The books I read in 2016

85% of rich people read at least two educational, career related, or self development books each month. – Tom Corley

I heard this quote last year and recognizing that I read two books in all of 2015, I set a goal to read one book each month in 2016. This is a list of the twelve books I read and some of the lessons I learned while reading them.

  1. The Daniel Plan by Rick Warren – This book gives a lot of great insight into comprehensive health. It was developed as a weight loss program that is more than a diet, gym routine, or fast.  The insights of the plan go well beyond weight loss. The lessons I learned improved my awareness of my overall health and how all areas of my life are intertwined.
  2. The Four Seasons of Marriage by Gary Chapman – This book explains how marriages are constantly changing and how we can make sure they are changing through growth and moving toward increasing mutual happiness. I learned that no matter what season my marriage is in I can always find ways to improve how I understand and relate with my wife.
  3. Jack Welch and the GE Way by Robert Slater – This book describes the process Jack Welch used while the CEO at GE. It talks about his decision making and why he chose the initiatives he used to increase the influence GE has as a global company. It is a great way to gain insight to a very successful strategic thinker. 
  4. Intentional Living by John C. Maxwell – This book gives a summary of some of the skills needed for a life of significance. It then makes it clear that those skills do not improve without focused attention. It challenged me to create a plan for personal growth. 
  5. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis – This book is a compilation of radio speeches given by C.S. Lewis to Great Britain in 1943. He examined many complex questions of spirituality and had an amazing ability to help his listeners understand those complexities. 
  6. The Negotiation Jungle by Brendan Anglin – This book characterizes negotiation styles as animals. It gives insight into how each style approaches a negotiation and, most importantly, the tactics each type may use during a negotiation. 
  7. Everyone Communicates, Few Connect by John C. Maxwell – This book provides five principles and five practices for connecting and the power that comes from developing connections. I specifically learned the important difference between connecting to convey information while taking and merely presenting the information. Our audience listens more when they feel a connection than when they feel talked at. 
  8. The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman – This book explains some of the different ways that we express love. These differences can lead to frustration when we feel empty because we express love to our spouse in a different way than he or she receives expressions of love. It helped me to understand how I speak love to my wife, how she yearns to hear love expressed, where there are gaps, and how we can overcome those gaps.
  9. Retire Inspired by Chris Hogan – This book helps you to build a vision for your retirement future. It gives you a proven plan for financial management (Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps) by focusing on the dream you have for your future. If you are not familiar with the baby steps, you may want to start with The Total Money Makeover. 
  10. Parenting by The Book by John Rosemond – This book is a guide for parents. It helped us to understand that, as parents, our goal is not to raise good kids, but good adults. This perspective opened up each moment as having potential to teach our kids rather than a situation we needed to survive. 
  11. Be the Dad She Needs You to Be by Kevin Lehman – Dr. Lehman is the pioneer of the birth order concept. This book furthers his theory of the individualism of each child, specifically focused on daughters. It inspired me to focus on being present for my kids and offered insight into what my daughter is learning from my interactions with her. 
  12. How Successful People Think by John C. Maxwell – This book takes lessons from some of the greatest creative thinkers and explains how they tap into their creative potential to develop ideas. It challenged me to look at my concept of thinking and develop the habits that encourage creative thinking. 
The lessons I learned over the past year gave me insight to be a better husband, father, leader, and friend. I am grateful to each of these authors for sharing their research. I encourage everyone to challenge themselves to read one book this month that will cause them to stretch themselves as a person. 
What book will you read this month?
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