GREAT READS / 2023 Speaker & Steering Committee Book Recommendations/Podcasts

Michelle Cederburg | 2023 Spark Speaker

The Success-Energy Equation: How to Regain Focus, Recharge Your Life + Really Get Sh!t Done!

A Book by Michelle Cederberg

A smart, common-sense book that will help you improve your energy so that you can achieve goals faster and more efficiently. We have goals for our careers and our lives, but with all the noise and constant demands, we get stalled out, stuck. We simply don’t have the energy to progress in the areas that are most important to us. In The Success-Energy Equation, author Michelle Cederberg shows you how the wisdom of science and your innate common sense can combat 21st-and-a-quarter-century stress and tap into a well of energy that will fuel every area of your life. The Success-Energy Equation teaches you how you can boost your energy to be a magic multiplier that will drive you toward higher levels of success in life. Engage your success-energy, reach your goals, and live a life you truly want.

Recommended by Michelle Cederberg | 2023 Spark Speaker

The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking

by Oliver Burkeman

A totally original approach to self-help: success through failure, calm through embracing anxiety. Self-help books don’t seem to work. Romance, family life, and work often bring as much stress as joy. We can’t even agree on what “happiness” means. Looking both east and west, in bulletins from the past and from far afield, Oliver Burkeman introduces us to an unusual group of people who share a single, surprising way of thinking about life. They argue that in our personal lives, and in society at large, it’s our constant effort to be happy that is making us miserable. And that there is an alternative path to happiness and success that involves embracing failure, pessimism, insecurity, and uncertainty—the very things we spend our lives trying to avoid. Thought-provoking, counterintuitive, and ultimately uplifting, The Antidote is the intelligent person’s guide to understanding the much-misunderstood idea of happiness.

Sarah McVanel | 2023 Spark Speaker

Rockstar: Magnify your Greatness in Times of Change for Women Leaders

A Book by Sarah McVanel

ROCKSTAR women are a powerful force in the workplace, yet the data shows and experience reveals that the quest for equality, satisfaction and unfettered opportunity continues.Following the outstanding success and response to ROCKSTAR for Healthcare Leaders, Sarah McVanel expertly applies the principles of ROCK Behaviors and STAR Outcomes to the perpetually shifting and ever-evolving playing field in which women leaders toil and achieve. ROCKSTAR for Women Leaders provides ideas and techniques that enable women to move the needle forward every day – for themselves, their colleagues, those who report to them and the generations who will follow.

You’ll find:
• Practical strategies,
• Validated evidence and
• Advice from fellow women.

With Sarah’s help and her 20+ years of experience, you’ll build and deepen your practical toolkit for change readiness, resilience and, ultimately, greater success and satisfaction at work. Together, let’s lean into how to ROCK and get STAR results for ourselves and others!

Recommended by Sarah McVanel | Spark 2023 Speaker

The Myth of Normal: Trauma, Illness & Healing In a Toxic Culture

by Gabor Mate, MD

From our most trusted and compassionate authority on stress, trauma, and mental well-being—a groundbreaking investigation into the causes of illness, a bracing critique of how our society breeds disease, and a pathway to health and healing. For all our expertise and technological sophistication, Western medicine often fails to treat the whole person, ignoring how today’s culture stresses the body, burdens the immune system, and undermines emotional balance. In The Myth of Normal, co-written with his son Daniel, Maté brings his perspective to the great untangling of common myths about what makes us sick, connects the dots between the maladies of individuals and the declining soundness of society, and offers a compassionate guide for health and healing. The result is Maté’s most ambitious and urgent book yet.

Recommended by Sarah McVanel | Spark 2023 Speaker

The Bold Ones: Innovate and Disrupt to Become Truly Indispensable

by Shawn Kanungo

A practical and inspirational playbook that shows you how to use innovation and disruption to become truly unstoppable. Internationally celebrated disruption strategist Shawn Kanungo offers a playbook for individuals who know they need to become bolder to push their careers and companies forward ―but don’t know how to innovate: You’ll learn where to start, what to do, and how to break through with your ideas. Each pillar will help you learn exactly how to innovate, disrupt, and use your skills right where you are, today, and put your ideas into play. You’ll also discover replicable tactics of some of the world’s greatest (and sometimes unlikely) change agents, such as Bill Simmons, Steph Curry, Hatshepsut, Elon Musk, Cardi B.

Drew Dudley | 2023 Spark Speaker

This Is Day One: A Practical Guide to Leadership That Matters

A Book by Drew Dudley

If you’re intimidated by the mystique surrounding leadership, this book is for you. Day One is when you discover, define, and start to consistently deliver on your foundational leadership values. Living that day over and over is what creates leaders, and Dudley provides the key tools necessary to craft and commit to your own personal Day One. Most of the leadership on the planet comes from people who don’t see themselves as leaders. This Is Day One shows you how to start changing that. Through the insights of leaders of all types — CEOs, elite athletes, cab drivers, custodians, and everyone in between — Dudley helps you understand what your Day One needs to look like, reminds you why you’re a leader, and makes clear what you can do about it–starting today, on Day One.

Recommended by Drew Dudley | Spark 2023 Speaker

Good to Great

by Dan Collins

It’s been proven that long-term sustained performance can be engineered into the DNA of an enterprise from the very beginning. But what about companies that are not born with great DNA? What are the distinguishing characteristics that cause a company to go from good to great? Over five years, Jim Collins and his research team have analyzed the histories of 28 companies, discovering why some companies make the leap and others don’t. The findings include:

  • Level 5 Leadership: A surprising style, required for greatness.
  • The Hedgehog Concept: Finding your three circles, to transcend the curse of competence.
  • A Culture of Discipline: The alchemy of great results.
  • Technology Accelerators: How good-to-great companies think differently about technology.
  • The Flywheel and the Doom Loop: Why those who do frequent restructuring fail to make the leap.
Recommended by Drew Dudley | Spark 2023 Speaker

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

by Patrick Lencioni

In The Five Dysfunctions of a Team Patrick Lencioni has written a compelling fable with a powerful yet deceptively simple message for all those who strive to be exceptional team leaders. Kathryn Petersen, Decision Tech’s CEO, faces the ultimate leadership crisis: Uniting a team in such disarray that it threatens to bring down the entire company. Will she succeed? Lencioni’s utterly gripping tale serves as a timeless reminder that leadership requires as much courage as it does insight. Throughout the story, Lencioni reveals the five dysfunctions which go to the very heart of why teams- even the best ones-often struggle. He outlines a powerful model and actionable steps that can be used to overcome these common hurdles and build a cohesive, effective team.

Trisha Miltimore | Spark 2023 Emcee

I Believe I Can! A Story about dreams, resiliency and confidence

A Children’s Book by Trisha Miltimore

Makenna is an extraordinary eight-year-old–with an extraordinary goal to match! Just like your child 🙂 Makenna has always dreamed of becoming a rock star. She closes her eyes and imagines herself on the stage, playing her own original songs to cheering fans. She believes that with hard work and determination, she can make her ambition come true! Makenna also faces questions from others about whether or not she will succeed. She has to dig deep and determine for herself if…YES SHE CAN. (for ages 4-8)

Recommended by Trisha Miltimore | Spark 2023 Emcee

Yes Your Teen is Crazy: Loving Your Kid Without Losing Your Mind

by Michael J Bradley

Here is the book that updates the rulebook, giving parents the training and skills they need to transform their teenage children into strong, confident, productive adults. An indispensable how-to manual for parents raising teenagers in today’s crazy world. The fear-based techniques of the past no longer work, says the author, who advocates an entirely new approach for parenting the echo boomer generation.

Recommended by Linh Hyunh | Spark 2023 Speaker

Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

by Christopher McDougall

Isolated by Mexico’s deadly Copper Canyons, the blissful Tarahumara Indians have honed the ability to run hundreds of miles without rest or injury. In a riveting narrative, award-winning journalist and often-injured runner Christopher McDougall sets out to discover their secrets. In the process, he takes his readers from science labs at Harvard to the sun-baked valleys and freezing peaks across North America, where ever-growing numbers of ultra-runners are pushing their bodies to the limit, and, finally, to a climactic race in the Copper Canyons that pits America’s best ultra-runners against the tribe. McDougall’s incredible story will not only engage your mind but inspire your body when you realize that you, indeed all of us, were born to run.

Merge Gupta-Sunderji | Spark 2023 Speaker

Why Does the Lobster Cast Off Its Shell?

A Book by Merge Gupta-Sunderji

A new version of Merge’s old classic! Revised and expanded, this 2nd edition contains the brand-new 171 Ways to be a Lobster. Superbly inspirational and insightfully practical, you’ll not only get the answer to the intriguing question posed in the title, but you’ll also learn six specific and realistic strategies to consciously and constantly push the limits of your comfort zone. Beautifully and whimsically illustrated, it’s a great addition to your professional or personal library.

Recommended by Merge Gupta-Sunderji | Spark 2023 Speaker

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

by Dr. Stephen Covey

In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, author Stephen R. Covey presents a holistic, integrated, principle-centered approach for solving personal and professional problems. With penetrating insights and pointed anecdotes, Covey reveals a step-by-step pathway for living with fairness, integrity, service, and human dignity—principles that give us the security to adapt to change and the wisdom and power to take advantage of the opportunities that change creates.

Jessica Dumas | Spark 2023 Speaker

The Confidence and Communication Podcast

A Podcast with Jessica Dumas

Jessica is a professional certified coach who specializes in speaker and confidence coaching. She has been recognized for her professional expertise as a recipient of the 2021 Manitoba 150 Women Trailblazer Award from the Nellie McClung Foundation, Ace Burpees Most Fascinating Manitobans for 2019, Future Leaders of Manitoba for 2017, and CBC’s Top 40 Manitobans under 40 for 2015. She has a TEDx talk called The Journey to a Woman’s Identity and her favorite place to connect with you is on Instagram

Recommended by Jessica Dumas | Spark 2023 Speaker

A Happy Pocket Full of Money: Your Quantum Leap into the Understanding, Having, and Enjoying of Immense Wealth and Happiness

By David Cameron Gikandi

It’s Not Just About the Money. True wealth is not about buckets of cash. True wealth, asserts David Gikandi, is about discovering value within yourself and value within other people. It is about a kind of conscious living that incorporates gratitude, a belief in abundance, and the experience of joy. Based on the recent discoveries of theoretical physics and a close reading of inspirational classics of the last century, Gikandi creates a new model for the creation of personal wealth; a new model that shows readers how to create abundance by saving, giving, offering charity, and building happy relationships. Learn to use an internal mantra to build wealth consciousness. Practice conscious and deliberate thoughts and intentions.

Recommended by Whitney Armstrong | Spark 2023 Blink! Presenter

Brock Johnson: Co-Host of a Top 10 Business Podcast, Online Course Instructor and Viral Social Media Creator

Podcaster and Online Course Instructor Brock Johnson | @brock11johnson

As Co-host of a top 10 business Podcast, instructor of multiple online courses, and viral social media creator, Johnson has helped thousands of entrepreneurs learn to build their business on social media, even with limited time and money. Created the Most Comprehensive Ecommerce Course in the world. 20,000+ students taught, 30,000 subscribers on Youtube.

Social Media

Recommended by Whitney Armstrong |Spark 2023 Blink! Presenter

Bossbabe –

Natalie Ellis Co-Founder & CEO – Know Your Worth, Add Tax, Charge Shipping 
Danielle Canty Co-Founder & President  – All You Need is Wifi and a Dream

Less than 18% of women hit 6 figures in their business, and only 2% reach the 7 figure mark? We’re on a mission to change that. Over the past three years, we’ve helped over 100k ambitious women (just like you) build lives they love through our close-knit community, proven frameworks and high-value programs. Now, it’s your turn to experience the same thing. The only question is: are you ready?

Social Media

Recommended by Jennifer Moore | Spark Founding Member

The 6 Types of Working Genius: A Better Way to Understand Your Gifts, Your Frustrations, and Your Team

by Patrick M. Lencioni

The 6 Types of Working Genius is the fastest way to help people identify the type of work that brings them joy and energy, and avoid work that leads to frustration and burnout. The Working Genius model gives teams a remarkably simple and practical framework for tapping into one another’s natural gifts, which increases productivity and reduces unnecessary judgment. What sets this book—and the model behind it—apart from other tools and assessments is the speed at which it can be understood and applied, and the relevance it has to every kind of work in life. Join the hundreds of thousands of people who have already discovered their Working Genius, and experience the transformation in your work, your team, and your life.

Recommended by Carolynn Oliver | Spark Committee Member

Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time

by Brian Tracy

There’s an old saying that if the first thing you do each morning is eat a live frog, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you’re done with the worst thing you’ll have to do all day. For Tracy, eating a frog is a metaphor for tackling your most challenging task—but also the one that can have the greatest positive impact on your life. Eat That Frog! shows you how to organize each day so you can zero in on these critical tasks and accomplish them efficiently and effectively. The core of effective time management is: decision, discipline, and determination. And in this edition, Tracy adds two new chapters that explains how you can use technology to fulfill these, and offers advice for maintaining focus in our era of constant distractions.

Recommended by Karen Thierson | Spark Committee Member

Master Your Next Move, with a New Introduction: The Essential Companion to “The First 90 Days”

by Michael D. Watkins

In business, especially today, you are only as successful as your next career transition. In his international bestseller The First 90 Days, transition guru Michael D. Watkins outlined a set of basic principles for getting up to speed quickly in new professional roles. Master Your Next Move answers a distinct need, focusing on the most common types of transitions leaders face and the unique challenges posed by each. This indispensable book explores eight crucial transitions virtually everyone encounters during their career, including promotion, leading former peers, onboarding into a new company, making an international move, and turning around a business in crisis.

Recommended by Catharine Dragojevich | Spark Committee Member

Radical Candor: Fully Revised & Updated Edition: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity

by Kim Scott

This is a great read for both employees and management, with examples and advice on team work, leadership and building better relations within workplace environments.
The idea is simple: You don’t have to choose between being a pushover and a jerk. Using Radical Candor―avoiding the perils of Obnoxious Aggression, Manipulative Insincerity, and Ruinous Empathy―you can be kind and clear at the same time. Radical Candor is about caring personally and challenging directly, about soliciting criticism to improve your leadership and also providing guidance that helps others grow. It focuses on praise but doesn’t shy away from criticism―to help you love your work and the people you work with.
Required reading for the most successful organizations, Radical Candor has raised the bar for management practices worldwide.

Recommended by Megan Stables | Spark Committee Member

Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience

by Brene Brown

In Atlas of the Heart, Brown takes us on a journey through eighty-seven of the emotions and experiences that define what it means to be human. As she maps the necessary skills and an actionable framework for meaningful connection, she gives us the language and tools to access a universe of new choices and second chances—a universe where we can share and steward the stories of our bravest and most heartbreaking moments with one another in a way that builds connection. Accurately naming an experience doesn’t give the experience more power—it gives us the power of understanding, meaning, and choice. Brown shares, “I want this book to be an atlas for all of us, because I believe that, with an adventurous heart and the right maps, we can travel anywhere and never fear losing ourselves.”

Recommended by Suzanne Young | Spark Committee Member

White Women: Everything You Already Know About Your Own Racism and How to Do Better

by Regina Jackson, Saira Rao

A no-holds-barred guidebook aimed at white women who want to stop being nice and start dismantling white supremacy from the team behind Race2Dinner and the documentary film, Deconstructing Karen. It’s no secret that white women are conditioned to be “nice,” but did you know that the desire to be perfect and to avoid conflict at all costs are characteristics of white supremacy culture? Beginning with freeing white women from this oppressive need to be nice, they deconstruct and analyze nine aspects of traditional white woman behavior that uphold white supremacy society, and hurt all of us who are trying to live a freer, more equitable life.

Recommended by Lilia Hansen | Spark Committee Member

Cues: Master the Secret Language of Charismatic Communication Hardcover

by Vanessa Van Edwards

For anyone who wants to be heard at work, earn that overdue promotion, or win more clients, deals, and projects, Vanessa Van Edwards shares her advanced guide to improving professional relationships through the power of cues. If you have ever been interrupted in meetings, overlooked for career opportunities or had your ideas ignored, your cues may be the problem – and the solution. Cues – the tiny signals we send to others 24/7 through our body language, facial expressions, word choice, and vocal inflection – have a massive impact on how we, and our ideas, come across. Our cues can either enhance our message or undermine it. In this entertaining and accessible guide to the hidden language of cues, Vanessa Van Edwards teaches you how to convey power, trust, leadership, likeability, and charisma in every interaction.