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My 5 Unforgettable Leadership Reads of 2023 📚

Good news… in a world bombarding us with information, most of it meaningless and worthless, we still get to choose what gains our time and attention. We get to choose what makes it into our minds and then affects who we live and what we do.

The books we read matter!

Here are 5 that mattered to me in 2023. They linger! In other words, they stuck with me... and maybe one or two will stick with you!

Passed down to me by my daughter-in-law, a gift from her military leader father (one of his top reads of 2023), "Happier Hour" by Cassie Holmes had underlining, highlighting and double-starring.

In a nutshell, UCLA professor Cassie Holmes turns the spotlight on our most precious resource—time, not money. In our "time-poor" world, Holmes guides us to craft intentional "happier hours," cultivating more joy, energy, and effectiveness in the time we do have.

Key insight: there's a sweet spot for flexible time. Less than two hours a day "to ourselves," and stress, anxiety, and burnout creep in. On the flip side, too many flexible hours (over 6), and we risk feeling adrift, squandering precious time.

(This is one of the reasons the traditional idea of retirement often leads to early death!)

Another Lingering Leadership Takeaway: Treat Your Weekend Like a Vacation. Holmes asks, “When did you last savor a morning without rushing, cuddling

under the covers, chatting over breakfast, or enjoying coffee with the morning paper?”

For a fresh perspective on time and happiness, Happier Hour's a winner.

This book invites the entrepreneurial business leader to do what most forget, fail or don’t know how to do: think and plan their next moves in advance… and quit winging it.

Bet-David connects business leadership and strategy to a chess player who knows to not just think “one next move” but actually the next 5 moves. He writes, “People who don’t think more than one move ahead are driven by ego, emotion, and fear.”

AND the self-aware and confident CEO sees that the key they get better at what they do as they learn to think at least 5 moves ahead.

The book challenges you to plan your next five moves with precision, offering a roadmap to think about your business or non-profit.

Whether you're an entrepreneur, leader, or someone navigating life's complexities, this book equips you with the mindset to navigate challenges strategically and achieve your long-term goals.

I'm fascinated not just by the success of businesses but how they transcend to new heights of growth and impact. Many businesses falter because they lack preparation for the challenges involved in scaling.

Allison Maslan, drawing on her experiences as a serial entrepreneur, shares invaluable lessons from scaling multiple businesses.

Maslan encourages readers to reassess their vision and ambitions: "Am I playing big enough? Do I see my business as a catalyst for changing the world? What impact do I aspire to make?"

She underscores the significance of building a robust team, implementing effective systems, delegating wisely, fostering innovation, and establishing a scalable infrastructure. These elements, aligned with your vision, are crucial for achieving sustainable growth.

I don’t know how I bumped into this book and I’m not a doctor (nor do I play one on TV!) But this book’s got something every leader needs. Health! (Physical, emotional, relational, spiritual…

And in a world that says “Take this pill” or "wear this mask," this books gets to wisdom that comes from AND APPLIES a key scripture written by Solomon thousands of years ago.

“Above all else, guard your heart, for from it flows the wellspring of life.” (Proverbs 4:23) HOW? How does one “guard your heart?”

According to Stanford, Harvard, Mayo Clinic, the CDC, and other research centers, there is one source of up to 95% of all illness and disease, and it is not your thoughts, emotions, conscious beliefs, actions, or even your DNA. And Solomon revealed this source and how to address it more than 3000 years ago.

The book then guides readers through practical techniques to address deep-seated issues and enhance overall well-being by eliminating underlying stress.

With a blend of science, spirituality, and actionable strategies, "The Healing Code" offers a holistic approach to healing, empowering individuals to take charge of their health and unlock profound transformation.

You will either thank me for recommending this or think I’ve lost my mind. I’m OK with that!

Change is hard! Let’s face it! And studies find it’s not only hard, for many it feels downright impossible and undoable.

The book opens by sharing the change rates for people with heart issues who are told by their doctors that they are seriously at risk of dying if they do not change their habits.

These patients know exactly what they need to do: eat a more wholesome, lower-calorie diet, exercise more, stop smoking, and so on. Yet even when people's very lives are on the line, only one out of every seven patients is able to make the change.

What?! Well, the authors introduce the notion of "immunity," a set of hidden, competing commitments that hinder progress despite one's best intentions.

Through a framework that combines psychological and organizational theories, the book provides a structured approach for identifying and overcoming these immunities.


WELL, those are my 5. Love to hear what you think if you read them.

Please share your own!! I will certainly take them to heart and possibly get them in my que!

With you and for you!

Coach Jeff

PS. Would you want to start your 2023 with focus and confidence in your goals? (And know how to avoid dixtractions?) I am still offering a few more "Big Shift" sessions for 2023. APPLY HERE.

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