I’m deeply invested and committed to identifying amazing books and sharing the lessons learned with those around me. Two years ago, I made a New Year's resolution to “read more” and I can honestly say my life is 1000% more enriched as a result. I’m a particular fan of leadership and personal development books, and love anything with actionable takeaways. I’ve been on a mission to build out a library of resources for my team and clients, and would love to share them with you too!
This past year I read over 40 books and I've narrowed down my favorites to those below. Without further ado, here are my top 10 suggestions for you to read in 2020.
Multi-billionaire Tilman Fertitta shares his straightforward and practical advice for entrepreneurs and leaders looking to take it to the next level. He addresses critical areas that many overlook or take for granted including not knowing and owning your numbers, not knowing your strengths and weaknesses, and not going the extra mile for your customers. He breaks his core lessons into 6 areas and provides actionable advice that you can put into practice immediately.
9. Super Attractor – Methods for Manifesting a Life beyond Your Wildest Dreams by Gabrielle Bernstein
I have to admit, I was SUPER skeptical prior to reading any of Gabby’s books. My decision to give her practices a try was quickly validated as I noticed a shift in my life and mindset almost immediately once I committed to carving out time daily for reflection and meditation. As a result, I literally binge-read several of her books – The Universe Has Your Back, Super Attractor and May Cause Miracles, because there was something drawing me in (most likely because I felt out of alignment with the universe and was craving clarity in many areas of my life). I’ve since shared several copies of these books with other boss ladies and they’ve reaped similar results. My perspective on things changed and I became very aware of how important it is to be grounded. Disclaimer: doing this kind of work can uncover areas/issues that made need work – I promise it’s worth it, but you need to be ready.
An early read for me in 2019, this book shined a light on how, oftentimes, we are the ones holding ourselves back or limiting the experiences we have in our lives.
I absolutely LOVED the audiobook version as Shonda Rhimes peeled back the veil and shared how she made herself available for opportunities to shape her, rather than declining and missing out. She's a phenomenal writer (she's the brains behind Grey's Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder, etc.) so it's an enjoyable read/listen from start to finish.
I loved everything this stands for. Nicole Lapin was incredibly transparent about her own struggles which was revitalizing and relatable. At first, I thought it would be about accomplishing it all; rather its main focus is taking care of yourself first so that you can truly be a super, incredible, healthy woman both physically and mentally. She’s refreshingly unfiltered and I get the impression she’s exactly the same way in person. Unexpected bonus: she was a Miss America judge in 2016 and dedicated quite a few pages to highlighting the purpose behind the organization and why one should apply some of the same principles to life. She’s a badass and I can’t wait to gift this beauty to a few of my favorite women who would benefit from a new, healthy perspective from an author who has crushed her career and life overall. Be prepared to rethink and reframe many areas of your life should you pick up or download a copy. She definitely challenges you to take a step back and be honest with yourself.
Bob Iger is the current CEO of the Walt Disney Company and has been instrumental in making Disney into what we know and love today. I love the fact that he started from the bottom and rose through the ranks over the last 4+ decades. He shares detailed information about scaling the company, challenging situations, game-changing acquisitions and partnerships, and priceless relationships that developed as a result of his commitment to making Disney the best it can be. Throughout the book he discusses 10 key lessons he learned as he faced many pivotal decisions and moments over the course of his life and career.
Disclaimer: I know and adore Cynthia Johnson. I had the chance to work with her when she was at an agency about 5 years ago and she’s AMAZING! Wise beyond her years, she was always ten steps ahead. She is a literal BOSS when it comes to social media. She’s since created an incredible company of her own and travels the globe speaking and sharing her expert wisdom. I was ELATED that she wrote a book and compiled best practices, tools and advice into developing your personal brand. I can’t say enough about this book. There were so many actionable takeaways that I had to buy a physical copy (I’m an audiobook fan) so that I wouldn’t miss anything!
This book was a powerful read. Jocko and Leif were exceptional and did a phenomenal job of tying stories from the battlefield back to lessons on leadership in a way that makes sense and truly helps you shift your perspective. My direct reports and I read this together and debriefed every other week on the principles from each section. There is also an accompanying workbook that is helpful if you’d like to do the same. It’s made a MASSIVE difference and I appreciate how each of my team members are owning their task, responsibilities and wins/losses each and every day. (Side note: I really enjoyed the audio version of this – the authors voices are fascinating to listen to and the audio version has cool sound effects.)
I’m obsessed with this book and everything that goes along with it. I had the chance to see Marie on her book tour and can attest to the fact that she is the real, freaking deal. I’ve been a fan (and student of her work) for many years now and was super excited about this book release. If you’ve listened to her podcast, watched MarieTV episodes or taken any of her courses, you’ve undoubtedly heard her say “anything is figureoutable” numerous times. It’s a saying and a philosophy that she lives by and has shared with millions so far (I’ve even seen people tattoo this on themselves). I love how she weaves real-life, relatable examples throughout the book, as well as several that left me saying, “well dang, if they can figure that I out, I can certainly handle my own situations!” Marie is a multi-passionate entrepreneur who encourages you to chase your dreams at every turn. I HIGHLY recommend you pick up/download a copy immediately! You owe it to yourself!
2. Trillion Dollar Coach – The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley's Bill Campbell by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg, Alan Eagle
If there is one thing that legendary Silicon Valley execs have in common, it’s Bill Campbell. Coach Bill has been credited as having helped to create a trillion dollars in market value over the course of his career through his work and support of legendary business execs and companies. He was a phenomenal coach and mentor, known for being forward-thinking and exceptional at developing talent. From the way these authors described him, he was also an amazing, and generous, human being. The way he treated people and lifted them up to their fullest potential is inspiring. I had heard his name in a few other books but was intrigued to learn more. I’ve put many of the lessons learned in this book into practice and recommend this to anyone in a position of influence who has the important responsibility of leading and managing others.
1. Girl, Stop Apologizing – A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals by Rachel Hollis
After reading the predecessor to this book, Girl, Wash Your Face, I couldn't wait for this to come out! Rachel's built an incredible company and is super authentic in person and online. She prioritizes helping women live their best lives, become more confident and step into their own light, UNAPOLOGETICALLY! She sprinkles fabulous, immediately applicable lessons and strategies throughout the book to help you accomplish your goals. I loved her "five to thrive" tips and appreciated her candor and transparency from start to finish. She shares her real-life struggles and climb to the top and leaves you feeling like you've got another friend in your corner rooting for you.
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below! While this list was derived from books I read in 2019, I’ve added all of my favorites from prior years as well here. If you have any suggestions for my 2020 reading list, please let me know! I'll be sharing additional book suggestions throughout the year on instagram. Let's connect!
P.S. If you're interested in elevating your personal and professional skills in 2020, please let me know. I've got a full list of coaching services located here. I'm constantly building out new courses and content for my clients and would love to work with you to help you become the BEST version of yourself!
I'm a speaker, author, corporate exec and coach. I'm obsessed with all things related to personal and professional development, and love helping others become the best version of themselves.
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