Tag Archives: dave mckeown

Books of January

In the past, I posted book reviews on Mondays, but I think I might do something different this year.  I realized that there was pressure to post, at least for me, during the months I didn’t have as much reading time or I was in a reading slump.  For now, I’m just going to give a brief overview of the books I read in January.  I did pretty good for January, finishing five books.

The Self-Evolved Leader by Dave McKeown – This was given to me to review by the author.  I’m not sure why I was chosen since I don’t actually lead a team in this season of life, but I still managed to have a few takeaways to incorporate in my own life, particularly the interpersonal relationships.  It was a solid four stars for me.

The Stationary Shop by Marjan Kamali – Read this for book club.  Gave some Romeo and Juliet vibes, but is much more of a story than just that trope.  Set in Iran, mostly in the 1950s, but also some present-day scenes and everything in between.  Roya is a teenager in 1953 and falls in love with a political activist, Bahman.  They get engaged, but then he disappears with no real explanation.  She moves to the states and marries, which is revealed in the first chapter so no spoilers.  It covers so many topics, but specifically it touches on pregnancy and infant loss and mental health surrounding loss. 

When God Made the World by Matthew Paul Turner– This book came out on January 27th,  but I got to be part of the launch team which was super fun.  He is, hands down, my favorite children’s book author, and the artists he gets to illustrate his books are phenomenal.  This book is all about creation and seeing it as part of God’s divine story.

The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands by Lysa Terkeurst – Changed my life.  I had come to grips with being a people pleaser at the end of last year, and I knew I wanted to listen to God more than others in the decisions I make in life.  But I had no real way to do that.  Enter this book.  It gives you permission to listen to God without the fear of looking selfish.  It made me see the choices I make in an entirely new light, and this will be a bedside re-read for many years to come, maybe at the beginning of each year but especially making any decisions!

The Toll by Neal Shusterman –  This was my only four-star read.  I really liked the trilogy, but I felt like the end wasn’t as strong as the rest of it, even though I got the special edition from Barnes and Noble that included notes on each chapter.  That really helped me understand just how much of the end was decided at the beginning.  I don’t think I can really get into the issues I had without spoiling it, but there were some characters that I really loved that seemed to just end abruptly (not necessarily died, just didn’t really finish).  Still, it was a good read.  I liked the approaches to power and death and grief that the entire story addressed.

What books did you read and enjoy in January?

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The Self-Evolved Leader: A Review

The Self-Evolved Leader: Elevate Your Focus and Develop Your People In a World That Refuses to Slow Down

The Self-Evolved Leader: Elevate Your Focus and Develop Your People In a World That Refuses to Slow Down by Dave McKeown

I was given this book to review by the publisher. To be completely honest, I don’t think I’m the target audience for this book since I am not presently in a leadership position. However, I still got some great takeaways from the book, and I think it would really be beneficial for my friends and family who are in leadership roles. This will definitely be a book that I recommend!

One of the great points that McKeown makes in this book is about how leadership is not an inherent skill, a “soft” skill, that it can be developed like any kind of skill that requires practice and training. And this book reads like a workout regimen to develop or hone leadership skills.

Each chapter builds on the next one. He describes the benefits, the why, of each step, acknowledges the obstacles, and gives points of action before moving on to the next step. Each chapter includes a summary, things to try, and a link to a video summary of the chapter which is helpful to further understand the process. Toward the end of the book is a workbook that engages the reader to spend 15 weeks developing, step by step, everything learned in the book.

It talks about putting habits and rituals into your own life that help you remain engaged in a healthy way. And even though I don’t lead a team, I definitely learned a few things on how to strengthen interpersonal relationships and my own individual development.

But it wasn’t just about the individual. It was about how to develop a team-thinking mentality, how to create an environment that encourages accountability, provides direction and helps teammates see each other as people to uplift and support.

Honestly, it made me want to start a team. It was inspiring and motivating and engaging. So no matter how long you have been leading a team, this book is a great resource, something that can be used over and over again. The book will be released on January 28, but pre-order is open now at the link above!

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