Five Inciteful Books You Need To Read This Summer

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Yes, I meant to type "inciteful" and not "insightful." A recent blog by Seth Godin has completely changed my attitude about how I look at what I might read. One of the questions I now ask about a "good book" someone mentions to me is, "How did you change behavior as a result of reading the book?" My time (like yours) is precious, and I want to make sure anything I read offers a strong potential return on investment. An insightful book might offer lots of good ideas, but may not lead you to change attitudes or behaviors. An inciteful book does just what it sounds like: It moves you to action, to work or live differently. 

As you begin planning your summer reading, here are my top five picks of books I've read (or reread) over the past few months that caused me to make significant shifts in how I do work or life. May they incite you as well.

The Power Of A Positive No by William Ury
In my time management training programs, "The inability to say no" is frequently cited as a challenge to taking control of one's schedule and time resources. The author offers a fantastic model of "Yes-No-Yes" that can be used in the board room or the living room. If you struggle with how to say no, you MUST read this book.

Quote from book: If you can learn how to say No skillfully and wisely, you can create what you want, protect what you value, and change what doesn't work.

Meaningful Work by Shawn and Lawren Askinosie
Wrapped in the fascinating chocolate industry, Meaningful Work will help you learn how to better feed your heart and soul with your vocation. You'll never look at the work you do in the same way again.

Quote from book: This is the great paradox, the mystery: when you immerse yourself in serving others wholeheartedly you find yourself, along with many answers to the "what next" questions you've been seeking.

Triggers by Marshall Goldsmith
Bottom line: This book convinced me to ask myself "daily questions" to monitor my progress on my goals and personal well-being. It has been the most challenging and rewarding action I have taken in 2018. If you want to get serious about becoming your best self... this is your field guide.

Quote from book: We want short-term gratification while we need long-term benefit. And we never get a break from choosing one or the other. It's the defining conflict of adult behavioral change. And we write the definitions.

Boundaries For Leaders by Henry Cloud
Too often, leaders and managers so exhaust themselves trying to be all things to all people. The author of Boundaries For Leaders provides a framework for focusing on the right things at the right time.

Quote from book: In the end, as a leader, you are always going to get a combination of two things: what you create and what you allow.

When by Daniel Pink
From better understanding your energy levels at work to the need to eat lunch AWAY from your desk and how to use timing to achieve your goals, When is a fantastic mix of academic research and engaging stories. I more intentionally look at timing now in almost everything I do.

Quote from book: I used to believe that timing was everything. Now I believe that everything is timing.

And of course, if you haven't read (or recently reread) Juggling Elephants, Always Growing, Getting to It, or Getting the Blue Ribbon, I hope you'll consider those as options too.

What's on your reading list right now? Share your thoughts below. Just remember... I'm looking for inciteful reads.