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.