovation then you will also be impressed by the first chapters of this book.

    The key message [for me] was: we must use our pre-frontal cortex to ‘overrule itself’ in order to open the creativity routes, which have ‘shut down’ as a result of what we have learned since we were playful children.”

    The Divine Matrix: Bridging Time, Space, Miracles, and Belief
    by Gregg Braden
    “I re-read this 2007 book this week…focusing particularly on the arguments/views around the joining of quantum physics and spirituality. I am interested in understanding the nuances of thoughts in this area…from 3-generation-old thoughts to present thoughts. [from Prentice Mulford to the Dalai Lama, from Einstein to Braden…etc.]Clearly, late 20th century and now 21st century scientific research is reviving old ideas and theories about ‘Thought Are Things’ and taking the connection between physics and spirituality to a whole new level.”

    The Old Rules of Marketing are Dead: 6 New Rules to Reinvent Your Brand and Reignite Your Business
    by Timothy R. Pearson

    “People who are struggling with ‘how to use social media for marketing’ will find value in this book. So will people who need a refresher course and an update on branding.

    Pearson provides clear information: a number of definitions [which can be used to remove confusion during your marketing discussions], solid keep-it-simple ‘foundation’ advice about marketing, and several ideas about how to get out of old, ineffective marketing-behaviour ruts.”

    Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior
    by Leonard Mlodinow

    “After reading ‘Grand Design’, a project with Stephen Hawking, I have been interesting in Leonard Mlodinow. So…I picked up this book.Here we have a world-class physicist delving into the brain.Again, we are living in an era where the [sweet] sciences of mathematics and physics are crossing into the territory of neuroscience and psychology and even spirituality….focusing on an important topic: consciousness.

    Mlodinow has a terrific brain [and mind] and sense of humour.”

    Brain Wars: The Scientific Battle Over the Existence of the Mind and the Proof That Will Change the Way We Live Our Lives
    by Mario Beauregard

    “This book is a quick read…a Canadian Psychology professor’s investigation of minds, brains….and the linkage between psychology and physics and the ‘description’ of the Universe.

    We are living in an era where science is broadening its scope…toward the metaphysical. Quantum physics and multi-Universe theory meets William James and Buddhist teachings.

    Lots of food for serious thought.”

    Napoleon Hill’s A Year of Growing Rich: 52 Steps to Achieving Life’s Rewards
    by Napoleon Hill, W. Clement Stone

    “This book contains excerpts of Napoleon Hill’s wisdom. first published in 1993. The book provides 52 lessons, one per week, covering a year.The idea is to read the 2-3 page lessons every day for a week, preferably out loud with a friend.

    This contains not just 100 year-old Napoleon Hill wisdom…it contains a piece of ancient wisdom. In ancient times, few could read and few had books. Those who could read read their books out loud with passion. [Nietzsche wrote about this in Beyond Good and Evil, 1886]

    Also, there is merit in repetition…it aids memory, it build habit, it builds confidence and commitment.”

    MANIFESTING CHANGE: It Couldn’t Be Easier
    by Michael Dooley

    “This book contains ‘new wave’ Law of Attraction thinking. For me, it is half-way between Deepak Chopra and Esther [and Abraham] Hicks.

    The author provides his personal perspective on visualization, which you can compare with other author’s perspectives…with a view to creating the visualization process that works best for you.”

    Zen and the Art of Making a Living: A Practical Guide to Creative Career Design
    by Laurence G. Boldt

    “I’m placing this book on my Top 100 List.The author combines the topics of spirituality, philosophy, and work to create a comprehensive volume of theory and practical tools. The book must contain at least 2,000 quotes… leading the reader to other authors from the ‘ancient’ to the ‘modern day’.

    I particularly like the way the author covered the 4 archetypes: Hero, Magician, Warrior, & Sage.

    [The book contains many references and quotes from my heroes.]”

    The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right
    by Atul Gawande

    “This book contains a different perspective on ‘Time Management’… an innovative perspective. The main message is signalled in the title. The arguments supporting check-lists is provocative and persuasive.

    If you have ever been a doctor, a patient, an engineer, an occupant of a building, a flyer, or an air traveller then you will get your money’s worth and more from this book.”

    Practicing the Power of Now: Essential Teachings, Meditations, and Exercises from The Power of Now (3 CD’s)
    by Eckhart Tolle
    “I will probably buy every audio book Eckhart Tolle makes. His voice relaxes me. And, his philosophies are thought-provoking. When you listen to Tolle you learn practical lessons…the Power of Now. Tolle’s messages provide perspective about important things like removing/reducing stress and worry. He has an interesting soft-spoken style and a unique way of wording his messages.”

    The Seven Spiritual Laws for Parents: Guiding Your Children to Success and Fulfillment
    by Deepak Chopra

    “Deepak Chopra delivers messages that blend East and West philosophies. I particularly liked the introduction to ‘Dharma’, which contained messages linked to life-purpose; each human being has unique strengths and the combination of using one’s strengths in productive ways and satisfying one’s needs gives purpose to life.

    Note: that is a modification of what Deepak wrote. That is the practical ‘middle-ground’ I took from his message [which was not just practical but also had a spiritual and moral flavour].”

    Strategic Intuition: The Creative Spark in Human Achievement
    by William Duggan

    “This book is a must-read for people who embrace planning…as in plan your work and work your plan. The main message of the book – about strategic intuition – is supported with a wonderful example involving two people who served under Napoleon Bonaparte. Both these men, Baron Antoine Jomini and Carl von Clausewitz, wrote books about Napoleon about 15 years after Napoleon’s death. They described Napoleon’s genius 2 radically different ways: Jomini described Napoleon’s military method as ‘objective’ while von Clausewitz described it as ‘decisive’.

    It’s the difference between what we call Strategic Thinking and Strategic Intuition.

    [related to this, I wrote an article called ‘Auftragstaktik’…here’s a link to that article]”

    The Inner Game of Selling: Mastering the Hidden Forces that Determine Your Success
    by Ron Willingham

    “Students of Sales will find value in this book…sales philosophy and many ‘tools’ & ‘guides’ to help improve sales.

    The author presents a Sales Congruence Model, containing Five Dimensions of Selling:

    View of Selling
    View of Abilities
    Sense of Worthiness
    Belief in Product

    One of the author’s views that caught my attention… “Your sales success isn’t an issue of what you know; rather, it’s the result of who you are! Who you are is the sum total of your knowledge, values, ethical standards, self-beliefs, emotional and spiritual strengths, and other things known and unknown.””

    8 Ways to Great: Peak Performance on the Job and in Your Life
    by Doug Hirschhorn

    “This book provides expert advice on how to handle high-pressure work. The author is an advisor to Wall Street traders, top-level athletes, etc. Having some experience with traders and trading, I found the topic fascinating…and the book offers insight.

    One of my favourite quotes from the book, “”Traders know they’re operating in a world filled with erratic highs and lows, swings between making and losing money that often occur within the same day. The best ones have learned to be comfortable in that uncomfortable reality.”

    [Perhaps, at the root of this message: change is only constructive when people are comfortable.]”

    How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life (Signet)
    by Alan Lakein

    “In preparation for an upcoming presentation, I have re-read some of my ‘time-management’ books. This is one of the first time-management books I purchased, many years ago.

    It is interesting to note…the advice still rings true. Three examples: classify your work into A-level, B-level, and C-level priorities; use “The 80/20 Rule”; “Eliminate Low Priority Tasks”, tasks you cannot commit to spending at least 5 minutes on during the next 7 days.”

    Thoughts are Things
    by Prentice Mulford

    “Prentice Mulford was one of the fellows who helped direct 19th Century attention to [what we now call] “The Law of Attraction”.

    Mulford had full belief in the power of thought, much as Robert Collier did about 2 generations later.

    Here is a defining Mulford quote, “Our thought is the unseen magnet, ever attracting its correspondence in things seen and tangible.””

    Results: Keep What’s Good, Fix What’s Wrong, and Unlock Great Performance
    by Gary L. Neilson, Bruce A. Pasternack
    “The figure on page 12 of this book is impressive. It is titled ‘Most Organizations Perceived as Unhealthy: ORG DNA PROFILER RESULTS’. It contains the 7 types of organizations , some healthy, most not. It also describes each type of organization and shows how common each is. The figure is an excellent summary of the book. A very-useful tool.”

    Competing on Value
    by Mack Hanan, Peter Karp
    “There are many alternatives to low-price strategies. The authors outline, in straightforward words, how to go about competing using value-based pricing. They define the 5 characteristics of value-based pricing…as one example, the price will not be discounted. The authors also provide an interesting 3X5 card ‘tool’ for sales people to use when they sell under a value-based strategy.”

    Getting Past No
    by William Ury
    “A good ‘refresher course’ on how to negotiate. The theme for negotiation recommended by the author is: respect the other person – win him over, don’t win over him. I particularly liked recommendation#1: Don’t React: instead go to the balcony [ie, step away, cool off, and exercise self-control]. I also liked the advice, ‘Know Your BATNA’…Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement. This BATNA reminder can serve to temper emotions.”

    Power of Will
    by Frank Channing Haddock

    “This is a 100-year-old ‘motivational’ book. It presents clear arguments explaining that Man does have ‘power of will’ and that Man can put that ‘power of will to good use’. Also, the book contains a 54-point ‘how-to manual’.

    Here is an excerpt, “A powerful will, as the saying is, means the mind’s ability to throw great energy into a given command for action, by itself, or by the body, or by other beings.””

    Self Help; with illustrations of Conduct and Perseverance
    by Samuel Smiles

    “This book was first published in 1859…it is the oldest book I have read on the specific topic of ‘self-help’.

    The book offers many thoughts on the importance of energy…specifically, the wise application of it. Here is an introductory excerpt: “Energy enables a man to force his way through irksome drudgery and dry details, and carries him onward and upward in every station of life. It accomplishes more than genius.””

    Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength
    by Roy F. Baumeister, John Tierney

    “Before I had finished the 2nd CD of this audio book I bought a hard copy of this book. I wanted the hard copy for my reference library, knowing I will be going back to it regularly in the future.That signals a book that could hit my Top 100 list.For business leaders, I rank this a ‘must-have’ book.

    For students of the human condition…this is a must have-book.

    For anyone who wants to upgrade the calibre of personal habits…this is a must-have book.”

    Getting Past No: Negotiating with Difficult People
    by Roger Fisher, William Ury

    “William Ury provides another perspective on the title topic. He covers more than just business negotiations [bosses, co-workers, and selling/buying negotiations]. He covers other negotiations such as negotiations with spouses and other family members.

    Good advice on an old topic…with some interesting twists.”

    Your Creative Brain: Seven Steps to Maximize Imagination, Productivity, and Innovation in Your Life (Harvard Health Publications)
    by Shelley Carson
    “Shelley Carson has an easy-reading style of writing. This book contains an interesting approach to understanding how the brain works [in process steps] when it is handing creative things…i.e., creative things = creative thoughts and the creativity that happens without apparent thought/direction. The book defines 7 steps, creative brainsets and illustrates where the brain activity is happening [based on current neuroscience research and also psychology research].Also – very interesting coverage around that persistent question: do people receive insights from outside the brain? Certainly, many well-known very-creative people think they do [Mozart, for example].”

    21st century leadership: Ten steps to becoming a 21st century leader
    by Dave Lefkowith

    I particularly liked Step #1: Broaden Your Style. That’s good advice for Leaders. My way or the highway is far less effective than it was in the 19th and 20th Centuries.

    And, Dave Lefkowith provides a simple set of tools to help Leaders understand their ‘style’…and that’s required in order to make a change as important as broadening one’s leadership style.
    Also, Step #2 – Become More Nurturing and More Demanding – generated some thoughts.

    Einstein: His Life and Universe
    by Walter Isaacson

    “Albert Einstein is one of my heroes….so I check out Einstein biographies from time to time. This [audio-book] provides an easy way to gain an understanding of the great physicist. It covers Einstein’s family life, science achievements, political views, and humanitarianism.Two highlights:

    1) When Einstein was about 10 years old he read ‘Popular Book on Natural Science…’ by Aaron David Bernstein [written in 1869]. Possibly, this book triggered Einstein’s young imagination in a way that caused him to be able to imagine scenarios [thought games, with images] then use them to derive and explain his theories…including, Relativity. [my son, Jack, managed to buy a copy of this book for me]

    2) After the death of his 2nd wife, Elsa, in 1936, Einstein wrote the following in a letter to his son, Hans Albert, “As long as I am able to work I must not and will not complain because work is the only thing that gives substance to life.”

    Compensation (from Essays) [Annotated]
    by Ralph Waldo Emerson

    “I read this Emerson discourse at least once a year. If you have never read Emerson’s work then ‘Compensation’ is one of the best places to start.Emerson was a thought-leader throughout the middle of the 19th Century. ‘Compensation’ is about living, confidence, doing the right things, and the law of attraction.If you appreciate writing eloquence and elegant writing then you will enjoy both Emerson’s messages and his ‘delivery’.

    Emerson inspired generations of self-development writers…including 20th Century greats like [namesake] Ralph Waldo Trine, Dale Carnegie, and Napoleon Hill.”

    Pushing to the Front
    by Orison Swett Marden

    “Can you imagine spending a year writing a manuscript, losing it in a fire, and spending another year re-writing it! Apparently, that’s the history behind this book.

    Many self-development gurus use quotes from Orison Swett Marden. After seeing his name so many times, I decided to buy a vintage copy of his 1911 classic – ‘Pushing to the Front’.

    I wanted to read the book and collect my personal set of Orison Swett Marden quotes.

    Now – after reading his work, I have over 4000 words…my personal library of Orison Swett Marden quotes….which I will share with my readers…over time…over many topics.”

    Strategic Sales Management Module 2 Increasing Sales Force Effectiveness
    by Sandler Systems

    “I took the Sandler Sales courses about 10 years ago. I recently referred to this 3-volume book set to refresh my memory on Sandler techniques.Also, I re-listened to his President Club audio set.

    Good stuff.”

    Click: The Magic of Instant Connections
    by Ori Brafman, Rom Brafman, Rob Shapiro

    “I listened to the audio book. It inspired another level of thought about interpersonal relationships: how they happen and how to build them. I particularly liked the education about ‘environment’ and how it impacts on relationships. Environment = Situations. And, business only contains 3 things: People, Process, & Situations. A small change in environment/Situation can have a huge impact on People’s behaviour/relationships.

    Here is a URL with a summary article about this book.

    Men and Systems
    by James Allen
    “An interesting little book, which contains a section on Courage [Spirited Leaders’ first Corporate Value].Allen describes 3 types of Courage: Physical, Moral, and The New Courage.Every James Allen book contains wonderful quotes. Here is a sample from this book, “Activity is a necessity of existence, and usefulness is the object of being.”

    93 Extraordinary Referral Systems
    by Jay Abraham

    “I listened to this audio book again this week. I picked out about a dozen ideas…for deeper thought.

    Jay’s key points: referrals lead to premium business and people must share ideas, be innovative, think about new techniques, and test a variety of methods.

    When it comes to referral programs – plan the work then work the plan…and measure & test…continuously.”

    Light on Life’s Difficulties
    by James Allen

    “This 1912 book contains one of my favourite pieces of James Allen wisdom:”To live is to think and act, and to think and act is to change. While man is ignorant of the nature of thought, he continues to change for better or worse; but, being acquainted with the nature of thought, he intelligently accelerates and directs the process of change, and only for the better.”An eloquent way of presenting ‘brain neuroplasticity’ and the message ‘think and grow rich’.”

    Rediscovering Values: On Wall Street, Main Street, and Your Street (Hardcover)
    by Jim Wallis

    “This book argues for a rediscovery of ‘moral-compass’ values…and applying those ethical values in the workplace.

    Jim Wallis shares his views on some of these lessons we must learn from the economic crisis we experienced recently.

    As I listened to the audio version I could not help but think about the teaching of R. Buckminster Fuller [particularly, in his 1983 audio set ‘Only Integrity is Going to Count’].

    Some things are sustainable.

    History has taught us: ‘misguided’ business is not one of those things.”

    The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking
    by Dale Carnegie

    “I have a 1979 hard copy of this Dale Carnegie book, revised in 1962 by his wife Dorothy.I believe the more books on the topic of effective speaking I read the more I expand my ability to perform public speaking and to communicate with other people. If you feel the same way then add this book to your library.Dale Carnegie was a master…a master at effective speaking and a master at teaching effective speaking. He was a master story-teller too.

    Lots of pieces of wisdom in this book…”

    SNAP Selling: Speed Up Sales and Win More Business with Today’s Frazzled Customers
    by Jill Konrath

    “SNAP Selling: keeping it Simple + iNvaluable + Aligned + Priority.

    That’s good advice for salespeople and for communication in general.

    Jill Konrath writes about the sales approach she thought through and used to improve her performance in a sales role. Her approach, summarized in the word ‘SNAP’ contains common sense, people savvy, and her unique perspective on people.

    This book meshes well with the teaching of Anthony Parinello [Selling to VITO] and Jeffrey Gitomer [The Sales Bible].”

    Eight Pillars Of Prosperity (The Mind Power Series)
    by James Allen

    “James Allen’s work is eloquent. His thought is deep and clear. This book was published just over 100 years ago. James Allen was one of the most-skilled motivational writers of the 20th Century.His works inspired many or the ‘next round’ of the self-help and motivational teachers: I mean Napoleon Hill, Dale Carnegie, and Norman Vincent Peale.Of all the James Allen books, this book provides the most-detailed discussion of business & prosperity in the form of financial wealth.

    When I read books I copy and collect quotes….food for thought…input for helping others self-educate. James Allen provides numerous pieces of wisdom. “

    Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
    by Daniel H. Pink

    “I revisited this book this week to review Dan Pink’s thoughts about motivating people. I saw Dan speak last year in Waterloo and I was impressed. Here is a link to an article:

    no-carrots no-sticks no-donkeys.

    Dan argues we must alter our approach to motivating people if we want to keep them. His description of ‘the working world out there’ resonates…we are seeing a steep decline in the length of employee-employer relationships in business. And, many business owners are troubled about the loss of well-trained, skilled employees.

    This book offers suggestions for solutions.”

    The Soul of Leadership: Unlocking Your Potential for Greatness
    by Deepak Chopra

    “I listened to the audio version. We can all learn from Deepak Chopra: he approaches business topics from a unique direction; he provides an alternative way of thinking about things; he is eloquent.Here’s an example – “Every thought is an exquisitely choreographed dance.”That’s the way he describes how the human mind works. And, it is true. The human mind is such a stupendous thing.

    I liked the audio so much I bought the hard copy. Also, I am re-listening to it so I can create a couple of 1-Page Tools.”

    The MasterMind Marketing System
    by Jay Abraham

    “I re-listened to this audio book because it contains a large dose of Jay Abraham wisdom and I am working at creating leading-edge marketing communications tools.

    Some of the things Jay Abraham stresses: attention-getting headlines aimed at the reader’s interests and needs…focus on benefits, not features.

    Jay recommends an “AIDA” approach:

    – Attention,
    – Interest,
    – Desire, &
    – Action

    Don’t assume…keep it crisp…capture Interest and build Desire to buy. The Action = show your customer what needs to be done, how to place the order.”

    Selling to VITO the Very Important Top Officer: Get to the Top. Get to the Point. Get to the Sale.
    by Anthony Parinello

    “A how-to-sell-to-leaders manual, supported by solid sales thinking. I re-read this book in order to create leading-edge sales communication tools. I recommend sales people do that from time to time. I mean I recommend they create better sales communications and I recommend they read this book.The book offers pointers on how to move from a bunch of good facts [which we all have] to a concise, pointed, ‘catchy’ communication [which most of us struggle with].Good stuff.”

    The Conquest Of Fear
    by Basil King, Henry C. Link

    “An autobiographical philosophy about fear and how to conquer it: written by a Canadian-born clergyman about a century ago. Basil King was a deep thinker.

    Here is an example of King’s thinking – an interesting quote: “Man was born into fear in that he was born into a world of which most of the energies were set against him.”

    In the book King speaks of the First World War. He says it may not be the last world war. However, he continued – if that proves to be true then the next one will be.

    I am fortunate to own a 1921 first edition.”

    Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
    by Jared Diamond
    “A fascinatingly-detailed and methodical Pulitzer Prize winning book. A definitive, multi-disciplinary, scientific study of the origins and the development of human civilization.Numerous interesting facts…”

    Goals!: How to Get Everything You Want — Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible
    by Brian Tracy

    “About a month ago, a friend recommended I take a look at this book. He thought I would enjoy it because it contains points similar to the points I talk about during strategic planning sessions. My friend was right. Brian Tracy has done a very good job of providing a clear explanation of how Purpose and Values and Vision and Goals and Action are intertwined…each essential to and reliant upon the others.

    After my friend showed me his copy, I liked this book so much I bought the paper version at the same time I bought the audio version…and I listened to the audio version twice back-to-back.”

    In Tune with the Infinite or, Fullness of Peace, Power, and Plenty
    by Ralph Waldo Trine

    “This book was first published in 1897. I am fortunate to have a 1942 “45th Anniversary Edition”. The book contains a clear description of spiritual philosophies now known as ‘The Law of Attraction’. The book is flavoured with religious faith, Christian faith.The author provides profound arguments…and some wonderful, inspiring quotes.Courage fascinates me. So, comments about courage always catch my attention. Here is one from this book:

    “For courage to me is nothing more or less than a positive, creative type of thought. It not only keeps us going but all the time works out effects on the course of our journeying.”

    Courage – a motivator. Courage – a cause of positive effects.

    Well said.”

    The Greatest Thing in the World
    by Henry Drummond

    “I am fortunate to own a 1918 edition of this classic work about ‘the stature of the perfect man’.

    Drummond’s thinking power and eloquence captured my imagination. Here is one example, “The peculiarity of ill temper is that it is the vice of the virtuous. It is often the one blot on an otherwise noble character.”

    Here, in summary, are Drummond’s 9 ingredients of summa bonum, the supreme good:

    Good Temper,
    Guilelessness, &

    Poke the Box
    by Seth Godin

    “Seth Godin energizes me. I like his down-to-earth way of writing and speaking. I like the metaphor he uses at the title of this book…and his marketing is impressive.

    Seth Godin oozes curiosity. I mean he practices what he preaches. Curiosity is a tremendous character trait. He is right – Curiosity leads to so many good things…initiative, action, innovation, creativity, etc. And, Curiosity complements and helps build other positive character traits. Perhaps, the best examples are Courage & Confidence…two of the traits Spirited Leaders value most-highly.”

    Secret of the Ages–Seven Volumes
    by Robert Collier

    “I am fortunate to own vintage (1926) editions of these volumes, which I have now ‘gently’ read.Robert Collier provides views that overlap hose of James Allen, Ralph Waldo Trine, and Napoleon Hill.The author doesn’t mince words about his views of life, business, and success.

    To the contrary, he offers some wonderful quotes. Here is one example, from Volume 1. Speaking of the “struggling Middle Class”, Collier wrote:

    “For men and women like them do not need “Charity” – nor even sympathy. What they do need is Inspiration – and Opportunity – the kind of Inspiration that makes a man go out and create his own Opportunity.””

    Deep Truth: Igniting the Memory of Our Origin, History, Destiny, and Fate
    by Gregg Braden

    “Gregg Braden has an interesting background and a broad range of interests. This book contains a thought-provoking update on the science around human history, civilization, and development. This includes a discussion of evolution…analysing the work of Charles Darwin, the metaphysics that preceded Darwin, and the science that has happened since Darwin.

    Braden talks about numerous religions and their concepts about creation.

    He challenges the [common?] belief that Human Beings have evolved from single-cells to apes to modern-day Man.

    [Come to think of it, while I have heard lots of people say we evolved from apes, I have not seen any scientific proof Humans evolved from anything but Humans.]”

    One Minute Sales Person, The: The Quickest Way to Sell People on Yourself, Your Services, Products, or Ideas–at Work and in Life
    by Spencer Johnson

    “I am checking out popular sales-education books from the last few decades…this piece from the ‘One Minute’ series of books caught my attention.It contains some great advice and a one-page tool [a very-detailed one-page tool…but, a one-page tool nonetheless].I was surprised to find the following in the book:

    “I never forget that people hate to be sold anything but they love to buy.”

    I thought Jeffrey Gitomer coined that very-popular [and accurate] phrase.”

    This Mystical Life Of Ours
    by Ralph Waldo Trine

    “This book has copyrights dating back to 1896. I am fortunate to own a 1919 edition. I wanted a copy because I wondered how the works of Ralph Waldo Trine compare with the works of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Also, I wondered if why Trine was named after Emerson…was there a family connection?

    I understood there could be a relationship between Trine and James Allen, and perhaps Napoleon Hill.

    Trine was a leader in the ‘New Thinking’ wave that began to be widely published in the last half of the 19th Century. In summary, Trine’s work illustrates some of the early writing about what (100 years later) became ‘The Secret’.

    The book contains the words ‘Infinite Intelligence’…a term often used by Napoleon Hill. It contains a clear description of ‘The Law of Attraction’. Trine also defines in very simple and clear words his definition of ‘thought’ and his views about ‘how thought works’…the force of thought.

    This book contains many thought-provoking and inspiring quotes.”

    The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness: Miniature Edition
    by Stephen R. Covey

    “One year ago, I drafted a table to illustrate my understanding of Stephen R. Covey’s ‘8th Habit’. [Search ‘8th Habit’ at www.activestor.ca]Now, I have just finished re-listening to this and a handful of other Covey audio books.In the ‘8th Habit’, Covey expands upon his ‘7th Habit’ wisdom…apparently he spent several years fine-tuning his thinking before he added the ‘8th Habit’. Obviously, he spent time seeking clarity of thought. Also, he honed the delivery. It was time well spent.

    In summary, Covey’s ‘8th Habit’ is: “find your voice and inspire others to find theirs”.”

    Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Miniature Edition
    by Stephen R. Covey

    “I am re-listening to Covey’s ‘7 Habits’ audio books. ‘7 Habits’ is on my Top 100 List. I am comparing Covey’s ‘Habits writing’ with that of the fellows from Gallup/STRENGTHSFINDER…ie, Donald Clifton, Marcus Buckingham & Tom Rath.

    The good work of Covey and ‘the Gallup fellows’ can be meshed in the following way:

    1. Covey Defines Habits as the common area where Knowledge, Skills, and Desire meet.

    2. The Gallup fellows define a STRENGTH as: Talent + Knowledge + Skills.

    3. Spirited Leaders teaches People Only Do 3 Things: Good Habits, Bad Habits, & New Things.

    These 3 combine to create a powerful approach to helping people change for the better.”

    Living the 7 Habits (Stories of Courage and Inspiration) & First Things First by Stephen R. Covey (2 Books)
    by Stephen R. Covey
    “Stephen R. Covey teaches principles. He believes people need principles that don’t change. Principles are the building blocks for trust, achievement of goals, and contentment. This book comes in audio form. People tell stories of how they have used Covey’s 7 Habits to build better lives…their own lives and others. For example, a teacher explains how she helped young learners by using 7 Habits as her ‘teaching platform’. [What a great idea.]”

    From Poverty to Power: or the Realization of Prosperity and Peace
    by James Allen
    “James Allen was a ‘self-development’ pioneer. This is his first published book…1901 vintage. I like his turn-of-the-last-century style. While I have not studied Allen, it seems he had a good understanding of Eastern philosophies and he blends that knowledge into his philosophies. Apparently, Allen influenced ‘next-generation’ authors like Napoleon Hill and Dale Carnegie. This book provides, in summary, strong arguments in support of the power of thought and specifically the power of self-directed “

    The Attention Revolution: Unlocking the Power of the Focused Mind
    by B. Alan Wallace

    “This is a unique book.

    One reason I bought it: I was intrigued by the author…who has a truly remarkable personal history, which includes time well spent with the Dalai Lama.

    Another reason I bought it: I am fascinated by how the mind-brain works in the area of Attention/Focus/Concentration. I am interested in learning practical ways to improve in this area and, obviously, Wallace has considerable practical expertise.

    Another reason: I want to better understand the practical aspects of Eastern philosophies around mindfulness and meditation. Specifically, I want to understand how these can be applied to help business people.

    Now, having bought the book…I am embracing meditation…baby steps of it over time. I understand how meditation links with Attention/Focus/Concentration.

    That said, I know I will never finish reading this book…

    [This is the first time I have reviewed and recommended a book I know I will never finish reading!]”

    Choke: What the Secrets of the Brain Reveal About Getting It Right When You Have To
    by Sian Beilock

    “This book is about ‘choking’, ie, failing to perform under pressure…when the stakes are high and success is most-important. The author presents some interesting research results and views about performance failures. Some of the views are contrarian in nature. While much of the book deals with ‘choking’ under school tests and ‘choking’ while performing professional sports, the thinking and ideas can be applied to business. And, the last chapter is ‘Choking in the Business World’.I enjoyed the outline of things to do to reduce the likelihood of ‘choking’.I found the discussion of ‘Focus’ most thought-provoking.”

    Influencing Powerful People: Engage and Command the Attention of the Decision-Makers to Get What You Need to Succeed
    by Dirk Schlimm
    “This is another book I would describe as ‘not for the faint of heart’. The author spares no ‘reality punches’. I like the author’s earnest effort to help less-than-powerful people understand how to deal with powerful people. Perhaps, many powerful people lack self-confidence or have some underlying weakness that causes them to strive and drive and deal with less-powerful people in unkind ways. The author doesn’t think so. And he makes a great point: even if powerful people are rough on people because of an underlying weakness or character flaw it would be a bad strategy to think that way when you report to or deal with a powerful person.”

    Judgment: How Winning Leaders Make Great Calls
    by Noel M. Tichy, Warren G. Bennis

    “‘Courage’ is Spirited Leaders’ #1 Value… for us it is a corporate Value and a personal Value. So, I am drawn to books that cover the topic of ‘Courage’. This book contains many pieces of wisdom…here is one example:

    “To Sustain Good Judgment, a Leader Must Have Character and Courage

    – Character provides the moral compass
    – Courage produces the results”

    That’s just one excerpt…this book contains many more, including one of my favourite quotes about ‘Courage’.”

    Reviving Work Ethic: A Leader’s Guide to Ending Entitlement and Restoring Pride in the Emerging Workforce
    by Eric Chester
    “In a recent Jim Estill blog, I read about this book…based on Jim’s recommendation, I bought it. The book offers many insights and, of more importance to me, several useful concepts that lend themselves to 1-Page Tools. I mean, 1-Page Tools to help people develop skills. The author describes his definition of ‘Work Ethic’ and then he captures the 7 facets of ‘Work Ethic’ in a simple table. Very good stuff…Spirited Leaders has adopted this definition of ‘Work Ethic’ and will use it to help others.”

    Secrets of the Millionaire Mind in Turbulent Times
    by T. Harv Eker
    “One of my friends talked about Harv Eker and his Millionaire Mind education and seminar programs. So, I decided to check him out with this ‘intro’ CD audio. I found 2 things particularly interesting: (1) Harv’s pressing questions around ‘Why do you want money?’ and (2) Harv’s summary of business things. He teaches business contains 3 things: Product, Operation, & Marketing. And, he stresses most people spend far too much time on Product and Operations and far too little time on Marketing [and Sales]. Soon, I will write about the differences in approaches to business: Harv’s 3 things [Product, Operations, & Marketing] and Spirited Leaders’ 3 things [People, Process, & Situations].”

    Office Politics : Seizing Power Wielding Clout
    by Marilyn Moats Kennedy
    “This is one of the first business books I read [many years ago]. I re-read it to see how it had survived the test of time. During the last few years, I have written about Machiavelli…I wrote almost-kind words about him and commented that I felt people were overly critical about him. Perhaps, tucked away in my memory or subconscious I knew/remembered Marilyn Moats Kennedy had done the same thing in this book? Maybe that’s where the seeds were planted in my mind…I mean, the seeds that made me receptive to Machiavelli. This book offers a ‘calculated approach’ to career advancement…not for the feint at heart.”

    Unthinking: The Surprising Forces Behind What We Buy
    by Harry Beckwith
    “If you like the works of the Heath Brothers and Malcolm Gladwell then you will enjoy this book. I found the content to be middle ground, where marketing meets psychology…without using that word. Some very good stories: I particularly liked the Beatles stories and the stories about the ancient, symmetrical ax and the ‘prehistoric’ make-up. Circles & spheres instead of sharp angles…I will remember that!”

    Principle-Centered Leadership
    by Stephen R. Covey
    “How do you know you are working from an incorrect paradigm? That’s the main point of this Covey gem. His answer – you know because you feel confused. He adds – you know because you experience dilemmas. To remove the confusion, to remove your struggles with clear thinking, you need to understand principles, ‘natural laws’. You need to compare your personal values with the ‘natural laws’…and align your personal values with them. Spirited Leaders embraces this Covey thinking.”

    Napoleon Hill’s Keys to Success: The 17 Principles of Personal Achievement
    by Napoleon Hill
    “I listened to the audio book version, read by Joe Slattery. This fellow has a great voice and he does a great job on Napoleon Hill material. In the abridged audio version, Napoleon Hill delivers a quick summary of the important success principles. I particularly like the explanation of Positive Mental Attitude…what it means, how to get it, and how it helps you achieve. Napoleon Hill provides a definition of Positive Mental Attitude. The definition meshes well with Spirited Leaders’ concepts and definitions.”

    The Art of War: The Definitive Interpretation of Sun Tzu’s Classic Book of Strategy
    by Sun Tzu, Stephen F. Kaufman
    “For many years, I have read quotes from Sun Tzu. Many business authors quote him. I suppose this has been happening since he lived, 2500 years ago. Sun Tzu offers a blend of strategy and tactics, heavily laced with his understanding of the human condition and how it presents itself in the military. While reading this book, I immediately thought of two other classic authors whose works contain military flavours. The first person I thought of was Marcus Aurelius…he too had a keen understanding of people. [see ‘Meditations’] The second was Machiavelli…like Sun Tzu, his classic work [‘The Prince’], contained how-to manual clarity. The matter-of-fact clarity and simplicity of Sun Tzu’s work here explains how this book has survived over 2 millennia.”

    Abhidharmasamuccaya: The Compendium of the Higher Teaching (Philosophy)
    by Asanga, Walpola Rahula, Sara Boin-Webb
    “For me, this book is a new reading frontier. While studying memory I became very interested in the importance of attention and focus….specifically, how we can help people improve in these areas. While studying attention and focus I learned more about ‘Eastern philosophies’…where the name Asanga is mentioned frequently [as is this classic book]. It is interesting to see the thorough ‘classifications’ – religion & philosophy – written by Asanga about 1600 years ago.”

    First Things First
    by Stephen R. Covey, A. Roger Merrill, Rebecca R. Merrill
    “I am rereading [or re-listening to] a number of Stephen R. Covey’s works. I decided to start with the audio version of ‘First Things First’. This book could be classified as a time-management guide coupled with strong message about using ‘deepest’ principles to establish your priorities. Covey has a repertoire of great stories and great questions. For example, this book contains a great story and question about cramming…Covey tells how he crammed in school and he asks a question something like, Can you imagine a farmer not planting then trying to fix that by cramming?”

    Stop Whining! Start Selling!: Profit-Producing Strategies for Explosive Sales Results
    by Jeff Blackman

    “This book contains a different approach to sales motivation. In a prior life I bought copies of this book and gave it to sales people when their complaining hit a certain level. I would give them a day or two off work to read it.

    Hindsight being 20/20, I now recognize my timing was off.

    The book contains some straight-up, hard-hitting advice…the substance of which is more-or-less given away by the book`s title. Most sales people need a dose of this advice from time to time. It can generate self-motivation.

    The key is to deliver the book before the whining starts.”

    Stop Selling & Do Something Valuable
    by Steve Walmsley
    “Thanks Keith…for giving me an author-autographed copy of this book. I will find a home for it in the special section of my library, reserved for author-signed books. I enjoyed this book…easy reading, inspiring, and some good sales education. In particular, I like the 1-Page Tools the author provided for getting to know clients and setting agendas for meetings. 1-Page Tools make work so much easier and enjoyable. I will make good use of this author’s advice.”

    How to Position Yourself for Success: 12 Proven Strategies for Uncommon Achievement
    by Nido Qubein
    “I learned about Nido Qubein about a year ago…so, until then, for me he was a hidden gem. I am glad I ‘discovered’ him. If you enjoy obtaining self-help from good speakers then buy this audio-book. There is energy in this fellow’s voice.”

    The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos
    by Nido Qubein
    “Brian Greene has a talent for presenting ‘physics & the cosmos’ in a reader-friendly way. He simplifies ‘time & space’ by providing comparisons to everyday objects…balloons, elastic bands, and buzzing flies. His respect for the genius of Newton, Einstein, and many others is evident. His knowledge is broad and deep and this book is a wonderful piece of work.”

    Foundations of Marketing Third Edition
    by Beckman Kurtz Boone
    “I would recommend dusting off your library copy or Internet-searching for a used copy of this Marketing textbook. I have a second edition, dated 1982. This text provides a basic introduction to Marketing….Marketing 101…literally.”

    Change Your Brain, Change Your Life: The Breakthrough Program for Conquering Anxiety, Depression, Obsessiveness, Anger, and Impulsiveness
    by Daniel G. Amen
    “This book provides a good introduction to the brain, its various parts, their functions…and, as the title says – how you can go about making changes for the better. The book contains a very-readable mix of brain science and detailed step-by-step instructions for self-improvement.”

    Mystery of the Mind: A Critical Study of Consciousness and the Human Brain
    by Wilder Penfield

    “My son searched and found an original printing of this 1975 book for me. Thanks Jack.

    I wanted the book because Penfield was a pioneer in neurophysiology. He was a physician, a neurosurgeon, and a scientist…exploring the topic of ‘mind & brain’. He asked and explored [using micro-electrodes, etc.]: Does the mind have an energy, an ‘essence’ all its own…separate from the brain and the neurons?”

    The E-Myth Revisited CD: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to do about it
    by Michael E. Gerber
    “A group of us are reading/re-reading E-Myth Revisited. I have read or listened to several of Gerber’s E-Myth books and I would include ‘E-Myth’ in my Top 100 business books. The major messages, – including ‘working on not just in’ and ‘each of us has some entrepreneur, some manager, and some technician in us’ – are good messages. And, Gerber’s story-telling style makes for easy reading. The book ranges from business philosophy, to business strategy, to business tactics.”

    The Little Book of Leadership: The 12.5 Strengths of Responsible, Reliable, Remarkable Leaders That Create Results, Rewards, and Resilience (Jeffrey Gitomer’s Little Book)
    by Jeffrey Gitomer, Paul Hersey

    “As always, Gitomer has provided a little book chock full of great thoughts, ideas, and advice. Check out his ‘Self-Evaluation of the Basic Elements of Leadership’…19 well-designed questions. Also check out his 28-question ‘Self-Evaluation of the Attributes of an Ideal Leader’.

    I also liked his 4.5 examples of “family thinking” in my business:

    1. Benefits are based on what I would provide for my family.
    2. Everyone eats.
    3. Family celebrations
    4. Living benefits
    4.5 The atmosphere is relaxed.”

    Viva la Repartee: Clever Comebacks and Witty Retorts from History’s Great Wits and Wordsmiths
    by Mardy Grothe
    “If you love the English language and the unlimited communication possibilities it provides…then you will get a kick out of this educational-and-fun book. The book contains great stories and excellent coverage of ‘all the greats’: Sir Winston Churchill, W.C. Fields, JFK, George Bernard Shaw, Mark Twain, Mae West, Oscar Wilde…, and many others.”

    Future Shock
    by Alvin Toffler
    “I am fortunate to own a first-edition copy of this Alvin Toffler classic. When I saw it on the shelf at my favourite used-book store it brought back memories of my high school buddy. He read it in the early 70’s and always referred to it when we talked about ‘the future’. This book has withstood the test of time…Toffler was right when he predicted people would struggle with the pace of change. If you struggle with change then this book can help you understand, exactly, why you struggle.”

    Comebacks at Work: Using Conversation to Master Confrontation
    by Kathleen Kelley Reardon, Christopher T. Noblet
    “Do you worry about being ‘caught off guard’? Are you embarrassed when other people challenge, criticize, or insult you? If you are concerned about those things or know others who are concerned then this book can help you. It provides a thorough set of plans and tactics for handling ‘awkward’ communication situations.”

    The Cost of Bad Behavior: How Incivility Is Damaging Your Business and What to Do About It
    by Christine Pearson, Christine Porath
    “When people at your business are offended, it costs your business money. Bad behaviour reduces profit and reactions to bad behaviour reduce profit. Sometimes bad behaviour rests in individuals. Sometimes bad behaviour becomes part of the fabric of a business culture. That’s what this book is all about…helping people understand the fact bad behaviour reduces the bottom-line and providing techniques to reduce this business problem.”

    The Spirit of Success: Consciousness and the Economy
    by Marianne Williamson, Deepak Chopra
    “In this audio CD, Deepak Chopra provides a clear and simple explanation of his view of Success and Soul [Spirit]. This is the first time I have read/listened to Deepak Chopra…it certainly will not be the last. I like the way Deepak blended modern physics with ‘healing’, his purpose in life. His approach reminded me of a book I read many years ago – ‘The Tao of Physics’…I will have to buy another copy of it to refresh my memory. And, I will have to buy some more books by Deepak Chopra, who provides a different perspective on life and success in crystal clear & simple words.”

    The Sales Bible: The Ultimate Sales Resource, New Edition
    by Jeffrey Gitomer

    “If I had to select one Gitomer book for recommendation then this is the one.When I saw Jeffrey in action about a year ago, despite his aversion to folks like me who still have a more-or-less full head of hair, he autographed a copy of this book for me. That autographed copy, one of his larger books, holds first place in the Gitomer section of my library.Jeffrey Gitomer is among my Top 100 business authors.”

    Little Red Book of Selling: 12.5 Principles of Sales Greatness
    by Jeffrey Gitomer

    “This is the first Jeffrey Gitomer book I noticed in bookstores. I bought it about 5 years ago. I loved the thing from start to finish…the quality of the ‘package’ the innovation of the content. I highly recommend it, particularly for sales people.I now own about 10 Gitomer books and about 12 Gitomer audio books.I believe the attributes of a good sales person overlap the attributes of a good leader…so: I buy and read everything Gitomer puts in bookstores to learn more about sales and to learn more about leadership. Gitomer definitely has a unique perspective and style…he is an entertaining and inspiring guy. Gitomer is among my Top 100 business authors.”

    Buy-In, Saving Your Good Idea from Getting Shot Down
    by John P. Kotter and Lorne A. Whitehead
    “This book illustrates the wisdom of ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’.
    Here is a quote I really liked: “In a world in which most preparation for buy-in deserves a C grade, B+ preparation can lead to actions that look inspired and are most effective.”
    Spirited Leaders teaches: Leaders must pre-pave the paths for change.
    This book provides some good ways to get that pre-paving work done.”

    Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t
    by Jim Collins
    “I read this often-quoted business book when it was published 10 years ago. Since it is such a classic…ie, in my Top 100 Business Books…I refer to it often and recently I bought and listened to the audio CD version.
    Many know my favourite part of the book is the ‘Hedgehog Concept’…that fox-and-hedgehog wisdom dates back 2600 years or so…to ancient Greece.
    The clear and simple fox-and-hedgehog business analogy created by Collins…well, that is impressive… Top 100 stuff!”

    You Can Read Anyone
    by David J. Lieberman
    “The book’s subtitle is: Never be fooled, lied to, or taken advantage of again.

    In a prior book review, I noted Stephen R. Covey’s 5th Habit [of highly effective people]:

    Seek first to understand, then to be understood
    This book provides advice about some of the things you can do to understand people…observe – that’s the key.”

    Find Out Who’s Normal and Who’s Not
    by David J. Lieberman
    “This is a follow up to the author’s 2007 book, ‘You Can Read Anyone’.
    The author goes into more detail, particularly about dysfunction and how to identify dysfunctional people and relationships.
    It is interesting to learn how law enforcers go about their specialist work in this area.”

    Socrates Cafe: A Fresh Taste of Philosophy
    by Christopher Phillips
    “Christopher Phillips is passionate about philosophy. Clearly, it energizes him.
    So, he is spreading the Socratic Method…and he is making it fun.
    Even if we do not create cafés to increase the fun-factor…we can use the author’s ideas to generate interest in a practical approach to practical philosophy.”

    The Happiness Hypothesis

    by Dr. Jonathan Haidt

    “The sub-title of this book is:
    Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom

    In this book, Haidt introduces an analogy to explain people’s behaviour. He says people’s behaviour can be described as riders on elephants:

    Rider – our logical side
    Elephant – our emotional side

    Spirited has taken this a step farther…

    Riders on Elephants on Paths:

    Rider – our logical side
    Elephant – our emotional side
    Paths – the situations we face”

    Water Logic

    by Edward de Bono

    “Edward de Bono is my favourite creative-thinking guru.

    Every once in a while I will slip in a de Bono book review…I can do that for a long time because he is a prolific writer.

    Water Logic can be summarized this way:

    Rock Logic = Socratic logic…step-by-step questions and answers that progress to conclusions

    Water Logic = a completely different way to go about solving problems and building plans…you know the conclusion and you determine the important ‘facets’ between where you are and where you want to go…then you determine the flow of activity between ‘now’ and ‘then’.

    Interesting stuff!”

    Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
    by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
    “In this book the Heath brothers explain why some stories stick in our minds while others do not.
    They boil it down to a success formula…which Spirited calls ‘The Sticky SUCCESs Checklist’:
    S – Simplicity
    U – Unexpectedness
    C – Concreteness
    C – Credibility
    E – Emotional
    S – Stories
    s – stories, stories, stories”

    Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard
    by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
    “The book is about change…it answers the question: Why is it so hard to make lasting changes in our companies?
    In this book the Heath brothers explain the Riders-Elephants analogy used by Dr. Jonathan Haidt in his book ‘The Happiness Hypothesis’ [this book will be reviewed next week].
    Spirited has taken the analogy a step farther…i.e;
    Riders on Elephants on Paths”

    An Anatomy of Thought: The Origin and Machinery of the Mind
    by Ian Glynn
    “If you are interested in a layman’s ‘textbook’ about thought and how the human brain goes about doing it…then you will find value in this book.
    It is one of the first detailed brain books I studied…and it is packed with information…approaching the topic of thought from different perspectives, ranging from anatomy to history to psychology.”

    Beyond Good and Evil (Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future)
    by Friedrich Nietzsche
    “‘Beyond Good and Evil’ is my favourite Nietzsche book.
    Folks quote Nietzsche…you see that quite often in books. Many recognize his genius. Yet, many consider Nietzsche somewhere between ‘deeply troubled’, ‘dark’, and ‘bizarre’.
    You will rarely see or hear anyone comment on Nietzsche’s unbelievable sense of humour. I mean, nobody writes, “Sure he was a troubled genius, but that did not fully bury his wicked, theatrical wit”.
    …but…I just did.”

    A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose (Oprah’s Book Club, Selection 61)
    by Eckhart Tolle
    “I will probably read every book Eckhart Tolle writes…or, better still, I will buy and the books and listen to him read the books on audio CD.
    I have a need to understand a broad range of views on certain topics…call them philosophical topics. When the topic is complex – say, understanding the human condition – only by listening to many people approach the topic from different perspectives can I seek clear & simple ways to think and, even more important, clear & simple ways to teach.
    Eckhart Tolle is a very clear thinker and a gifted teacher.
    My goal is to use pieces of his knowledge to help business people.”

    by Marcus Aurelius
    “Marcus Aurelius, the 2nd Century A.D. Roman Emperor, was an amazing man. Picture a well-educated 50+ year old riding his military horse one minute then sitting down at a table and writing, in Greek, absolutely profound statements about people.
    A leader, a warrior, a philosopher, and an educator.
    His words are over 1800 years old – and they have more than withstood the test of time.
    What a role model!”

    Now…Build A Great Business: 7 Ways to Maximize Your Profits in Any Market (Your Coach in a Box) [Audiobook]
    by Mark Thompson, Brian Tracy, Frances Hesselbein
    “This 2010 book provides another look at how to succeed as a leader.
    It triggered a couple of ideas: specifically, I like the way it addressed ‘good questions’. That part of the book really resonated with Spirited’s philosophy – “The Art of Asking Good Questions””

    Learn to Listen: How to Tune In Before Someone Tunes You Out
    by Jim Dugger
    “This book was published in 1992.
    If you want to improve your listening skills then this is a good resource….like a How To manual.
    The book is not limited to just listening…it covers communication. For example, the author provides advice on how to get poor listeners to listen to you…even when those poor listeners are using obscenities.”

    101 Theory Drive: The Discovery of Memory (Vintage)
    by Terry McDermott
    “Actually, I listened to the 2010 audio version of this book. The audio describes the time the author spent interacting with Gary Lynch, the neuroscientist who spent decades searching for the physical evidence the brain processes that create memory. Gary Lynch is described as an eccentric and brilliant renegade. I like the book because it describes a quest, a quest I would describe as an effort to prove we can change our brains – a proof of the concept of neuroplasticity. And, the story has a happy ending. Gary Lynch did find the proof.”

    The Art of Presence
    by Eckhart Tolle
    “I get a kick out of Eckhart Tolle. He has a wonderful, almost-deadpan, sense of humour. And, he explains the value of ‘the present’. After all, when you get right down to it we only have the present. The past is gone. The future is not here yet. All we have is the present. So, why not appreciate the present? Why not learn how to appreciate it? And if you are looking for a teacher, Eckhart Tolle is as great choice.”

    Ifferisms: An Anthology of Aphorisms That Begin with the Word “IF”
    by Mardy Grothe
    “I like little books like this.
    The author has gone to the trouble to collect a long list of thought-provoking sayings.
    You can use some of these aphorisms as powerful quotes:
    If you give a man a fish…”

    Good in a Room: How to Sell Yourself (and Your Ideas) and Win Over Any Audience
    by Stephanie Palmer
    “I have a library section for ‘Speaking’.
    Here’s a piece of thought from this book that resonates with me:
    Chapter 9 is titled ‘The Myth of the Elevator Pitch’.

    The author advises:

    • never pitch in an elevator
    • never pitch to someone you don’t know
    • never pitch without customizing [that one really resonates!]
    • deliver a pitch the way you would deliver a first kiss [well…I’m having a little trouble embracing that one]”

    The Law of the Garbage Truck: How to Respond to People Who Dump on You, and How to Stop Dumping on Others
    by David J. Pollay
    “Simple steps can be taken to stop collecting the garbage other people want to set out for you. And simple steps can be taken to stop dumping your garbage on other people.
    That’s what this book is all about.”

    Earl Nightingale’s The Strangest Secret
    by Earl Nightingale
    “Another classic…recorded 50 years ago…a precursor to ‘The Secret’ and other recent books.
    According to the author, when the Nobel Prize winner Dr. Albert Schweitzer was asked what’s wrong with men today he responded:
    “Men simply don’t think.”
    Earl Nightingale taught:
    “We become what we think about.”

    The Law of Attraction CD Collection
    by Esther Hicks, Jerry Hicks
    “As my LinkedIn review notes…some aspects of this book series stretch my comfort zone.
    On the other hand, the series contains enough interesting thought to overcome ‘my issue’.
    Do you believe in The Law of Attraction?
    Many people have asked me that.
    The quick answer is: Yes, I do.
    For example, I think Ralph Waldo Emerson’s discourse on Compensation is an exquisite piece of written thought
    A link to Emerson’s ‘Compensation’”

    Mastering the Complex Sale: How to Compete and Win When the Stakes are High!
    by Jeff Thull
    “Another good sales resource book.
    This book has a helpful Problem/Solution Matrix at page 167.
    The axes are the Complexity of Problem and Complexity of Solution. The 4 quadrants are Diagnose, Design, Deliver, and Verify.”

    How to Give a Damn Good Speech – Even when you have no time to prepare
    By Philip R. Theibert
    “I have a library section containing books on how to excel at public speaking. This 1997 book has a catchy title. It also has some sound advice.
    The book structure is different…radically different than, say, Dale Carnegie’s book Effective Speaking.
    The book contains 250 quotes…so; the reader has a quote for each working day of the year. Good-calibre quotes for those who like to start a day with an inspirational quote…”

    How To Start A Conversation And Make Friends: Revised And Updated
    by Don Gabor
    “If you are just a little more shy than you would like to be then this book can help you. It offers/relays several suggestions. Example…
    SOFTEN your body language
    S- smile
    O- open arms
    F- forward lean
    T- touch
    E- eye contact
    N- nod”

    The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working: The Four Forgotten Needs That Energize Great Performance
    By Tony Schwartz
    “The author reminds us of the importance of a balanced life: sleep, diets, exercise, and ‘cycled’ work.
    While the topic is old the approach here is new.
    As the author points out….when the hare raced the tortoise in that fable…the hare ought to have won!”

    Napoleon Hill’s Positive Action Plan: 365 meditations for making each day a success
    By Napoleon Hill
    This week I created a Napoleon Hill library in my office. While I was organizing the books and CDs, I reviewed my copy of the 1995 book. It brought back memories.
    1996 was a real tough business year for me. Throughout 1996, I read this book…1 section each night before I went to sleep…that was about ½ page per day.
    Not much discipline required to do that.
    Not much…but, just enough.”

    Prioritize Organize: The Art of Getting It Done
    By Peg Pickering
    “Over the years I have given away many copies of this (2002) book.
    It is on my Top 100 List [business books].
    Do your followers a favour…buy them copies of this book.”

    The Lost Prosperity Secrets of Napoleon Hill: Newly Discovered Advice for Success in Tough Times
    By Napoleon Hill
    “This audio book contains excerpts from the Golden Rule magazine Napoleon Hill published just after the First World War.
    Excellent stuff for Napoleon Hill fans…of which, I am definitely one.
    I particularly enjoyed the stories about early 20th Century hypnotists…great food for thought.”

    The Magic Ladder to Success
    By Napoleon Hill
    “This book is now available in audio form…so Leaders and those who want to be Leaders can listen to it while they are travelling, or wanting to relax with their eyes closed.
    As those who know me know…I will re-read and re-listen to everything Napoleon Hill has written.
    Napoleon Hill is the father of motivational writing…not just theory…practical tools.”

    Time: A Traveler’s Guide
    By Clifford A. Pickover
    “I will rarely write about my non-business reading. However, from time to time I will share some personal reading interests that go beyond business or leadership.
    I really enjoyed this 1998 book by Clifford Pickover.
    I am intrigued by the concept of TIME. See, for example..”

    Reality Check: The Irreverent Guide to Outsmarting, Outmanaging, and Outmarketing Your Competition
    By Guy Kawasaki
    “For business people, this is Top 100 reading!
    Guy Kawasaki is a character.
    His thoughts are clear.
    This book is Guy Kawasaki at his best. If you are an entrepreneur, a marketing person, or a sales person then this book is an excellent resource for your library.”

    Go Put Your Strengths to Work: 6 Powerful Steps to Achieve Outstanding Performance
    By Marcus Buckingham
    “As the title says, this book is how-to manual for putting your strengths to work. The book expands on the author’s earlier books about the “Clifton StrengthsFinder philosophy”.
    For business people, this is Top 100 reading!”

    How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business
    By Douglas W. Hubbard
    “When things are tough to measure most people quit trying to measure.
    So, they miss the opportunity to measure the conversion that exists between cause and effect.
    If we want our people to understand how to think about measuring things that are tough to measure then this is a good resource book.
    [the title provides inspiration]”

    First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently
    By Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman
    “This book provides a great introduction to the StrengthsFinder philosophy.
    StrengthsFinder delivers tremendous value to business people. This book is the first StrengthsFinder book written by Marcus Buckingham.
    For business people, this is Top 100 reading!”

    Now, Discover Your Strengths
    By Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton
    “This is the 2nd StrengthsFinder book written by Marcus Buckingham. He co-authored this book with Donald O. Clifton…the founding father of StrengthsFinder.
    My advice – read this book.”

    The Use of Lateral Thinking
    By Edward de Bono
    “This is one of de Bono’s first books…1967. His logic and creativity have withstood the test of time. Edward de Bono is one of my favourite thinkers.”

    Synchronicity: The Bridge Between Matter and Mind
    By David Peat
    “My friend Donna Kennedy-Glans recommended this book. And, I am glad she did. I find the topic ‘synchronicity, fascinating. This book provides a comprehensive set of thoughts about the reasons behind this piece of the human condition.”

    Obvious Adams: The Story of a Successful Businessman
    By Robert Updegraff
    “A little book that reminds us of the value of focus…and removing the chaff to get to the wheat.”

    The Tell-Tale Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Quest for What Makes Us Human
    by V. S. Ramachandran
    “Don’t be put off by that word ‘neuroscientist’ in the title. Ramachandran is a story-teller. He’s a brilliant fellow who conducts simple experiments to yield surprising results. [I will always think of Einstein when I think of Ramachandran…it seems to me they share similar gifts.]”

    By Tom Rath

    “An inspiring fellow. One of my Top 100 books. I have given away dozens of copies. And we have talked with hundreds of people who have taken the on-line assessment.”

    How Successful People Think: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life
    By John C. Maxwell
    “…a little 2009 book by John C. Maxwell…terrific use of words…and very-good advice, for people who want to deepen and add texture to their thinking.”

    How to REALLY Use LinkedIn
    By Jan Vermeiren
    “…a great little reference manual, containing several practical-action suggestions”

    Live With Passion! : Strategies for Creating a Compelling Future
    By Anthony Robbins
    “…a 1998 Tony Robbins audio book…good advice, for example – about how to approach Problems.”

    Think and Grow Rich
    By Napoleon Hill

    “Napoleon Hill’s classic Think and Grow Rich is my favourite business book.

    I own numerous copies of various vintage, including a 1937 original edition. I have given hundreds of copies away during the past 20 years.

    Why am I so fond of this book?

    There are several reasons:

    While some see this as a nice little motivational tool. I see that as just one component of what this book has to offer. As others have said to me, the book provides how-to-manual details. For example, it includes step-by-step suggestions related to what Napoleon Hill calls ‘autosuggestion’ and a long list of questions for self-analysis and self-improvement.

    I like Hill’s Self-Confidence formula. All of us suffer lapses in self-confidence from time to time. Napoleon Hill provides a tool to remove this problem…and the tool works.

    I know some women find the book troubling because it is all about men, not women. That is true, it shows the reality of the man’s world that existed when the book was written.

    Some do not like the old-fashioned style. In fact, there are modernized versions. I have read them. I am not impressed by the modern versions. I like the vintage versions…there is something romantic about them, a rare thing in a business book.

    I am always inspired by the stories told by Napoleon Hill, in this book, in other books, in his pre-1920’s magazines, and in his post-1950’s audios. The man was a gifted story teller.

    Napoleon Hill was an inspiration to many.

    I recommend reading everything he wrote and listening to everything he recorded.

    URL/link to an article I wrote about this book

    I Can Make You Confident: The Power to Go for Anything You Want!
    By Paul McKenna

    “The author is not exaggerating: he provides advice that can help people become more confident. Also, he provides simple & practical tools/exercises to help people develop habits that will help expand confidence.

    And, Confidence is of ultimate value.

    As I read the book, my mind kept turning to the Napoleon Hill classic ‘Think and Grow Rich’. I expect Napoleon Hill would have enjoyed this book.

    Here is a link to some thoughts about Confidence”

    The Business Transition Crisis: Plan Your Succession Now to Beat the Biggest Business Selloff in History
    By Wayne Vanwyck
    “This book is for business owners, particularly Baby Boomers. If you own a business this book delivers important advice and practical tools to help you. It provides a way to get started on the difficult and often ignored task of preparing your business for sale…full of real-life stories about business owners. The author, Wayne Vanwyck, was kind enough to sign a copy for me…thank you, Wayne. Your book will have a place in my special library.”

    The Now Habit at Work: Perform Optimally, Maintain Focus, and Ignite Motivation in Yourself and Others
    By Neil Fiore PhD

    “The author blends theory and practical explanations, and provides some very quotable pieces of advice. There are at least a handful of excellent one-line and two-line quotes. If you are sincerely interested in replacing Bad Habits with Good Habits then this book provides some New Things you can consider.

    The author presents a compelling argument in support of having suitable Goals…ie, this is helpful to those who practice and teach the ‘causal’ approach to business activity. It also resonates with well-thought-out views about Self-Esteem.

    URL/link to my first article about ‘Good Habits, Bad Habits, and New Things’

    Six Thinking Hats
    By Edward de Bono

    “Edward de Bono is a gifted and prolific thinker.

    I really dislike that saying ‘Think Outside Of The Box’. There is only one person in the world who could say that to me and make me smile…and that person is Edward de Bono. I would smile because I would know I could ask him to give me an example or two of what he meant when he said it and he would proceed to illustrate his unmatched gift for creative, lateral thought.

    ‘Six Thinking Hats’ provides a terrific introduction to the clarity of de Bono’s thoughts and the beauty of his writing style.

    I highly recommend this book.

    And, if this book resonates with you then there are plenty more where it came from…all fascinating pieces of work.

    URL/link to an article I wrote about this book.

    Beyond Bullet Points: Using Microsoft® Office PowerPoint® 2007 to Create Presentations That Inform, Motivate, and Inspire
    By Cliff Atkinson

    Business Analysis and Valuation: Using Financial Statements, Text and Cases (with Thomson ONE Access)
    By Krishna G. Palepu, Paul M. Healy

    Getting Publicity (Self-Counsel Business)
    By Tana Fletcher, Julia Rockler

    How to Succeed in Business Using LinkedIn: Making Connections and Capturing Opportunities on the World’s #1 Business Networking Site
    By Eric Butow, Kathleen Taylor
    “The book provides a general introduction to LinkedIn…some parts are outdated as LinkedIn has changed tools and page layouts.”

    Fake Work: Why People Are Working Harder than Ever but Accomplishing Less, and How to Fix the Problem
    By Brent D Peterson, Gaylan W Nielson
    “Many folks say, “I am too busy”. Those folks will find this book very, very helpful. The book’s title says it all. Other folks feel like they could use a ‘time & task management’ refresher. Those folks will also find this book helpful. Bosses can use this book to educate their staff.”

    The Spontaneous Healing of Belief: Shattering the Paradigm of False Limits (4 CD Set)
    By Gregg Braden
    “The author presents the argument forces like those of a computer program guide our universe. Our perceptions are the consequence of our beliefs. I am going to think through the argument before I reach a conclusion. In the meantime, I accept the Hill/Stone ‘instruction’ – what we can conceive and believe we can achieve. That resonates with this book’s theme. Also, in a future Thought Post [at www.rickbaker.ca] I will write about the remarkable “Matrix” synchronicity I experienced while listening to this audio book.”

    Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain: How a New Science Reveals Our Extraordinary Potential to Transform Ourselves
    By Sharon Begley
    “Sharon Begley provides an interesting discussion of modern Western brain science and how that science contrasts with and complements with Eastern religion, i.e., Buddhism as explained by the Dalai Lama and his followers. A provocative package, a great introduction to Buddhism, and a thorough update on recent brain-science developments.”

    The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science (James H. Silberman Books)
    By Norman Doidge
    “Norman Doidge provides a good, broad introduction to how our brains work. He provides many examples to illustrate the adaptability, the ‘plasticity’ of our brains. Our brain, without any effort from us, changes itself. We can also do ‘things’ to change our brains. As examples: we can do things to overcome bad habits, reduce disabilities, and repair some of the damage caused by strokes.”

    Crazy Bosses: Fully Revised and Updated
    By Stanley Bing

    “Stanley Bing has a stinging, satirical, critical writing style [which will appeal to some but not to others]. He does not mince words or confine himself to the usual conventions.He describes 5 ‘crazy boss’ types:

    The Bully
    The Paranoid
    The Narcissist
    The Wimp
    The Disaster Hunter

    Whether you enjoy Stanley Bing’s writing style or not you probably have experienced or observed bosses who fit his 5 categories.

    What caught my attention most: the ‘default emotions’ the author presented with each boss type: rage, fear, emptiness, anxiety, and desire. When we see bosses exhibiting these ‘default emotions’ we should understand they are warning signs.”

    Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age
    By Clay Shirky

    “If you have wondered how and why social media has ‘taken off’ as it has then you will benefit from reading this book. If you have thought about where social media may be headed then this book could provide enough ‘background’ to help you envision the social-media future.

    The book made me feel the recent social-media developments are of similar importance to Gutenberg’s printing-press contribution…ie, one of the most-significant technological advancements in human-history.

    The book explains people’s interests [particularly the desire for entertainment], people’s widespread desire to contribute/help build, and people’s desire to participate in community.

    And , like the author, I remember watching Gilligan’s Island. Home entertainment has come a long way…a long, impressive, amazing way.”

    Everything Is Obvious: How Common Sense Fails Us
    By Duncan J. Watts

    “I’m really enjoying the ‘wave of cross-over’, where mathematicians/physicists are leading their opinions to sociology, business, and particularly marketing. Duncan J. Watts is one of these talented ‘cross-over’ educators [joining fellows like Leonard Mlodinow].

    Watts [at the 2011 publication of this book] is a principal research at Yahoo!

    Here’s a sample of his thoughts…

    “Without experiments, it’s actually close to impossible to ascertain cause and effect, and therefore to measure the real return on investment of an advertising campaign.”


    “An alternative approach…is to rethink the whole philosophy of planning altogether, placing less emphasis on anticipating the future, or even multiple futures, and more on reacting to the present.”