12-Month Mental Toughness Reading Plan for Executives


There exists a business model that provides book summaries for executives. Basically, the cliff notes, so you don’t have to waste your time reading the entire book. Yikes! What is this, 9th grade?

Getting the summary of a book is not even close as actually reading it. It’s like trying to take an exercise pill to supplant working out. Get your Mental Toughness reading plan together!

Reading is a process, not a destination. The process of the mind goes when actually reading is amazing. Different parts of the brain are activated when reading different topics like facts or stories. We slow down when reading, create pictures in our head, imagine scenarios, have flashbacks, reflect, etc. One moment of reading a book can lead to that one idea or inspiration. You can’t create this process through a summary or notes.

Besides, we actually only remember one or two keys from any book anyways. It’s the process of reading that creates the change.

Don’t cheat yourself with a summary! Read the freakin’ entire book or at least digest an audio book.

Besides, if you’re a leader or coach, then you are paid to read!

Here is your 12-month mental toughness reading plan for executives. This is the list of books that I buy for all of my executives that I’m coaching… Do you have a must-read book? Email me your suggestions, I’d be happy to check them out and make another list.


MONTH/BOOK  |  MENTAL TOUGHNESS READING PLAN |   PURPOSE


JanuaryMan’s Search For Meaning –  Viktor Frankl                      INSPIRATION

February/ On Fire   –   John O’Leary                                                    PERSPECTIVE

March/  The Winner Within  –  Pat Riley                                            LEADERSHIP

April/ How The Mighty Fall –  Jim Collins                                            LEGACY

May/ Legacy   –   James Kerr                                                                  CULTURE

June/ The Forgotten Highlander:  –  Alistar Urquhart                     PERSPECTIVE

July/ Living With A Seal  –  Jesse Itzler                                              EFFORT

August/Crucial Conversations –  Patterson, et al.                        COMMUNICATION

September/ Extreme Ownership:  –  Jocko Willink                          LEADERSHIP

October/ The Power of Habit –  Charles Duhigg                                            HABITS

November/ Siddhartha –  Herman Hesse                                          SPIRITUALITY

December/ The Greatest Salesman in the World –  Og Mandino     PHILOSOPHY


Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates is based in Indianapolis.  Some clients have included: Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. Check out all the books on Mental Toughness 

How I Prepare to Present


The very first talk I ever gave was in front of a rival high school with hundreds of students. It was a packed gym; the entire school. I spoke at their event where students promised not to drink and drive.

I was a just freshman in college.

My arm was in a sling and it was just a few weeks removed from being involved in a drunk driving accident. It was a horrible experience.

Thank God I didn’t hurt anyone else.

I was only able to recover by allowing my MESS to become my MESSAGE. My experience had to be used to benefit others.

I hope it did, not sure.

But all I did was speak from the heart. It’s how I still prepare to present. That day I delivered.  It was a pleasure to share my story. Even though I didn’t speak for probably years later, a seed was planted.

Now, my goal when I deliver a keynote is simple.

It’s to be the best speaker that they’ve ever seen.

Sometimes it is. Most of the time it isn’t. It’s a tough goal.

I’m excited and relaxed before going up on stage to speak, but it’s only because I’m anxious and scared the days leading up to it and during the preparation.

I go through the irrational what-ifs. What if I forget what I’m doing or speaking about?

But, I’d rather it be that way than being anxious during the event.

I’m fanatical about my preparation. I probably prep for six total hours making it specific to my audience. I go through the entire talk several times. It’s the way I still prepare to present.

Preparation is key. Repetition is the mother to all learning…

Goal Keeper Jon Busch has played in over 500 professional soccer matches. His training is simple, but not easy. He treats every practice like it’s the World Cup Final.  Prepare to present!

Before the Super Bowl, 49ers QB Steve Young memorized all 300 plays with his quarterback coach Mike Shanahan. The night before the game after going through every play, Coach Shanahan told Steve Young, Let’s do it just one more time.” After he completed it again, the coach told him “Okay, now you’re ready.”

The good ones practice until they get it right, the great ones practice until they can’t get it wrong.


Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates is based in Indianapolis.  Some clients have included: Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. Check out all the books on Mental Toughness