Tag Archive for: What I’m Reading

What I’m Reading: Billy Joel

As part of the occasional What I’m Reading series, here’s a recent book I’ve read and have enjoyed. Billy Joel is an American songwriter I’ve admired for as long as I can remember. A little while ago, I read a biography about the music legend.

I’m reading this book more for entertainment purposes, though I’m also learning a lot about Joel. He, in my opinion, is one of the greatest American songwriters of pop music ever. Somebody that musically I’ve really followed and been a fan of his music for as long as I can remember.

It’s interesting as you read about celebrities, and how often their lives are filled with ups and downs. Just like everyone, I suppose. He’s had many challenges, which is where a lot of his great music has come from, I think.

But he’s always had his love and passion for music, which has always rescued him when things were not going the best.

I wouldn’t necessarily pattern my life after that of Billy Joel, but I certainly love his music.

What I’m Reading: The Ride of a Lifetime

The Ride of a Lifetime

It’s been several months since I’ve posted about What I’m Reading. So I wanted to share with you one book that I’ve recently started but that I’m really enjoying. It’s The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company.

My kids know that I like to read, so they’re always trying to find something I might enjoy. My son actually gave me this book.

It’s lessons learned from Robert Iger, who spent more than a decade leading the Walt Disney Company.

I’m always excited to learn from other leaders. This book, in particular, lays out several real-life practical stories.

Iger also offers insight into certain decisions he made — some good, some bad — and the lessons he learned from each.

The Disney Experience

As you may remember, the USANA management team spent some time at The Disney Institute in 2019. We learned from their customer experience model.

Our challenge: Learn as much as we could from the Disney team. And then visit Disneyland the following day to observe their methods in action.

Finally, we regrouped as a management team and talked about how we can apply some of the Disney customer experience strategies in our own business. I believe it’s so important to learn from others, especially from others who have a proven track record in a certain area.

The Walt Disney Company definitely excels in customer experience. I’m learning even more about it as I make my way through The Ride of a Lifetime.

How About You?

What are you currently reading? Please drop a comment to let me know if there’s a book you recommend I pick up next.



What I’m Reading: The Reality Slap

When life hurts, how do we respond in a healthy way? The Reality Slap, a book by Russ Harris, provides us with techniques and strategies to deal with issues that many of us are likely facing today. For me, the book’s helped me learn how to communicate more effectively with my loved ones.

I talk a little more about the book in the below video.

I’m on my third time reading The Reality Slap: How to Find Fulfilment When Life Hurts within the last several weeks. It’s impacted me, especially considering the challenging times in which we’re all living. As we continue to fight through a global pandemic, reality has slapped many people across the face.

Harris offers tips to help us react and respond in a healthy way.

The Reality Slap: Stop, Refocus, Breathe

Kevin Guest - Stop, Refocus, Breathe - The Reality SlapOne of the techniques that stuck with me is: SRB. S is for Stop, R is for Refocus, and B stands for Breathe.

If you’re slapped in the face with something that stops you in your tracks, it’s important to take a minute to ground yourself. If I’m feeling anxious, I look around and start naming things I see. Oh, there’s a red car. There’s a tall tree. I see a rose bush. I’ll stop, and I’ll name it out loud. Within a few seconds, I become present and grounded.

It also works with sounds you hear. “I hear a clock,” “I hear the wind.”

Moving on to refocus, it’s important to be curious about the feelings and emotions that you’re experiencing. Don’t try to put them away or brush them aside. Really accept what you’re feeling.

And then as you’re doing that, you consciously breathe. The breathing technique I learned elsewhere, and it really works for me, is the 4-7-8 method.

  • Breathe in for four counts
  • Hold your breath for seven counts
  • Breath out slowly for eight counts

What I'm Reading - The Reality Slap

Repeat that exercise four times.

A Calming Effect

I think you’ll find that if you Stop, Refocus, and Breathe, you’ll be calmer and react in a healthier way when life slaps you in the face. Your brain will function more clearly and you’ll be able to make better decisions, regardless of what’s happening around you.

For more on What I’m Reading, please visit my other blog posts.

What I’m Reading: Don’t Feed the Monkey Mind

As you know, one question I’m often asked is: What books are you reading? If you’re following me on Facebook or subscribe to my e-newsletter, you know that I recently read Don’t Feed the Monkey Mind: How to Stop the Cycle of Anxiety, Fear, and Worry.

Don't Feed the Monkey MindAuthor Jennifer Shannon published the book two years ago, but its message continues to resonate. A lot is happening in our world right now. And before I continue, let me just say: I hope this message finds you healthy, and it finds you safe.

Don’t Feed the Monkey Mind, among other things, explains the importance of employing effective strategies to better deal with uncertainties. That’s to say, understanding what’s within your control and filling your mind with “I choose to…” statements.

For me, I choose to remain positive. I choose to do things that make me happy. I choose to live life forward.

I’m encouraged by all the positive messages I’ve received, and that I continue to receive, from many of you. I believe it’s so important to stay positive in uncertain times.

Please Share Your Positivity

I’d love to hear from you. As you encounter positive messages in your daily routines, whether you find them in books or in conversations or in real-life examples, please share them with me. I want to continue filling my mind with messages of goodness and hope and positivity.

Here’s a video I shared on March 18 with my social media followers. It touches on my mindset following a 5.7 magnitude earthquake in Salt Lake City. In it, I also share a few thoughts on USANA as we navigate these unique times:

Finally, below are the two quotes — mentioned in the video — that I believe are especially relevant to today’s uncertain times. My hope is that we can all live forward and look to the future.

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”

— Albert Einstein

“Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.”

— Soren Kierkegaard

I wrote about this notion of positivity in my e-newsletter than went out to subscribers in late March. If you’re not yet subscribed, I invite you to do so here.

What I’m Reading — Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

In the video below, I share a story about an interaction I had recently that illustrates “mindset.”

An employee greeted me as I walked through the front door at work recently. I asked how she was doing. She looked at me right in the eye and said, “You know, today’s going to be a great day.”

It struck me because I thought to myself, today is going to be a great day. And it’s going to be a great day because I think it’s going to be a great day. It’s where I’m at.

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

I’ve spoken recently about the power of mindset. In her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, author Carol S. Dweck does a phenomenal job outlining the concept.

I’m often asked about the difference between leaders who succeed in USANA and those who don’t.

It boils down to two things: growth vs. fixed mindset.

Mindset - Growth vs. FixedIn Mindset, Dweck discusses two different ways of thinking about things. We can either have a fixed or growth mindset. Those who are successful and continue to grow are those who employ a growth mindset.

In contrast, those who have “fixed” mindsets aren’t seeking to grow. They aren’t interested in learning new things. They’re content living their life in the same way they always have lived it.

I encourage you to think about your own way of thinking. Is today a great day? Did you decide it’s going to be a great day? Because you’re the only one who can decide.

One thing I’ve learned is this: the only person I have control over is me. My mindset is so critical to my performance and to my happiness.

I challenge you to take a look at this book. Think about which bucket you fall into. Is it “growth” or “fixed?” Are you open to trying new things? Or is “operating as usual” more comfortable for you?

For more on What I’m Reading, please visit my other blog posts.


What I’m Reading: Emotional Intelligence

Harvard Business Review: Top 10 Must-Reads on Emotional Intelligence

The notion of Emotional Intelligence is top-of-mind for me. It’s something I touched on in my talk at USANA’s Global Live event in August.

Harvard Business Review - Emotional IntelligenceI’ve been talking to and training employees on this subject. And I did the same on my recent trip to Dubai with our top business growers. I spent an hour talking to the group there about this topic.

Normally, when I share a “What I’m Reading” post, it centers on a specific book. This time, it’s a collection of articles from the Harvard Business Review.

If you’re familiar with the HBR, you know the articles are always well-researched and filled with interesting studies or findings.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

For me, it centers on empathy. What that really means is working to understand others’ emotional makeup. Put yourself in their place and truly “meet” people where they are.

I think that’s a key for us at USANA being successful as we share our messages. Are we meeting people where they are? Or are we expecting them to come to where we are?

It’s not physically traveling to “meet” people at their home or office. But rather, it’s understanding what other people are thinking, where they’re coming from, and what experiences they may have had in the past that influence who they are today.

With all the knowledge that we have and all the years of experience that we may have. And that begins with being empathetic and being socially and emotionally intelligent. I would encourage you, if you get a chance, you can Google the Harvard Business Review on emotional intelligence. Study it, read it. I’m sure it will help you in all aspects of your life.

I believe boosting our emotional intelligence will improve our individual productivity, as well as our personal and business relationships.

What I’m Reading: Customer Centricity

Customer Centricity: Focus on the Right Customers for Strategic Advantage, by Peter Fader

I’m back with the latest “What I’m Reading” episode. Today, the book is Customer Centricity. It’s helping me in my thinking as we drive our customer experience strategy here at USANA.

Customer CentricityOne big takeaway for me is the analysis of customer centricity vs. product centricity. At USANA, we’ve been very successful at a product-centric strategy. It’s definitely served us well.

But I believe that for us to get where we want to go, we have to evolve and center our efforts on the overall customer experience (which, obviously, includes providing our Associates with the best possible products).

We at USANA — and our thousands of independent business owners — are in an excellent position in today’s marketplace. It’s important to be able to connect one-on-one with our customers. We have built relationships and we can build upon those relationships to set us apart even further.

As we become more customer-centric in our approach and we truly connect with our customers, I believe all of us will be much more successful.

As the CEO of your own business (if you’re a USANA Associate or other entrepreneur), I invite you to think about ways in which you can be more customer-centric. To connect with new and existing customers. Determine how you can build better relationships. And most importantly, seek ways to add value.

If you’d like to keep track of “What I’m Reading” videos, please subscribe to my YouTube channel.

What I’m Reading: Strategic Acceleration

Strategic Acceleration: Succeed at the Speed of Life, by Tony Jeary

Strategic Acceleration by Tony JearyThe latest “What I’m ReadinginstallmentStrategic Acceleration — highlights a book I’ve found incredibly helpful as I continue to grow and learn as a leader.

Tony Jeary, the author, is a good friend who’s helped me and other members of the USANA management team over the years. The message in this book really boils down to this:

  • Clarity
  • Focus
  • Execution

We have to be really clear about who we are, what our goals are, and what we want to accomplish. Then, we’re able to focus on what’s important and execute to achieve our goals.

When we’re clear in our goals, it allows us to focus on the task at hand, whatever it may be. With that, we’re able to execute on those goals strategically.

I think all of us in our lives, whether it’s in relationships, with USANA, or with health, we all could use more clarity.

Strategic Acceleration is a great read. I encourage all of you to take the opportunity to pick it up and please let me know your takeaways.

About Tony Jeary

For more than two decades, Tony has advised CEOs and other high achievers on how to discover new clarity for their vision, develop focus on their direction, and create powerful execution strategies that impact achievement and results.


What I’m Reading: A Voice Undefeated

A Voice Undefeated, by Collin Raye.

Hello everyone. Thank you for following along on my social media and this blog. Thank you, especially, for being part of the What I’m Reading series.

Your response to the books and the comments on these posts has been incredible. I appreciate your engagement and hope you’ll continue to find value in the books I’m reading. Perhaps they’ll impact your life the same way they’ve impacted mine.

For this installment, I want to share with you a book by my friend Collin Raye. It’s called A Voice Undefeated. It’s an inspirational biography of him and his life and the struggles and ups and downs that he’s had.

It also delves into his music career that includes an eye-popping 24 top-10 hits, 16 No. 1 hits, and millions of records sold. Did you know Collin’s a 10-time Vocalist of the Year nominee?

I enjoy learning from people’s experiences and I think we can learn a lot from each other in sharing our experiences.

In my book All the Right Reasons, one of the principles talks about nothing is more important than relationships — The Dorothy Principle. And I think you’ll get that same feeling as you read Collin’s book.

What I’m Reading

For me, I’m usually reading three different types of books.

  • Usually one is a business book that’s helping me with strategy or relationships or thinking about things from a business environment or leadership perspective.
  • Two, I’m usually reading something that is religious that fills my tank with information and knowledge and expands my thinking.
  • The third is usually a non-fiction biographical type book like this one of Collin’s.

I highly recommend it. A Voice Undefeated. I think you’ll enjoy it. He’s been a friend of USANA for more than a decade. He and Dr. Wentz are close. Collin’s been to Sanoviv. He enjoys our products and is an advocate of really trying to help us create the healthiest family on earth.

I think this read will help you as you move along in your journey in life.

What I’m Reading: Crucial Conversations

As I’ve said in the past, one of the questions I get as I travel the world most frequently is: What book are you reading? So in the spirit of that I want to continue to share books I’m reading (you can see last month’s entry here).

Crucial Conversations

What I’m Reading: Crucial Conversations

I’m usually reading three or four books at a time.

  • One is usually a religious book
  • Another is usually a self-help skills book
  • Another one is a management and/or leadership type book

Depending on how I’m feeling I’ll dive in and take notes.

Crucial Conversations

One of the books I want to share with you that I just love is Crucial Conversations.

I’ve read this book more than once and I continue to use it as a resource when I’m managing and running the company. I also use it in many interactions in my personal life.

The gist of the book is this: When stakes are really high and we need to communicate and talk to someone, how can we help manage that for the best possible outcome for all involved?

When we have a crucial conversation with someone, the No. 1 tip from the book is to stay in dialogue and not let your emotions take control of how you’re communicating.

I think controlling our emotions is so important. And that starts before the meeting ever begins or we ever have a conversation. We create a dialogue in our head.

We’re storytellers. We’re master storytellers. And we’ve obviously told ourselves many stories many, many times. Before we go into a conversation we’ve already told ourselves a story: What’s going to happen? What could the outcomes be?

Then emotions start flowing, and that drives how we communicate with each other.

If we can take control of those emotions, take control of how we communicate with each other and do so in a very, very level dialogue-esque way with each other, we will be much more effective in how we communicate.

I recommend you pick up Crucial Conversations. It’s an easy read and filled with great content. I’ve asked all of the management team at USANA to read this book and apply its principles as well.