with greg layton

The Inner Chief is for leaders, professionals and small business owners who want to accelerate their career and growth. Our guest chiefs and gurus share powerful stories and strategies so you can have more purpose, influence and impact in your career.

Listen on

Welcome to our 2019 Winter Wisdom Series, which is a collection of the best of the best from our first 128 episodes of The Inner Chief podcast.

Today's topic is Top Reads and we explore the 5 most recommended books by our Chiefs and Gurus.

1. Built to Last & Good to Great – by Jim Collins

These books are not about visionary products or visionary leaders, they’re about visionary companies and what it is that makes the truly exceptional companies different from the others.

2. Sapiens & Homo Deus – by Yuval Noah Harari

While these aren’t business books, they’re a profound study into human history. Drawing insights from biology, anthropology, palaeontology and economics and exploring how history has shaped our societies and our personalities. Life-changing reads, I promise!

3. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team – by Patrick Lencioni

Like all of Patrick's books, this one is a compelling fable with a simple but powerful message. He reveals the 5 dysfunctions that go to the very heart of why teams (even the very best ones) often struggle. If you’re leading a team or trying to build a culture that thrives, this is a must-read.

4. The Power of Now – by Eckhart Tolle

This is a spiritual guidebook; a manual for understanding exactly how to ‘live in the now’. It also has the benefit of markers throughout the book that symbolise ‘break time’ ie. when you should close the book, put it down and mull over what you’ve just read. Not in any way a business book, but a guidebook for living a purposeful life and being the best possible version of yourself.

5. Legacy – James Kerr

While I’m forever frustrated when the Wallabies lose to the All Blacks, I’m also forever in awe of what the All Blacks stand for: their culture, passion, teamwork and performance is like no other sporting team in history.
And like Neil Craig said, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Success leaves clues and we should learn from these. So if you’re trying to build a high performance team culture, something that lasts the test of time, then this is a great read for you.

So Chiefs…what can we learn from these books?

I think there are three key themes:


Uniting and aligning your people is the single most important factor in building a successful team and a successful business.


Building a high performance team isn’t easy. It takes focus, energy, commitment and accountability. But while high performance teams might be challenging, they’re ultimately the most rewarding groups to be part of.


Whether it’s for the benefit of our team, our business or our own personal lives, self-awareness is critical. We must learn about ‘us' first. We must debunk our own thinking, bias and beliefs. You can’t live a life of purpose until you unpack yourself.

And that’s it for the first of our Winter Wisdom Series.
Stay epic,