reading a book with a cup of coffee


Growth  |  3 min read

Here's My Q1 Book List

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A couple days ago, I posted about the importance of reading. I said, “leaders are readers” and shared that I read six books per quarter.  Someone called me out on that and asked me to share the books I read. I agreed to do that. I will sometimes write a dedicated blog post (or two) about one of the books, as I did back on January 25 and 26 when I wrote about “Extreme Ownership.” From now on, I’ll always write one blog post about the six books I read in the quarter. So, here goes…

During January, February, and March, I read these six books, in order of my preference, from most favorite to least favorite:

  • "The Advantage" by Patrick Lencioni (Yes, two books by Patrick Lencioni this quarter—both are outstanding, but this one was the best book of the quarter. I thought I had read it, but turns out, I was confusing it with “The Alliance,” a book of similar size, color, and topic, which I read about a year ago.)
  • "Influencer" by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler
  • "5 Temptations of a CEO" by Patrick Lencioni for a second time—apparently, I’m tempted a lot. 
  • "Extreme Ownership" by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
  • "The Great Game of Business" by Jack Stack and Bo Burlingham
  • "Focus" by Al Ries

None of the books were bad—I am glad I read them all. I loved “The Advantage” because its premise is something I absolutely believe: that organizational health (or “culture,” as we broadly define it at Keap) trumps everything else in business. As Peter Drucker says, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” It is a great, great book. I’ve given a summary to my executive team for us to discuss at our offsite next week. And we’ll likely make it our “book of the quarter” in Q2.

I also loved “Influencer,” a book about how to “make change inevitable” by mastering the six sources of influence: personal motivation, personal ability, social motivation, social ability, structural motivation, and structural ability. I highly recommend this book to anyone. It would have been my No. 1 book this quarter if I hadn’t read "The Advantage," which is so incredibly relevant and timely for me and my team right now.

Another quarter, another great six books. I find that as good as the books are, what matters most is the stimulation of thought and ideas that I get from reading. When I was young I hated reading. “Too boring,” I told my parents and teachers. Now, I can’t live without it—I love it.

SBS Idea of the Day: If you tell yourself you’re not a reader or you don’t like reading, change your thoughts. You just haven’t found a method that works for you. I challenge you to find a method that works for you and start reading books on topics you enjoy. The stimulation of thought will be your greatest reward as a grower and leader.

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