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Book Summaries

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In The Self-Aware Leader: Play to Your Strengths, Unleash Your Team, leadership author Dr. John C. Maxwell asserts that lack of self-awareness is the single greatest obstacle leaders face in their development, effectiveness and advancement. When leaders don’t see themselves clearly, understand their strengths & weaknesses, or recognize their negative interactions with their team, they. limit their influence & undermine their own influence.

A company of one resists and questions some forms of traditional growth, not on principle, but because growth isn’t always the most beneficial or financially viable move.

In Company Of One: Why Staying Small Is the Next Big Thing for Business, author and entrepreneur Paul Jarvis argues that staying small provides one with the freedom to pursue more meaningful pleasures in life―and avoid the headaches that come with traditional growth-oriented business. The core philosophy of Company of One: Start small, Define growth, and Keep learning.

In Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court, Coach Wooden shares timeless wisdom about every aspect of life, his personal philosophy on family, achievement, success, and excellence. Coach John Wooden won 10 NCAA champions in his 12 years reign as the UCLA Bruins, including seven national championships in a row: 1967, 1968, 1969,1970, 1971, 1972, 1973. He is considered one of the most successful National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) coaches.

“People don’t remember what we think is important; they remember what they think is important.”

In Everyone Communicates, Few Connect: What the Most Effective People Do Differently, master communicator and leadership author John C. Maxwell shares five principles and five practices to develop connection skills needed to become an effective communicator. He also highlights strategies for connecting with people one-on-one, in a group and in an audience. He recommends communicating in ways that consistently build potent connections. Maxwell asserts that everyone communicates, but the authentic communicator takes the time to know their audience, hone their message and present it in a simple way that the audience would quickly grasp.

In Embrace the Suck: The Navy SEAL Way to an Extraordinary Life, former Navy SEAL Brent Gleeson shares his experiences from SEAL training, combat, business, and life in general. The phrase “Embrace the Suck” is a metaphor for leaning into the suffering and getting comfortable with being very uncomfortable.

Embrace the suck is a book about resilience. It provides tools and frameworks for dealing with adversity. In early 2000, Brent decided to leave his job as a financial analyst with a global real estate development company to join the United States Navy. He joined the Navy to become a Navy SEAL, one of the most challenging special operations training and selection programs in the world.

“Resilience is like any muscle. With focus and determination—you can strengthen your mind to overcome any obstacle, crush goals, dominate your battlefield, and live an extraordinary life.”

Iron Mike Tyson is considered one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time. In a career that spanned thirty years (1985-2005), he reigned as the undisputed world heavyweight champion from 1987 to 1990. Tyson made over 400 million dollars in his boxing career. However, he lost most of his wealth due to a series of poor financial decisions, drugs, alcohol and sex addiction. In 2003, Tyson filed for bankruptcy with $23 million dollars in debt.

In Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence, author and psychiatrist Dr. Anna Lembke unpack the neuroscience of reward and profer strategies to find a better, healthier balance between pleasure and pain. The book is based on true stories of her patients falling prey to addiction and finding their way out again. The author offers practical solutions for how to manage compulsive overconsumption in a world where consumption has become the all-encompassing motive of our lives.

Since 2016, I have been setting a goal to read 100 non-fiction books per year. I started documenting my progress on this blog during the COVID-19 pandemic. I strive daily to become a better version of myself, work on my strengths and weaknesses, gain insights from the brightest minds, be at the forefront of the latest trends and execute goals through lessons learned.

The 100 Books Reading Challenge 2022 is my most successful attempt thus far as I was able to read 114 books – Non-fiction (52), Biographies (38), Reputiva (24) .

In It’s Your Ship: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy, Captain D. Michael Abrashoff shares his experience commandeering the once-underperforming destroyer USS Benfold, to becoming the best ship in the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet.

He reflects on lessons learned, successes and failures made and leadership principles garnered  leading the ship.

“My biggest mistake was to focus down the chain of command, trying to improve my ship and my crew, instead of seeing myself as one captain in a battle group.I didn’t do enough to collaborate with my fellow captains as a member of a larger team. Instead, Benfold’s achievements stood on their own, and as a result the battle group wasn’t as strong as it could and should have been.”

Your level of success, will rarely exceed your level of personal development, because success is something you attract by the person you become – Jim Rohn

In The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8 AM), author Hal Elrod argues that having a morning routine dramatically affects the level of success in every area of our lives. Hal provides a framework for developing a morning routine- SAVERS: Silence, Affirmation, Visualization, Exercise, Reading, and Scribing.

Self-mastery is an unending process. Your job is NEVER  FINISHED!

 In Never Finished: Unshackle Your Mind and Win the War Within, David Goggins takes readers inside his Mental Lab, where he developed the philosophy, psychology, and strategies that enabled him to learn that what he thought was his limit was only his beginning and that the quest for greatness is unending.

In The Power of Self-Discipline: How to Use Self Control and Mental Toughness to Achieve Your Goals, author Daniel Walter highlight strategies for becoming more self-discipline, mentally tough and self-motivated.

“Self-discipline is like a key—it unlocks the door to personal fulfillment and opens the door to the life you have been dreaming of. With self-discipline, the average person can rise further than intelligence and talent alone will take them, and the ordinary person can become extraordinary. On the other hand, an educated, talented person without self-discipline will rarely rise above mediocrity.”

In Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable, world-renowned trainer of elite champions and Hall of Famers, like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, and hundreds of other NFL, MLB, NBA, and Olympic athletes, Tim S. Grover shares stories and insights gained from training the most accomplished athletes of our time.