Clint Patterson's Blog


Read the thoughts and musings of a cultured redneck here

Recent Reads Review: 3 Leadership Books
Specify Alternate Text

Leadership BooksI’ve recently read 3 new books on leadership. One of these books was given to me as part of leadership training at work and the other two I ordered. I wish I could read more and am going to try to make an effort to read more frequently. 

Anyways it was good to read these books because they confirmed some concepts I believe in and naturally try to exercise, they shed light on new leadership traits I should probably try to implement, and best of all they made me think. So what am I talking about here… let’s look into it.

The books I read:

Training Camp by Jon GordonTraining Camp: What the Best Do Better Than Everyone Else

I saw someone retweet a tweet by a guy named Jon Gordon @JonGordon11. I liked the tweet and looked at his website and shortly thereafter I ordered this book “Training Camp” of his on Amazon.When I received the book I started reading it that day and also finished it in the same day. It is a good read, told in a story fashion, with short chapters that will keep you engaged the entire time. In the competitive world we live in everyone wants to know what the best do to separate themselves from the rest. 

The setting of the story in this book is with a football player trying to make it into the big leagues. As a former football player myself I really identified with the stories, struggles, emotions, and feelings of the story. In case you read the book I won’t ruin the story for you, but along the way of trying to make the team the player finds out all the things that the best do better than the rest. What some may be surprised with is that the recipe for success is not some magic formula, it’s more about doing the simple things well, consistently, and with great focus and pride.

If you are looking for a good read that will help you get a recipe for hopefully becoming better than the rest I would recommend this book. One thing I also admire about Jon Gordon is that he lets his faith shine through his in his writing. In one of the chapters he speaks about how the best draw from a higher power, in this case, the Lord. Jon’s spiritual beliefs tie into his recipe for greatness and it all makes sense. 

Memorable quote(s) from this book:

  • "Today’s world is no longer a sprint or a marathon. It’s a series of sprints combined with a boxing match. You’re not just running, you are getting hit along the way. You’re getting hit by life. You’re getting hit on the field. You’re getting hit by the critics and doubters and even at times by the people closest to you. And the best are able to respond and overcome all of this with mental and emotional toughness.”
  • “Average people shy away from their fears. They either ignore them or hide from them. However, the best seek them out and face them with the intent of conquering them.”
  • “You leave a legacy by living and working with a bigger purpose. You leave a legacy by making your life about more than just you. You leave a legacy by moving from success to significance.”
Some takeaways from this book:

  • The “best” are very clear in what they want to accomplish
  • The “best” focus and take great pride in the small, repetitive details
  • The “best” always seize the moment
  • The “best” leave a legacy

Buy Training Camp on Amazon

360 Degree Leader360 Degree Leader

We are reading this book as part of leadership training at work and this read is somewhat longer than the other two books mentioned in this review. Though, while it is longer it is jam packed with great insights on leadership for leaders in the middle of organizations. John C. Maxwell is a popular author and he’s been studying leadership for some time. Reading this book was like reading several books at once due to Maxwell’s thoroughness and how he cites and quotes other books. The author, John. C. Maxwell, is obviously well read, informed, and experienced on leadership. 

This book was awesome and made sense in all directions (leading up, across, and down) of the 360 degree leadership model. One thing I really liked is that the author does a great job of giving a real life example with nearly every point made in the book. The examples really drive the points home and makes the concepts easy to comprehend. 

As a leader in the middle of an organization I can identify with several concepts conveyed in this book. Another thing I liked was that not only did the author describe a leadership challenge, but he would also follow it up with proposed solution steps or ways to work through the challenges as well. This book provided tremendous insight into leading up, down, and across the spectrum of an organization. I may re-read this book in a few years… it’s got that much helpful info. 

If you are the top leader of your organization and you’re reading this there is a chapter for you as well. At the very end of the book there is a chapter directly speaking to top leaders that offers insight into how you can better manage organizations and leverage your 360 degree leaders. 

Memorable quote(s) from this book:
  • “People are like rubber bands, most useful when stretched”
  • “When it comes to trust, the only passing grade is 100%”
  • “Vision leaks. It needs to be communicated clearly, creatively, and continually”
  • “Everything rises and falls on leadership”
Some takeaways from this book:
  • There are quite different techniques & strategies for managing in each direction of the organization
  • Leadership is people centric so listen to, value, and develop your people
  • Leadership essentially is influence and building trust is critical to being able to influence
  • Managing and leading are 2 different things
  • Successful companies create environments that unleash 360 degree leaders

Buy 360 Degree Leader on Amazon


The Energy Bus by Jon GordonThe Energy Bus

After reading the Training Camp book by Jon Gordon I saw some other books that he wrote. It seemed there was a lot of positivity around his book “The Energy Bus” so I ordered in on Amazon as well. Following suit of the Training Camp book I found this to be a very engaging and easy read. I read it within one day as well! Jon Gordon’s writing style makes his books easy to follow because he’s telling a story and because the chapters are short so you feel like you’re making constant progress.

I liked this book and would recommend it as well. The concepts in this book all speak to going after your work with passion and, yes, energy! Being motivated and passionate about your work makes a big difference. The book also talks about getting the right people on your bus, not letting people drain the energy out of your team, leading with your heart, and loving your passengers. If you lead a team and you (or your team) needs an energy injection then you should give this book a read! Get on the bus! 

Memorable quotes from this book:
  • “Every crisis offers an opportunity to grow stronger and wiser; to reach deep within and discover a better you that will create a better outcome”
  • “Desire, vision, and focus help turn your bus in the right direction, but positive energy is necessary to take you where you want to go”
  • “Your positive energy and vision must be greater than anyone’s and everyone’s negativity. Your certainty must be greater than everyone’s doubt”
  • “Energy is the currency of personal and professional success today. If you don’t have it you can’t lead, inspire, or make a difference”
Some takeaways from this book:
  • Be passionate about anything you put your time into
  • Energy and enthusiasm affects culture and draws people
  • The way you perceive your job affects the energy you put into it which affects how well you perform

Buy The Energy Bus on Amazon

I hope this brief review has helped you out in some way. If you read any of these books I’d be interested to hear your take on them. Tweet to me @CBPSC and let me know your thoughts or post here in the comment section

Clint Patterson

I also blog on other sites...

And contribute to OSS Documentation...

See my pics on UnSplash