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.

Creativity, Inc.
Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration

By Ed Catmull, with Amy Wallace (2014)
Recommended by Garrett & Sylvia McGrath

As a young man, Ed Catmull had a dream: to make the first computer-animated movie. He nurtured that dream as a Ph.D. student at the University of Utah, where many computer science pioneers got their start, and then forged a partnership with George Lucas that led, indirectly, to his founding Pixar with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter in 1986. Nine years later, Toy Story was released, changing animation forever. The essential ingredient in that movie’s success—and in the thirteen movies that followed—was the unique environment that Catmull and his colleagues built, based on philosophies that protect the creative process and defy convention, such as:

  • Give a good idea to a mediocre team, and they will screw it up. But give a mediocre idea to a great team, and they will either fix it or come up with something better.
  • It’s not the leader’s job to prevent risks. It’s the leader’s job to make it safe for others to take them.
  • The cost of preventing errors is often far greater than the cost of fixing them.
  • A company’s communication structure should not mirror its organizational structure. Everybody should be able to talk to anybody.
  • Do not assume that general agreement will lead to change; it takes substantial energy to move a group, even when all are on board.
  • Creativity, Inc. will inspire creative leaders, as well as anyone who wants to work in an environment that fosters creativity and problem solving.

“Anyone who leads a team and wants to expand their leadership skills will benefit greatly from the insights in this book. We agree with Forbes magazine, This may just be the best business book ever written.
“Our favorite quote from the book: Failure is a manifestation of learning and exploration. If you aren’t experiencing failure, then you are making a far worse mistake: You are being driven by the desire to avoid it. And, for leaders especially, this strategy—trying to avoid failure by out-thinking it—dooms you to fail.”

—Garrett & Sylvia McGrath

How to Take No for an Answer and Still Succeed
Turn Everyday Rejections into Profit and Abundance

By Tom Justin (2003)

Getting rejected is easy; overcoming the fear of more rejection, not so much. If you are shy or fear what others may think, you’re not alone—and this book is for you.

The fear of rejection and failure has defeated more people than all the armies of the world. Undiscovered inventions, great writing never written or shown, future million dollar sales leaders who never make a dime, and creative geniuses have drifted away through lives of mediocrity.

Who’s afraid of rejection? You might be surprised to discover some of your favorite entertainment stars are terrified of it. So are top sales people, high level executives, famous writers, many of whom are also terrified of rejection and failure. 

Tom Justin has coached many such people, both before and after their triumphs. In the process, he discovered that the winners in life are usually those who have accumulated the most no’s. Salespeople, actors, and writers know rejection well. Reaction to rejection for them is a learning tool as well as barometer of passion.

The mere realization of this common fear can actually propel some people to begin to overcome these fears immediately. This book shows the reader through technique and inspiration how to rise above mediocre circumstances to levels of personal power not realized before.

“If rejection is like a disease, creeping up, then overcoming us and stopping us cold, then Tom Justin’s book is the perfect vaccine for every kind of rejection life can throw at us.”
—Jack Canfield

Hanging Out for a Living
A Formula for Building a Relationship-Based Business as Taught by an Ancient Master
By Mark Herdering (2014)
Recommended by Jordan Adler

Tyler Cirella is having a bad day. This morning his wife, Karen, threatened to leave him for foolishly investing in, yet another, network marketing business opportunity. His boss gave him notice that he has thirty days to turn his sales numbers around, or he’s out of a job. The crippling migraine headaches that have plagued him for over two years are getting worse. And, on top of his crushing financial troubles, he’s found himself on the hook for a Moroccan teapot that he accidently damaged at a local teashop.

In a quiet moment of desperation Tyler reminisces about a happier time in his life—his high school days, when his after school pastime was hanging out with his friends.

“I wish there was a way to make money by hanging out… I wish I could hang out for a living,” he says to himself—or so he thinks. In that moment Tyler encounters a most unlikely mentor, Oscar, a rotund, twenty-five-hundred-year-old Babylonian who resides in the teapot.

Oscar offers to teach Tyler how to hang out for a living using a simple formula for building financially productive business relationships, provided he follows a key precept: that it’s only possible to hang out for a living by doing so in service to others.

So begins Hanging Out for a Living, an utterly unique and captivating business novel of spiritual adventure that has captured the imaginations of novice entrepreneurs and seasoned business professionals alike.

A welder and metal-fitter by trade, Mark Herdering found himself in a mid-life career transition after the collapse of the Southern California aerospace industry and struggled for years to make a living in traditional sales. Given the option of being fired or hitting a sales goal of $150,000 within 30 days, Mark tried a unique approach which not only resulted in reaching that sales goal but becoming one of the top producers in his company.

Two years later Mark left that job and joined a startup network marketing company, and in less than three years his business was generating over $1,000,000 in annual revenue—all by referral. Today Mark speaks across the country, educating business owners about how to generate referral-based business.

Back to top