Enhance your personal and professional development with our top book picks

posted by Jackie Rolow, SPHR on Wednesday, August 19, 2020 in SHAZAM Blog

Looking for something positive to read while you relax in your comfy chair or outside on the deck enjoying the fresh air? Don’t let the pandemic get you down; spend that time enhancing your personal and professional development.

We’re sharing some of our favorite books. We hope you enjoy — and grow from — our list.

Younger Next Year
by Chris Crowley and Henry Lodge, M.D.

Kirk Ferentz, University of Iowa head football coach and the longest tenured Division 1 head football coach in the country, cited this book as his secret to staying fit and healthy. At 65 years old, Ferentz is in incredibly good health and we wanted to know his secret. The book provides a common sense, easy –to-adopt philosophy on how to live your life in a way that slows the normal problems of aging (weakness, sore joints, bad balance, etc.) and eliminates conditions that often lead to serious illness and injury. There’s a healthy dose of humor woven in as well. If it’s good enough for Kirk Ferentz, it’s good enough for us.

Where Good Ideas Come From
by Steven Johnson

The concept of this book is not unique — it tells the story of the world's greatest ideas. However, it sets itself apart through its focus on the conditions that fostered their invention and evolution. Johnson introduces and operates on a handful of key concepts in this book, but our favorite is the “liquid network,” the idea that innovation is unlocked through random intersections of ideas or “slow hunches.” To create an environment that fosters innovation, it must be one in which ideas, resources and hunches flow freely.

Crucial Conversations
by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler

It’s a game-changer. The “Path to Action” will resonate. It opened our eyes to the stories we tell ourselves based on what we see or hear. Often, those stories aren’t accurate. So, instead of creating a story, we need to stay with the facts and ask clarifying questions to better understand the situation. This is a must-read book for anyone.

Five Dysfunctions of a Team
by Patrick Lencioni

The book really drills down into some of the troubles or pitfalls that teams — even good teams — must overcome to be truly successful. It opens your eyes to things you may be doing that aren't helping your team be as successful as it could.

Total Workday Control (Using Microsoft Outlook)
by Michael Linenberger

Even if you think you’re efficient and organized, read this book and set up your Outlook tasks using this system. You’ll be using a proven system to manage the overwhelming number of incoming emails you probably receive daily, and a system to manage and work through tasks more productively. Who couldn’t use a more manageable workday?


  1. career
  2. leadership

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