Summer Reading

As another school year winds down and we begin to plan our summer vacations, many of you will likely look for those light, easy, beach reads that will allow you to escape into another world. This year my book club has enjoyed some fascinating escapes with our selections. We’ve traveled to the race track with Seabiscuit and to Russia with Catherine the Great (definitely not an easy, breezy book, but so interesting nonetheless). And then I talked them into reading a contemporary business book called Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Dan Pink. At our discussion dinner, I held my breath knowing they had humored me by agreeing to read it. One member admitted she was skeptical at first, but found she enjoyed the book much more than she thought. The general consensus of the group was a big thumbs up. Drive takes a look at motivation in today’s world. As we move to more creative and less routine work, the old carrot and stick approach of motivation often fails to gain the results we desire. The author says that what is truly motivating these days is having the autonomy to design our work, the opportunity to build mastery around our work and the connection of our work to a greater purpose. He provides a wealth of resources at the end of the book and offers ideas on the new thinking of motivation for organizations, for parents and for schools. Pink is a wonderful storyteller, weaving in examples of these principles in action. Another great storyteller is one of our own local stars, Chris Johnson. Chris is the owner of On Target Living and is a national speaker and author on the transformative power of healthy eating. His new book, On Target Living: Your Guide to a Life of Balance, Energy and Vitality, is published by New York powerhouse Wiley. The book promotion entices readers to “learn how to develop healthy eating habits, incorporate exercise into daily routines, prioritize rest and rejuvenation and develop the keys to living well.” As with Dan Pink, Chris does a great job of telling stories to illustrate his key messages. His natural exuberance and positivity comes through in his writing. You will feel inspired to begin making those small changes that lead to healthier habits and more vitality. As you plan for your summer reads, think about tossing in an interesting non-fiction book. Look for a good storyteller like Dan Pink or Chris Johnson. They make learning new information enjoyable and thought-provoking. Hooray for summer being just around the corner! Enjoy.

Tags: Business coach, Chris Johnson, On Target Living, summer reading


Susan Combs

Susan Combs, MBA and Professional Certified Coach, works with coaching clients to create fresh starts, enhance their leadership skills and increase their confidence. She is an authorized licensee of the Fit Leader's Program. Susan provides one-on-one coaching, DiSC team-building training and manages corporate mentor programs. She lives in Lansing with her son, Max, and their golden retriever puppy. Visit or for more information.

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