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Wake Up Eager Podcast   |   Wednesday Tips

Free Book Review Summaries of Eight of My Favorite Professional Development Books

I love Books free book review summaries

I love books! I'm pleased to share these short, free book review summaries with you. Reading books can be motivating and inspiring.  Use them to build your expertise, confidence and energy.  That's why this item,  "I read at least 6 books a year about my field and industry"  is shared as one of four actions you can take for more Wake Up Eager days and more work motivation.

My 'Favorites' Feel Like Good Friends...

I buy and read a lot of books. Amazon and I are on a one-click-ordering-basis. Not good. It makes ordering books that look and sound good way too easy and quick, all with one click!  Unfortunately not all books are as good as they sound. I have the bookshelves to prove it!

I'm providing here, for you, eight free book review summaries of the books I LOVE. These are the books on my shelves that will NEVER be given away. They are my go-to guides and great resource books for all professionals who work with people.

They are included here because they're the books that are marked up, tabbed and revisited often. Each has been an important part of my professional and personal leadership development and life.

Gee, they feel a little bit like good friends.  Is it silly to feel so warm and fuzzy about knowledge?

“Books! I dunno if I ever told you this, but books are
the greatest gift one person can give another.”

Get 'cracking' the Wake Up Eager Guide is: 6 books a year. Use these free book review summaries to guide your purchases. Pick one below and start reading.  And, think of me as you stumble across your first, "Ah - ha...."

What book would you YOU add to my list?  If you share a review of one of YOUR favorite professional development books here, I will send you a complimentary digital copy of one of my books.    Here's my reviews:

Seven Habits of Highly Effective People:
Powerful Lessons in Personal Change.

By: Stephen R. Covey

You know a book's important to you if you can remember the day you bought it. I'd just begun my first 'career' job at NCR Corporation way back in 1987. I loved the job, but I was overwhelmed.

This book 'fell off' the book shelf and landed in my hands. And it changed my life.  I included it first in this list of free book review summaries because it's my favorite. I've read it at least 10 times.

It's a National Bestseller because the principles are timeless. Each time you read it, a new 'niggle' (is that a word?) of insight will come to you. It is about mind set, self-empowerment, personal effectiveness, communication & being relationship smart and business savvy.

It contains universal wisdom and key leadership philosophies and insights. It's full of relevant stories, so it's not boring. It's profound. If you've read it before, but it's been awhile, pick it up again. If you've never read it, get it.

Read it, mark it up and immerse yourself in it. You don't need to read many other free book review summaries from me, or others, if you spend time gleaning all the great  insight from this one.

KINDLE VERSION HERE: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change (25th Anniversary Edition)

Get a FREE audiobook download of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and a 30 day free trial right now through my affiliate sponsorship with  Start listening to this amazing book, right now, by going to:

Tribes: We Need You To Lead Us

By: Seth Godin

Seth Godin is a well-known author and is famous for writing the business/marketing book: Purple Cow, a book I've not read. He's famous in my mind for THIS book: Tribes. 

I like it because it helps us all see that we can lead, and that the world is looking for us to lead. He makes a powerful distinction between management (manipulating resources, authority) and leadership (creating change you believe in, using passion and ideas to move people).

He makes the point that skill and attitude are all that's needed to be a leader, not authority. There are plenty of people who have authority (they have the title of leader) but they are NOT leaders.  Here's one inspiring quote from the book, "You have everything you need to build something far bigger than yourself."

This book is 'happening' and 'relevant' to today's internet/virtual world. Godin talks about empowerment and differentiates between a crowd and a tribe. He inspired me to keep focused on my own dream of an online Wake Up Eager forum and community.

The book's short, small and a coffee-house read. The thoughts are rich and deep. The author is thoughtful, practical, forward thinking and extremely hip - I'd love to have coffee with this guy.

Read this one and you'll never look at leadership the same way again.

Get a FREE audiobook download of Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us and a 30 day free trial right now through my affiliate sponsorship with  Start listening to this amazing book, right now, by going to:

KINDLE VERSION HERE: Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us

How to Hire Superior Performers: 70 Best Practices, Strategies and Tips for
Interviewers and Hiring Managers

See a Complimentary 36-page Preview, Here

First Break All the Rules: What the
World's Greatest Managers Do Differently

By: Marcus Buckingham & Curt Coffman

When I lead classroom training this book is often part of the pre-work.  It's a recap of the largest study ever undertaken - where 80,000 managers in 400 companies - were interviewed.  From all these interviews they developed twelve (very simple) questions that should be asked of every team.  It provides a great benchmark for the areas that important for ensuring a high performing, high profit workplace.

Through revealing examples, stories from the interviews and the real world case studies they highlight what you have to do to be a great leader and manager.

The study in this book was the first valid study to make a strong case for the power of focusing on strengths, not weaknesses. They offer an excellent 'strengths' interview and numerous easy-to-implement exercises you can use with your team.

Every leader will want this book on their bookshelf (and in their mind & heart)

It provides credible, proven insights with practical application. A keeper.

KINDLE VERSION HERE: First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently

This is why I've taken the time to write
these free book review summaries:

“These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper,
but minds alive on the shelves.”

---Gilbert Highet

How Full Is Your Bucket?

By: Tom Rath and Donald O/ Clifton

This book is written by the Gallup Organization, the same sponsors of the First Break All the Rules study. It's a positive and uplifting book about the power of appreciation and focusing on strengths. It provides five strategies for inspiring and leading others.

They provide insights into the perfect ratio between affirmative feedback to constructive criticism, 3:1. The study is fascinating and sheds tremendous insight into why every relationship in your life is working (or not working).

The premise is that we all have invisible buckets and dippers. And we interact we're either adding to the bucket or taking something away. When we choose to fill others' buckets, we in turn fill our own.

This book helps us all remember the power of expressing sincere appreciation. It's shared in a non-sappy, logical and practical manner. A quick, easy and inspiring read.

Get a FREE audiobook download of How Full Is Your Bucket and a 30 day free trial right now through my affiliate sponsorship with  Start listening to this amazing book, right now, by going to:

What Got You Here Won't Get You There
How Successful People Become Even More Successful

By: Marshall Goldsmith

This book is for high achievers. It encourages you to keep evolving. Marshall Goldsmith is an executive coach to some of the top CEO's and Executives in the country. He provides straight talk and candid insights. I'm a big fan of his insights and I just had to include his book in this free book review summaries web page.

He hits the 'problem' head-on when he talks about, "The Success Delusion." Offering the top 20 most annoying leadership traits and challenging behaviors that cause high performers to stumble.

He's a proponent of getting and using feedback for professional growth and expansion - something I also support and encourage. There's many reasons why companies like Google hire this guy and why top CEO's call him the greatest teacher and coach on the planet.

Marshall is smart and he has a very direct and practical delivery. If you want to go to the next level, order and read this one.

Get a FREE audiobook download of this book and a 30 day free trial right now through my affiliate sponsorship with  Start listening to this amazing book, right now, by going to:

How to Hire Superior Performers: 70 Best Practices, Strategies and Tips for
Interviewers and Hiring Managers

See a Complimentary 36-page Preview, Here

Top Grading: The Proven Hiring and Promoting Method That Turbocharges Company Performance

By: Bradford Smart, Ph.D.

I wanted to include this tome in the list of free book review summaries because if you hire low, poor-fit performers you'll always struggle as a leader. To quote another good book (but not in my free book review summaries list here), Good to Great, "You have to get the right people on 'the bus' and get the wrong people off."

This book will help you get the right people 'on the bus'. Too many professionals hire the wrong people, people who are not a fit, and then spend months suffering with their poor choice. The author helped the famed Jack Welch, former CEO of GE, build a high caliber of talent in the '80's and '90's.

This book is a road map for everything related to finding, hiring and keeping the best. This is a valuable and practical business book and I refer to it even in my own hiring book:  How to HIre Superior Performers: 70 Best Practices, Strategies and Daily Tips for Interviewers.

The candidate assessment score cards, the Top grading interview guides and the in-depth reference check guides found in the Appendix will save you hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Hire slow, fire faster. Get this book to learn why and how and see your profits and productivity sky rocket.

"A book is a gift you can open again and again."
Garrison Keillor

The SECRETS of Facilitation: The SMART Guide to Getting Results with Groups

By: Michael Wilkinson

It is with great pleasure that include this book in my free book review summaries list because it became my "bible" in my consulting practice as I work with teams and leaders. I've attended all of the author's programs - he's dynamic and a guru around how to help teams work together effectively.

After I started implementing the techniques and 'secrets' taught by Michael, my effectiveness, ability and confidence, when working with groups, soared.

I'd be remiss in my free book review summaries if I didn't reveal what the acronym S.M.A.R.T.(in the title) stands for, it's: Structured, Meeting. and Relating Techniques. He uses acronyms for everything - but it works, because the acronyms help you remember and implement all of his techniques.

  • If the meetings you're in charge of, don;t go as planned - get this book!
  • If your team has a hard time making decisions and time is wasted - you need this book.
  • If you are a Trainer or Consultant  - you need every process in this book.

It's a resource I turn to again and again as a useful and practical reference manual.

Have you noticed how I've used the word 'practical' in almost all of these free book review summaries? I have a 'bent' for stuff I can use and that will make me more effective. You too?

KINDLE VERSION HERE: The Secrets of Facilitation: The SMART Guide to Getting Results with Groups

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable

By: Patrick Lencioni

This book will explain what's gone wrong in every relationship you've ever had that went sour. With insight like that - you now know why it made 'the cut' in my selective and free book review summaries list.

It's about teams. Teams are made up of relationships - so it's really about what it takes to make relationships work.

It's a fable - story about a new CEO and the team she inherited as she tries to turn the company around. The story catches your attention - I first listened to it in my car. I was eager to drive places by myself so I could find out what happened.

It's interesting and keeps your attention, but even better it gives you THE road map for helping your team reach it's goals. I've used it with teams dozens of times and all of the free team building activities offered on my site are based on this road map.

The author has an Audio version of the book and that's I what I bought to first 'read it.' I recommend that you get a copy (print, digital or audio) for your entire team. Get everyone to read and/or listen to this story.  Start out by getting your FREE audiobook download of this book and a 30 day free trial right now through my affiliate sponsorship with  Start listening to this amazing book and improving your team, right now, by going to:

This free online book review can be paired with my Team Resources step-by-step guides and survey available here. Plus, you can also use Lencioni's Leader's Guide to help with implementation of each exercise.

Use these tools with your team. Every team I've worked with around these principles invites it, because everyone's sick of team dysfunction.

Also, please keep in mind that teamwork is a process, not a 'one-time-mention'. Be sure you're ready to stick with it before you begin, or your team will be worse off if it gets dropped. No one likes to get their hope up that changes is coming, and then nothing changes.

Add to This Free Book Review Summaries Article with Your Own Review and Get a Free Digital Copy of One of My Books...

Take the time to share with other readers a review of one of your favorite professional development books, make your review at least 150 words, and I will send you a digital copy of: 120 Stress Management Strategies for Professionals or How to Hire Superior Performers.

Here are two simple steps for getting your free book:

  • Write a Book Review for your favorite professional development book using the comment box below. (Minimum of 150 words)
  • Send me an email note at suzie (at) pricelessprofessional (dot) com - let me know which book you want.

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How to Hire Superior Performers: 70 Best Practices, Strategies and Tips for
Interviewers and Hiring Managers

See a Complimentary 36-page Preview, Here

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