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This quick and powerful read was recommended to me by a fellow coach - Matt Cross. We all hit road blocks on the path to success. Sometimes, the process of overcoming those obstacles makes us stronger and enables us to make fantastic progress. In other instances, however, those challenges are indications that we need to change course. This book helps its readers recognize when to push through and when to let go - or, in the witty words of the author: "when to quit (and when to stick)."

Of all of the skills assessments out there (and I have tried a LOT of them), this one I found to be the most insightful. The book itself details the 34 categories of innate talents. When you take the online assessment, you receive two reports: (1) Strengths Insight Report; and (2) Your Signature Themes. In combination these reports identify your top five talents, describe how those talents make you stand out, and detail how you can utilize your talents to more effectively move forward. My favorite part of the assessment was the "Ideas for Action," where, based on your top five talents, Gallup generates a list of "to do" items that tell you exactly how to put your skills to best use.

Michelle Obama’s long-awaited memoir has remained on bestseller lists since it debuted in November. It’s for a good reason. Michelle’s candid perspective offers a narrative spanning her childhood in Chicago to her retreat with Barack from White House. It also feels honest, especially when she details the process of making cheese toast in the microwave, post-presidential life. Overall, her story is about a supportive partner, but one who is equal in drive, dedication, and purpose. While I didn’t listen to an audio version of the book, it reads like she's in the room, sharing stories over coffee—or in the case of Michelle, wine. I would have appreciated more insight into how Michelle stays grounded, but her advice on how to dispel the "haters" proves useful. This book reminds readers that to become anything takes not only patience but belief.

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