Years ago, I remember opening a fortune cookie with a little piece of paper that read: leaders are readers. This was before AMP Fitness and way before I ever thought of myself as a leader. At the time, it didn’t make sense.
It actually wasn’t until years after college that I began reading for my own personal growth and knowledge. To be honest, the only time I picked up a book was when it was part of an assignment and even then I mostly skimmed the material.
Once I began my journey as a strength coach in early in 2008 that I realized I knew nothing. It terrified me. And that very real fear sparked an addiction to know ALL the things. About myself, about about others, about fitness and human performance and later about business and leadership.
I wasn’t born a leader. That’s something I’ve had to work on day in and day out. It’s a skill and something anyone can work on. Reading is just the start but it’s something you have complete control over. Whether you lead, coach, influence others in your organization, or just want to live your best life I truly believe that personal growth is and should be the highest priority.
If I had to guess, I probably began in 2009 with about a book a month (maybe less). Last year I believe I topped out at about 30 or 31. This year I consumed 36 books. My goal is 52. With a firm understanding that memento mori and the belief human potential is nearly limitless I don’t believe this is enough, but it’s a good start and non-negotiable if you want to lead and change the world.
And if you feel that reading close to a book a week might seem like a daunting task just think about how many hours of Netflix and Social Media you consume daily. You can do it.
This is my 7th year ‘in the industry’ and 2nd year owning a business. I’m busier than I’ve ever been before (FYI you will ALWAYS be too busy, get over it) and I still feel like I can do better.
Reading list from 2016:
Zero to One by Peter Thiel
Back Mechanic by Dr. Stuart McGill
Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson
Difficult Conversations by Sheila Heen and Douglas Stone
Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh
The Rise of Superman by Steven Kotler
Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal
The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni
Essentialism by Greg McKeown
The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone
Leadership & Self-Deception by The Arbinger Institute
The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
Viralnomics by Jonathan Goodman
The Fat Loss Prescription by Dr. Spencer Nadolsky
What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith
Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Sheryl Sandberg
Talk Like Ted by Carmine Gallo
10% Happier by Dan Harris
Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg
Presence by Amy Cuddy
Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday
Olympic Weightlifting by Greg Everett
The Advertising Effect by Adam Ferrier
Thanks for the Feedback By Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen
The Upside of Your Dark Side by Robert Biswas-Diener
Abundance by Steven Kotler and Peter Diamandis
The Power of the Other by Henry Cloud
The Rational Optimist by Matt Ridley
The 360-Degree Leader by John Maxwell
Influence by Robert Cialdini
Smart Couples Finish Rich by David Bach
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson
How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big by Scott Adams
Inside Quest – (all episodes)
The Fitcast – (all episodes in 2016)
The Strength Coach Podcast (all episodes in 2016)
“It’s not enough to just know you must take action.” – Tony Robins