Episode 127: Top 10 Books for Business & Personal Development ~ Part 2

Today, cohosts, Jan O’Brien and Matt Emerson continue to share the top ten books that have had the greatest impact on our business and personal growth over the years. The last five on the list, which we will cover today, are what we most often recommend to our coaching clients and during training workshops. If you are not into reading, then download the audio versions and listen while you drive, workout, or walk.





You can make positive deposits in your own economy every day by reading and listening to powerful, positive, life-changing content and by associating with encouraging and hope-building people. – Zig Ziglar 

6. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t

“Good is the Enemy of Great”

Jim Collins and his research team identified a set of 11 elite companies that made the leap to great results and sustained those results for at least 15 years. After the leap, good-to-great companies generated cumulative stock returns that beat the general stock market by an average of seven times in 15 years.

Collins dives into essential concepts worth studying for your business including:

Level 5 Leadership.  Level 5 Leaders display ambition is for the Company first and foremost – not Self.  When things go poorly they look in the mirror and blame themselves, taking full responsibility

First Who Then What.  Get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus and the right people in the right seats.  The right people don’t have to be motivated and managed

Hedgehog concept is a simple, crystalline concept the flows from understanding about the intersection of these three circles:

  • What you can be the best in the world at (and equally important, what you cannot be the best in the world at)
  • What drives your economic engine Find the one economic denominator that has the single greatest impact
  • What are you deeply passionate about Good-to-great companies focused on activities that ignited their passion.


7. The Millionaire Real Estate Agent: It’s Not About the Money…It’s About Being the Best You Can Be!

This best-seller published in 2004 from Gary Keller, Dave Jenks, and Jay Papasan has been one of the few classics written for real estate agents and teams.  MREA focuses on the systems and processes gleaned from interviewing successful mega agents.  The authors present how to get on the real estate career path to Earn a Million, Net a Million, and then Receive a Million dollars in annual income.

Core principles include:

  • The Nine Ways the MREA Thinks
  • Eight Goal Categories of the MREA
  • The Three L’s: Leads, Listings, and Leverage.
  • Four Fundamental Models: Economic, Lead Generation, Budget and Organizational


8. Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life

The Work of Byron Katie has been one of the most powerful personal growth strategies I have discovered.  I also had the opportunity to see Katie in person as she demonstrated live the power of “The Work” with people from the audience.

The Work is a method of self-inquiry with four questions that, when applied to a specific problem, enable you to see what is troubling you in an entirely different light. As Katie says, “It’s not the problem that causes our suffering; it’s our thinking about the problem.” Contrary to popular belief, trying to let go of a painful thought never works; instead, once we have done The Work, the thought lets go of us. At that point, we can truly love what is, just as it is.


9. Man’s Search for Meaning

In Man’s Search for Meaning, psychiatrist and neurologist Victor Frankl wrote about his ordeal as a concentration camp inmate during the Second World War. Interestingly, he found that those who survived longest in concentration camps were not those who were physically strong, but those who retained a sense of control over their environment.  Frankl concluded that the difference between those who had lived and those who had died came down to one thing: Meaning.

“….everything can be taken from a man but one thing – the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s way.”

Nietzche said, “He who has a why to live for can bear with almost anyhow.”


10. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

Simon Sinek in one of the most popular Ted Talks of all time entitled “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” outlines a concept he calls “The Golden Circle. The golden circle has three layers:

  1. Why – This is the core belief of the business. It’s why the business exists.
  2. How – This is how the business fulfills that core belief.
  3. What – This is what the company does to fulfill that core belief.

Sinek has found, having loyal customers is all about attracting the people who share your fundamental beliefs. Remember: People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.  The core premise is that Everyone has a Why.  Why do you get up in the morning? Why does your organization exist? Your Why is the purpose, cause, or belief that inspires you to do what you do. When you think, act, and communicate starting with Why you can inspire others.


Now over to you.  What books have inspired and impacted you in business or for your personal growth?

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
― Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!





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