We all know, leaders are readers and learners are earners. So, out of the thousands of books being published every month, how do you decide which ones to read? At Networking University we ask our faculty for their recommendations and present them in this column. Here are some books, DVDs, and programs that will help you grow as a leader, build your success, and keep you entertained in the process.

And while we're being taught, why not also be moved and entertained? Do you have a must-see or must-hear recommendation? Simply email dormouse@networkingtimes.com.


Home Business Radio Network

Founded by Doug Firebaugh and
Paul Saunders (2012)

The Home Business Radio Network is a 24/7 Internet radio network featuring compelling content and noteworthy news for home-based entrepreneurs. Its shows cover topics such as social media, network marketing, internet marketing, home parties, recruiting, prospecting, team building, selling, traditional marketing, leadership, and more.

Popular show hosts have included Tom Chenault, Troy Dooly, Todd Falcone, John Fogg, Dr. Josephine and Chris Gross, Ray Higdon, Diane Hochman, Julie Ann Jones, Nicki Keohohou, Tracy Monteforte, and Zig Ziglar, to name just a few. Recent interviewees have included Dr. Tony Alessandra, Richard Brooke, Bob Burg, Randy Gage, Art Jonak, Sonia Stringer, Chris Widener, and many other home business superstars.

HBRN was founded by Doug Firebaugh, a widely regarded generic trainer and Networking University faculty member, and Paul Saunders, who has over three decades of radio experience, including fourteen years with the BBC in London.

"We thought it was time for network marketing to have its own 24/7 Internet radio broadcasting network," says Paul. "We developed the exclusive software so that everything would be fully automated, and launched the network in January 2012. Today, six months later, we have tens of thousands of listeners in dozens of countries. HBRN truly is a game changer for the profession and is becoming the broadcasting voice of home business."


Money, Meaning, Making a Difference
How Women Are Creating Fortunes and Changing the Planet Through Network Marketing and Direct Sales

By Sonia Stringer (2012)

In this ten-CD audio program, Sonia Stringer interviews ten successful women in network marketing and direct sales about business success, family life, personal fulfillment, and contribution. In her highly personal and pleasantly conversational style, Sonia asks her subjects pointed questions about why and how they got started in the business, what specific challenges they had to overcome, and what they have learned in the process. Their answers reveal:

  • Why they left successful careers in traditional business or education to start their own network marketing businesses;

  • How they have thrown out the old-school sales approaches and embraced their authenticity and femininity to rocket to the top;

  • How they kept their sanity while juggling kids, family, and very full schedules to emerge as rising stars in their companies—sometimes in only a couple of years;

  • How they are now role models for women everywhere, showing how you can make a great income, do meaningful work, and make a difference for many others in the process.

Featured are Onyx Coale, Kimmy Everett, Janine Finney, Dr. Josephine Gross, Leah Wagner Leonard, Lori Muirhead, Romi Neustadt, Sarah Robbins, Hilde Rismyhr Sæle, Jodi Whittemore, and Sarah Zolecki.


A Month of Italy
Rediscovering the Art of Vacation

By Chris Brady (2012)
Reviewed by Chris Gross

A hero's journey begins with a call to adventure. Many of us spend more time planning our vacation than we do the course of our lives. What if we combined these two well-known perspectives into a single mission? This is precisely what Chris Brady accomplishes in his slightly off-beat and off-the-beaten-path travelogue, A Month of Italy.

Expect an art history lesson and fits of laughter bringing tears to your eyes. Expect to learn all about teaching children and to be delighted with the word pictures Brady paints so eloquently. And when you stop reading, expect to yearn for the next moment when you can return and continue your vacation in Italy right from your favorite reading chair.

Legendary speaking coach Bill Gove was fond of saying, "Make a point, tell a story." Chris Brady captured the essence of this mandate flawlessly. Each chapter ends by summarizing the pearls of wisdom distilled from the previous pages. Guaranteed, there will be transformation, and a new way of seeing everyday life.

We humans learn both from our own experiences and vicariously, via the experiences of others. Often we can save a ton of wear and tear through the latter. In A Month of Italy, Brady shares his powerful insights and leadership lessons through the engaging and delightful format of a well-told story.


The Four-Year Career
How to Make Your Dreams of Fun and Financial Freedom Come True—or Not...

By Richard Bliss Brooke (2012)

For those of us who are visual learners, The Four-Year Career CD now has a reading companion, complete with pictures, graphs, and other helpful visuals. This newly revised, sixty-five-page booklet is an excellent belief- and knowledge-building guide for anyone considering network marketing. Here's what you will find in this convincing, easy-to-understand recruiting tool:

  • A brief discussion of the economic uncertainty many are facing, and the challenges posed by commonly considered traditional approaches to building financial security;

  • A revealing explanation of the myths and realities of network marketing;

  • Statistics and third-party endorsements that reinforce the power of network marketing as a wealth-building vehicle;

  • Profiles of contemporary network marketing millionaires, including their tips for success.

Combining facts and stories, this short read is the perfect tool to leave in the hands of prospects with whom you've bonded over a cup of tea or whose curiosity you've piqued. Study this book to become a better presenter of the business, then use it as a prospecting tool whenever you can.


The Barefoot Executive
The Ultimate Guide for Being Your Own Boss and Achieving Financial Freedom

By Carrie Wilkerson (2012)

Want to start your workday with email and coffee on the back patio? Want the flexibility of joining your fourth grader on an all-day field trip? Are you ready to take that vacation you've been planning for years? Then you have a choice to make, and The Barefoot Executive will help jump-start your transition. You'll learn:

  • Your why, the most important question;
  • Why do you want to work for yourself?
  • What type of business best suits your experience and talents;
  • How to stay focused on your goal and avoid distractions;
  • Where to find the support that will accelerate your success;
  • How to link your business to the right market.
Carrie Wilkerson's guidance is practical. No philosophical silliness, no theoretical abstractions, just concrete action steps alongside insights from fellow entrepreneurs, interactive exercises, and links to Carrie's online video coaching segments. Discover what you already have to offer, whether it's talents, a product, or a service. Learn how to use it to your advantage, and where to find the people who are eager to buy it. The Barefoot Executive will pull you over the hurdle of uncertainty and get you moving, planning, and doing.


Bringing Out the Best in People
How to Enjoy Helping Others Excel

By Alan Loy McGinnis (1985)

Published more than twenty-five years ago, this book is still one of the best guides available for teaching people how to succeed.

Alan Loy McGinnis studied the great leaders throughout history, the most effective organizations, and many prominent psychologists to discover their motivational secrets, then distilled twelve basic principles all good motivators use. He illustrates the principles with stories and anecdotes about Saint Paul, Beethoven, Napoleon, Einstein, Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Lee Iacocca, and many others to show how you can put the twelve principles to work in your family or organization.

"Motivators are not born; they are made," says McGinnis, arguing that the predisposition for being an effective motivator already exists in most of us.

"If you listen to people long enough," he says, "they will tell you what motivates them."

He talks about encouragement and creating the proper environment for growth in an organization. This includes leaving room for failure, because as risks are taken, sometimes failure will result, which is temporary.

This book will help you hone your leadership and interpersonal communication skills. The last chapter, titled "Why Helping People Grow Can Become Life's Greatest Joy," may give you a new appreciation for your work as a parent, teacher, or leader of people.