The following books are highly recommended. Double-click the title links to order direct from Amazon.ca. Some books have limited availability in Canada, if unavailable here, try Chapters or Amazon.com.
Richard D. Carson
Clearly illustrates the concept that by “simply noticing” your Gremlin (the narrator in your head) you will become more aware of your choices and options and begin to enjoy yourself more. “Simply noticing has nothing to do with analyzing, understanding, predicting the future, or undoing the past. Simply noticing involves only simply noticing.” Paying attention or noticing and differentiating yourself from your Gremlin are key.
Talane Miedaner , 2000
A great book that is divided into ten parts that build on each other in natural progression. Each part can be read in order or on their own as needed. The chapters are as follows Part 1) explains ways to get rid of major energy drains in your life and put in some energy boosters , 2) make space for new things in your life, 3) deal with your money, 4) create time in your life, 5) develop a support network, 6) discover what turns you on and making a transition to doing that without financial risk, 7) learn how to become exceptionally efficient, productive and effective, 8) learn the art of listening profoundly and getting people to do what you want without manipulating them, 9) learn how to take extremely good care of yourself, and lastly 10) you will learn how to strengthen the key characteristics of success not by doing, but by being and attracting success to you. This is a great book to support anyone working with a coach. Concepts brought up by the coach, can be read about in detail by the client between the calls.
Daniel Goleman identifies the skills and competencies of emotional intelligence and explains that EI matters more than IQ for achieving success in the workplace.
If you think achieving success is about being good at what you do – this book will provide you with insights on what it really takes to be successful. EI, which includes social skills like communication and building bonds, is useful at work and home.
This book will help you learn how to improve your own Emotional Intelligence as well as your organization’s.
Ekhart Tolle’s message is simple: living in the now is the truest path to happiness and enlightenment. He illustrates many ideas and exercises in the book of why and how to live in the now instead of the past and the future. The book includes suggestions to take a break…it’s time to put the book down and let mind mull over what it has just received. Also, just keep reading, even when you don’t fully understand and/or believe in the concept being presented. Ignore the gremlin voices that come up as you read..new concepts will never be appreciated, if you discount them before you give them a chance. This book will give you a new perspective on life and how you can be a happier person if you adopt that perspective.
A no nonsense book with answers to the questions “How can I make more of my life?” and “How can I have more time?”
The book is filled with strategies for maximizing the limited hours in the day by focusing on results. The key is to realize that earning more is about exchanging value for money rather than time for money.
Cheryl Richardson, a leader in the field of Personal Coaching
A book that might make you uncomfortable because she suggests that you be selfish.
The book is easy to read and full of success stories, exercises, advice, and resources that will help you “eliminate the things in life that are draining you and replace them with the things that fuel you.”
Laura Whitworth, Henry Kimsey-House, Phil Sandahl
This is the text-book for the coaching school I attended and is an excellent source for anyone seriously interested in using coaching skills in their business and their life for that leading edge.
Phyllis Mindell, 2003
Some women tend to discount themselves in the workplace (and in other places) by using words that weaken their message, make them invisible or destroy confidence. The author outlines how to speak powerfully as a woman by using less words and better language. I found this book very helpful in increasing my awareness around when I was discounting myself in conversations and practical ways to speak more powerfully without sound like a b____.
Ernie J. Zelinski
A book that will help you examine why you work so much and help you focus on enjoying your leisure time more. Zelinski conveys his message using text, humor, cartoons, diagrams, quotes, and exercises.
He encourages his readers to look at what is really important and find ways to include more leisure – including living on less money.
Susan Jeffers, Ph.D.
A terrific, easy to read book that will help you learn how to get through the fears that may be getting in your way of having a wonderful life.
The book includes practical tools and insights to improve your ability to handle situations. Jeffers helps you reeducate your mind around fear.
Noticing what is behind the fear is the key to getting through the fear that will result in increased confidence and action.
Don Miguel Ruiz
Don Miguel Ruiz offers a code of conduct that if followed can markedly improve your quality of life.
The four agreements he reveals are:
1) Be impeccable with your word.
2) Don’t take anything personally.
3) Don’t make assumptions.
4) Always do your best.
Some of you might find his book too simplistic and not well written. I think the simplicity of the delivery of his message is one of the virtues of the book as it is an easy although thought provoking read.
W. Timothy Gallwey
A book for everyone that wants to succeed at the game of life. It is not just for tennis players. The book applies, as the title suggests, to the inner game — the game in our mind. The book helps the reader realize how critical it is to improve our relationship with the voice in our head.
Gallwey points out the greatest difficulty is changing habits. He suggests, in order to change habits we must: 1) get a clear picture of our desired outcome; 2) trust our self; 3) learn from both successes and failures; and 4) see our behavior non-judgmentally.
Offers key suggestions for improving networking and socializing skills. She gives tips on how to circulate comfortably and graciously and have fun in environments that up until reading her book felt risky. Her book helps you understand what holds you back from feeling at ease and how to overcome fears.
She covers roadblocks, strategies to meet more people, what to say, how to start and end conversations, how to prepare, and etiquette.
This book outlines the insights of an ancient yet advanced civilization. The essential message for me behind the fictional journey described in this book is to pay attention to coincidences.
Redfield suggests you act on the messages that come your way that we describe as chance or coincidence rather than ignore them.
This book is not for everyone. It has a very spiritual content and is considered by some not well written. Others find it a very enjoyable read and thought provoking as I did.
Mark Bryan, Julia Cameron and Catherine Allen
A marvelous book with a twelve- week program intended to help you develop and deepen your creativity in your work and your life. Each chapter has tools and exercises that increase your awareness and help you ultimately reach your goals. The book is a catalyst for positive change in your life and workplace. The critical tool of the book is the morning pages – three pages of daily longhand morning writing. I highly recommend the morning pages.
Spencer Johnson, M.D.
A well written easy to read book on how to deal with change in your work and your life that was recommended by a coaching client of mine.
The parable, which can be read in less than an hour, is an enlightening story of how four different characters respond to dealing with unexpected change. The book can be used to help you determine how you and people in your life deal with change.
Inspired me to take the career path I am now on. I read the book well over 10 years ago, and the message of her title struck a cord that stayed with me.
Do What You Love is not simply doing what you feel like and expecting that you will make money. Sinetar points out it is finding work one is passionate about that uses one’s innate talents and one is determined to succeed. One must also have good judgment and sound decision making abilities in choosing the work for the money to follow.
Tuesdays with Morrie: An old man, a young man, and life’s greatest lesson … , a young man, and life’s greatest lesson
A wonderful, touching, sad, thought provoking story of Morrie’s last days. Morrie through example of his own life shows how to live life to the fullest even while dying.
Morrie shares the experience of his full, rich life that is based on connection with family and friends. He shares his insight about such topics as emotion, marriage, family, love, forgiveness and death. Read this book aloud with a loved one.
The perfect read when one is about to start something new. It is not just for children but is for people of all ages. It is an ideal gift for graduates from any level of school or training.
It is full of humorous verse and colorful pictures that encourage us to find the success within us while acknowledging the ups and downs of life.
“Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!”
Viktor E. Frankl
Really two great books in one. The first is Dr. Frankl’s profound autobiography of his experiences amid the horrors of the concentration camps of Auschwitz and Dachau that led to his discovery of his theory of logotheraphy. His is a story of deep meaning that helped him survive through the suffering he was exposed to.
The second book is his explanation of logotherapy – or “meaning therapy” as an approach to the reason why some people got through the suffering while others did not. If one is struggling with any sort of suffering, pain, or grief Frankl suggests that finding meaning in the suffering may be the way to endure such suffering
Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D.
A book that will help you improve the quality of your personal and professional relationships. At the root of Rosenberg’s message is we must take responsibility for our feelings.
He gives very simple instruction and exercises to help the reader learn how to observe and not evaluate, identify and express ones feelings, make requests rather than demands, to listen with empathy, and to distinguish between proactive and punitive force when communication fails to resolve a problem.
Laurie Beth Jones, Hyperion, 1996
Michael E. Gerber
A book for business owners that wish to grow their business painlessly. Michael’s approach emphasizes the difference between working on your business and working in your business.
He emphatically suggests the need to plan, envision, and articulate what you see in the future for your business. He suggests you write down in detail every system for all the functions within your business. Treat your business as though you were setting up the systems for a franchise.
Always look at how you got where you are and what you must do to get where you want to go.
A fascinating book that explains why some trends or ideas spread like viruses. One of the appeals of the book is Gladwell’s assertion that little changes can have big effects. When certain people (Connectors, Mavens, Salesmen) start spreading new ideas by word of mouth their message can ripple outward until a critical mass or “tipping point” is reached causing significant change or impact.
His tipping point theory is described in interesting case studies that describe how Connectors, Mavens, Salesmen, Stickiness and the Power of Context are all necessary for an idea or product to “tip”.
A book that explains why some companies become great companies. His first startling proposition is chapter one – “Good is the enemy of Great.” When businesses are good they don’t feel the need to achieve great.
However, Collins asserts that it is no harder to build something great than something good. Especially if the work you do is something you care about and the discipline needed to make it great comes easily and naturally to you.
An insightful book that will help you ask the right questions in the right circumstances. Leeds covers situations from managing and motivating staff to getting ahead in your executive career.
She says “When you know how to ask the right questions you can make anything happen.”
A book that will inspire you to bring fun and play to your management style. Matt uses case studies to show how you can motivate employees, inspire coworkers, and ultimately improve the bottom line through play.
This book includes 52 ways, 1 for each week of the year, to bring fun to work.
An outstanding, easy to read book that explains the use of coaching skills in the corporate context. Actual coaching examples makes understanding the components of coaching clear.
The most powerful skill described is opened ended, non-judgmental questions used to create awareness and choice. A key motivational concept is that choice and responsibility occur through increased self-awareness of a situation or problem.
Use of Whitmore’s coaching skills often results in a fundamental transformation of one’s management and communication styles that leads to further success.
A great book to help you market any service business.
A book that has heightened my* awareness of how I am as a leader, both in my professional and personal life.
The concepts presented are so simple – yet so powerful. Live with success – don’t flaunt it. Be aware – be in the present. Be calm when all around you is chaotic. These are just a few of the concepts presented.
The book is very easy reading – each thought/concept is concisely written.
Ed Oakley and Doug Krug
A practical guide to assist you in becoming a new kind of leader. This book is not intended for the “I’ve got the answers, do what I say” leader. It is for the leader that intends to bring the creativity and knowledge of their people to help solve problems. It covers how to overcome resistance and lack of commitment by people. This includes helping people see problems as opportunities for growth for themselves and the organization. The book is based on the premise that the only solutions that really work are those that people discover for themselves.
Stephen R. Covey, 1991
Covey presents a holistic, integrated, principle-centered approach for solving personal and professional problems. This book is about shifting your paradigm regarding how you perceive the world working. Covey takes you through this change, which affects how you perceive and act regarding productivity, time management, positive thinking, developing your “proactive muscles” (acting with initiative rather than reacting), and much more.
Stephen R. Covey, 1999
Stories from people who have lived the 7 Habits.
Stephen R. Covey, 1996
Expansion of one of the 7 Habits that centers around time management. Covey has you prioritize task so that you get to what is important, not what is just urgent. He has you look at each task and allocate them into 4 quadrants:1.Important and Urgent (crises, deadline-driven projects), 2.Important, Not Urgent (preparation, prevention, planning, relationships),3. Urgent, Not Important (interruptions, many pressing matters),4.Not Urgent, Not Important (trivia, time wasters). Most people spend so much time in 1 and 3, that they don’t get to the important stuff in 2. The book teaches you about balancing time to have a meaningful life vs just getting things done.
Sunny Schlenger, Roberta Roesch, 1998
Very useful book that explains the different styles that people have such as Hopper, Perfectionist Plus, Allergic to Detail, Fence Sitter, Cliff Hanger, Everything Out, Nothing Out, Right Angler, Pack Rat, and Total Slob. Once you have identified your style(s) from the categories, then you can get tips for organizing specific to your style. I am an “Everything Out” and set up my office with retractable doors so I can see what needs to be done on the shelves that holds my to do’s. I found this a very helpful book.
Julie Morgenstern, 1998
This book starts with explaining reasons behind why you might currently be unorganized. She feels this is key to moving forward to be the organized person you want to be. Once the blocks are clear she helps you outline an ACTION plan for you with lots of permission to throw out, throw out, throw out. I found this to be a very helpful book including time estimates of how long something should take.
Julie Morgenstern, 2000
Similar to her book on organizing, Julie explorers what may be behind your current lack of time management and then help you design a system that is truely helpful for your personal style.
A book that may finally help you get rid of the clutter in your office and home. Her book is easy to read and she combines humor with practical ideas. She explains why it is so hard to get rid of stuff.
Schechter makes the distinction between getting organized and letting go of stuff. She says “organizing can actually obstruct the letting go process”.
She has suggestions on how to deal with all the magazines you think you want to read, memorabilia and mental clutter.
Hyrum W. Smith
A book that offers to help you be more in control of your life and experience inner peace as a result. Smith emphasizes tying your core values to your decisions and actions. His time management suggestions go beyond managing time more efficiently. The key is to deepen your self-awareness of your values and beliefs. He demonstrates through examples that changing basic beliefs results in a change in behavior.
Spencer Johnson, M.D, one of the co-authors of The One Minute Manager
This modern fable succinctly helps you see that looking after yourself is the first step to being happy and effectively looking after everyone else in your business and life. This includes asking your self “Is there a better way for me to act right now?” You are the one that responds to what is happening around you. “In one minute you can change your attitude and that minute can change your entire day.” The book also makes the point that things will get better only when you stop doing what doesn’t work.
Other great books on Organization and Time Management can be found at Harold Taylor Time Consultants Inc. A Toronto based company.
Jerrold Mundis, 2003
Jerrold Mundis writes in a friendly, engaging style, urging readers to stop the cycle of spending. Mundis knows what he’s talking about–he, too, was once thousands of (US) dollars in debt and didn’t know where to turn. Anecdotes from Debtors Anonymous folks, plus multiple examples from the writer’s own life and ledgers, make How to Get Out of Debt an encouraging read, not a condescending one.
This book is based on the Proven Principles and Techniques of Debtors Anonymous, but is not directly endorsed by their organization.
Clients that I referred to this book said they found it useful in dealing with their debt, both practical and inspirational.
Jerrold Mundis, 1996
Similar to Jerrold original book above “How to Get Out of Debt, Stay of Debt, 1990 edition” but written more for the section of the population that is just living pay to pay and has tendencies of earning just enough to survive. It looks at some of the belief systems these people have about money and what to do about them.
This book may appeal to people that are close to the line but don’t consider themselves in debt. The principles of Debtor’s Anonymous are also included in this book therefore I suggest you buy one or the other, but not both.
Clients referred to this book said they found this book also practical and inspirational.
Thomas J. Stanley, William D. Danko, 2003
An excellent book based on 20 years of research. Stanley and Danko interview real life millionaires. There are no pop stars or athletes in this book, but plenty of wall-board manufacturers–particularly ones who take cheap, infrequent vacations! Stanley and Danko mercilessly show how wealth takes sacrifice, discipline, and hard work at a job you love, qualities that are positively discouraged by our high-consumption society. “You aren’t what you drive,” admonish the authors.
If you have make lots of money, but don’t see your net worth building, this is a good book to read NOW. I recommend all Professionals read this book so they can stop thinking they have to keep up with the Jones. Remember what you don’t see is the Jones “Line of Credit” statements. As an accountant, I’ve seen them….wealthy on the outside, just making their debt payments on the inside.
Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen
By the best selling authors of Chicken Soup for the Soul, this is a book that will help you learn what you want and how to ask for it.
They address the five reasons why we don’t ask for what we want: ignorance, limiting beliefs, fear, low self-esteem, and pride. This book can help you discover how, who, and what to ask for to increase your enjoyment with life.
One of the exercises that intrigued me was to make a list of 101 wishes.
Sarah Ban Breathnach
A collection of daily essays that reflect from a woman’s perspective (although it will also offer insight to my male readers) acceptance of what is so in life. If you would like more serenity, authenticity, and pleasure in your life consider reading an essay a day from this book.
Simple Abundance was of value and proved insightful when I shifted from practicing accounting to coaching.
The book is probably best known for Sarah’s suggestion to create a Gratitude Journal – everyday write down five things you are grateful for. Try it.
Contains advice that stands the test of time. The book was written in the 30’s and books written since contain many of Hill’s personal development ideas. Based on the success of great leaders of his time he shares secrets that helped them rise to the top. “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe it can achieve.”
Hill believed very strongly in the power of our thoughts along with action to achieve what we want in life.
Please note that there is unfortunately very little written specifically for Accountants. I have read all the books below and can say that even though they are written for Lawyers, Accountants would find much of the information relevant to them. Books not relevant to accountants are marked with a *.
Steven Keeva, 1999
Steven Keeva is an inspirational book for lawyers. Keeva describes lawyers that have created practices that are true to their values and result in fulfillment and contentment in their practices.
Women Rainmakers’ 101+ Best Marketing Tips
Edited by Theda C. Snyder
A highly recommended easy to get through book; it’s chock full of ideas, where anyone can find tips relevant to their unique needs and goals. The tips provided work, they’re practical. It’s easy to read or skim, with strategies for marketing, your image, networking, PR, communications, writing, speaking, and pitching. Order from the ABA Service Center: 800-285-2221 American Bar Association Section of Law Practice Management, 1994
Marketing and Legal Ethics: The Boundaries of Promoting Legal Services
William E. Hornsby Law Practice Management Section American Bar Association, Third Edition, 2000.
Benjamin Sells, Element, 1994
George Kaufman, American Bar Association, 1999
Paul Dunn, Ronald J. Baker, 2003
This book deal with the reality that the professional service accounting firm is being threatened by a variety of factors: new technology, intense competition, consolidation and the erosion of public trust, just to name a few. At the same time, most experts agree that morale in the financial services industry is at an all-time low…. professional don’t like their job and don’t like working under the god of the billable hour.
Dunn and Baker offer relief, promise and hope, but only if your willing to shift you paradigm. The cornerstone of their program is conducting successful transitions to new services that customer’s value, treating functions such as consulting as extensions, not alternative to traditional services.
In addition proven strategies for pricing in accordance with value and develop leading Key Performance Indicators that measure success the same way customers do. This book is useful for anyone in the service business.
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