Must Reads!

These are some of my favorite books on moving out of our comfort zones and into our courage zones. All offered me both inspiration and practical advice. I listed them alphabetically, by author, since I couldn't decide which I'd recommend first.

High Wire Management: Risk-Taking Tactics for Leaders, Innovators, and Trailblazers by Gene Calvert, 1993.

This book shows managers how to embrace the opportunities of risk taking by changing their perception of risk and its consequences. Using numerous examples from a variety of organizations, Calvert explains how to manage the risk-taking process from start to finish, while giving careful consideration to the pros and cons of each risk.

What Would You Do If You Had No Fear? Living Your Dreams While Quakin' in Your Boots by Diane Conway, 2004.

This is a book with 100 stories of men and women who break through their fears to fulfill their life-long dreams. Each story-chapter ends with 3 "Life Challenge" questions for you to explore.

Deep Survival by Laurence Gonzales, 2003.

I'm fascinated by survival stories, books like Jon Karakauer's Into Thin Air or Alive by Piers Paul Read. Deep Survival combines hard science and powerful survival stories to describe the art and science of survival, whether in the wilderness or in meeting any of life's great challenges.

Slaying the Dragon: How to Turn Your Small Steps to Great Feats by Michael Johnson, 1996.

Michael Johnson was called "the fastest man in the world" when he won gold medals for both the 200-meter and 400-meter races in the 1996 Olympic Games. In this book, Johnson shares his approach on how to identify your own dragon, your own fears and goals, and how to apply his winning techniques to your personal and professional lives.

Crashing Through: The extraordinary true story of the man who dared to see by Robert Kurson, 2007.

This is the story of Mike May, blinded at age 3, who defied expectations by breaking world records in downhill speed skiing, joining the CIA, and becoming a successful inventor and entrepreneur. When he was forty-six years old, he was offered the chance to undergo a revolutionary surgery that could restore his vision. It proved to be one of the greatest risks of his life.

One Small Step Can Change Your Life by Robert Maurer, 2004.

Dr. Maurer writes about taking small steps to achieve giant leaps. Even his chapter titles caused me to think differently: Ask Small Questions, Think Small Thoughts, Take Small Actions, Solve Small Problems. Each of his chapters offers valuable advice and examples for taking a different approach to reaching goals.

Courage by Bernard Waber, 2002.

This charming book for children talks about many kinds of courage - "awesome kinds and everyday kinds" - all the way from tasting a vegetable before making a face to holding on to your dream.

Flying By The Seat Of Your Pants: A Hang Glider Pilot's View Of Life by Chris Waught, 2005.

This is the book I wish I'd written - although my sub-title would read "An Ultralight Pilot's View..."! Chris writes about lessons learned from hang gliding, lessons about finding lift in turbulence and soaring into the future. She shows how to identify opportunities and be ready to take advantage of them, using her years of experience flying hang gliders to deliver a fresh perspective on succeeding in a changing world. She says, "You can soar, too. The hang gliding is optional."