Win the top 10 books of 2014

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It’s always fun to look back on the year and appreciate the milestones and highlights achieved.  Here at Actionable we’ve continued to expand and grow in new and exciting ways.  Next week I’ll run through the list of some of our proudest moments, but before we jump into that, let’s take a look at what you have been up to.  With over 230,000 visits to this year, this community certainly has been busy!

**Want to win the books listed here?  Details are at the bottom of this page**


The top visited blog post:

What’s Your Anthem, where we gave away free codes for Sally Hogshead’s Fascination Assessment.  Sally’s latest book, How the World Sees You went on sale shortly after, and quickly rose to #2 on the WSJ and NYT best seller lists.  She has great stuff, and we were happy to be involved in the promotion.  *There might still be assessments available, if you act fast.  Just visit the blog post and follow the instructions there.  My apologies if they’re gone by the time you get there – “supplies are limited” as they say!

The top 3-visited interviews:

#1 Project Based Tribes, with Seth Godin {Audio}

In my third recorded interview with the inimitable Seth Godin, we went a little deeper – a little more personal – than usual, talking about Seth’s own views and emotions in working in projects, the importance of tribes and the ebb and flow of solo vs group work.

#2 Creating a Great Body of Work, with Pam Slim & Michael Bungay Stanier {Audio}

This interview with Pam and Michael was a ton of fun, and represented two “firsts” for us – having two guests on the show at the same time, and the inaugural “audio only” format that moved us from video interviews to the 21st Century Workplace Podcast.

#3 Leadership and Trust, with Simon Sinek {Video}

I actually ended up connecting with Simon twice this year – once for this video interview around his recent book Leaders Eat Last and again with him and David Marquet, where we discussed “The Leadership Echo“; ie. how true leadership impacts an organization long after they’re gone.  Both great conversations.


The top 10-visited summaries:

And finally, here they are – the 10 most trafficked summaries of 2014.  Some hot new releases, some oldies-but-goodies and a few surprises in here, as well.  Let me know what you think.


#10  Outwitting the Devil

Remember Think and Grow Rich?  Napoleon Hill – born in 1883 – published this book 1937.  Outwitting the Devil was released in 2012… which is pretty impressive when you consider that Hill died in 1970.  Sharon Lechter helped pull it all together.

#9  The Leader Who Had No Title

Robin Sharma actually makes three appearances on the top ten list this year, with The Leader Who Had No Title coming in at #9.  The message is a great one – no matter who you are, no matter what your title, you have an opportunity to lead.  This book provides some easy ways to get started.

#8  The One Minute Manager

In recent interviews, guests and I have been discussing the importance and power of setting clear expectations with team members.  This is possibly the single greatest way to increase engagement, alleviate stress and reduce errors.  The One Minute Manager gives you guidance on how to do that, amongst other key management attributes.

#7  Leaders Eat Last

Leadership again… seeing a theme here?  In the followup to his wildly popular Start With Why, Simon Sinek continues his exploration of the impact of purpose on being engaged in your work.  This time focusing on how, as leaders, we can create environments that help employees connect with their Why.

This Leaders Eat Last summary, incidentally, was written by Jill Donahue; an Actionable summary writer who officially completed her 30th Actionable Summary this year.  Nice work, Jill!  We greatly appreciate your contributions.

#6  Who Will Cry When You Die?

What type of legacy are you leaving?  How does your work make a dent in the universe, and for whom?  Sharma’s second book on the list, and one I’m delighted to see represented, as it’s not one of his commercially most popular ones.  Definitely worth a read.

#5  Great By Choice

I think this is my favorite book by titan Jim Collins.  Also his most recent, Great By Choice examines the deliberate decisions made by leaders of perennially successful companies.  If you enjoyed Good to Great or Built to Last, Great By Choice is a must read. (And if you’re not familiar with Collins’ work, I’d still recommend starting here.

#4  The Miracle Morning

I’ve never described myself as a morning person.  Since moving to Panama though, 6am hasn’t sounded like such a dirty word.  And the sense of peace, progress and self-control I’ve felt since I started “padding” my morning with time for the important-but-not-urgent aspects of life is hard to quantify.  Hal Elrod’s Miracle Morning provides great strategy and suggestions on how to regain the sense of control in your life… before 8am.

#3  Leadership and Self Deception

What if the problems that everyone else was causing in your life were actually issues that you were causing?  Leadership and Self Deception offers a fascinating read on the dangerous place we can slip to when we start assessing everyone else as being the cause of our problems.  Again, we’re talking about self-awareness and deliberate choice as being key drivers to being a happier person, and being a better leader.

#2  The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

Robin Sharma’s most popular book is also our second most visited summary this year.  I read The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari back in 2008 when I first launched Actionable (then Goose Educational Media) – it was actually the second summary ever posted on the site.  And now, with over 640 summaries available, it’s still one of the most popular.  My biggest takeaway – the importance of review and reflection in crafting a life you’re proud of – is particularly resonant this time of year, and once that we can never be reminded of enough.


And, our number-one most visited summary of 2014?

#1  Who Moved My Cheese

You gotta love the 96-page book from 1998 that ranks #1 on our 2014 “most read” list.  You’ve probably read this one. It’s a classic and, apparently, timeless.  Ken Blanchard & Spencer Johnson have dozens of titles to their names (including our #8 summary – The One Minute Manager!)  but this one definitely ranks in their most memorable.  Worth a (re)read, if you’re up for a little motivational boost.


Looking through the top 10 list, I’m seeing a couple of clear themes –

1.  The importance of focusing on leadership and the need for constant education and growth in that area.  True leadership is not a title bestowed upon us, but one that we earn; over time and through deliberate growth.

2.  The value of clarity on what we’re working so hard towards, and why, and the attitude we bring to those tasks.  Through review, reflection, curiosity and experimentation, we can continue to course correct along the path of creating a legacy we’re proud of.  Very few of us are blessed with a singular life-long calling.  That doesn’t mean our work won’t matter.  It just means we need to check in on it with some degree of frequency and listen to our gut along the way.

Want to make 2015 a learning year?


We’re giving away a $225 prize pack of the 10 books listed above.  To enter simply visit our giveaway page and answer the ever-so-complicated skill testing question.  Who knows?  Maybe you’ll have 10 new books on your shelf for next year. (Draw closes midnight EST on Dec 31st.)  Good luck!


What do you think of the most popular summaries from this year?  Any surprises?  What do you feel should have been there and is worth revisiting?



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