For many years I have based personal and business decisions on this philosophy:
“Who you are ten years from now will be a result of the books you read and the people you spend time with.”
This quote is an adaptation of the one by Charles Tremendous Jones and has been a guiding principle for me as I’ve worked hard to surround myself with the people who represent where I want to go (rather than where I’ve been). But for this article’s purpose, let’s focus on the reading part of this philosophy. And I don’t mean fun, fiction books! (Though I enjoy them each night before going to sleep.)
My 2016 Reading Accomplishments
Every year I have big goals on reading a lot of books on personal and business growth. Here is a picture of my accomplished reading in 2016, with 21 great books consumed and added to my knowledge vault. Some were on my list at the beginning of the year, and a few more got added throughout 2016 as gifts and recommendations from others. As the visionary for my company and team, as well as a coach, a husband, a father, etc. reading great non-fiction books gives me the fuel to grow in all areas of my life as well as be valuable to others.
*Special note: Of the books in the picture, TRACTION, by Gino Wickman, had the biggest impact of all. It is an absolute must-have for anyone running a business or leading teams. It will be a guide for me every year.
- 33% of High School Graduates never read another book the rest of their lives
- 42% of college grads never read another book after college
- 80% of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year
In addition, according to Grant Cardone in his book, “The 10x Rule”, the most successful CEOs are reported to read an average of 60 books per year…whereas the average American worker reads an average of less than one book and makes 319 times less income.
My books for 2017
Now, on to the good stuff…my reading for 2017! This year I have decided to limit myself to TWELVE highly recommended books that I believe will play a big role in my continued growth and leadership capabilities. I don’t want to read just to read; rather I want to study those books that will help me be the best leader, teammate, business person, coach, husband, father, son, brother, or friend I can be. So, without further ado, here is my reading list for 2017:
- The Holy Man – Susan Trott (completed!)
- Thinking Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman
- Pitch Anything – Oren Klaff
- The Daily Stoic – Ryan Holiday
- Tools of Titans – Tim Ferriss (My early favorite!)
- Pre-Suasion – Robert Cialdini (Reading again)
- Mindset – Carol Dweck
- What Doesn’t Kill Us – Scott Carney (complete!)
- The Self-Managing Company – Dan Sullivan
- Addition Through Subtraction – Shannon Waller (complete!)
As you can see with numbers eleven and twelve, I’ve learned to leave a couple spots open now for top recommendations that will come along this year!
What books are on your list to read in 2017? How’s your progress so far? If reading hasn’t become an “acquired taste” yet for you, start with some small goals such as one book per quarter. Four books in a year puts you eons ahead of most others. Block out just 15 minutes in the morning to create a new habit of reading. Let me know how it goes!