Larry Sharpe’s 5 Top Inspirational Books

Yesterday we brought you Larry Sharpe, Managing Director of the Neo-Sage Group. He may no longer be in the marines, but the attitudes and principles he learned have stuck with him. (If you missed Larry, go back and listen here.)

But, no man is an island – military personnel included. Larry Sharpe’s favorite resources all deal with finding the creative, counter-intuitive ways of thinking in business – whether it’s learning about the incentives that really motivate people or drilling to the heart of a company’s purpose.

1. Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman

All good communication starts with EQ. People can’t expect to make progress within a team if they don’t know how each member thinks, feels, and reacts. Goleman’s book redefines what it means to be smart, especially when a lot is on the line.


Brooke Wise’s 3 Top Sources of Inspiration

Yesterday we brought you Brooke Wise, the Founder of Wise Matchmaking. Brooke explained the difficulties in keeping personal matters out of professional ones, and vice versa. (If you missed Brooke, go back and listen here.)

The best leaders know they can’t do it alone. They need someone or something to turn to, and Brooke Wise chooses three people who don’t quite think like the rest of us. Brooke says she often gets a curious response when she tells people her business: These figures understand the beauty of doing what’s uncommon.

1) Welch Management Institute

Jack Welch needs no introduction. Keeping his legacy alive is the Welch Management Institute, which preaches some core ideas about winning and maintaining excellence in everything you do. It’s something I constantly try to bring to my company and clients.


STP018: The Matchmaker’s Balancing Act with Brooke Wise

Matchmaker Brooke Wise relays the challenges she faces with keeping her personal life and professional life separate. The first step, she says, was not taking it personally when people’s first reaction to her career was: “Really?” She discusses this topic and more on this episode of “Smashing the Plateau.”



Alex Vachon’s 6 Top Sources of Inspiration

Yesterday we brought you Alex Vachon, the Founder of Cartouche Creations. Alex talked about client retention, getting unstuck, and how to overcome rejection. (If you missed Alex, go back and listen here.)

Sometimes the resources the best leaders find aren’t quite on the nose of their business. Alex Vachon describes his favorites, which range from Stanley Kubrick films to avant-garde and the weird world of Seth Godin.

1) Ask and It Is Given: Learning to Manifest Your Desires

I love this book because it does a great job of explaining the laws of attraction and the fact our world is mostly inclusive, not exclusive. People aren’t so scary, after all.


Fi Haywood’s 4 Top Self-Help And Business Books

Yesterday we brought you Fi Haywood, who leads Training and Development at Café Style Speed Training. Fi discussed the value of building a strong team through open workplace culture. (If you missed Fi, go back and listen here.)

It’s no secret the most successful people are always learning, about their businesses and about themselves. Fi Haywood’s favorite resources reveal how some of the most crucial qualities are also the most timeless.

1) How to Stop Worrying and Start Living

Dale Carnegie always has tricks up his sleeve. I turn to How to Stop Worrying whenever I need a reminder that most of the things I think are big problems actually aren’t. Business, like life, demands you have a thick skin.


STP016: Creating a Culture of Openness with Fi Haywood

Fi Haywood, who co-founded Café Style Speed Training, explains the principles that underlie her signature “Café Style” method in this episode of “Smashing the Plateau.” She discusses collaboration, creativity, and why workplace culture could be what makes or breaks your company.



Keith Arem’s 5 Top Sources of Inspiration

Yesterday we brought you Keith Arem, video game developer and media expert at PCB Productions, who discussed why companies need to match their product with their audience. (If you missed Keith, go back and listen here.)

It’s no secret the most successful people get help, and Keith is no exception. He explains how he looks to innovators like Steve Jobs and music mavens like Dennis Sutton to inject some flair and creativity into the serious world of business.

1) Steve Jobs

To me, Steve Jobs is a shining example of how leaders can blend their creative passion with business savvy. He never stopped hustling, and his commitment to perfection showed in Apple’s simple, yet elegant products.

In my own career, I try to match the creative components to the needs of my audience as best I can – not always to the extremes Steve Jobs did, but I like to use him as barometer.


STP015: Finding Your Platform For Creativity and Business with Keith Arem

Keith Arem has had a remarkably successfully career in almost every branch of the entertainment business. He is probably best known for his pivotal role in creating video games like Call of Duty. On “Smashing the Plateau,” Keith discusses the elements that make a creatively minded businessperson most likely to succeed.