That’s right. I don’t share my books. Before you think I'm selfish, let me explain. I always have a few books that I'm reading at any given time. Some are new books to me, some are books I've read once before, and others are books I return to again and again. Good coaching is still good coaching the second, third and tenth time around. If a book matters to me (even if it offers one nugget of inspiration on the first read), I keep it and return to it later on down the road. I appreciate the content and how it relates to my life at the particular time I read it. But there is another reason I keep books. They become deeply personal.
My books become my journals. When I read books, I interact with the author and the words on the page as if they were written just for me, a sort of personal coaching session between the author and myself. I rewrite sentences in the margin with my name in them--writing positive, personal, present tense statements of who I am training to become. I ask myself questions in response to what I'm reading by writing them on the page. I write down names and situations that come to mind that relate to the information I'm reading. By the end, I have a book that has turned into a journal and speaks directly to myself at a particular time. It's like personal coaching from the author. Which is why, when I return to the book in the future, I can get valuable coaching from the book again. I'm different; my circumstances are different. I have evidence of the impact the book has had on me and I am ready to dive in again and receive some coaching from the author again.
And so, while I won't share my books with others, I am willing and ready to tell you about some of the books I'm currently reading for the first or tenth time.
No Excuses by Brian Tracy: I keep reading this book because it challenges me to look at my ability to do what needs to be done even when I don't feel like it. It's about the need for discipline as the first step to form new habits.
Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud: It's so good. If you want something more specific to leadership, read Dr. Cloud's Boundaries for Leaders.
Legacy by James Kerr: A book about leadership and life principles that can be learned from the All Blacks, the world's most successful sporting team.
Talking to Strangers by Malcom Gladwell
David v Goliath by Malcom Gladwell
Sit down, open a book, and turn it into your own personal coaching session.
Go get inspired!