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Take advantage of expert advice in the books, Vail Daily readers

“You are the way you are because that’s exactly the way you want to be. If you really wanted to be any different, you would be in the process of changing it right now.”

– Fred Smith

Thanks for your feedback and e-mails over the past several months regarding my articles. Many of you have written, asking how to engage in the process of change and have asked about the books I may have read and where some of my insights and inspiration come from.

Long ago I learned that being a voracious reader and attending seminars on various topics in the category of personal and professional development, would significantly increase and accelerate my success. Consistent with my desire to help you stay committed to reaching your goals and to continue to encourage you to grow personally and professionally, I thought I would share some of the books that have been so important to my success over the years.

I have heard it said that people who know how to read but don’t read are really no better off than those people who do not know how to read. Whatever goals you set for yourself in 2009, there are tools and resources available that can make the journey a little easier.

Nothing will replace the hard work and commitment that you apply, but why not take advantage of the experience, wisdom and advice of those who have already been there and done that?

My personal goal each year is to read at least 24 books. I typically cycle through the categories below and occasionally will throw in a good fiction book just for pleasure. My favorite fictional writers Clive Cussler (A good Dirk Pitt Adventure) and Lawrence Sanders (A slick Archie McNally mystery) are easy reading and a lot of fun. Listed below is a short list of the books I have enjoyed and that highly recommend:

Personal Growth:

• “See You at the Top,” by Zig Ziglar.

• “Psychology of Winning,” by Denis Waitley.

• “7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” by Stephen Covey.

Leadership

• “It’s Your Ship,” by Captain D. Michael Abrashoff.

• “One Minute Manager,” by Ken Blanchard.

• “Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun,” by Wess Roberts Ph.D.

Business

• “Good to Great,” by Jim Collins.

• “Gung Ho,” by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles.

• “Top Performance,” by Zig Ziglar.

Sales

• “How to Master the Art of Selling,” by Tom Hopkins.

• “Power Referrals,” by Andrea Sittig-Rolf.

• “The Greatest Salesman in the World,” by Og Mandino.

Customer Service

• “The Fred Factor,” by Mark Sanborn.

• “Monday Morning Customer Service,” by David Reed.

• “Inside the Magic Kingdom: Seven Keys to Disney’s Success,” by Tom Connellan.

Faith

• “The Journey,” by Billy Graham.

• “When the Game is Over it all Goes Back in The Box,” by John Ortberg.

• “Waking the Dead” and “Wild at Heart,” by John Eldridge.

Biography/History

• “A Lion in the White House: A Life of Theodore Roosevelt,” by Aida D. Donald.

• “Crazy Horse,” by Mari Sandoz.

• “1776,” by David McCullough.

There are many other books and resources I could recommend and I am sure that you can refer me to some great books as well. Please do so – let me know what books you have found motivating, inspiring, or educational or just plain fun to read at msnorton@comcast.net, or ask me about a specific topic and I will try to point you toward the right resource. As always, make it a better than good week.

Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker, and CEO of http://www.candogo.com. He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.


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