New Year, New You


Happy New Year! With the changing of the date, there tends to come an increased focus on resolutions, goal setting, strategic planning, forward thinking, etc. For some people, particularly those who are more “live in the details of the moment” types, this can be a daunting or overwhelming theme. For others, "what if" dreamers drawn to the future, the new year can signify an exciting chance to strategically plan for growth and development. Regardless of which camp you fall in, the reality is that new year or not, we always have the opportunity to grow and develop as individuals.

At Propel People Development, our mission is to propel people towards a mission-driven purpose. To do so, we rely on a variety of tools and resources. For me (with Learner and Input in my Top 5), I’m constantly pursuing continuous improvement (no matter what the date on my calendar says). In fact, with Input as my #1 Talent Theme, I’m more often overwhelmed by the vast amount of resources I want to consume. I currently have 58 books on my Amazon wish list and 356 downloaded podcasts in my queue. And that doesn't count the articles in my inbox, pins on my Pinterest Boards and screenshots on my phone as reminders to "look at later." Yes…I could listen to one podcast a day in 2017 and still not get through them all! I partially confess this publicly to reveal that one of my areas of talent that needs investment is using my Discipline and Focus themes to filter through what my Input and Learner themes say needs to be on my radar! I also share it to back up one of my goals for the new year: to read one personal and one professional development book each month (all 24 of which I want to have stacked on my nightstand by the end of January).

To kick off the new year with you, I thought I'd share some of my favorite reads, listens and views with you. Think of them as my gift to kick start your own development for this year no matter how you choose to pursue it. (These are simply my personal recommendations, I receive no compensation for recommending these reads, listens or videos to you.)

Recommended Reads

People Over Profit (Dale Partridge) Tipping the norms of business on their head, social entrepreneur Dale Partridge outlines his system for finding success by putting people first. Both inspirational and instructional, this is my #1 recommended read for anyone looking to be inspired as a leader.

Gung Ho! (Ken Blanchard & Sheldon Bowles) Proving that a good management read never goes out of style, this must-read for managers highlights the power of positive morale in overhauling organizational culture. Using allegory to impart an invaluable lesson, this book is not only informative but entertaining.

Strengths Based Leadership (Tom Rath) If you’ve unpacked your strengths but are looking for tangible ways to apply them as a leader, this should be the next book you read. A constant reference on my shelf, this follow-up study to Gallup’s strengths-based research gives you a clear roadmap to become a more effective leader.

The Leadership Pipeline (Ram Charan) Too many companies are failing at developing leadership from the inside. This book outlines skills and tools necessary to be effective at every level of leadership and should be a first-stop for all newly promoted managers (see my previous post).

Grace Not Perfection (Emily Ley) This book was a God-send for a recovering perfectionist like myself. If you struggle with cranking the volume up on your Achiever or taking the weight of the world on your shoulders, add this beautiful narrative to your 2017 reading list.

Crucial Accountability (Kerry Patterson) Most everyone “hates confrontation!” As a result, people aren’t being held accountable, leading to broken promises and disappointment in our organizations and our lives. This text gives a realistic process, step by step, to handle broken commitments and bad behavior effectively.

Love to Listen

Coaching for Leaders This weekly podcast, hosted by Dave Stachowiak, is both engaging and useful for developing as a leader. Featuring interviews with successful business leaders, I frequently take away 2-3 tips that I can immediately put into action from each episode.

Awesome Office This is my most recently discovered favorite podcast, offering fun tips and case studies for building incredible organizational culture. Hosted by Sean Kelly, Awesome Office is a great in the car listen for 30 minute trips between meetings or from home to work.

Building a Story Brand with Donald Miller This fun and entertaining podcast offers practical advice on clarifying your message – whether for your brand, your organization or yourself. Donald Miller’s success is proven and his lineup of guests is always exciting.

Maximize Your Strengths Hosted by Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, Alissa Daire Nelson, this podcast is a next step for the millions who have taken the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment and then stopped there. Nelson leans into different aspects of the assessment and strengths-based philosophy to teach listeners how to apply their strengths.

Gallup’s Theme Thursday Looking for in-depth insight into your talent themes? Look no further. Gallup experts dig deep into each of the 34 themes one by one in this weekly podcast.

View-Worthy Watches

(okay…so I have a slight obsession with TED Talks)

Simon Sinek: Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Action This talk is a synopsis of Sinek’s book, introducing a “backwards” approach to marketing your message.

Dan Pallotta: The Way We Think About Charity is Dead Wrong Probably the most impactful talk I’ve ever heard – a must listen for anyone in the non-profit sector, or people who sit on boards or interact with charities in any way.

Amy Cuddy: Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are An interactive look at nonverbal communication and power poses – some great takeaways for improving your own communication skills.

Meg Jay: Why 30 is Not the New 20 Are you a millennial? Do you know a millennial? Work with millennials? Listen to this talk. I have literally watched and shared this hundreds of times.

Brené Brown: The Power of Vulnerability Bringing an academic approach to the “real” world, Brené Brown’s research on shame and vulnerability is powerful, challenging the way we live our lives and interact with one another.

Interested in exploring strengths-based development and coaching?
Contact us at