Books Archive

1. 'The War of Art' by Stephen Pressfield

Pressfield cleverly dissects the book into 3 sections. In the first section, he deals with the enemy of creativity-resistance; that destructive force inside us that rises up whenever we have something difficult to face. In the second section, the author turns to the cure: 'Turning Pro', a step-by-step guide to become more professional in our desire to overcome resistance. Section Three then, looks at inspiration and how, when we decide to put our full attention to something we can amaze ourselves at the results-the barrier is often only ourselves!

2. The Other 90% by Robert K. Cooper Ph.D.

Cooper identifies four keystones to success. Dare to trust: building and sustaining exceptional relationships, develop your energy levels: increase your calm effectiveness under pressure, become farsighted: create your future and lastly, develop your nerve: exceed expectations. In Daring to trust, one of the key messages is to use all 3 of our brains, our head, our heart and our gut. Often we rely only on one, when all 3 are vitally important. He tells the story of Richard Branson, who was dyslexic and labelled 'number blind' in school, he was recently ranked as one of the most intelligent men in Britain with annual business revenues of $4 billion.

3. The Impossible Just Takes a Little Longer. by Art Berg

How many times have we been frustrated by our inability to achieve something and we just give up. We can sometimes become complacent with our good health and fail to appreciate the enormous energy and courage required by others to complete even the most simple tasks. The author, Art Berg, describes his struggle to overcome a tragic accident that left him as a quadriplegic and the journey he undertook to get his life and his dreams back on track. Sadly, he died at the age of 32 just as the book was being published but it acts as a testament to his persistence and the view that he aspired to, that the 'impossible just takes a little longer.'

4. 'Unconditional Success-Loving the Work we were Born to Do.' Nick Williams

In this very practical and inspiring book, Nick Williams redefines the meaning of success and challenges us to re-establish a relationship with ourselves in order to achieve our ultimate goal-'Unconditional Success'. Williams emphasizes the need to overcome the stumbling blocks that inhibit our progress; and to abandon the fear of failure that prevents us from pushing back the boundaries. He believes that we all have the ability to achieve success without sacrifice - and self-belief without conceit by tapping into our innate creative spirit in order to achieve all we desire.

5. The 7 Spiritual Laws of Success - Deepak Chopra

A short read but one that you will revert back to time and again as its principles are sound. Chopra distils his teachings into seven simple principles which can be applied to create success in all aspects of our lives. As Chopra so aptly states, ‘success is a journey not a destination.’ Success he argues, incorporates good health; energy and enthusiasm for life; fulfilling relationships; creative freedom; emotional and psychological stability and a sense of well being or peace of mind.

Highly recommended.

6. The Power of Now - Eckhart Tolle

An excellent book that also comes in a CD format but I would recommend that you read the book first to get a clear understanding of his principles. So many times we worry about what might be, or what might happen, instead of just concentrating on enjoying the ‘now’, this moment in time. Tolle encourages us to focus our gratitude of what we have and how we can choose our behavioural response to anything at a given moment.

7. The Success Principles -Jack Canfield

Jack Canfield has co-authored a number of Tolle excellent books including the Chicken Soup for the Soul Series and The Power of Focus which I also review. In this, his most recent book, he shares the key principles that he has learnt over the years not only from his mentor W. Clement Stone but also from a plethora of success literature and interviews conducted with highly successful businessmen and entrepreneurs. A book that needs to be read a number of times and it is important to work through the exercises to get the most out of it rather than a quick scan.

Very good read.

8. How to Say No, When you Feel you Ought to Say Yes- How to Escape the Duty' -Vera Pfeffer

How many times have we become 'roped' into doing sometimes we feel obliged to do or say 'yes' when we really don't want to do it at all?

Vera Pfeffer, analytical hypnotherapist and health kinesiologist, identifies practical coping techniques to deal with family or work-related pressures to negotiate a better deal for ourselves and to take positive action to increase our self-worth and self-esteem. Pfeffer has used her in-depth experience to provide practical and thought-provoking questions to help us.

Highly recommended!

Books of the Month Archive: Leadership

1. First things First by Stephen R. Covey and R. and R. Merrill

This is an excellent book and one which I recommend highly to all my clients. We are all increasingly stretched because ' we so much to do and so little time to do it in!' This book offers some practical and highly focused ways to improve our time management techniques and should be read in conjunction with 'The Power of Focus' by Jack Canfield, (reviewed last month), which advises strongly 'that we should pay attention to what we focus on -because it may happen!'

2. 'How to Become a Great Boss: Winning Rules for Getting and Keeping the Best Employees' by Jeffrey Fox.

As the research will tell us, people leave managers not companies. Jeffrey Fox, author of 'How to become a CEO' writes about the key principles of becoming a Great Boss.
One of the key lessons in business, he outlines is 'To Hire Slow and Fire Fast'. How many times has the team been de-motivated by the manager's failure to reprimand and terminate a 'social loafer' who does not pull his/her weight within the team. He strongly echoes the words of Jim Collins in 'Good to Great (reviewed last month), 'Get the Right people on the bus and the wrong people off the bus. With good people with the right attitude you can go anywhere.

3. The Leader Within: Learn Enough about Yourself to Lead Others by Drea Zigarmi,
Ken Blanchard, Michael O'Connor and Carl Edeburn.

This book is written by four renowned leadership experts and provides an insight into how we can develop as stronger leaders by understanding what leadership means-how it works and what it's for. This book emphasises the importance of developing and articulating a strong and compelling vision and values that people can believe in and which will fully motivate them. 'Too many organisations, because of a lack of leadership, require the follower's minds and muscle but not their hearts.' (Blanchard, 2005).Three ingredients are necessary - purpose, values and image or picture of the future.

4. Good to Great-Jim Collins

Jim Colllins who co-authored 'Built to Last' with Jerry Porras identifies what it takes to create a great company. The book is based on research carried out in specific companies that outperformed the stock market in the US by 6.9 times, over a defined period of 15 years. One of the critical success factors according to Collins, was the presence of Level 5 Leadership within the respective companies. These leaders possessed a combination of personal humility and professional will, who harnessed their ambition for the company rather than themselves. Collins reinforces the need to 'Get the right people on the bus and the wrong people off the bus'. He emphasises the need to 'confront the brutal facts', focus on the one big thing you do best and create a culture of sustained discipline that will get you where you want to be.

An excellent book and well researched.

5. The Inner Game of Work- Tim Gallwey

Gallwey, who has written extensively on the Inner game of skiing, golf and tennis, focuses on his learning's from the sports field to the workplace. He challenges our fundamental motivations and challenges us to make work, work for us. Focus is about paying attention while doing whatever you are doing, no matter what the activity. People in a position to make changes, he states, must first look to themselves.

Highly recommended.

6. The Power of Focus- Jack Canfield et al.

This is an excellent book and one I recommend to all my clients. We all face time pressures, financial pressures and the struggle to maintain a healthy work/life balance. As the saying goes, ‘if you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got!’ Canfield’s book provides simple, well written and highly practical steps to encourage us to focus on what we want, how to achieve it successfully and rid ourselves of inhibiting bad habits that hold us back. Worth taking time out to go through the action items.

7. 'Wake up your Mind.' The Mind Gym, Octavius Black
'Minds are like parachutes, they only operate when open', Thomas Dewar

Having attended and thoroughly enjoyed many 'mind gym' workouts, I was intrigued with the title-wake up your mind! The book provides a snapshot of some of the most popular mind gym workouts and is written in a very practical style. The mind gym workouts are based on extensive research undertaken by Octavius Black and Associates and focus on the premise that we can all choose how we think and offers practical tips and techniques to enlarge our health, behaviours and social skills.

Highly recommended read!

8. 'Who Moved My Cheese' by Spencer Johnson.
'I keep doing the same thing over and over again and wonder why things don't get better and if it wasn't so ridiculous it would be even funnier.'

'When you change what you believe you change what you do!'

This is an excellent and humorous story about change, seen from the perspective of two little mice 'Hmm' and 'Haw', who cope with the onset of change in very different ways. (It also comes in DVD format from

  1. Change happens-they keep moving the cheese.
  2. Anticipate change-Get ready for the Cheese to move
  3. Monitor change-smell the cheese and know when it's getting mouldy
  4. Adapt to change Quicker-The quicker you let go of the old cheese the sooner you will enjoy the new cheese
  5. Move with the Cheese
  6. Enjoy change-Savour the cheese. Enjoy the taste of the new cheese.
  7. Be ready to Change Quickly-they will always keep moving the Cheese

Well recommended. An excellent analogy to help people cope and manage change effectively in their daily lives.

For more information on this profiling system and to undergo a personal DiSC assessment please contact

Highly recommended particularly for HR Managers and OD Specialists.




Coaching at its core is about awareness and responsibility. Individuals can learn better, manage relationships better, be better team members and deliver better performance.

CIPD, 2009

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Deirdre Murray speaks at Mary Curran's Life & Business Coaching 10-year Coaching Reunion

Support and enhance your leadership potential, change initiatives and performance management systems with tailored coaching support.

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