Debi Bartel profile

What are you reading these days? Self-improvement books have been around for years, and of course we all know the tried and true masterpieces – How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, The Servant by James Hunter, anything by John Maxwell… you get the idea. 

I have a pile of books on my nightstand, and I alternate – a self-improvement book followed by a ‘fun’ book. That way, if I run into something a little too dry, I know I can keep going so I can get on to the newest John Grisham novel. Some of the books that I’ve read recently that have made an impact on my way of thinking are:

  • Finish by Jon Acuff – This book is just fun to read. He’s a comedian, so he can make just about anything interesting – but he does a great job of helping you to understand how to set real, attainable goals – and best, what to do when you don’t meet them! This book can be applied anywhere in life!
  • Atomic Habits by James Clear – Ok, I haven’t even started it as it’s sitting in my mailbox as I type, but I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews about this one!! I’ve also heard that you can’t just listen to it – you really need to either have a hard copy to highlight and make your own notes, or have a notebook handy so you can write down your thoughts as you’re listening! 
  • The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy – This book is about little changes, and how they can have such an incredible impact on anything you do. His focus is entrepreneurship, but these concepts can be used in any area of life you’re trying to improve. 
  • The Courage to Take Command by Jill Morgenthaler – Colonel Morgenthaler was one of the first female colonels in the U.S. Army. To read about her path, the obstacles, and what she learned from her time in the service is fascinating. It’s actually an easy read, with lots of great insight for leading a team – and yourself. 
  • Holy Cow by Tracy Butz – Tracy is originally from the Fox Valley but has moved out to Colorado and is pursuing a career as a professional speaker. This book is geared towards making your workplace amazing, using information gained from employee engagement surveys, and lots of great tips throughout! 

Here are a few more books that I'm looking forward to reading next!

  • Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day by Todd Henry
  • Power Thoughts: 12 Strategies to Win the Battle of the Mind by Joyce Meyer
  • Start With Why and Find Your Why by Simon Simek
  • Leaders Eat Last by Simon Simek
  • Time Warrior by Steve Chandler

I’m not a prolific reader, but I do have a lot of books that I want to get through and learn from! Here’s hoping these will add to your list, and to your growth as a leader! Do you have a great book you’d like to encourage me to read? Send them my way

Debi Bartel is the HR & Marketing Director at East Wisconsin Savings Bank, Kaukauna and currently serves on the WBA BOLT Board of Directors.