The best books for innovative thinking and achievement

Dennis E. Hensley Author Of Jesus in the 21st Century: Amassing Wealth Ethically
By Dennis E. Hensley

Who am I?

Dennis E. Hensley, Ph.D., is the author of 64 books on such topics as motivation, financial management, theology, futurism, professional writing, literary analysis, and time management. Dr. Hensley served as a sergeant in the U.S. Army and was awarded six medals for two tours in Vietnam. He and his wife Rose have been married for 49 years and have two grown married children and four grandkids. Dr. Hensley was a college professor for 21 years and has been a trainer for Wells Fargo Bank, Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Co., Vera Bradley Corp., North American Van Lines, and Lincoln Life Insurance Co., among many others.

I wrote...

Jesus in the 21st Century: Amassing Wealth Ethically

By Dennis E. Hensley,

Book cover of Jesus in the 21st Century: Amassing Wealth Ethically

What is my book about?

Jesus in the 21st Century is gripping, engaging, and enlightening—with large doses of humor, fast-paced narratives, and rising tension. Dr. Dennis E. Hensley steps into the shoes of the greatest storyteller of all—Jesus Christ—and presents Jesus in a contemporary setting. Retelling the classic stories of the Bible as modern-day events, Doc breathes new life into everyone’s favorite parables, miracle scenes, and biblical dramas. Whether you’ve been reading the scriptures for decades or you’ve yet to open a Bible, you’ll be drawn into a story that will keep you turning pages.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Breathing Space: Living and Working at a Comfortable Pace in a Sped-Up Society

Why did I love this book?

This book offers nuts and bolts systems and practices for thinking in new ways, organizing more effectively, and producing more abundantly. The author’s insights on establishing goals, setting priorities, and meeting deadlines are spot on. Though written a few decades ago, its lessons are timeless because they focus on reaching an endgame that provides a sense of satisfactory achievement. The author’s sense of humor and his ability to avoid tedious theory give the book momentum and energy.

By Jeff Davidson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Breathing Space as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The breakthrough book for a time-pressed generation. Major features in USA Today, The Washington Post, Boston Herald, Chicago Tribune, and 75 other newspapers, plus Executive Female, USAir, Office Systems, Leaders, and Men's Health. Explains why the information age is not here yet; for now, most people are drowning in the over-information age. If you face too much paper, too much to read, or simply too much to do, this book will change your life.

Book cover of Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You about Being Creative

Why did I love this book?

The value of this clever, short book is that it shows that very seldom are success stories about major breakthroughs. Instead, most advances piggyback on what has been done before. Innovation derives from seeing how to make what already exists start to work faster or cheaper or stronger or louder or in ways not explored previously. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, you have to figure out how to put rubber tires on it. Kleon shows how to analyze products, evaluate performances, modify systems, brainstorm processes, and conceptualize radical procedures.

By Austin Kleon,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Steal Like an Artist as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When asked to talk to students at Broome Community College in upstate New York in the spring of 2011, Austin Kleon wrote a simple list often things he wished he'd heard when he was their age: 'Steal like an artist; Don't wait until you know who you are to start making things; Write the book you want to read; Use your hands; Side projects are important; Do good work and put it where people can see it; Geography is no longer our master; Be nice (the world is a small town.); Be boring (it's the only way to get work…

Book cover of America the Ingenious: How a Nation of Dreamers, Immigrants, and Tinkerers Changed the World

Why did I love this book?

Michael Nesmith was famous for being a member of “The Monkees,” but his family was rich before that success. His mother, Bette Nesmith, a secretary, and amateur artist, invented Liquid Paper in 1958. She sold her company to Gillette in 1979 for $49,500,000. This book chronicles the amazing achievement of hundreds of people just like Bette. Some became famous (Orville Wright, Levi Strauss, Fred, and Donald Trump, Helen Keller), whereas others were outshone by their creations. The author explains the thought processes, work systems, promotional efforts, and production demands behind each creative person’s journey from idea to finished product. Superb drawings enhance the explanations of machines, bridges, tunnels, and skyscrapers.

By Kevin Baker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked America the Ingenious as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Among the many rewards of America the Ingenious, Kevin Baker’s survey of Yankee know-how, is stumbling on its buried nuggets. . . . Baker examines a wide range of the achievements that have made, and still make, America great again—and again.”
—The Wall Street Journal

All made in America: The skyscraper and subway car. The telephone and telegraph. The safety elevator and safety pin. Plus the microprocessor, amusement park, MRI, supermarket, Pennsylvania rifle, and Tennessee Valley Authority. Not to mention the city of Chicago or jazz or that magnificent Golden Gate Bridge.
What is it about America that makes it…

Book cover of First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently

Why did I love this book?

This book manages to stay timely because it is not about specific aspects of technology or evolving business theories. It’s about challenging conventional thinking, about asking hard questions, about getting raw and real and blunt and pragmatic. This book is radical in giving careful consideration to greed, to solitude, to absenteeism, to total restarts, and to disobedience. It needs to be read slowly and cautiously, but with an open mind toward new thought patterns.

By Marcus Buckingham, Curt Coffman,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked First, Break All the Rules as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Gallup presents the remarkable findings of its revolutionary study of more than 80,000 managers in First, Break All the Rules, revealing what the world's greatest managers do differently. With vital performance and career lessons and ideas for how to apply them, it is a must-read for managers at every level.

Included with this re-release of First, Break All the Rules: updated meta-analytic research and access to the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment, which reveals people's top themes of talent, and to Gallup's Q12 employee engagement survey, the most effective measure of employee engagement and its impact on business outcomes.

What separates the…

Book cover of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

Why did I love this book?

Athletes talk about going for the burn, meaning exercising to the point of breaking down muscles for the purpose of having them rebuild themselves yet stronger. Duckworth believes in a mental and emotional version of this, claiming that people who succeed often are people who are obsessed with closure, with completion, with achievement. They will stick to a task with dogged determination until it is accomplished. The image of the harried artist or creative genius who hasn’t bathed in a week, has forgotten to eat, and has sequestered herself or himself in a garret while working on a project is actually not comical. Those folks who “see it to the end” have an element of grit. They don’t surrender or give up or lose sight of their end goal. They are worth studying and even emulating.

By Angela Duckworth,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Grit as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


In this must-read for anyone seeking to succeed, pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth takes us on an eye-opening journey to discover the true qualities that lead to outstanding achievement. Winningly personal, insightful and powerful, Grit is a book about what goes through your head when you fall down, and how that - not talent or luck - makes all the difference.

'Impressively fresh and original' Susan Cain

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