Rumsfeld’s Rules by Donald Rumsfeld.

Book Review

Title and Author:  Rumsfeld’s Rules by Donald Rumsfeld. Synopsis of Content: Donald Rumsfeld has had a tremendous career in the military, business and government. He served as a flight instructor in the US Navy from 1954-1957, Administrative assistant to two Congressman, Stock Broker, and Representative from Illinois to Congress from 1962-1969. He served four Presidents […]

Books2Wealth Books of the Month

Since 2008 subscribers to my newsletter have received my book of the month review – a review about an important, useful or just plain fascinating book that can help you learn more about personal development, leadership skills, time management and building financial security. At present you can find these reviews at .  In the coming months those reviews will all be migrated to this blog and an index of them will appear below. Check back often to see what has been added. Keep learning.

2010 Books of the Month–

September 2010 Outstanding! by John G. Miller

October 2010: The 21 Secrets of Success of Self Made Millionaires by Brian Tracy

November 2010: The Oz Principle

December 2010: The Puritan Gift

2011 Books of the Month–

January 2011: Start Late, Finish Rich by Bach

February 2011: The 4 Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss

March 2011: How I Made My First Million on the Internet by Ewen Chia

April 2011: Reagan on Leadership by James M. Strock

May 2011: None.

June 2011: Linchpin by Seth Godin

July 2011: Buffet by Roger Lowenstein

August 2011: The Total Money Makeover by David Ramsey

September 2011: The Success System That Never Fails by W. Clement Stone

October 2011: The One Minute Entrepreneur by Ken Blanchard and Don Hutson and Ethan Willis

November 2011:  Clark Howard’s Living Large in Large Times

December 2011: Personal Development for Smart People by Steve Pavlina


2012 Books of the Month–

January: Laughing at Wall Street by Chris Camillo

February: The Great Crash Ahead by Harry S. Dent

March: The Smartest Money Book by Daniel Solin

April: The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy

May: Born to Win by Zig Ziglar

June: A Message to Garcia by Elbert Hubbard

July: The River of Doubt by Candace Millard

August: Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns

September: It Worked for Me by Colin Powell

October: The Pursuit of Wow! by Tom Peters

November: Goal Setting- 13 Secrets of World Class Achievers by Vic Johnson

December: The Charge by Brendan Berchard

2013 Books of the Month–

January: Smart Couples Finish Rich by David Bach

February: Platform, Michael Hyatt

March: The Way to Wealth by Benjamin Franklin – March 2013

April: How Did That Happen by Roger Connors and Tom Smith

May: Real Influence by Mark Goulston and John Ullmenn

June: Into the Storm by NT Perkins and Jillian Murphy

July: Steve Jobs by Walter Issacson

August: Three Simple Steps by Trevor Blake

September: Rumsfeld’s Rules by Donald Rumsfeld

October: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

November: Leading at the Edge by Dennis NT Perkins

December: Paychecks and Playchecks by Tom Hegna

2014 Books of the Month–

January: As a Man Thinketh by James Allen

February: Hacking Leadership by M. Hyatt

March: Achieve Anything in Just One Year by Jason Harvey

April: Focus by Daniel Goleman

May: The Corporate Soul Handbook by

June: Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson

July: Getting Things Done by David Allen

August: Compelling People by John Neffinger and Matthew Kohut

September: Rewire: Change Your Brain by Richard O’Connor, PhD

October: Top Performance by Zig Ziglar

November: Reinvention by Brian Tracy

December: The Five Essential People Skills – Carnegie

2015 Books of the Month–

Jan: Eat That Frog by BrianTracy

Feb: The 5 Choices

Mar: I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi – Guest Review by Carmen Lynne

Apr: The Success Essentials by Daniel R. Murphy

May: David and Goliath

Jun: Thinking Fast and Slow

Jul: Safe Money Millionaire – Written by Brett Kitchen and Ethan Kap By Joe Mosed

Aug: The Art of Social Media by Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick

Sep: The Leadership Handbook by John C. Maxwell

Oct: Hidden Strengths

Nov: The Greatest Success in the World by Og Mandino

Dec: 4 Disciplines of Execution

2016 Books of the Month–

Jan: The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale

Feb: Goal Power! by Daniel R. Murphy

Mar: Practical Steps to Financial Freedom – Burrece

Apr: Your Financial Success by Daniel R. Murphy

May: Raising Your Line by Robert Stevenson

Jun: The Simplicity Cycle by Dan Ward

Jul: Seven Strategies to Wealth and Happiness by Jim Rohn

Aug: The Excellence Habit by Vlad Zachary

Sep: Grit by Angela Duckworth

Oct: “The Four Agreements”, by Don Miguel Ruiz By Kevin Brimhall

Nov: Smarter, Faster, Better by Charles Duhigg



2017 Books of the Month–

Jan: none

Feb: The Three Box Solution by Vijay Govindaragan

Mar: none

Apr: Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini

May: none

June: Think Like a Freak by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner







James M. Strock

Books2Wealth Interview

July 5, 2010

An exclusive interview with author and leadership expert, James M. Strock by Daniel R. Murphy-

Murphy: You have recently published your third book, Serve to Lead. As you know there are lots of books out there on leadership. How is Serve to Lead different from the rest? What can the reader expect from it that will not be found in other books on the subject?

Strock: Serve to Lead is built on two foundations. The first is that 21st-century leadership is indeed something quite distinct from what’s come before. This change includes many aspects, outlined in the book. Perhaps the most important is that in today’s new world, service is the basis of effective leadership. In the past, “ethical leadership” or “servant leadership” were presented as options—perhaps desirable, but options nonetheless. Today making service your ultimate concern is mandatory. It’s a competitive necessity for effective, sustainable service by an organization or individual.

Second, leadership skills can be cultivated systematically. That does not mean that everyone can attain a high position or become a historically consequential leader— any more than spectacular basketball coaching can make anyone the next Michael Jordan. But systematic improvement can raise your game to levels previously unimaginable.

Murphy: How would you characterize the major difference in leadership in the 21st Century as distinguished from the timeless qualities of leadership from the past?

Strock: In one sentence:  Everyone Can Serve—Because Everyone Can Lead.

What is different today is that there are unprecedented opportunities for anyone to serve—and lead—in any setting. The Information Revolution has given us all the potential to build platforms for ideas and visions, remarkably free of the control of powerful institutions. Serve to Lead includes many examples of this phenomenon—and, I hope there are many more are created by readers of the book!

Murphy: In your book you teach us that everyone, no matter what position they hold, should be a leader. Is this a new idea in the 21st century?

Strock: In one sense, the notion of leadership as separate from position is as old as history itself. Many of the greatest leaders have not held high position. Thus we celebrate the leadership of Jesus Christ, Buddha, Mohammed and other spiritual leaders, for example. So, too, leaders in our era such as Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., did not hold high position. Many who achieve high position in business, finance or politics are first recognized as leaders from their endeavors outside of—or in challenge to—established organizations or institutions.

What is qualitatively different today—and unprecedented—is the enhanced capacity of individuals to serve in ways unbounded by institutional constraints. This is truly the era of the “super-empowered individual.” We often focus on the negative of that—terrorists, bank employees who have disrupted markets, and so on—but the positives are at least as extraordinary.

Murphy: You write that your book is intended to be transformational. How is it transformational for the reader and how should the reader obtain the most transformational experience from it?

Strock: Leadership is about crafting and communicating a vision that inspires others to decide to change their thoughts and actions. Its impact is measured by results which would not otherwise have occurred.

Transformation is about one thing changing into something altogether different. Serving others effectively in leadership necessarily transforms both the leader and those served.

A reader who continually asks the book’s Four Questionsbeginning with the first, Who Are You Serving?—can rapidly transform their life experience. Serve to Lead presents the questions as a unified approach to the range of leadership situations—from customer service to management to communications.

It’s been a delight to hear from a number of readers that the book has changed their lives. To be sure, though, they’re changing their lives. I’m honored that they find the Serve to Lead approach helps them identify and undertake their calling, their unique contribution.

Murphy: What did you learn, or what most importantly did you learn in the process of writing this book?

Strock: I learned many, many things! Perhaps most important is that service, in a very real, practical sense, is the essence of leadership. Every leadership challenge can be analyzed and effectively resolved by focusing on who and how one is serving.

Murphy: What were the most important experiences in your career that taught you the lessons you write about in the book?

Strock: I’ve been blessed to have experience working in various sectors. That includes entrepreneurial, corporate, management consulting, law, government (federal and state, legislative, executive and law enforcement), politics, not-for-profit, academic, and the military. This has reached across various fields and disciplines, across the U.S. and abroad. I’ve served at every level, from intern to entrepreneur to chief executive, from consultant to board member.

These experiences made me aware of the increasing commonalities of leadership in our  time. The golden thread: one’s greatest contribution arises from empowering others to make their own greatest contribution.

When I was starting out thirty years ago, the norm was to seek to have one’s entire career with a single institution or enterprise. My experience, moving across numerous areas, was somewhat unusual. This equipped me to recognize and thrive in the emerging 21st-century world in which we all must be extraordinarily adaptive.

Murphy: You used more quotations from leadership and thought leaders then most books offer and they are so seamlessly integrated into your discussions. How did you do that? Would it be accurate to say this offers a lifetime collection of some of the best thinking on leadership?

Strock: A key message of Serve to Lead is the convergence of leadership. When service is the ultimate concern, value is created in similar ways even in very different circumstances. Thus, we’re increasingly seeing people who add tremendous value in one field, serve effectively in others. This is a notable change from the 20th century, when specialization was prized and people were often discouraged or excluded from working in more than one sector or discipline.

The diversity of quotations and references reflects that one can learn from many different experiences, from other times, places and circumstances. I hope, too, that many readers will be tempted to follow various quotations back to their sources or be inspired to seek additional sources to help them identify and achieve their unique contribution. When one’s ultimate concern is service, the possibilities are endless.

Murphy: When someone reads a book like this it looks so easy – it flows so naturally. How difficult was it to write and how long did it take?

Strock: I appreciate that question and compliment—all the more since you are such a fine writer! 

The book was written over the course of five years. The idea crystallized in January 2005 in downtown Sydney. I examined and reflected on the historic statue commemorating the leadership of Sir Richard Bourke, an early governor of New South Wales. The book was completed on the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday in 2010.  

I did labor over the writing quite intently. The book is intended to serve various types of readers in various circumstances. Some will read it straight through. Others may choose to search out specific items which are of use at a given moment, or to think through a pressing issue in their work or personal life. Still others may want to dip into pages randomly, seeking inspiration, information or provocation.

Murphy: You discuss in the book how best to use it, but in a few words here what is your best advice on how someone should use this book to get the most out of it?

Strock:  Whatever helps others find their way to service is the best approach. I urge people to do whatever it takes to make them, in effect, coauthor. Mark it up, underline what you like, cross out what you disagree with… but in any case make it your own.

By design, Serve to Lead is not a book of “answers.” It’s a book of questions. Only you can answer the questions, only you can create the “masterpiece of service” that represents your calling, your unique contribution.

Murphy: In your final chapter, Make Your Life a Masterpiece of Service, you discuss how a leader’s creative process throughout a life time is very important and how you can improve upon prior works. Do you see your earlier writing as leading up to this latest book? Is Serve to Lead your magnum opus, a culmination of your prior work on a higher level?

Strock: As Serve to Lead suggests, if one’s goal is to serve, one aims to continually improve—hour by hour, day by day, year by year. That is part of what makes leadership transformational all around.

The book advocates that one seeks to make use of every aspect of one’s life to achieve one’s greatest contribution. That is where leadership becomes performance art. One reason that the quotations and references in Serve to Lead come from numerous sources is that they reflect learning and experiences from throughout my life. In turn, my great hope is that others will be inspired and empowered to do the same thing.

Murphy: Are you working on a new book, and if so what will it address? When might we expect it out?

Strock: Ronald Reagan’s centennial is February 6, 2011. For that occasion, I will be publishing an updated edition of my first book, Reagan on Leadership: Executive Lessons from the Great Communicator. It will include some exciting new parts, to be announced later this year.

Overall, I believe the way I can serve most effectively is to continue to speak and write about the principles of Serve to Lead. That may result in future editions of the book, taking into account new ideas and experiences and lessons learned.

I would love to hear from anyone with ideas in that regard, including how they might get involved to help get the message out. To learn more, or to get hold of me, please visit

Murphy: Thank you so much Mr. Strock for sharing your thoughts on this subject and your book. I hope we will see more from you soon.

Strock: You’re most welcome, and thank you Mr. Murphy for this opportunity to discuss Serve to Lead. I’ve got a lot of respect for the important service you provide, and it’s an honor to be included in your publication.

This interview is copyright protected by Daniel R. Murphy 2010. Permission is granted to reproduce this article in its entirety if proper credit is given. Attribution should be as follows: “Books2Wealth Interview, © Daniel R. Murphy, used by permission, “

Blog Posts Worth Noting

striatic / Foter / CC BY Here is a small selection of recent blog posts that you may find instructive and inspiring. The nice thing about blog posts is that they are usually short and easy to read. They usually center on one subject and they are concise. I scan about 30 blogs on a […]

Author Profile: James Strock

About the Author: James Strock is a prolific writer and blogger on the subject of leadership. He is also a consultant and public speaker. His seminal book on leadership, Serve to Lead, focuses on service as the focus of genuine leadership. He also writes on government, social issues and environmental issues. Strock has worked in business, […]

Off the Beaten Path

It seems that TV talk show host Conan O’Brien has some surprises for us. He majored in history and has maintained an active interest in the subject. In an interview of historian and author Edmund Morris we see a very different O’Brien – a serious, well read and highly intelligent mind. In addition to this […]

Self-Made? No. Self-Created? Yes.

Self-Made? No. Self-Created? Yes. by James Strock Mike Myatt, one of the most respected authorities on leadership, recently wrote an excellent post in “Self-Made Man—No Such Thing.” Mike’s fundamental point is presented with force: “I absolutely reject all the “self-made man” propaganda floating around business circles as patently false. The myth of the self-made person is […]

Self-Made? No. Self-Created? Yes.

by James Strock Mike Myatt, one of the most respected authorities on leadership, recently wrote an excellent post in “Self-Made Man—No Such Thing.” Mike’s fundamental point is presented with force: “I absolutely reject all the “self-made man” propaganda floating around business circles as patently false. The myth of the self-made person is so ridiculous […]

Best Book Reviews of 2011

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