For anyone who knows me in real life or follows me on the interwebz, it’s no secret I have a problem. You see… I’m a junkie.
Every day I wake up and live a life of servitude to my addiction. It’s all consuming. It’s obsessive. And at times, it’s truly a burden for those close to me.
I’m a remorseless education junkie.
At this point in my life, I like to diversify my education portfolio. As a speaker or attendee, I’m usually at one or two conferences per month. I also sign up for courses and hire coaches for myself (and the MFF team) when I want more targeted help. Most important of all, I learn from the school of hard knocks; this often takes the form of candid feedback about where I’m getting in my own way and negatively impacting Mark Fisher Fitness (thanks MFFers!).
But my first love has always been, and always will be, books. In addition to spending time reading each day, audiobooks are a pillar of my book consumption. I’ve trained my ear to be comfortable with 1.5x - 2x speed, which has been a large part of my ability to consistently get through 8-12 books per month.
A few thoughts on this list:
- Want to learn more about how I get through so many books? Lucky you! Since writing the original version of this post, I’ve outlined my entire system in this post HERE.
- After I prepared this list, I realized I’d read (or listened to) 28 of the 48 books at least twice. Repetition is the mother of mastery.
- I’ve read (or listened to) the following books three times:
- This is exclusively books I’ve found directly useful for my business pursuits. That said, I did include a small personal development section, as this is always a rate limiting factor on professional development. This is the section that feels most arbitrary, as I could have easily added another 10-15. But… CONSTRAINTS.
- I purposely excluded some of my favorite topics if they didn’t relate directly to business: psychology, social philosophy, sociology, personal finance, and biographies. While I could (and do!) make the case these are foundational topics for business success, in the interest of focus, they are not included.
- If you want to see a list of my most recent All Time Top 20 (including the above excluded subjects), you can check it out on this Instagram post HERE. You can also follow me while you’re there.
- My speed and volume of consumption isn’t something that will make sense for most people. I realize some people may find a list like this overwhelming. My suggestion is to focus on the topic you think would have the biggest impact on your professional effectiveness.
- And finally, books are awesome, but they’re really just one piece of the puzzle. Most adults don’t truly learn without putting their knowledge into action. This usually requires some kind of “learn-by-doing-with-feedback” component.
Would love for you to leave a comment and let me know if there are other must-reads you’d add.
Man’s Search For Meaning - Viktor Frankl
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Stephen R. Covey
The Four Agreements - Don Miguel Ruiz
Flow - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Mindset - Carol S. Dweck
Ego Is The Enemy - Ryan Holiday
Business Strategy & Operations
Good to Great - Jim Collins
Ready, Fire, Aim - Michael Masterson
Traction - Gino Wickman
E-Myth Revisited - Michael E. Gerber
Thanks For the Feedback - Douglas Stone & Sheila Heen
Crucial Conversations - Kerry Patterson
Radical Candor - Kim Scott
The Elements of F*cking Style - Baker and Hansen
Bird By Bird - Anne Lamott
Leaders Eat Last – Simon Sinek
The Lapsed Anarchist’s Guide to Being A Better Leader - Ari Weinzweig
Extreme Ownership - Willink and Babin
Leadership and Self Deception – The Arbinger Institute
First Break All the Rules – Gallup Press
Growing Great Employees – Erika Andersen
The Hard Thing About Hard Things – Ben Horowitz
Principles – Ray Dalio
What Got You Here Won’t Get You There – Marshall Goldsmith
Tribal Leadership – Dave Logan & John King
Delivering Happiness – Tony Hsieh
The Advantage – Patrick M. Lencioni
Legacy - James Kerr
The Speed of Trust – Stephen R. Covey
Influence – Robert B. Cialdini
Getting Everything You Can Out Of All You’ve Got – Jay Abraham
Viralnomics – Jonathan Goodman
Building A StoryBrand - Donald Miller
This Is Marketing - Seth Godin
To Sell Is Human – Daniel H. Pink
Ultimate Sales Machine – Chet Holmes
SPIN Selling – Neil Rackham
Ultimate Sales Letter – Dan S. Kennedy
Secret Service - John DiJulius
Peak – Chip Conley
Setting the Table - Danny Meyer
Simple Numbers – Greg Crabtree
Profit First – Mike Michalowicz
Never Eat Alone – Keith Ferrazzi
How To Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie
Getting Things Done – David Allen
Essentialism – Greg McKeown
Deep Work - Cal Newport