Favorite Books of 2009

Every year in January, I post a list of the top ten books I read the previous year. This year, I will add the books I plan to read in 2010. Some I read for my own personal growth, some I read because I am a student of leadership. Some are faith-based, others cross over to all audiences. They make up an eclectic list. Enjoy…

1. Summoned to Lead, by Len Sweet

This was a fun read because it was a fresh POV on leadership. Leonard Sweet doesn’t claim to be a leadership guru, but he basically says that leaders are not positioned; they are summoned to lead by the circumstances in which they find themselves.

2. Free, by Chris Anderson

This book was one I didn’t plan to read—but I had to read. Anderson’s big idea is that the market for products delivered online is changing. Folks expect stuff to be free. Companies will need to come up with new ideas to generate revenue in this new economy.

3. Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell

I love Malcolm Gladwell. He always makes me think. This book examines why some people stand out from among their peers. How do people become successful, and why are some positioned to excel while others struggle? Get ready to reflect and apply this stuff.

4. Drive, by Daniel Pink

I just picked this one up at the end of 2009. It’s book number two I’ve read by Daniel Pink, after A Whole New Mind. The book studies what motivates people from the inside to pursue a goal or choose a route that others might not. Pink helps you think about how you think.

5. Fierce Conversations, by Susan Scott

I had this book recommended to me by several people. I immediately applied it to the hard conversations or discussions a leader must have with team members about subjects no one likes to talk about. It’s applied confrontation. Doing “truth telling” in a healthy way.

6. John Newton, by Jonathan Aitken

My friend, Steve Moore, gave me this book—and I’m so glad he did. John Newton, the famous slave trader turned spiritual leader, had a remarkable life; most of it is unknown today. The book opened my eyes to the personal side of the author of Amazing Grace.

7. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, by Donald Miller

This is Donald Miller’s latest installment. At first the book seems like a self-preoccupied autobiographical sketch of his life. Along the way, Miller introduces you to characters and lessons learned… and becomes a heart-warming treatment of what matters most in life.

8. The Soul of a Citizen, by Paul Rogat Loeb

This book is a bit more academic in nature, but was loaded with illustrations of ordinary people who became engaged in their community or their world and changed it in the process. Loeb pushes us to initiate, to risk and to not be afraid to act in light of justice.

9. Strengths Based Leadership, by Tom Rath and Barrie Conchie

This book lived up to my expectations. It is Gallup’s latest installment on the strengths movement, dealing with the fact that our best leadership will naturally be exercised when applied in the area of our strengths. It’s loaded with great case studies.

10. Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs, by Carmine Gallo

This book was recommended by my friend and colleague, Holly Moore. The book uses Steve Jobs speeches as illustrations of how to make amazing presentations, especially when your goal is to introduce a new idea or sell a new vision. Good, practical stuff.

2010 Books

This year, while I’m sure I’ll read a bunch of others, these are the books I plan to read…

  1. Integrity, by Henry Cloud
  2. Axiom, by Bill Hybels
  3. What the Dog Saw, by Malcolm Gladwell
  4. The Leader in Me, Stephen Covey (Re-read)
  5. Waking the Dead, by John Eldridge (Re-read)
  6. Ready or Not, Here Life Comes, by Mel Levine
  7. This Beautiful Mess, Rick McKinley and Donald Miller
  8. The 360 Degree Leader, by John C. Maxwell (Re-read)
  9. Love is a Killer App, by Tim Sanders
  10. In Charge, by Myles Munroe

Here’s to continued personal growth and leadership development for you and me.

Looking for a Plan?

By the way—if you’re looking for a plan for personal growth, check out a brand-new resource we are offering at Growing Leaders. It is called: “Leadership 2 Go.” It includes a monthly video, personal growth forms, reading assignments, a discussion board, articles, assessments, and more.

Just visit: www.Leadership2Go.com


Favorite Books of 2009