Podcasts and books recommended by Deseri GarciaListening to podcasts and reading books that inspire and help me grow are among my favorite things to do. And as the winter months creep closer, I anticipate having more down time to check even more titles off the ever-expanding list I keep on my phone. 

That’s why, as we say goodbye to October, I wanted to share some of my favorites with you now. If you’re looking to be a stronger leader, or just want to learn, grow, and explore new topics from different perspectives, here are some awesome titles that I suggest adding to your fall and winter list. 

And for clarification, I am a huge fan of all the podcasts below, and the book list includes those I’ve read, plus a few that are next in line. I hope you’ll take a look, and in return, take a minute to suggest your own favorite titles in the comment section below. So, what do you say? Let’s grow our lists together. 


7 Inspiring and Very Cool Podcasts


1.  John Maxwell Leadership Podcast – This podcast explores what it means to be a transformational leader, “someone who daily influences people to think, speak, and act to make a positive difference in their lives and in the lives of others.” He explores the principles, practices, and process of becoming a transformational leader and offers free tools to help along the way.

2.  Brené Brown Unlocking Us and Dare to Lead Podcasts – Both of these podcasts are hugely popular and rightly so. Unlocking Us includes “conversations that unlock the deeply human part of who we are, so that we can live, love, parent, and lead with more courage and heart.” And Dare to Lead features “conversations with change-catalysts, culture-shifters and more than a few troublemakers who are innovating, creating, and daring to lead.” 

3.  Lewis Howes School of Greatness – These are top-ranked business and self-development podcasts. Episodes range from interviews with world-class game changers in entrepreneurship, health, mindset, and relationships, to solo rounds with the host

4.  At the Table with Patrick Lencioni (author of 5 Dysfunctions of a Team) – Episodes feature experts in leadership and business, and tackle topics related to everything from work and culture, to family and building world-class organizations.

 5.  Freakonomics RadioStephen J. Dubner, co-author of the Freakonomics books, helps you discover “… the hidden side of everything. You’ll find out fascinating things “… you always thought you knew (but didn’t) and things you never thought you wanted to know (but do) — from the economics of sleep to how to become great at just about anything.”

6.   We Can Do Hard Things with Glennon Doyle – Glennon and her sister Amanda have honest conversations about “the hard.” They explore what we can all relate to – doing challenging and difficult things in life, and then help listeners deal so “… we can all live a little bit lighter and braver, more free and less alone.”

7.   Gut + Science – Its mission is to improve employee engagement by inspiring and equipping leaders to help employees thrive at work. The show features people-first executives who share their experiences and tools that have helped them succeed. It’s  named Gut + Science because “… leaders need both data and experiences to guide decision making.”


8 Awesome and Thought-Provoking Books


1.  Thank and Grow Rich, by Pam Grout – This book literally comes with a disclaimer: “It’s not for everyone—just those who want to have more fun, more adventures, and more magic in their life.” Readers are invited by the author, who calls herself the Warren Buffet of Happiness, to “get on the frequency of joy and gratitude.” 

2.  The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World, by Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu – This book is a result of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu spending a week together, and looking back on their lives to answer the question: How do we find joy in the face of life’s inevitable suffering? This book offers readers the opportunity to experience their time together in its entirety.

3.  The Thin Book of Trust: An Essential Primer for Building Trust at Work, by Charles Feltman – This author ​​teaches how to build and maintain strong trusting relationships with others, and repair trust when it is broken by being intentional and consistent in your language and actions. 

4.  The Work of Leaders: How Vision, Alignment, and Execution Will Change the Way You Lead, by Julie Straw, Barry Davis, Mark Scullard, and Bernard W. Franklin – The authors  show readers how to “create a thriving organization by setting a vision and then collaborating with your people to guide your company to success. It is the strategic tool you need to move your business forward, with imaginative writing and a practical approach you can use right away.”

5.  The Alter Ego Effect: The Power of Secret Identities to Transform Your Life, by Todd Herman – An award-winning performance expert reveals the secret behind many top athletes and executives: creating a heroic alter ego to activate when the chips are down. “There’s only one person in the way of you untapping your capabilities: You. There’s also one person who can move you out of the way so you can perform at your peak. That person is already inside you.” 

6.  Atomic Habits, by James Clear – This book explores atomic habits, which are regular practices or routines that are small and easy, and the source of incredible power; a component of the system of compound growth. “Bad habits repeat themselves again and again not because you don’t want to change, but because you have the wrong system for change.”

7.  The Hard Thing About Hard Things, by Ben HorowitzThe author shares his experience in managing startups and companies through both good and hard times. The book contains tips on how to manage employees, build relationships, and how to work as an effective CEO. A great read with many valuable lessons.

8.  Think Small, by Owain Service and Rory GallagherReaders learn how to set, plan, execute, and stick to your goals using behavioral insights. It’s “a simple and accessible plan for success, based on seven scientifically tested steps that really work.”


Team building experiences


Feature Image by Aaron Burden on Unsplash


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