Jon Gordon is a best-selling author and professional speaker, inspiring readers and audiences around the globe.  The principles he teaches have been utilised by not just Fortune 500 companies, but also numerous NFL, MLB and NBA coaches and teams.  Perhaps his most famous book is the The Wall Street Journal bestseller The Energy Bus.  Jon Gordon is on a passionate mission to develop positive leaders, organisations and teams.  Jon graduated from Cornell University and also holds a Masters in Teaching from Emory University.  As a huge NBA fan, I was excited to have the opportunity to speak with someone who has acted in a consultative/training role for the LA Clippers.  Jon Gordon is a globally recognised expert in leadership, so it’s an honour to be able to talk books with him.  Please enjoy my interview with Jon Gordon…

When someone asks you ‘what do you do for a living?’ – How do you respond?

I say that I am a writer and speaker. I write mostly business, leadership and inspirational fables.

all the places to goWhat are you reading at the moment?

All the Places To Go by John Ortberg, John Ortberg is one of my favorite writers.

When you think about your childhood, what comes to mind?

My family. My Mom and Dad who both passed away. I think about their love and all the great food they made.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

President of the United States. Given our two current candidates I may actually have to run.

What do you think your school aged self would think of the present day you?

I think he would be excited that I went after my dream and overcame all the obstacles, fear, negativity and adversity to make it happen.

If you could wrap up a single book and gift it to yourself as you left education – which book would it be?

My book The Carpenter.  I wrote it as if I was writing to my younger self and my children.

Does your reading have routine? Is there a particular time or place that you like to read?

I seem to read most on airplanes.

rich dad poor dadWhich book has had the biggest impact on your career so far?

If it’s a book I wrote the answer is The Energy Bus. Writing that book changed my life. If it’s someone else’s book then I have to say Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. It made me realize that I needed to be my own boss and pave my own way.

Do you have any books that you strongly associate with someone important in your life?

The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino. My Mom gave it to me when I graduated.

What book have you recommended the most to friends and family?

Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You by John Ortberg.

Do you prefer fiction or non-fiction?

I like both equally.

Do you think reading is important?

I think it’s very important. The books we read and the people we surround ourselves with have a huge impact on our lives.

What’s the best book you’ve read in the last 6 months?

Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World by Bob Goff.

Do you prefer real books or digital books?

I prefer real books.

a million miles in a thousand yearsName a book that you feel every human should have to read by law.

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: How I Learned to Live a Better Story by Donald Miller.

What is the book that you feel has had the single biggest impact on your life?

I can’t name one book. Too many have impacted me differently. But every book by Erwin McManus has been life changing.  I also loved Traveling Light: Releasing the Burdens You Were Never Intended to Bear by Max Lucado, The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson and The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard.

Are there any books you haven’t mentioned that you feel would make your reading list?

My reading list would also include Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah by Richard Bach and Humility by Andrew Murray.

What books or subject matter do you plan on reading in the next year?

A wide range of topics. I’d like to read books on on grit, books that are inspirational, spiritual, predictions about the future.

If you were to write an autobiography – what would it be called?

That’s a tough one.  I’m not sure yet. I’m still writing and living my life’s story.

If you’d like to learn more about Jon Gordon and his work, you can find him on his website, his Facebook and his Twitter.