I blast through a lot of books but during the coaching season my reading slows way down. Then when the season is over one of my joys is getting back to reading. Whether it’s a hard copy, Kindle, or a PDF I love love love to read. I usually read about a book of week.
I thought it might interesting to share some of the books that I’m reading right now.
The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly? by Seth Godin.
There’s a common theme in this book which is we so often allow ourselves to be held back from our own personal greatness. That mantra is repeated over and over, in different ways, by one of the smartest business writers active today. Godin has written numerous best sellers and probably has more impact on our business world than anyone in recent times.
I am on my second reading of this on my Kindle app and there are so many places that I have highlighted that some pages are completely yellow. If you want to be a better coach, if you want your team to shoot for the next level, if you care about achieving potential, this is a book that can give you tools to help.
Honestly, I picked this book up at the library strictly because of the title. I’m not a great fan of Bobby Knight. Granted he’s a coach with a huge winning record and is well respected. But his coaching style just rubs me wrong. Regardless, he has been very successful and some people, including athletes he’s coached, love him.
Honestly (again), I was pleasantly surprised by the book. Knight starts out discussing how negative thinking: trying to eliminate mistakes, reducing your vulnerabilities, planning for the bad stuff to happen. He details how important planning is for both coaches and athletes who want to be successful, “Victory favors the team making the fewest mistakes.” Important concepts to have. But after a while I found the book redundant and it fades off towards the end in terms focusing more on quotes and clichés.
Yet for basketball coach, especially if you’re a fan of Bob Knight, I think you’ll find this book very interesting and even if you don’t like Bobby Knight I think there’s something that any coach can get from this.
The Art of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Dobelli
I originally thought that this was going to be either a dry psychological rehash or just another book about why we do dumb things. It is not. It’s a book about why people do what people do — smart and dumb.
Each chapter is short, maybe five pages long but within those chapters exists some really good tidbits that can help your coaching. For example in Chapter 15 (Why You Systematically Overestimate Your Knowledge And Abilities) the author discusses the “overconfident effect”. This is why we overestimate our wisdom and our ability to predict things. It addresses why experts can be so lousy at forecasting things.
There are some concepts that probably won’t help in terms of coaching. Yet there others that go right to the core of why athletes and coaches, and dare I say parents, do what they do. If you’re struggling to motivate people and really understand team dynamics I think you will find this book helpful.
This is my favorite book of the summer so far. Acuff writes exceptionally well about being awesome. He just doesn’t say what it feels like to be awesome he talks about how to actually go about the business of getting to awesome. He relates stories of him and others escaping average. How they handled fear and failure and overcame them to be successful in their own rights.
There are several things that I will be using from this book in my coaching, especially the part about the five stages that we go through to be awesome. I think it’s really helpful for coaches, and I think it’s exceptionally helpful for athletes, especially newbies, to understand the stages. I’m on my second reading of the book as I try very hard to do better than just be average.
Mitch Joel is one of my favorite podcasters and authors. His focus is on marketing and sales, and time and time again I pick up stuff that is so applicable to coaching that I feel like I’m cheating. This book does have a technological focus to it and the first half of the book is more in tune with social media and technology today. But the second half of the book is where the value is as it specifically talks about what the future will be like and how you can mold yourself to be successful. For an old dog like me I was skeptical about picking it up but is has proven it is worth every moment I’ve invested in reading it.
Brogan rocks. I have had the chance to talk to him several times and each time I found him to be extremely insightful and that’s reflected in his podcasts, his blog, and especially in this book, the Impact Equation.
Basically, if you’re looking at a way to get more recognition for what you do, and doing things better this could be a good book for you. I read through quickly, in about two days, which is a testimony to its fluid writing but also the engagement of his style. Brogan is smart, and I doubt he has ever coached a sport, but he’s coached a lot of people and it shows. I am very glad I read this.
What’s Up Next
I have several books in the queue to be read: Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success by Phil Jackson, Choose Yourself by James Altucher, and Look, Lead, Love, Learn: Four Steps to Better Business, a Better Life – and Conquering Complexity in the Process by Bill Sheridan
So what do you think? What are you reading now? Fiction. How-To. A blog. Would you consider sharing with us? That’s how we all improve. And how do you discover the titles you are reading? Share that also?
And so you know, full disclosure, if you do click any of these title and end up buying the book from Amazon, I will get a small affiliate fee back from them. A win-win. But don’t feel like you need to buy any of these titles. I bet your local library will have them, or can get them for you.
Stay tuned. I’ve got an announcement coming soon. Cool stuff.