Readers are leaders, who doesn’t know that? It was the mantra of educators and public service commercials throughout my entire childhood.
But I hated to read. I “read” when I had to at school. Jane Eyre, The Great Gatsby, The Scarlet Letter – I hated it! What good is this ever going to do me?
Is this really the reading that makes leaders?
In my humble opinion, no. Not even close (and I’m not just saying that because I couldn’t pass a simple quiz on any of them).
The reading that makes leaders does so because it changes their lives. It shapes them. It gives them new ideas and helps them learn from the paths of others.
The bad news is I was in my mid twenties before I discovered this type of reading. The good news is that is plenty early for it to radically change my life.
And that’s exactly what it has done. After reading over a hundred books in the last few years, here are five that literally changed my life for the better.
1. My Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
Want to know how to be rich? I mean really rich? Read this book. It is a no holds barred action plan for how to win with your money, and it works. Dave will coach and encourage you through a journey that will completely change your life.
2. No More Mondays by Dan Miller
Dan’s unique perspective on doing work you love is refreshing. While Dave opened my eyes to how to win with money, Dan enlightened me about how to apply the same radicalness to my career. This is a must read for anyone looking to be more fulfilled in their careers.
3. The Travelers Gift by Andy Andrews
I put off reading this one for a long time because it was fiction. What good could that do me? Turns out a lot! Andy is a masterful storyteller, and he uses that skill to teach seven powerful lessons on success. You won’t forget these teachings, and it will inspire you to action that lasts long after the story ends.
4. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller
Donald was working with two directors turning his memoirs into a movie (Blue Like Jazz) and had the rare opportunity to edit his life story into something meaningful. He takes people through his journey of turning his life from boring into powerful.
This one really snuck up on me, but has got me thinking constantly about what it takes to live a better story, and how I want my own life to impact others.
5. The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
Darren lays out the most pragmatic book on achievement I’ve ever read. What I love about this book is that he’s condensed his years of study on success and achievement into one book of things that work. This is where I took the visions stirred up from the other books and really laid out a roadmap that will get me there.
What am I missing? What books have genuinely impacted your life?