Everyone knows, leaders are readers and learners are earners. 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 resources 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.

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The Icarus Deception
How High Will You Fly?
By Seth Godin (2012)

In this inspiring book, Seth Godin challenges readers to find the courage to treat their work as a form of art.

According to the myth, Icarus’s father Daedalus made him wings out of feathers and wax, and told him not to fly too close to the sun, lest the heat melt the wax. Ignoring that warning, Icarus plunged to his doom.

Godin points out that this myth, and many others like it, has been passed on for generations to drive home the message of playing it safe. It was the perfect propaganda for the industrial economy that depended on employees’ obedience and conformity.

But there’s another part to the Icarus myth that was conveniently forgotten. Icarus was also warned not to fly too low, because sea water would ruin the lift in his wings. Flying too low is even more dangerous than flying too high, because it feels deceptively safe.

“The safety zone has moved,” says Godin. “The propaganda has been exposed and the old promises have been broken.” The good news is, creativity is more valuable than ever, as is choosing to do something unpredictable and brave: make art.

Being an artist is an attitude we can all adopt, says Godin. It’s a hunger to seize new ground, create connections, and work without a map. Being an entrepreneur definitely falls within that definition.

This book will inspire you to build your business more wholeheartedly, investing not only your sweat but also your soul. According to Godin, this is the secret to success in the connection economy.

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LeaderShift
A Call for Americans to Finally Stand Up and Lead
By Orrin Woodward and Oliver DeMille (2013)

In this provocative business parable, Orrin Woodward and Oliver DeMille use a fictional story to expose why they think America is losing its leadership edge and what we can do to turn things around.

“Politicians just aren’t going to fix our problems,” says DeMille. “If things are going to get fixed, the leadership will almost certainly come from business. And network marketing businesses are among the most important sources of building leaders in our current society.”

According to Woodward and DeMille, a leadershift is coming: “Every once in a while in history, a leadershift occurs. It usually comes unexpectedly, and it transforms the world for at least a generation.”

One example of a past leadershift, say Woodward and DeMille, is the transition from kings and chiefs as society’s top leaders to community fathers, such as doctors, lawyers, and town merchants.

The authors argue that we are today in the early stages of another great transition, this time from politicians pulling the strings to business leaders standing up and applying their success principles to lead society.

In its nonpartisan, across-the-board social critique, LeaderShift argues that political parties are at the center of the problem; that what is needed to get our nation back on track is for business leaders to start making a bigger difference