My Top 10 Books of 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009 at 06:51PM
Thomas Clifford in books, business books, creativity books

It was tough narrowing this list down to ten since I read about 40 books a year, but here goes. While not all of these books were released in 2009, I enjoyed reading them during the year. I'm hoping maybe one or two will resonate with you. Enjoy!

1. Inspire! What Great Leaders Do
Without a doubt, this is my favorite book on leadership and personal development. Lance Secretan does a magnificent job in outlining a clear, three-step process to help us discover our destiny, cause and calling. His leadership model focuses on two types of leaders: "Old Story Leaders are Newtonian thinkers; New Story Leaders are quantum thinkers." If you're looking to create a "new story" for yourself or start drafting answers to those timeless questions like, "What is my purpose in life?" then this is your book.

2. Social Media at Work: How Networking Tools Propel Organizations Performance
If you're looking for one guide to show you how to use social media tools internally- check this one out. It's packed with several real-life case studies so you get a sense of how these tools can be easily integrated within an organizational framework. Hats off to the three authors; all from Oracle. Well done.

3. The Art of Engagement: Bridging the Gap Between Possibilities and People
This book rocks. I mean, really rocks. Employee engagement is a hot topic lately. Jim Haudan covers the four qualities of human nature that create engaged workers and details the six issues that prevent people from being truly engaged in their work. The best part of this book? It's written as if Jim is taking you on a journey; a journey of self-discovery and community-discovery. To top it all off, Jim is a huge visual storytelling proponent in boosting employee engagement. Now, that's music to my ears! :) I can't wait to read this one again.

4. Trust Me: Four Steps to Authenticity and Charisma
I just had to interview author Nick Morgan after reading his book. It's a remarkable book that all communications and media professionals can benefit from. The four steps can easily integrate into your own life or when observing others. Nick reveals where the real power of communicating is – in the non-verbal arena. He shows us how to tap into that "hidden" area to become effective communicators and leaders. Aligning our verbal with non-verbal actions is the real secret to communicating and leading. Check out my interview with Nick Morgan.

5. The Complete Artist's Way: Creativity is a Spiritual Practice
I'm still reading this- it's a hefty 750 pages (phew!) but I love coming to it every few days. This edition combines Julia Cameron's three core books into one, including the classic, "The Artist's Way." If you're into journaling or private writing or simply looking to tap into your creative potential, it's definitely worth checking out.

6. Accidental Genius: Revolutionize Your Thinking Through Private Writing
This book does what it says. Really. Author Mark Levy shares his writing secrets to jolt us out of our everyday thinking. This book is parked on my desk where I always see it and can reach out for it when I'm journaling or simply stuck for ideas. It's also the perfect companion to "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron. You can read Mark's guest post on this blog where he shares his "Fascination Method."

7. Tell Me About Yourself: Storytelling to Get Jobs and Propel Your Career
Want to learn how to use stories in your career, in your job search and anywhere else, for that matter? Storytelling proponent Kathy Hansen has written a super user-friendly guide to navigate you through the storytelling waters.

8. Predictable Results in Unpredictable Times
Stephen R. Covey does it again. I love this little book. It's brief but, wow, it's packed with powerful ideas on building employee loyalty, customer service and transforming fear into trust. FYI: Covey is releasing another new book, "Great Work, Great Career."

9. The Power of Appreciative Inquiry: A Practical Guide to Positive Change
Looking for the secret to creating positive change by asking questions? Here's the ticket. Appreciative Inquiry is a discovery process to understand what gives "life" to a living system when it's at its best. This easy-to-read book is a great starting point for anyone wishing to learn the basic concepts behind AI. It will forever change how you ask questions. You can learn more about the art of appreciate inquiry here.

10. Ignore Everybody and 39 Other Keys to Creativity
Creativity guru and marketer Hugh MacLeod wrote this book as a series of essays. It's a manifesto, of sorts; brief, punchy calls to action. If you're looking to light up your inner creative fire, definitely check this one out. (Hat tip to documentary photographer, Seshu, for gifting me this book.)

Happy reading!


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