I’ve been intentionally carving out time in my schedule over the last few years to read. I’ve not been increasing my trips to the gym, but my “reading reps” have skyrocketed.
I recently saw a social media promotion for executive book summaries that claimed the average CEO reads 75 books a year. Sounds like a lot to me, and I’m nowhere near that pace, but I’ll probably get to 30-35 by the end of the year; for me, that’s a bunch. Here are the last five I’ve finished:
ACT LIKE MEN, by James McDonald. The 40 sections of this book challenge men like me to “step up” and fulfill the biblical charge God has given us in 1 Cor. 16:13-14. I’m looking forward to sharing this gem with some of my friends, taking one section a week and meeting for morning coffee to process what we’ve read together.
INTENTIONAL LIVING, by John Maxwell. After hearing John speak at the 2016 Willow Creek GLS, I was challenged to be more intentional each day… so much so that I chose intentional as my word to focus on in 2017 (see blog post titled ONE WORD). A key quote from the book (and it’s full of good ones!): “When you intentionally use your everyday life to bring about positive change in the lives of others, you begin to live a life that matters.”
FISHY TALES AND BUNNY TRAILS, by Harry “Doc” Burdick. “Doc” is a close family friend, and has taught me a lot over the last 40 years we’ve known each other. These are his memoirs, and his passion for fishing, for family, for Jesus, and for men to be engaged in gut-level honest relationships are easily caught. This was a great “pleasure” read on vacation a few weeks ago.
THE RED HAT, by Jon Gordon. Jon is a prolific writer on leadership, teamwork, and management skills. My daughter, Stephanie, told me she had her volleyball team read this last year, which peaked my interest. This short, real-life account of George Boiardi and the 2004 Cornell lacrosse team provides the canvas for Jon to highlight some of the keys for good teams, whether on the athletic field or in the manufacturing plant.
GOLIATH MUST FALL, by Louie Giglio. One of the outstanding communicators of our generation, Louie always has a way of challenging me in new ways. The premise of this book centers around the familiar story of David and Goliath, and he contends that:
- We all have giants we face today (fear, addiction, control, etc.)
- We are not David facing Goliath in the story; instead, Jesus is.
- Since Jesus has already won the ultimate victory, our giants MUST fall if we fully trust Christ in our lives.
For many years, I have captured the highlighting of the books I read – kind of my own version of “cliff notes” (remember those?). If you are interested in any, they are yours for the asking.
Remember, “leaders are readers.” Whether it’s a couple books a year or a book a week, make it an intentional part of your personal growth and development.