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.

BOOK/E-BOOK/ONLINE PROGRAM

SHARP
Simple Strategies to Boost Your Brainpower

By Heidi Hanna, Ph.D. (2011)
Reviewed by Hilde Rismyhr Sæle


I've read many books on how to exercise and feed my body, but few on how to treat my most valuable asset—my brain. In this exceptional book, Dr. Heidi Hanna explains that brain fitness is in many ways similar to physical fitness, and that cognitive exercises for the brain are as important as aerobic activity is for the body. To stay sharp, as the book's title suggests, you need to know how to exercise your "mental muscles."

In fact, says the author, for your brain to function optimally, you need the right balance of nutrition, movement, recovery, sleep, and social connections.

We all know that when it comes to physical fitness, non-stop exercise isn't the best approach. To be strong, coordinated, and healthy, rest and recovery are just as essential. The same is true for mental fitness: it is critical to understand and practice conscious oscillation between exercise and rest. What's more, as with a physical workout, strength, flexibility, and endurance are equally important when you train your brain. It is not about training harder, but training smarter.

In SHARP, Dr. Hanna provides scientific evidence that we can boost our brainpower by implementing a balanced mental fitness program. Easy to read, it includes tests and practical exercises you can include in your busy day.

If you want to learn how to use your brain optimally, here you have the recipe. I strongly recommend it!

BOOK/AUDIO PROGRAM

Small Message, Big Impact
The Elevator Speech Effect

By Terri Sjodin (2012)


In this new book, communication expert Terri Sjodin shows how to tailor your message in a meaningful and persuasive way to help maximize opportunities, grow your personal brand, raise your platform, and take everything you do to the next level.

If you're looking to land a big opportunity, says Sjodin, don't use big sentences. The best way to get there is with a small but well-crafted message that will open doors, unlock possibilities, and get the snowball rolling.

In this book you will learn:
  • How to build a compelling and persuasive case using six of the most consistently effective arguments in today's market;
  • How to morph your elevator speech content and employ your best material in a variety of presentation opportunities, including social media platforms;
  • How to avoid data dump by making your presentation more persuasive than informative;
  • How to separate yourself from the crowd by speaking in your own authentic voice.

This practical and entertaining guide includes outlines to help you craft your next talk, worksheets, a complete sample elevator speech, evaluation forms, and much more. It will boost your ability to connect with others quickly, whether in one-on-one meetings or in front of hundreds of people.

BOOK/E-BOOK/PROSPECTING TOOL

Plan C
A Proven Path to Financial Freedom

By Glenn Head (2012)
Reviewed by Tom Chenault


Having been a network marketer for more than twenty years, I am always searching for the perfect tool to explain exactly what it is I do. Glenn Head has created that tool in Plan C, offering a simple yet detailed description of the profession—not only what it is but also how to be successful in it.

I give Plan C to my new business partners the minute they enroll. In fact, I have my own customized version of the book to use with my team and prospective partners—and so can you. It includes a foreword I've written specifically to meet my objectives, which is to establish myself as a leader in the profession who has assembled a great team.   

In this short and easy read, Head succinctly explains what network marketing is, and also what it isn't. For me, it's important to make this distinction so that people don't get started with the wrong expectations. Plan C also includes rock-solid statistics; any doubters who read it instantly lose their inclination and ability to argue. The appendix is a reference tool I use daily in my business.

I recommend Plan C for prospects and aspiring network marketing professionals alike as a powerful call to action.

FEATURED CLASSIC

BOOK

The New Professionals
The Rise of Network Marketing As the Next Major Profession

By Charles W. King and James W. Robinson (2000)
Reviewed by Mark Yarnell


This book belongs in the library of every serious entrepreneur. Better yet, it belongs on our desks where we can read it on a regular basis and treasure Dr. King's wisdom and foresight.

It would have been easy for a Harvard Ph.D. to ignore network marketing and pursue other commonly accepted business models. Instead, Dr. King not only led the academic world into a more accepting posture, but he also coauthored, with James W. Robinson, this classic book on the topic—a book that served us well for well over a decade.

I have used Dr. King's remarkable research and analysis throughout my twenty-six-year career in network marketing. He stands alone as the academic giant who dared to proclaim the excellence of our marvelous profession to the world at a time when we desperately needed his credibility. Dr. King saw the leaders in network marketing as a wave of new professionals long before most of us even saw ourselves in that light. After all these years, I can truthfully say he is a courageous man who has made our business better.

If you want to know how to shut off your prospects' rejection really fast, do what I've done for over a decade: Pull out a copy of The New Professionals and tell them to debate the merits of network marketing with a Harvard Ph.D. and Professor of Marketing at the University of Illinois at Chicago!