The 7 Best Books I Read in 2016

Books are one of the best ways to grow your knowledge on a subject. Each year, I set a reading goal and try to read books on a variety of topics.

Stack of books

Photo courtesy of

My brother loves books and reads fiction primarily. I am the exact opposite. I prefer books with actionable content that I can apply to my daily activities.

Without further ado, here were my top seven books I read in 2016.

How To Use Podcasts to Grow Your Leadership Influence

I was never a big talk radio guy, but for some reason, I have latched on to podcasts.

Podcast Headphones

In recent years, podcasts such as NPR and Serial have drawn folks into the podcasting world.

John Lee Dumas of shares how he got his start podcasting by listening to some of the first podcasts while driving.

The smartphone has made it easier than ever for us to consume knowledge and learn virtually any topic.

I discovered podcasts, and I haven’t looked back. I currently listen to between five and ten podcasts per week on a variety of subjects.

One of the things I love about podcasts is that you can listen to an Apple podcast followed by a Disney one and finish it up with expanding your leadership capacity. It is unbelievable what we have at our fingertips.

3 Powerful Habit Goals I Set Every Year

and You Can Too!

Happy New Year! Each year millions of people set new year’s resolutions or goals, and usually by the second week, they have already failed at several of them. Developing the discipline of setting and achieving goals is difficult, but not unattainable.

Coffee Mug and Bible

Each year I set between seven and ten goals. Over the past several years, I have developed three habits that no longer make it to my goal list.

Today’s research indicates that it takes an average 66 days to develop a new habit. What happened to the 21 days or 30 days to a better me. Well, some goals need more time to take root in our lives.

It is possible to develop healthy habits, but it starts with adding them to your yearly goal list.

Here are three habits that no longer appear on my goal list.

Habit #1 – Read Thru the Bible In One Year

Growing up, I would read the parts of the bible while pursuing a certain study topic. However, I neglected the habit of reading through the whole Bible.

Catch the Free to Focus Summit Before It’s Gone

For the past few days, I have been watching the Free to Focus Productivity Summit from Michael Hyatt. There are some amazing speakers and each one is crafted to target a certain need in the productivity space.

Free to Focus Summit

These days our jobs require us to get more done in less time and with less resources.

The question is…

Are we actually getting more done?


Recently, I stepped into a new role at work. I went from leading projects to leading people. It is very rewarding, but also very time consuming. I am having to re-tool the entire structure of my work day and work day.

As a Facilities Manager and workplace strategist, the number one takeaway came from Cal Newport. Cal is the author of Deep Work and he shared that we need to identify a ratio of time worked in deep work (deep focus) with shallow work (checking email, etc).

This was a game-changer for me. This could revolutionize the way we design and build the office of the future. If we can intentionally design spaces for deep work, our employees will be able to get more done, with more accuracy, and live a normal life. This represents a huge competitive advantage in the marketplace, not to mention a huge attraction/retention advantage in the war for talent.

There is a speaker for everyone and I encourage you to sign up today before this unique (and FREE) summit is gone forever!

[Book] Very Good Lives by J. K. Rowling

Very Good Lives (Little, Brown and Company, 2015)

In 2008, J.K. Rowling (author of the Harry Potter series) delivered the commencement address at Harvard. Her words are captured in this small book with illustrations to punctuate certain ideas. I came across this book while browsing through Barnes & Noble this past weekend. 

She highlights in her address that years from now, the graduates will probably not remember what the speaker said, and she wants that to changes for them. Her wisdom identifies two principles we all can apply:

She highlights in her address that years from now, the graduates will probably not remember what the speaker said, and she wants that to changes for them. Her wisdom identifies two principles we all can apply:

  • Failure is not be feared
  • Imagination unlocks great potential

J. K. Rowling highlights some of her failures or rock bottoms that led to her greatest achievements. This book is a quick and easy read, but I caution you not to blow through it too quickly. These nuggets of wisdom are powerful, and if you let it, they might even unlock hidden potential in you.

"God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called." - Max Lucado

I spent the past week in Rosarito, Mexico building a house, supporting two Vacation Bible School’s and sharing the stories through photographs. This week’s image comes from this past week as children and parents worked side-by-side to create a driveway from gravel.

You can read more about our work in Rosarito, Mexico here.

Click here to view my weekly inspirational quote cards.