STAFF PICK: Leadershift by John C. Maxwell

Title: Leadershift
Author: John C. Maxwell
Narrator: John C. Maxwell
Bonus Content Narrators: Rachel HollisTrent SheltonEd Bastian

This one is for all the leaders out there—that does not just entail anyone who runs a company or works in a management position. You may be a leader at home, or among your colleagues. This audiobook really spoke to me about being an effective leader and the strategies to adopt in order to enhance your organization or personal growth. After all, as John mentions, “Everything rises and falls on leadership”.

John C. Maxwell teaches his readers how to shift their leadership style to keep transforming, improving, and influencing others. He uses his own examples and personal stories from his own leadership journey and provides you with practical advice on how to shift your leadership style and how to implement these 11 steps in your daily life. Each step requires you to change your thought process and actions which will ultimately lead you to be successful in a fast-paced world that is constantly evolving. You need to be a role model before you can expect change from others. After all, positive behavior is contagious and people will want to follow in those footsteps once they see positive changes in your leadership style.

John narrates this audiobook himself which engages you with his strong, encouraging, and confident voice. His narrating style is speaking to you as a friend, giving you tips on how to improve your leadership skills. He is such a genuine person and it really comes across at the end of the chapters when he has a little giggle and even tells you at points how much he loves narrating his books. The bonus features from a conference with Rachel Hollis, Trent Shelton and Ed Bastian were a nice added touch to learn from some of his “students” he has teamed up with who he has mentored in one way or another.

John C. Maxwell is very passionate about sharing his knowledge about leadership and giving us the tools we need to be more successful in how we manage situations in a leadership role. He is such a great leader and really makes you want to learn from his wealth of knowledge on the topic.

I personally strive to be a better leader in a lot of aspects in my life, especially in a work environment. This book has just added so many more tools in my toolbox and I cannot wait to listen to more of his audiobooks. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is currently in a leadership role or to anyone who wants to become a leader in the future or at home. Do not forget, “Tomorrow is ours to win or lose” – John C. Maxwell. If you enjoyed this book, you will also want to check out his other books, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, No Limits, and Developing the Leader Within You 2.0.

Publisher Summary:

Internationally recognized leadership expert John C. Maxwell teaches listeners how to shift their leadership to keep innovating, improving, and influencing others in today’s fast-paced world. BONUS CONTENT: Hear #1 New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hollis, Delta Airlines CEO Ed Bastion, and motivational speaker and former NFL player Trent Shelton share their most significant “leadershifts” with John.

Change happens so rapidly today that leaders must be nimble and ready to adapt. Otherwise, they won’t survive. International leadership expert John Maxwell says, the key is to learn how to “leadershift.”

In Leadershift, John C. Maxwell helps listeners make leadership changes that will positively enhance their organizational and personal growth. He does this by sharing the 11 shifts he made over the course of his long and successful leadership career. Each shift changed his trajectory and set him up for new and exciting achievements, strengthening and sustaining his leadership abilities and making him the admired leadership expert he is today.

Among those leadershifts are “the Adaptive Shift from Plan A to Option A,” “the Production Shift from Ladder Climbing to Ladder Building,” and “the Influence Shift from Positional Authority to Moral Authority.” Maxwell gives specific guidance about how to make these shifts in their own lives. Each one requires them to change the way they think, act, and ultimately lead so they can be successful in a world that never remains the same.

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STAFF PICK: An Astronaut’s Guide to Life On Earth by Chris Hadfield

An Astronaut's Guide to Life On Earthy audio book by Chris Hadfield

Our Head of Acquisitions told me about An Astronaut’s Guide to Life On Earth when it was first released, and it went immediately onto my “To-Listen” list.

Right? Right. That can almost make me cry.

At times while listening to this book, I realized this was a risky choice: listening to Hadfield’s ridiculously jam-packed list of qualifications, successes, and admirable personality traits could have made me feel like an unremarkable schlub, if only they weren’t read with such humility. Regardless, I absolutely loved An Astronaut’s Guide to Life On Earth. The book is a memoir of the journey he took to go from a nine-year old aspiring astronaut (with an astounding sense of responsibility and discipline, I might add) to a commander of the International Space Station, and offers a lot of insight into space travel, agencies, and the whole space program, with all the right minutiae picked out to let us in on some of the little details, but keep it interesting and novel. There are also plenty of the requisite descriptions of inky black infinity to bring on the epic fuzzy feelings that are really the whole point of reading a book about space travel in the first place.

Chris Hadfield is diligent, competent, smart, humble, and utterly, utterly quotable. *Ahem* “Good leadership means leading the way, not hectoring other people to do things your way.” “Sweat the small stuff. Without letting anyone see you sweat.” “You can’t change the bricks, and together, you still have to build a wall.” I finished the book feeling like I knew a lot more about how to succeed if I ever somehow ended up in space, but also that I knew a lot more about how to succeed in life in general. I also felt like I really wanted to give Hadfield a hug.

As a narrator, Hadfield is wonderful. I’m a firm proponent of authors reading their own work (as long as they have the chops to pull it off) because they know the spirit of it better than anyone else. Generally, Hadfield comes off as a really nice guy, so listening to his narration felt like we were carpooling together and he was telling me stories about space mixed with some fatherly advice about how to achieve my own goals. The one negative thing I have to say is in regards to the audio quality itself: there’s a strange sort of muffled echo that makes it sound like it was recorded in a bathroom. (Initially I thought the weird quality might have been because it was recorded IN SPACE, through the in-helmet microphone or something, which would be totally forgivable and actually kind of awesome. I looked it up; it wasn’t.) That’s unusual coming from top-tier publishers like Random House (Canadian rights) and Hachette (American rights), but it won’t stop you from fully enjoying the audiobook.

If you want to learn more about what it’s like to be in space (and what it takes to get there), pick this up. You will not be disappointed.