While delivering the keynote at AgencyCon in Breckenridge, Colorado, on The Agency Leader’s Journey: Diving Deeply Inward to Find Purpose, I reconnected with the female CEO of a digital agency. My content has been taking a new direction—you may have noticed as well—and it interested her beyond the topics of positioning and scalability that I had spoken about in previous years.
A successful agency isn’t defined the same way by all leaders. Is it good enough if the rest of our lives just don’t feel in alignment—and can we really deem anything successful if we’re unhappy, burnt out, anxious, or struggling in our personal lives and professional relationships?
She and I scheduled a time to talk more in depth about her situation, but she was eager to dip her toe in immediately and wondered where and how to start. It was a great question and demonstrated her level of commitment. There are countless resources out there, and the wide array of choices can seem overwhelming.
Where to begin? When you already have so much on your plate, it can be daunting to sift through all the books, videos, podcasts, articles and more to look for the ones that will resonate.
With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite books, podcasts, and other resources that will help you dive into personal development, meditation, mind training, emotional regulation, stewardship, shadow work and more. Get started today, and enjoy!
Empathy and Vulnerability
• Applied Empathy: The New Language of Leadership by Michael Ventura. We did a podcast together on this subject, and it was such a treat to discuss the topic with him. His own Applied Empathy podcast is a go-to for me; my favorite episodes include “Self Work is Real Work” with Aaron Rose and “Know the Game You’re Playing” with Simon Sinek. Leadership starts with recognizing the humanness in yourself and the people you work with—and striving to understand them.
• Dare to Lead and Daring Greatly by Brené Brown. Really, I recommend all of her books along with her Netflix special, “Brené Brown: The Call to Courage.” Her blog is also full of rich insight. Bookmark it and return regularly.
Contemplative Science and Buddhist Psychology
• Neural Beings. My own Buddhist psychology coach is Anahita Moghaddam, and this is her website. Check out the meditations and videos (her speeches, TED Talks, and more).
• Podcasts & Dharma Talks by Jack Kornfield. You may also enjoy his collection of meditations.
• Gradual Awakening or Advances in Contemplative Psychotherapy by Dr. Miles Neale.
• Buddhist Pilgrimage. This is Dr. Miles Neale’s podcast.
Meditation and Mindfulness
• Meditation: Watching Thoughts on the Dashboard of My Mind, an introduction to meditation with Rena DeLevie. She was on my THRIVE podcast talking about Compassionate Management.
• Meditation for Beginners from Mindful Magazine. This helps you realize that meditation isn’t reserved for the “special” or spiritually advanced. It’s for everyone, and getting started is simple. It only takes a few minutes a day and it has the power to change your life. At this point in your journey, you don’t have time to not meditate.
• The Mindfulness Revolution: Leading Psychologists, Scientists, Artists, and Meditation Teachers on the Power of Mindfulness in Daily Life by Barry Boyce. Learn more about mindfulness and how to practice it and apply it to daily life.
• The Soul Purpose Method: Discover your Unique Calling, Reawaken to Your True Self, and Co-Create the Inspired Life You Were Meant to Live by Licia Rester and Kirk Souder. Souder is the co-founder of Enso and is a Leadership for Impact Coach. He and I just recently met up to Utah for a transformative experience with some Wild Mustangs + Holy Cows through the Nomadic School of Wonder. Read What Wild Horses Taught Me About Trust and Love »”
• A Definitive Guide to Jungian Shadow Work: How to Get to Know and Integrate Your Dark Side by Scott Jeffrey. This in-depth article gives you a great starting point on shadow work. I did a podcast with Scott called “How Self-Leadership Can Change Your Agency.” How much of the chaos around you is a result of your own attitudes and behaviors? Give this one a listen and let me know what you think.
• Owning Your Own Shadow: Understanding the Dark Side of the Psyche by Robert Johnson. Being truly accepting of ourselves means accepting that dark side, too. This book shows you how.
• How to be an Adult: A Handbook on Psychological and Spiritual Integration by David Richo.
I have so many favorite books and podcasts, so it was hard to streamline this list, but you can’t go wrong with these resources. The more you read and listen, the more curious you will get. And as you start to open up, you’ll find that more of this content is put in front of you in inexplicable ways, almost like you’re following a trail without knowing where it will lead. As certain teachers emerge as your favorites, explore the books or podcast episodes they offer or on which they have been featured as guests.
What are your favorite books, podcasts, articles, and videos on personal development, meditation, and mindfulness? What resources have helped you along your journey? Are you familiar with any of the ones I mentioned above, and how did you like them?
As you transform yourself, you’ll find your agency transforming along with you. Working on yourself and your business side-by-side accelerates your growth on both fronts. Agency leaders can get started here. If you have any questions, please contact me.