Top 10 Book List 2020 (to read in 2021)

2020 Changed us. 

We learned to care.

We learned that we all deserve to be surrounded by people who care.

We learned that those who care the most always prove it with words and actions.

In 2020 we learned to TRUST. We learned to trust each other and most of all, we learned to trust ourselves.

2020 Changed things.

We think differently.

We see things differently.

We experience things differently.

Because of 2020 we are less materialistic.

Because of 2020 we are relationship oriented.

Because of 2020 we spend more time in nature.

Because of 2020 we are more focused on health and wellness.

Because of 2020 we all care more. 

We care about each other. We care about what we produce and consume. We care about truth and we care about growth.

The more we care, the more we do.

To truly care about someone it includes both emotional and the physical. Caring is when you are physically and emotionally invested. One without the other could be sympathy, or empathy, or even compassion. But to truly care we must emotionally connect and physically do. As we do, we show care. But we must do the right things, we must become the right person. That comes through personal growth.

One way to show you care is by growing. There are many ways to drive personal growth. None are better than doing. Reading though is a close second. As we read we can learn what to do, we can learn how to do it, and that then can help us get the courage to do.

As we read more, we will grow more, which helps us care more. 

Reading helps us fight distraction. Reading helps us prioritize our thoughts and focus on what is real and relevant. Some say to kill your TV, you don’t have to. Just one hour more reading a week can change your life.

Every year I say I am going to slow down. I say that I am not going to read 100 books. Every year my addiction takes over and I read over 100 books.

The best part though is at the end. Each year I reflect on what I have read and then think about the people I know and the people I am close to. Then I put together a list of the books I think everyone should read. These might not be the most popular, or even new, but they are always new to me. These are the books that impacted me and caused me to think in new ways. They helped me overcome problems, helped me help others, or helped do things better. These books have given me valuable insights, support, and ideas. Hopefully, they will help you too.

Last year’s list was pretty powerful. 2020’s might be better.

Here are the TOP 10 Books everyone should read in 2021:

  1. Your Stories Don’t Define You by Sarah Elkins
  2. The Art of Caring Leadership by Heather Younger
  3. Leading the Workforce of the Future by Brigette Hyacinth
  4. Who Not How By Dan Sullivan & Benjamin Hardy
  5. The Inspirational Leader by Gifford Thomas
  6. Together by Vivek Murthy
  7. The Man Who Solved the Market by Gregory Zuckerman
  8. The Vision Code by Oleg Konavalov
  9. The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks
  10. Mr. Monkey and Me by MIke Smerklo

Honorable Mention (should also be in the TOP 10) :

How The Best Leaders Grow Even Better Leaders

Some dreams don’t come true, at least not as initially dreamed.

While I wasn’t forced, it sure felt like it. I never wanted to be (dirty word coming…) a “salesperson”.

After graduating from college, I was accepted into the Teach For America Program and assigned to an East St. Louis High School. Due to family considerations, it didn’t work out and I took a sales job.

I was horrible. Working hard only gets you so far.

Eventually, I accepted my current fate and decided if I was going to be “in sales” for a while I might as well become the best I possibly can. So, I started to read. I read everything I could. I read over 50 sales books that the first year, and more than 350 sales books in total since. (most are garbage, by the way, don’t read them)

The biggest lesson I learned is that selling is just another form of leadership.

By and by I learned that true sales is only about helping others get what they want and need.

Thinking about others more than yourself.

I loved helping people, and while I still hate “sales”, I love selling. I love helping people, serving and leading. Books and conversations and daily practice are what got me to this breakthrough.

The second biggest lesson I learned is that in order to truly do something well, you have to have the knowledge and then take action. With the right knowledge and massive action, eventually the actions you take will turn into proper action and your impact will be meaningful.

The best leaders read the best books.

“Reading is still the main way that I both learn new things and test my understanding.” – Bill Gates

If he thinks reading is important, we probably should too.

The saying, “leaders are readers” is very true. I have never personally met a great leader who does not work hard to: 1st – understand their team, 2nd – serve them, and 3rd – read to expand their knowledge.

These are 6 books that have had a massive impact on me this year.  They are filled with powerful stories, unique ideas, and timeless wisdom. By contemplating deeply on what you read and then taking positive action you can become a better version of yourself – someone who leads others.

Here are 6 Powerful Books:

The Power of Positive LeadershipJon Gordon

The best leaders know how to practice empathy and encourage others. The best leaders inspire greatness. They lead with positivity.

This book is packed with breakthrough ideas, true principles and important methods for every leader to become better and help more people.

Your legacy is actually built by those who follow after you. Leaders must do more than be positive, they must get rid of the negative.

Questions Are The AnswerHal Gregersen

If you think you know all the answers, you have already lost. In order drive breakthroughs you need ask bigger questions, risk being wrong, and get used to discomfort.

The second and third questions, the deeper follow-up questions are where you find the answers that create innovation, build trust, and drive performance in others and yourself.

The better we become at asking questions, the more problems we can solve. The true benefit of questions is found when we become adept at asking them of ourselves.

Our personal identity and freedom come when we ask ourselves the most meaningful questions, and then keep on searching for more, not more answers, but more questions.

The Model ThinkerScott E. Page

The world is complex. There is so much data. The challenges we are called to solve are full of so many variables that there is never just one way to approach them. The way we view, categorize, and understand the variables in every situation is called a mental model.

The mental models we use enable us to make sense and simplify the complexity we face every day. No single model works in every situation. We need to have a better way to approach the challenges and obstacles we are working to overcome.

If you want to become better at solving problems, use all the data you can that is helpful and apply multiple models to the same situation to find numerous perspectives and more creative solutions.

RangeDavid Epstein

If you want the best chance for success make sure you gain lots of broad experiences. Delay your specialization until you are truly ready so you can acquire the many needed skills it takes to become great.

Do not worry about feeling left behind because you are not specialized

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. For most people, eventually, a wide range of skills will add up to be worth more then just one skill mastered early on.

The world’s most successful fail the most, quit the most, and cross career boundaries more often than most. That is why they accomplish more than most. To become great, make sure you are developing into a complete person with skills gained from experiences across multiple disciplines.

The Power of DecisionRaymond Charles Barker

If you want to change your life, read this book first. If you want to help others change their life, have them read this book after you read it.

Indecision creates fear. Fear enables long-term failure if not confronted with courage.

Mindset health is different than mental health, yet just as important. Your mindset is the foundation for all achievement. And becoming who you were meant to become. Without deciding what you want and how you will get it, you will never fulfill your potential.

How you think determines what you think, and what you think determines what you do, what you do determines your destiny. You have control, you have the ability, just decide.

#SalesTruthMike Weinberg

If you are in sales, you have to read this book. If you are not in sales, you should read this book.

The world turns on successful relationships of mutual benefit. Sales are how those relationships start (no matter the industry or role: non-profit, government, engineering, accounting, etc.). In sales, the simple truths also are the ones that work the best.

As you master the basics, you can create unlimited opportunities to help drive new sales. As you focus on doing what works, you can create better relationships built on shared goals.

The truth hurts, especially when you are not following it. This book will probably hurt, read it anyway.

In conclusion…

Read more so you can help more.

You are stronger than you realize. You are good enough. You do not need anyone’s permission to be great, you already are great. Let others see your greatness. Keep going. You can accomplish your heart’s desire if you help enough other people accomplish theirs.


P.S. — Want better relationships? Get this free guide now!

I’ve created a quick guide for mastering professional relationships, immediately. If you follow this one MAIN truth and actionable steps found inside, your whole life will improve, quickly.

Success Is More Than Just Reading A Few Books

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The quality of your life is determined by the consistency of your actions.

The trajectory is more important than the current position. Especially yours.

The best way to change who you are is to change what you do.

You ARE what you DO.

Your success is a result of your daily actions. You always get what you repeatedly do.

Nothing is more powerful than flexibility.

“All failure is failure to adapt, all success is successful adaptation.” – Max McKeown

Flexibility and adaptability allow for multiple scenarios of happiness. The best processes drive continual progress and do not focus on one end result but rather systematic growth and improvement.

When you adapt, you can create your future state and are never tied down to one set of results.

If you believe you will be successful, you will be.

“You have to believe. Otherwise, it will never happen.” – Neil Gaiman

This is how success is built: Belief turns into actions which produce results.

If success was a pyramid it would look like this:


Nothing is more important than your identity.

“Who you want to be is already inside of you waiting for you to confront who you are and tag them in to help you win the battle of the mind.” – Sanjo Jendayi

Identity determines everything.

Your identity is who you believe you are.

How do you identify? It is not about what you have done in the past, but who you are today, what you currently do.

This is how I identify:

  • Husband.
  • Father.
  • Teacher.
  • Advisor.
  • Athlete.
  • Sales pro.
  • Writer.
  • Reader.
  • Son.
  • Follower.
  • Leader.

How do you identify?

Your self-identity is your greatest strength and your most complete obstacle.

Your actions reinforce your identity.  ALWAYS.

The simple way to change who you are is to make a choice, commit to that choice and then prove that choice every single day.

Decide who you are – then prove it. You prove your identity to yourself every day.

You are stronger than you think you are. You are more than realize. You are whoever you decide to be.


P.S. –

Want better relationships? Get this free guide now!

I’ve created a quick guide for mastering professional relationships, immediately. If you follow this one MAIN truth and actionable steps found inside, your whole life will improve, quickly.

Also, connect with me!

— If you want to know what books to read that will help you start to change your life?

Start here: Read those, then decide who you are, then take action and the success will come.