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Book Review: 'Executive Toughness'

This week's blog is a review of a book titled Executive Toughness: The Mental-Training Program to Increase Your Leadership Performance by Dr. Jason Selk and published by McGraw Hill. 

When it comes to reading, I like to switch between business books focused on some aspect of my profession and then another book for personal enjoyment. Why did this book catch my eye? After writing four books myself, I found Executive Toughness to be a terrific read that can reveal to new managers or experienced business leaders something new to improve upon.

As each page flew by, I found myself underlining sentences, circling ideas and folding over pages as concepts and tools were introduced. Selk introduces each new idea with a story of a person that defines his message, nicely personalizing the concepts in ways the reader could relate to. And at the conclusion of each section, he included tools so the reader could begin to build their own personal "training" program. This allowed the reader not only to read and understand the topic, but to put the information into their personalized action plan!

(As an aside, Selk's conversations and stories with famed coach John Madden were terrific.)

The topics of the book that I particularly enjoyed were those on accountability (readers of this blog know my feelings on accountability, discipline and control), self-evaluation, improving execution and consistency (in my sales leadership workshops, I frequently state that execution is the key element in high-performance sales organizations), mental work (this section pays for the book!), and optimism.

And to make the book even better, the last 12 pages gives you a handbook to move forward with your personalized program. 

Selk hits a key point: You must be personally in balance, know what you want and take action to achieve high performance. Buy the book, read it and take action -- you will be a better person because of it.

Posted by Ken Thoreson on February 14, 2012


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