Every Sunday, I share a list of inspiring books that I’m reading this week.

Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light.

Vera Nazarian

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

Turn the Ship Around!: A True Story of Turning Followers into LeadersL. David Marquet [Leadership]

Former US Navy Commander David Marquet believes people are healthier and happier, when everyone is a leader. Marquet took command of a seriously underperforming submarine and its crew and with his experimental approach to leadership, literally turned the ship’s performance around. In arguably one of the most challenging environments, a US Navy nuclear submarine, Marquet gave his crew the ultimate prize – the ability to become leaders. I know what you’re thinking… ‘with so many cooks, there’s no way this could work’. But you’d be wrong. This is an excellent and easy to read resource for inspiring leaders everywhere.

Favourite takeaway:
Build leaders by giving control to all levels of your organization. Support this by increasing staff competence (their ability to make good decisions) and clarity (their understanding of the ‘why’).


Mad Genius: A Manifesto for Entrepreneurs | Randy Gage [Entrepreneurship]

Mad Genius is a brilliant offering from Randy Gage that challenges you to change the way you think. He encourages you to break free from the herd and to stop using conventional approaches in order to be more innovative. This book is a call to action – to inspire its readers to reject mediocracy and demand more from themselves. And it does so in a highly entertaining way. If you feel compelled to stand apart, to challenge the status quo, then this book is a must read for you.

Favourite takeaway:
“Find your inner mastermind: NO is never the answer. Never accept defeat as anything but a temporary setback, a growing experience and an opportunity to learn and modify.”


StrengthsFinder 2.0 | Tom Rath [Self-help]

The premise behind this book and its accompanying website is to maximize your potential by focusing your attention on your natural talents. Tom Rath argues that you can achieve more success by developing your strengths, and focusing on what you do best everyday. This self-help book flips the process of self-improvement on its head – instead of focusing on fixing your shortcomings, this book helps you discover your strengths and offers hundreds of strategies for applying your strengths to change the way you look at yourself — and the world around you — forever.

Favourite takeaway:
My top five strengths are: Achiever, Competition, Focus, Futuristic, and Relator. Here’s what Rath says that means about me – I am truly amazed how well this describes what makes me tick!

Achievers have a great deal of stamina and work hard. They take great satisfaction from being busy and productive. Instinctively, you naturally expend mental energy thinking about data and measurements. You aim to understand what the numbers really mean. You dislike missing deadlines and arriving at meetings after they have started. You naturally resist being held back, restrained, or controlled by people or events. You much prefer to be in charge. Waiting for someone else to issue orders or level judgments is definitely not your forte. You are motivated to get things done.

Competitors measure their progress against the performance of others. They strive to win first place and revel in contests. It’s very likely that your drive to be the very best motivates you to read a lot about certain subjects to gather information and collect insights. Chances are good that you occasionally choose to work with a group rather than by yourself. You might be motivated to help your team be the very best or win the top prize.

Focusers can find a direction, follow through, and make the corrections necessary to stay on track. They prioritize, then act. You devote more time than most people do to exploring topics, problems, prospects, opportunities, or techniques that pique your interest. When something has to be completed, you are eager to acquire the necessary knowledge or skills to meet the challenge.

Futuristic folks are inspired by the future and what could be. They inspire others with their visions of the future. You gravitate to projects that promise to shape the future. You enjoy talking about possibilities that exist only in your imagination. You prefer to be a pioneer and an inventor. By nature, you are a visionary thinker. Your vivid mental images of the coming months, years, or decades often impel you to move into action.

Relators enjoy close relationships with others. They find deep satisfaction in working hard with friends to achieve a goal. Chances are good that you are usually open and honest about who you are, what you have done, what you can do, and what you cannot do. Your straightforward explanations and stories help listeners see you as you see yourself. You might reveal your strengths and limitations. You might choose to be forthright and plainspoken. This partially explains why various people seek your company and want to work with you. Perhaps your words and examples move them to action.

And that’s what I’m reading this week. What are you reading to find your spark?