July: Disrupt Yourself

by Whitney Johnson

Book Description

“Thinkers50 Management Thinker of 2015 Whitney Johnson wants you to consider this simple, yet powerful, idea: disruptive companies and ideas upend markets by doing something truly different–they see a need, an empty space waiting to be filled, and they dare to create something for which a market may not yet exist.  As president and cofounder of Rose Park Advisors’ Disruptive Innovation Fund with Clayton Christensen, Johnson used the theory of disruptive innovation to invest in publicly traded stocks and private early-stage companies. In Disrupt Yourself, she helps you understand how the frameworks of disruptive innovation can apply to your particular path, whether you are:  a self-starter ready to make a disruptive pivot in your business a high-potential individual charting your career trajectory a manager looking to instill innovative thinking amongst your team a leader facing industry changes that make for an uncertain future  We are living in an era of accelerating disruption; no one is immune. Johnson makes the compelling case that managing the S-curve waves of learning and mastery is a requisite skill for the future. If you want to be successful in unexpected ways, follow your own disruptive path. Dare to innovate. Do something astonishing. Disrupt yourself.”

Book Club Review

June: H3 Leadership: Be Humble, Stay Hungry and Hustle

by Brad Lomenick

Book Description

“IH3 Leadership, Brad Lomenick shares his hard-earned insights from more than two decades of work alongside thought-leaders such as Jim Collins and Malcom Gladwell, Fortune 500 CEOs, and start-up entrepreneurs. He categorizes twenty essential leadership habits organized into three distinct filters he calls “the 3 Hs”: Humble (Who am I?), Hungry (Where do I want to go?), and Hustle (How will I get there?). These powerful words describe the leader who is willing to work hard, get it done, and make sure it’s not about him or her; it’s about the leader who knows that influence is about developing the right habits for success. Lomenick provides a simple but effective guide to help one lead well in whatever capacity he or she may be in.”

Book Club Review

Thanks for being a part of the Modern Leadership Monthly Book Club. If you happened upon this page and are not a member you can join for free here .

The book club is designed to explore books that will help us on our leadership journey. It is a part of the Modern Leadership Podcast where we breakdown a book weekly in each episode. You can catch the podcast here.

This month’s book is H3 Leadership: Be Humble. Stay Hungry. Always Hustle by Brad Lomenick

May: Thou Shall Prosper: Ten Commandments for Making Money Review

by Rabbi Daniel Lapin

Book Description

A practical approach to creating wealth-based on the established principles of ancient Jewish wisdom-made accessible to people of all backgrounds

The ups and downs of the economy prove Rabbi Daniel Lapin’s famous principle that the more things change, the more we need to depend upon the things that never change. There’s no better source for both practical and spiritual financial wisdom than the time-tested knowledge found in the ancient Jewish faith and its culture. In the Second Edition of Thou Shall Prosper, Lapin offers a practical approach to creating wealth based on the established principles of ancient Jewish wisdom. This book details the ten permanent principles that never change, the ten commandments of making money if you will, and explores the economic and philosophic vision of business that has been part of Jewish culture for centuries. The book’s focus is on making accessible to individuals of all backgrounds, the timeless truths that Jews have used for centuries to excel in business.

December: The Accidental Creative

by Todd Henry

Book Description

“It isn’t enough to just do your job anymore. In order to thrive in today’s marketplace, all of us, regardless of our role, have to be ready to generate brilliant ideas on demand.  The Accidental Creative teaches effective practices that support your creative process. You’ll discover how to:
– Focus in on your most critical work and reclaim your attention.
– Develop stimulating relationships that will lead to creative insights.
– Effectively manage your energy so that you are always ready to engage.
– Curate stimuli that help you stay mentally focused.
– Leverage your hours wisely and effectively to eliminate creativity drains.
The Accidental Creative is your guide to staying fresh and doing your best work each day.”

Discussion Questions

November: Living With a SEAL

by Jesse Itzler

Book Description

“Entrepreneur Jesse Itzler will try almost anything. His life is about being bold and risky. So when Jesse felt himself drifting on autopilot, he hired a rather unconventional trainer to live with him for a month-an accomplished Navy SEAL widely considered to be “the toughest man on the planet”!
LIVING WITH A SEAL is like a buddy movie if it starred the Fresh Prince of Bel- Air…and Rambo. Jesse is about as easy-going as you can get. SEAL is…not. Jesse and SEAL’s escapades soon produce a great friendship, and Jesse gains much more than muscle. At turns hilarious and inspiring, LIVING WITH A SEAL ultimately shows you the benefits of stepping out of your comfort zone.”

Discussion Questions

October: The Monk & The Riddle

by Randy Komisar

Book Description

“What would you be willing to do for the rest of your life…? It’s a question most of us consider only hypothetically-opting instead to “do what we have to do” to earn a living. But in the critically acclaimed bestseller “The Monk and the Riddle”, entrepreneurial sage Randy Komisar asks us to answer it for real. The book’s timeless advice – to make work pay not just in cash, but in experience, satisfaction, and joy – will be embraced by anyone who wants success to come not just from what they do, but from who they are.At once a fictional tale of Komisar’s encounters with a would-be entrepreneur and a personal account of how Komisar found meaning not in work’s rewards but in work itself, the book illustrates what’s wrong with the mainstream thinking that we should sacrifice our lives to make a living.”

Discussion Questions

September: Peak

by Anders Ericsson

Book Description

“Have you ever wanted to learn a language or pick up an instrument, only to become too daunted by the task at hand? Expert performance guru Anders Ericsson has made a career studying chess champions, violin virtuosos, star athletes, and memory mavens. Peak condenses three decades of original research to introduce an incredibly powerful approach to learning that is fundamentally different from the way people traditionally think about acquiring a skill.

Ericsson’s findings have been lauded and debated, but never properly explained. So the idea of expertise still intimidates us — we believe we need innate talent to excel, or think excelling seems prohibitively difficult.

Peak belies both of these notions, proving that almost all of us have the seeds of excellence within us — it’s just a question of nurturing them by reducing expertise to a discrete series of attainable practices. Peak offers invaluable, often counterintuitive, advice on setting goals, getting feedback, identifying patterns, and motivating yourself.  Whether you want to stand out at work, or help your kid achieve academic goals, Ericsson’s revolutionary methods will show you how to master nearly anything.”

Discussion Questions

August: The Chimp Paradox: The Mind Management Program to Help You Achieve Success, Confidence, and Happiness

by Steve Peters

Book Description

“Do you sabotage your own happiness and success? Are you struggling to make sense of yourself? Do your emotions sometimes dictate your life?
Dr. Steve Peters explains that we all have a being within our minds that can wreak havoc on every aspect of our lives—be it business or personal. He calls this being “the chimp,” and it can work either for you or against you. The challenge comes when we try to tame the chimp, and persuade it to do our bidding.

The Chimp Paradox contains an incredibly powerful mind management model that can help you be happier and healthier, increase your confidence, and become a more successful person. This book will help you to:
—Recognize how your mind is working
—Understand and manage your emotions and thoughts
—Manage yourself and become the person you would like to be

Dr. Peters explains the struggle that takes place within your mind and then shows you how to apply this understanding. Once you’re armed with this new knowledge, you will be able to utilize your chimp for good, rather than letting your chimp run rampant with its own agenda.”

Book Club Review

Thanks for being a part of the Modern Leadership Monthly Book Club. If you happened upon this page and are not a member you can join for free here .

The book club is designed to explore books that will help us on our leadership journey. It is a part of the Modern Leadership Podcast where we breakdown a book weekly in each episode. You can catch the podcast here.

This month’s book is: The Chimp Paradox: The Mind Management Program to Help You Achieve Success, Confidence, and Happiness by Steve Peters


By Kathi Lipp

Book Description

“I Don’t Even Know Where to Start!”

“Feeling overwhelmed? Wondering if it’s possible to move from “out of my mind” to “in control” when you’ve got too many projects on your plate and too much mess in your relationships?

Kathi and Cheri want to show you five surprising reasons why you become stressed, why social media solutions don’t often work, and how you can finally create a plan that works for you. As you identify your underlying hurts, uncover hope, and embrace practical healing, you’ll become equipped to…

  • trade the to-do list that controls you for a calendar that allows space in your life
  • decide whose feedback to forget and whose input to invite
  • replace fear of the future with peace in the present

You can simplify and savor your life—guilt free! Clutter, tasks, and relationships may overwhelm you now, but God can help you overcome with grace.”

Discussion Questions

April: Leaders Eat Last

by Simon Sinek

Book Description

“Why do only a few people get to say “I love my job?”

It seems unfair that finding fulfillment at work is like winning a lottery; that only a few lucky ones get to feel valued by their organizations, to feel like they belong.

Imagine a world where almost everyone wakes up inspired to go to work, feels trusted and valued during the day, then returns home feeling fulfilled.

This is not a crazy, idealized notion. Today, in many successful organizations, great leaders are creating environments in which people naturally work together to do remarkable things.

In his travels around the world since the publication of his bestseller Start with Why, Simon Sinek noticed that some teams were able to trust each other so deeply that they would literally put their lives on the line for each other. Other teams, no matter what incentives were offered, were doomed to infighting, fragmentation and failure. Why?

The answer became clear during a conversation with a Marine Corps general.

“Officers eat last,” he said.”

Book Club Review

Thanks for being a part of the Modern Leadership Monthly Book Club. If you happened upon this page and are not a member you can join for free here .

The book club is designed to explore books that will help us on our leadership journey. It is a part of the Modern Leadership Podcast where we breakdown a book weekly in each episode. You can catch the podcast here.

This month’s book is Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t by Simon Sinek

My Request

After you read this summary

  • Let me know what you think. Did you like this book? What made the most sense to you? Was there anything that you didn’t like? Would you recommend it to a friend? You can connect with me on Facebook or Twitter or send me an email.
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Brief Summary

The book starts out asking you to imagine that you are in the market for a pumpkin. Once at the pumpkin patch, you see an enormous pumpkin. Not the “for sale” kind, but the kind surrounded by velvet ropes and photographers.

Now imagine that pumpkin is your business; so large the media takes notice, so successful that people travel to do business with you, and so inspiring that books are written about you.

Mike takes the strategy of growing world-record pumpkins and applies it to principles of business and he does so in a masterful way. Both witty and practical, I loved this book and couldn’t put it down. I highlighted nearly every page with ideas that I can implement into my own business.

About the author – Simon Sinek

Simon was born is Wimbleton, England and lived in a number of cities, including Hong Kong before studying law at City University in London. It was his 2009 TED talk, How Great Leaders Inspire Action that launched his popularity. It is listed as the third most popular TED talk yet. Simon has taught courses at Columbia University consulted at large companies such as Disney and Microsoft.

He is the author of 3 books Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t and his most recent Together Is Better: A Little Book of Inspiration

Who should read

You should read this book if:

  • You have a team and are looking for ways to build cohesiveness
  • You believe a leader should be first into battle
  • You want to inspire your team
  • You are looking for a pattern of leadership

Who shouldn’t read this book

  • You are not a leader and have no intention to become one
  • You are unwilling to treat your team as “family”
  • You are not open minded to a modern shift in leadership

What surprised me

I read Sinek’s first book, Start with Why, and found it fascinating from beginning to end. This book did not keep me as inspired as Start with Why. Do not misunderstand, this book is a GREAT book. I really enjoyed reading it and it is chuck full of great leadership wisdom. I fully agree with the leadership style of treating your team as family and “leading” them, not managing them. I just felt the presentation lacked some of the engagement I felt in Start with Why.

The book was very well researched and relied on a number of statistics that enhanced the effectiveness of the book. Some of the statistics were surprising.


My criticism is my biggest surprise as I had super high expectations of this second book following his first. While definitely a must read for leaders, you will find areas that you need to head down, plow through.


  • Leaders are the ones who run headfirst into the unknown. They rush toward the danger. They put their own interests aside to protect us or to pull us into the future. Leaders would sooner sacrifice what is theirs to save what is ours.
  • No example in history describes an organization that has been managed out of a crisis. Every single one of them was led.
    • Yet a good number of our educational institutions and training programs today are focused not on developing great leaders but on training effective managers.
  • Marine leaders are expected to eat last because the true price of leadership is the willingness to place the needs of others above your own.
  • It is not enough to know “the Why” of your organization; you must know your people and realize that they are much more than an expendable resource
  • John Quincy Adams Quote: “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
  • There is a pattern that exists in the organizations that achieve the greatest success… the leaders provide cover from above and the people on the ground look out for each other.
  • When the people have to manage dangers from inside the organization, the organization itself becomes less able to face the dangers from outside.
  • According to the Deloitte Shift Index, 80 percent of people are dissatisfied with their jobs. When people don’t even want to be at work, progress comes at much greater cost and effort . . . and often doesn’t last.
  • Those who have an opportunity to work in organizations that treat them like human beings to be protected rather than a resource to be exploited come home at the end of the day with an intense feeling of fulfillment and gratitude.
  • The leaders of great organizations do not see people as a commodity to be managed to help grow the money. They see the money as the commodity to be managed to help grow their people.
  • It is not the genius at the top giving directions that makes people great. It is great people that make the guy at the top look like a genius.
  • Letting someone into an organization is like adopting a child and welcoming them into your home. These people will, like everyone else who lives there, have to share in the responsibility of looking after the household and the others who live in it.
  • A 2011 study conducted by a team of social scientists at the University of Canberra in Australia concluded that having a job we hate is as bad for our health and sometimes worse than not having a job at all.
  • A study by two researchers at the Graduate School of Social Work at Boston College found that a child’s sense of well-being is affected less by the long hours their parents put in at work and more by the mood their parents are in when they come home.
    • Children are better off having a parent who works into the night in a job they love than a parent who works shorter hours but comes home unhappy.
  • Short or long term, the clearer we can see what we are setting out to achieve, the more likely we are to achieve it.
  • Raising children has many lessons for running a company. Both require a balancing of short-term needs and long-term goals. “First and foremost, your commitment to them is for life,” Kim says. “Ultimately, you want them to become better people.”
  • Leadership is the choice to serve others with or without any formal rank.
  • That’s what trust is. We don’t just trust people to obey the rules, we also trust that they know when to break them.
  • “No one wakes up in the morning to go to work with the hope that someone will manage us. We wake up in the morning and go to work with the hope that someone will lead us.”
    • The problem is, for us to be led, there must be leaders we want to follow.
  • When our leaders give us something noble to be a part of, offer us a compelling purpose or reason why we should come to work, something that will outlive us, it seems to give us the power to do the right thing when called upon, even if we have to make sacrifices to our comfort in the short term.

My Key Key Key Takeaway

  • The idea that children are better off having a parent who loves what he does for work, even if it requires a sacrifice of time with the family, than children with parents giving quantity time but lacking happiness in what they do for work. At my stage of life this was very interesting. Quantity time is still very important, but more important is quality time- and that van only happen when you have happiness at work- bringing that same happiness home to the family.