Monday, May 17, 2010

Book review: The Power of a Praying Husband by Stormie Omartian

The book is a guide for husbands on the areas where their wives need prayer. Every chapter begins with a discussion by Stormie on each area while her husband provides a few paragraphs of his own. Each chapter also ends with a prayer that every husband can use as a guide.

Reading through the book for the first time, I began to see my wife in a new light and also realized the importance of praying for my wife. I used to pray for her in general terms, but through the book, I became more sensitive to the areas where she needs my prayers the most.

It's a relationship book and a prayer book in one. A must for every husband's bookshelf.

About the author:
Stormie Omartian is the bestselling author of The Power of a Praying® books (more than 10 million copies sold worldwide), Stormie, Just Enough Light for the Step I’m On, and The Prayer That Changes Everything®. Stormie and her husband, Michael, have been married for 32 years and have three grown children.

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Book review: One Month to Live by Kerry Shook and Chris Shook

I encountered this book at a time when I was having those spiritual wilderness experiences and I was looking for something that would somehow provide perspective on where I was.

Most of the time, without being aware, life simply happens and I begin to ask if this is what life is all about. Life became merely existing and occupying space.

The contents of the book is grouped into four principles with a total of thirty topics, one for each day. Each topic has its tasks that allow the reader to 'live' the day's chapter.

Personally, the most difficult part is to read only one chapter per day. :)

Thought-provoking and truly inspiring! I highly recommend this book to everyone.

About the authors:
Kerry Shook and his wife, Chris, founded Fellowship of The Woodlands in 1993; and since then, the church has grown to 16,380 in average attendance each weekend. Fellowship of The Woodlands, now Woodlands Church, is one church in three locations with its Fellowship campus in The Woodlands outside of Houston, Texas. Winner of the prestigious Church Health Award presented by Saddleback Church, Kerry and his church have been featured in numerous publications and media outlets, and his sermons are televised each week across the country and around the world. Kerry and Chris are the parents of four children.

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Friday, May 14, 2010

Book review: The Way of the Shepherd: 7 Ancient Secrets to Managing Productive People by Kevin Leman and William Pentak

One of the major challenges of new leaders is how to get the confidence and management as quickly as possible.

In The Way of the Shepherd, Leman and Pentak impart sound management principles and practices in the form of a story about an up-and-coming manager learning leadership principles thru tending sheep.

The principles imparted are simple but powerful and after reading the book, I found myself creating a small card that outlines the principles discussed in this small book.

I have given copies of the book to other leaders in my organization and church. I never fail to get positive feedback on the book every time.

I recommend this book to every aspiring leader and to the 'seasoned' leader who needs a fresh perspective on leadership, albeit coming from ancient principles.

About the authors:
Dr. Kevin Leman, an internationally known psychologist, radio and television personality, and speaker, has taught and entertained audiences worldwide with his wit and commonsense psychology. The best-selling and award-winning author has made house calls for hundreds of radio and television programs, including "The View" with Barbara Walters, "The Today Show," "Oprah," CBS's "The Early Show," "Live with Regis Philbin," CNN's "American Morning," and "LIFE Today" with James Robison, and he has served as a contributing family psychologist to "Good Morning America." He is the founder and president of Couples of Promise, an organization designed and committed to helping couples remain happily married. Dr. Leman is also a charter faculty member of He has written over 30 best-selling books about marriage and family issues, including "The Birth Order Book" and "Sheet Music: Uncovering the Secrets of Sexual Intimacy in Marriage." Dr. Leman and his wife, Sande, live in Tucson. They have five children.

William Pentak has twenty-two years of proven success in revitalizing under-performing organizations. An author, columnist, pastor, consultant and speaker, he has traveled across the nation delivering keynote addresses and seminars. An MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, William was one of the last hires made by Enron before the company imploded in bankruptcy. He currently works in External Communications at Reliant Energy in Houston, Texas.
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Book review: Leading at a Higher Level - Blanchard on Leadership and Creating High Performing Organizations by Ken Blanchard

I have been a fan of Blanchard ever since I read a copy of the One Minute Manager. Since then, I have bought and read most of the books in the series.

In Leading at a Higher Level, Blanchard covers all the principles that were imparted by the One Minute Manager Series. This book is a handy reference for all the principles.

However, the tone of the book is serious, unlike the light approach of the other books in the series. There were many references to the other books which can cause frustration to those who are not familiar with his other writings.

Overall, if you are looking for an all-in-one book covering Blanchard's Situational Leadership II leadership model, this is it. For those who enjoy lessons being presented in the form of stories, I wouldn't recommend this.

About the author:

Dr. Ken Blanchard is the cofounder and Chief Spiritual Officer of The Ken Blanchard Companies, an international management training and consulting firm that he and his wife, Margie Blanchard, began in 1979 in San Diego, California. In addition to being a renowned speaker and consultant, Ken also spends time as a visiting lecturer at his alma mater, Cornell University, where he is a trustee emeritus of the Board of Trustees.

Ken has received many awards and honors for his contributions in the fields of management, leadership, and speaking. The National Speakers Association awarded him its highest honor, the "Council of Peers Award of Excellence." He was inducted into the HRD Hall of Fame by Training magazine and Lakewood Conferences, and he received the Golden Gavel Award from Toastmasters International. Ken also received The Thought Leadership Award for continued support of work-related learning and performance by ISA--The Association of Learning Providers. Ken has been inducted into Amazon's Hall of Fame as one of the top 25 best-selling authors of all time. The business school at Grand Canyon University bears his name. In addition, Ken teaches students in the Master of Science in Executive Leadership Program at the University of San Diego.

Born in New Jersey and raised in New York, Ken received a master's degree from Colgate University, and a bachelor's and PhD from Cornell University. An avid golfer, Ken belongs to the Loch Lomond Golf Club in Scotland.

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Book Review: Traveling Light by Max Lucado

In Travelling Light, Lucado presents straight-forward yet amusing insights on one of the most famous Psalms in the Bible, Psalm 23.

In the typical Lucado approach, he presents visual imagery for each verse and provides anecdotes from his own life. He even goes to the point of explaining about sheep.

I would recommend the book for seekers and new Christians who are not yet ready for heavy theology.

This book is a real blessing to those who are weighed down by life circumstances.
About the author:
Lucado was born in 1955 in San Angelo, Texas, and raised in Andrews, Texas, the youngest of four children. His father was an Exxon oil field mechanic who, Lucado remembers, always smelled of grease cleaner. "It makes it easy for me to see a God who is loving and kind--because my dad was," he says. His mother was a nurse who grew up working in the cotton fields.

Lucado went through a period of rebellion against his parents' values and their God during his teens and into college. But it wasn't long before he found himself drawn back to his roots, back to God. He married, spent time serving as a missionary in Brazil, and returned to the States, where he began working as a church minister and writing on the side.

From all accounts, Max Lucado is not a man consumed by sales, awards, and achievements. He often turns down media interviews since they impede on family and ministry commitments. He spends the bulk of his week serving as senior minister at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas. And he is truly surprised by his own success--more impressed by his one-in-a-million wife and three amazing daughters than by his successful writing career.

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Book Review: The Ten Faces of Innovation by Tom Kelly with Jonathan Littman

Tom Kelly of IDEO attempts to dissect the different personalities that make up an innovative organization.

Complete with vivid descriptions of each 'face' and reinforced by real life examples across industries, the book provides a glimpse of the inner workings of an innovative organization.

Although the book suggests that it is unlikely for an individual to have only one 'face', the author provides insights on how the other 'faces' may be developed.

Although a very good read, especially for those in R&D, some chapters can be quite long for the average reader.

About the author:
Tom Kelley is general manager of IDEO, the world's leading design consultancy specializing in product development and innovation. Working together with his brother, IDEO founder David Kelley, he has helped manage the firm, as it has grown from twenty designers to a staff of over three hundred. During that time, he has been responsible for diverse areas such as business development, marketing, human resources, and operations. Like everyone else at IDEO, he also occasionally gets down on his knees to cut foam core alongside IDEO clients and designers, as part of the firm's brainstorming and prototyping efforts.

Jonathan Littman is the author of The Fugitive Game and The Watchman and is a contributing writer for Red Herring magazine.

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Book Review: Everyone Communicates, Few Connect by John Maxwell

This book deals with how every communicator fails to connect with others and provides tips on how to connect with his audience.

As a communicator and a leader myself, I am often faced with situations wherein I say to myself, 'I did a pretty good job presenting my ideas.' and yet find out later, to my dismay, that people didn't get my message and I may have to keep on repeating myself.

If there is one thing that I got from reading the book, it's this: 'People really won't care about what you are talking about unless they know you care about them.' For many communicators, it's mostly about them, how they look, how they say it and how they present their message. Maxwell stresses that communication is not just presenting, but it is more of connecting.

I have been a reader of John Maxwell books since 1998 and true to his typical writing style, he presents his ideas through lists and reinforces his message with anecdotes. But this book is different, instead of anecdotes about famous people, Maxwell took another route, getting anecdotes from ordinary people! People just like me.

It gave me a certain relief that others, even Maxwell, had been in the same situation and like them, I may also learn to connect with others!

I am giving this four out of five. A lot of the principles are also present in his other books but getting stories from ordinary people is very cool!

About the author:
About the author:
John C. Maxwell is an internationally recognized leadership expert, speaker, coach, and author who has sold over 19 million books. Dr. Maxwell is the founder of EQUIP and the John Maxwell Company, organizations that have trained more than 5 million leaders worldwide. Every year he speaks to Fortune 500 companies, international government leaders, and organizations as diverse as the United States Military Academy at West Point, the National Football League, and the United Nations. A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Business Week best-selling author, Maxwell has written three books which have each sold more than one million copies: The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, Developing the Leader Within You, and The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader. You can find him at and follow him at

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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