|photo: Zyaire Porter
Lisa Nichols is the author of No Matter What! and the recurring motivational speaking coach on The Steve Harvey Show and the Today show. She is founder and CEO of the personal and business development training company Motivating the Masses. Nichols co-authored Jack Canfield's Chicken Soup for the African American Soul, as well as Chicken Soup for the African American Woman's Soul. A featured teacher in the self-help movie The Secret, Nichols teaches, coaches and lives a collection of life principles, beliefs and habits that inspire people to live better, fuller, richer lives. Her latest book, Abundance Now, was published by Dey Street Books (January 5, 2016).
On your nightstand now:
The 4 Disciplines of Execution by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey and Jim Huling and Scaling Up by Verne Harnish. I am working on myself as a business leader and interested in all things leadership. I recently engaged a new business coach, and he said that I had to have these books in my life, so I'm diving in headfirst. Thus far, they are amazing.
Favorite book when you were a child:
Everything Dr. Seuss! As a young child, I was a member of the Dr. Seuss book club and every Wednesday and Saturday, my dad would brush my hair and braid my hair while I read him book after book from Dr. Seuss's collection. Green Eggs and Ham still makes me smile when I read it to my nieces and nephews, and I actually think that I am more excited than they are.
Your top five authors:
Stephen Covey, for his prolific exploration of human potential and for the exercises in his book that led to my hunger for learning more and growing more of my mind and my possibility. He was the catalyst to my journey to success.
Howard Schultz--I actually developed a CEO crush on Howard Schultz after seeing him on Super Soul Sunday with Oprah Winfrey. His dedication to leading with integrity, spiritual awareness and authenticity moved me to tears while watching his interview. I immediately wanted to learn from him and model his conviction for doing good business by doing right by people.
Eve Hogan has been part of my library for years and I have given her book Intellectual Foreplay to at least 15 people, and have referred it to no less than 300 people. She has a very real and simple way of writing about how we find and stay in love. Her teachings are palatable and digestible, leaving me to feel like I can implement them now versus needing time to prep for the launch of loving greater and deeper.
Phil Jackson was my hero on the courts until I read his book, then he became my hero in life. His willingness to lead alone blows my mind. The way he clearly illustrates the ridicule and negative feedback that he received from his unorthodox techniques in leadership, and how he not only navigated through that but also led his team to understand the power of being different and standing in unison in the face of opposition, absolutely blows my mind each time I read his book Eleven Rings (which I've read four times).
Dr. Seuss because he opened my eyes to the world of reading and graciously made it exciting and engaging for me. As an African American child in a low-middle income household, reading was not mandated but encouraged. Dr. Seuss made it fun!
Book you've faked reading:
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. Everyone in my community had talked so much about it, and I am sure that it's a great book, I just never got around to it. Everyone assumed that I must have already read it so I faked like I did. Sorry, Robert!
Book you're an evangelist for:
Intellectual Foreplay by Eve Hogan. This is a book that has been a blessing in my life. Through the process that she provides in getting to know someone intellectually before advancing the relationship, I have been able, as a single woman, to have far more meaningful engagements in my relationships as I get to know someone. Since the book navigates you to move past the surface conversation to a more meaningful one, it allowed me to see some real foundational areas in my life that are non-negotiable and in many cases has helped me to steer the relationship in a direction that feels the best for both of us.
Book you've bought for the cover:
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff and It's All Small Stuff by Richard Carlson. I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE this title. It says so much in just one statement. Genius!
Book you hid from your parents:
All of my steamy novels written by Zane.
Book that changed your life:
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. I was 25 years old when this book came into my life and disrupted everything as I knew it. Covey, through his book, instructed me to do an exercise that had me envision my funeral three years from the day that I was reading the book. He had me imagine what four speakers at the funeral would say about me. What kind of friend was I, what kind of daughter, sister, neighbor or co-worker was I? How did I contribute to the lives of others? How would I be remembered? This completely frightened and inspired me at the same time. I immediately began to live the story that I wanted to be said about my life. I begin to "consciously" write my eulogy through my life decisions. Life-changing to say the least.
Favorite line from a book:
"Despite the unfairness of life I have freedoms and options for which my ancestors labored and died trying to provide for me. I will let nothing hold me back." --Reposition Yourself by T.D. Jakes
Five books you'll never part with:
Intellectual Foreplay by Eve Hogan; The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama; Onward by Howard Schultz; Eleven Rings by Phil Jackson; Reposition Yourself by T.D. Jakes
Book you most want to read again for the first time:
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. Now 25 years later from when I first read it, I'd love to see how many concepts that were then foreign to me are now in my DNA, as well as learn new lessons that I missed the first time around.
Being in Balance by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer (for obvious reasons). I get so excited about the work that I am so blessed to do that balance in my life seems to always be the challenge. I'd love to find my personal version of balance and learn to live there as often as possible.