Episode #192: Learning to Embrace Your Imperfection

With Finish author Jon Acuff

Today’s guest is another one of my favs, and is making his third appearance on the show. Only two other guests have enjoyed that many appearances (Liz Wiseman and Jeff Goins if you’re keeping score).

I’m talking about New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Jon Acuff.

jon acuff

Jon is a guy after my own heart. And if you suffer at all from perfectionist tendencies, you will very much appreciate what Jon has to say in today’s conversation AND in his new book

That book, my favorite of Jon’s so far, is called Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done.


“If you’re tired of being a chronic starter and want to become a consistent finisher,” Jon says, “you have two options: You can continue to beat yourself up and try harder, or you can give yourself the gift of done.”

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The Best Book I’ve Read This Year

The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks

If you’re anything like me, you enjoy reading business and personal growth-type books because you understand the value of lifelong learning. You’re dedicated to your personal and professional growth.

the big leap

I shudder to think that much of my 20s was spent spinning my wheels as I put a halt to learning.


I remember thinking when I left college, “Awesome. All the learning is done. So glad I don’t have to do that anymore!”

School basically succeeded in teaching me not to enjoy the process. So much so I couldn’t wait for it to be over.

Now? Well, you know the story. I read at least a book a week. Not because I have to, but because I enjoy it.

In fact, it was setting a goal of reading regularly that eventually lead to me launching Read to Lead. I was reading a book a week anyway. Why not share the process with everyone else? 🙂

What changed? What turned me into an avid reader?

Well, honestly, I just…started.

I began with one book (Seth Godin’s Purple Cow as I recall). That lead to my desire to go deeper (Jim Collins’ Good to Great came next). That was in 2003.

The podcast is a great way for me to share that journey, of course, but not every book I read ends up being featured on the show.

Often, I feature books that are new or nearly new. Sometimes, though, one of my favorites ends up being a book that’s been out for years but I’m just now discovering. That’s the case with a book that is probably in my top one or two reads of the year.

That book is The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level by Gay Hendricks. I have literally gifted this book to 10 people in the last week alone. It’s that good.

Maybe I’ll have Gay on the show soon. In the meantime, here are my main takeaways:

Gay labels the thing that holds most of us back from being all we’re meant to be as the Upper Limit Problem.

Our ULP is a single problem – a barrier we don’t know we have – that has placed a glass ceiling over our lives. This holds true for all of us, no matter how much success we may have already experienced.

And, once we’re able to identify it – and learn to solve it – we are “free to go beyond ordinary success to a new and extraordinary level of abundance, love, and creativity.

Put simply, Gay believes that all of us sabotage ourselves more often than not. We subconsciously believe we’re not worthy of some recent awesome thing we experienced or a success we enjoyed.

Whether it’s in business (say, a promotion), or in our personal lives (say, a relationship breakthrough), most of us will inadvertently put on the breaks because we’ve convinced ourselves we don’t deserve it.

“Each of has an inner thermostat setting that determines how much love, success, and creativity we allow ourselves to enjoy.”

Even those of us who are seen as successful are often only operating in what Gay calls our Zone of Excellence. Sounds great, right?

That is until you realize there’s another level, or zone, we have available to us if we’ll only allow ourselves to go there.

It’s our Zone of Genius.

That’s where I want to spend more of my time. Heck, I even started a mastermind group recently called the Zone of Genius Mastermind Group (so original, I know).

If you want to clear a path for achieving your true potential and attaining not only financial success but also success in love and life, then get this book!

NOTE: Thank you to Cliff Ravenscraft for recommending this book to me in a conversation while attending the Tribe Conference in September.

Episode #191: How to Lead with Gratitude

With Ambition author Seth Buechley

I first met today’s guest just about two months ago at a conference in my hometown of Nashville.

Little did I know that our lunch together would turn into an ongoing discussion that would lead to learning more about his amazing life, business, and book, a conversation that would eventually lead me to invite him to sit in the guest chair.

seth buechley

Seth will be the first to admit he’s made mistakes. He holds nothing back as many of them are front and center inside his book.

But he’s also been a super successful businessman, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He even helped one company grow to nearly 60 million dollars in revenue before selling it.

He now consults companies all over the US, helping leaders learn the lessons he’s gleaned over the years, many of them the hard way. At the center of it all is GRATITUDE, he says.

In fact, his book called is called Ambition: Leading with Gratitude. I think you’re going to love it.

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Episode #190: High-Stakes Leadership with Constance Dierickx

Leading through Crisis with Courage, Judgement, and Fortitude

Prior to interviewing her for this episode, I’d never interacted with Constance Dierickx before.

I learned during our time together that, not only is she a master of her craft, she’s also a hoot! That’s right. I don’t remember the last time I laughed during an interview as much as I did this one.

Constance Dierickx

I’ve no doubt Constance it quite jovial most of the time, but I wouldn’t be surprised if her humor and relaxed nature was aided by the view she enjoyed as we chatted (more on that inside the episode).

She’s also straightforward and direct. And in this interview, she shows us why successful leaders are those who are experts in their ability to lead effectively in times of dramatic change and great risk.

Her three-part model illuminates the need for Courage, Judgement, and Fortitude when making tough decisions, taking an unpopular stance, or ignoring convention.

Her latest is a book called High-Stakes Leadership: Leading Through Crisis with Courage, Judgement, and Fortitude.

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Episode #189: How to Monetize Your Expertise

With Entrepreneurial You author Dorie Clark

When you look at her body of work, there seem to be few things she hasn’t done. It’s one of the many things I like about her.

In addition to authoring what is now her third book, and the one we’ll dive into today, Dorie Clark has done something few have been brave enough to try. Taking the comedy stage on an open mic night.

dorie clark

Not only that, she’s credited with serving as executive producer on a multiple Grammy-winning jazz album and, oh yeah, is a former presidential campaign spokeswoman, and teaches at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Impressed yet? I’m just getting started actually.

You might also recall she’s been with us once before. That was to talk about her book Stand Out, a book that was named the number one Leadership Book of 2015 by Inc. magazine, one of the Top 10 Business Books of the Year by Forbes and was a Washington Post bestseller.

Her latest is a book called Entrepreneurial You: Monetize Your Expertise, Create Multiple Income Streams, and Thrive.

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