Reading List for 2014

Posted on by Excell Staff


Excell Puget Sound has compiled a reading list  for entrepreneurs and business owners.   Our Recommended Book List provides tools and insight for a strong and successful 2014.

 Shannon Bruce, Executive Coach and Group Leader of Excell Puget Sound Kitsap has reviewed her top three all-time books on leadership.


Shift: A Guide-book to Above-the-Line Positive Thinking—Cathy & Gary Hawk
I highly recommend this book as a must read resource to create a culture of positivity among leaders and teams. Because this book is based on how to improve your engagement with self and others, it’s applicable for all types of ecosystems and will benefit individuals, families and companies. You will learn a new operating system for interacting with yourself and others that shifts the focus away from negative thinking and drained energy to positive thoughts that restore well-being, vitality and results. The book is both context and content rich, providing the brain science behind the work, while providing instructions on how to use the tool to support ongoing and sustainable behavior change. The greatest impact of this book is that it will support you in taking ownership of your own thoughts and energy to increase your vitality, deepen your relationships with individuals and teams and improve the quality of your outcomes in both life and work. 

Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization Dave Logan, John King, Halee Fischer-Wright
People are wired to be in relationship and as a result automatically form tribes. Each tribe has a unique culture that thinks, feels and acts a particular way. This book provides a solid framework for understanding the culture of the five tribal cultures, as named by the authors, to supports leaders in expanding their own leadership capacity as well as understanding how to engage and interact with others at the stage of culture they are operating. The natural result is teams and organizations thrive as you learn now to leverage the culture of the tribes you are interacting, either at home or at work.

The Speed of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything—Stephen M.R. Covey
Trust acts as an exponential dividend that accelerates results. This book is a comprehensive resource that looks at trust through multiple lenses starting with self-trust, relationship trust and stakeholder trust (organizational, market and stakeholder trust). It also explores how to develop a solid foundation of trust by strengthening the four cores of credibility which include integrity and intent (character) along with capabilities and results (competencies). As the title suggests, this book will change everything.

Lauren Owen Co-founder and Partner, Redpoint Succession and Leadership Coaching,  and Group Leader of Excell Puget Sound SouthSound Group reviews her top 3 books of all times:

Every Family’s Business, by Tom Deans, PhD

I like this book because Deans takes a different approach to family business. Dean’s view? If the majority of your wealth is tied up in your family business, treat it like the important investment it is. Don’t assume that the best thing for your kids (or the business) is having them work in it (and eventually lead it in the future). Deans advocates having yearly tough conversations between you and your successors about what each wants out of the business, including if and when the business should be sold. He includes a list of the questions that should be asked and answered by both parties. Told in a story format, it’s an easy read.

Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work, by Chip and Dan Heath

The Heath brothers have taken the best of existing research on decisions-making and boiled it down into a four step process. I liked this book so much that I bought it for all my Excell group members, who now incorporate many of the points from the book into how they make decisions (and how they coach each other).
Land on Your Feet, Not on Your Face: A Guide to Building Your Leadership Platform, by Jim Hessler with Steve Motenko

Written by former Excell facilitator and current Boss Show Host, Jim Hessler, this book is entertaining, inspirational and practical. Each chapter, or Plank, starts with a case study and incorporates real life stories from the author’s background in corporate leadership with key points from the best of current psychological studies in leadership effectiveness. The reader is challenged in each plank to apply the principals into his or her leadership practice with assignments called “Making It Real.”

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