A couple of weeks ago, I wrote down some personal objectives for 2010. I originally resolved to read 20 books in 2010. At the time, it seemed like a reasonable goal. I figured that if I read two books a month and gave myself a little wiggle room I would come in at about 20 books for the new year.
In the process, I searched the new SSD on my laptop (check out my latest blog post on SSDs) and found my old 2009 reading list. I reviewed the list and updated it to include books that I read last year that I didn’t have on my original list. It turns out the final count for 2009 was 33 books! Wow! I was really surprised! Also, it is clear to me that I had better up my 2010 goal to at least match the 2009 number.
What follows below is a list of the books I read in 2009. I wanted to share this with you because I think they address some of the most common business challenges we all face. This collection of books has truly helped me (and Infusionsoft) quite a bit and I hope it will do the same for you.
Books I’ve Read in 2009:
- Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant After reading this again in 2009, I’m still not sure there is such a thing as true blue ocean.
- What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful Turned out to be different than what I initially thought it would be about. Loved it.
- The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable Patrick Lencioni is one of my favorite authors. This was also a reread.
- How To Win Friends and Influence People I read this once a year.
- The Art of War by Sun Tzu Classic.
- Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
- Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies Also a reread. This is mandatory reading at Infusionsoft.
- Awakening the Entrepreneur Within: How Ordinary People Can Create Extraordinary Companies As an In the Dreaming Room with Michael Gerber alumni, I can fully endorse this book as one of Gerber’s best!
- The Five Temptations of a CEO: A Leadership Fable Another one from Lencioni.
- Seven Years in Hanoi: A POW Tells His Story Written by my uncle, retired USAF Lt. Col. Larry Chesley, describing his seven years as a prisoner of war in the infamous Hanoi Hilton POW camp. Amazing story, amazing man and true hero.
- Death by Meeting: A Leadership Fable…About Solving the Most Painful Problem in Business Another Lencioni book.
- Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
- Silos, Politics and Turf Wars: A Leadership Fable About Destroying the Barriers That Turn Colleagues Into Competitors Also a Lencioni book.
- Fish! A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results
- Gung Ho! Turn On the People in Any Organization Gift of the goose!
- The 48 Laws of Power Sort of creepy, in a Machiavellian kind of way… WaaaHaaHaaaHa (in my best ruthless villain voice).
- The Warrior Elite: The Forging of SEAL Class 228
- The Finishing School: Earning the Navy SEAL Trident
- Down Range: Navy SEALs in the War on Terrorism The Warrior Elite, The Finishing School and Down Range are all written by former Navy SEAL Dick Couch. Each book is a fascinating look into the different stages of training and preparation of a US Navy SEAL. Also, Dick is a super nice guy. I emailed him with a question and he wrote back with a nice response the next day. Classy.
- Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon
- Tom Clancy’s EndWar Rods from Gods.
- Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction Book 4 in the 5 book series! Loved it.
- Kill Zone: A Sniper Novel By Jack Coughlin.
- Dead Shot Also by Jack Coughlin. If you like Tom Clancy novels, you will love Jack Coughlin books.
- Mavericks at Work
- Mastering the Rockefeller Habits: What You Must Do to Increase the Value of Your Growing Firm Did John D. Rockefeller know about Scrum development???
- Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting out of the Box Alright already, enough with the box! Great book, but enough with the box…
- How The Mighty Fall: And Why Some Companies Never Give In One of my favorite reads all year.
- Agile Software Development with Scrum The best software development methodology ever (when combined with Agile principles).
- Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity Some good nuggets of organizational wisdom.
- Now, Discover Your Strengths Explores why you should be strengthening what you are already good at, rather than focusing on weaknesses.
- Think and Grow Rich!: The Original Version, Restored and Revised Another classic.
- Blind Man’s Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage Recommended to me by my good friend Dave Lee. Fantastic book!
I’m still working on my list for 2010. Given my tally from 2009, I’d better shoot for at least 35 books in 2010. Got any suggestions? Let me know in the comments!