I’m Taking the Challenge


“How will I make next year different?” Like many of you, that’s the thought I have at the end of a year. My temptation is to want to fix all my character flaws and become the perfect husband and father. That gets overwhelming very quickly! So, I’ve resisted grandiose plans to start a journey to sainthood and have been looking for something a little more manageable. A couple days ago, I read a blog article by Jon Acuff, “The Empty Shelf Challenge!” Jon issued a challenge that I am taking and I want to challenge you, too!

Jon’s challenge is to empty a bookshelf now, and throughout 2014 fill it back up with books you’ve read. The picture above is my empty bookshelf. It holds about 35 books—that’s quite a few, an average of 3 per month. Can I do that? Yes, I can. It will be quite a challenge for me given that my responsibilities at Capella University already require reading a lot of papers and journal articles, which I will not count in the challenge.

Jon didn’t limit the books to any particular genre or subject, nor will I. My favorites are history and biography, but I currently have a stack of unread books that include business, leadership, clock repair, economics, statistics, and some fiction, too. Go read Jon’s article to learn how to participate in his Pinterest group and to post your progress. He’s using the hashtag #EmptyShelf. Whenever you take on a new challenge it helps to work with others to provide encouragement and to be encouraged.

I’ve given myself a head start. I am about halfway through “Keeping Up With the Quants” by Thomas Davenport and Jinho Kim (Harvard Business School Publishing, 2013). Next up are “Godonomics” by Chad Hovind (Multnomah, 2013) and then “The Global War on Christians” by John Allen, Jr. (Image, 2013).

What will be your first book of 2014? Let me know if you’ll join the challenge (with or without Jon Acuff’s group) and keep me posted on your progress. I’ll post articles from time-to-time here.

Dr. Scott Yorkovich is a leadership coach and consultant. He works with individuals, small and medium organizations, and ministries. Contact him at ScottYorkovich[at]LeadStrategic.com with your questions.

Photo by author.

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