Book: Mind Reader by Lior Suchard

I had the chance to share the stage with Lior at an event hosted by Nexstar in 2018. You absolutely must check out Lior’s work on YouTube. He is the world’s best mentalist. He employs methods from NLP, hypnosis, mentalism and just plain wizardry.

Humble, down to earth, and outrageously talented. His book uncovers the story of how he learned of mentalist skills when he moved a spoon in his soup as a child. Just read it already. Just put on a tinfoil hat if you meet him.

Dan Friesen with Lior Suchard

Book: On the Shoulders of Giants by Jack Tester

Jack Tester is the President and CEO of the Nexstar Network. And my employer.

I started training for Nexstar in 2004 and took a full time role there in 2015. In this book, Jack outlines the journey of Nexstar – how we have been able to have an incredible impact in the skilled-trades industry.

I’m proud to be in this industry and proud to work with Jack and the team at Nexstar. Check out the book, learn our story.

Check out Jack’s podcast, Leadership Lounge (and my guest appearance).

Book: Pitch Anything by Oren Klaff

I’ve read this book multiple times. Klaff does a really thorough job of outlining some key fundamentals of sales. The audio book is where I started, and then I bought the kindle version after which I ordered the physical book.

This is definitely a top 10 as related to sales.

Klaff does a very nice job of outlining the ‘levels’ of the brain, how we used them, and how to engage them. He may be primarily responsible for the use of the language ‘croc brain’. And it’s worth reading about.


Book: The Motive by Patrick Lencioni

Patrick Lencioni delivers yet another leadership lesson embedded in a very readable fable. Perhaps his best written fable yet. This book does very well in audiobook format.

Many aspire to become leaders. We want to rise to the top of the proverbial food chain. And then we get there and cannot articulate why it was so important. What is/was your motive for becoming a leader?

Lencioni mentions early in the book that this is recommended first read from his lengthy list of books because it establishes a foundation from whence to build a leadership career.

If you are a leader, or aspire to become one, please add this book to your reading list!

Book: Mitch Rapp Saga by Vince Flynn

#11 on my Top Ten List.

I have read every book in this series. Once or twice every year, I turn off all the learning and growing type books and just get lost in a novel. This is one of my favorite series, and remains that way even since Kyle Mills took over writing for the late Vince Flynn.

This book series gets an honorable mention at #11 on my top ten list and is the only true fiction series that gets this treatment.

I have read this series on beaches around the world. In airplanes. Hotel rooms.

It is one of my favorite escapes. I would much rather read a series like this than see the same series on TV. And that is partly because I have worked very hard to create a habit of reading over a very long period of time.

Book: Become What You Are by Alan Watts

Alan Watts is one of my favorite authors/thinkers. I recently stumbled on this book of his in a podcast, and immediately ordered it. Fittingly, it has a mirror front and center in the book. One of my favorite personal sayings is:

The world is a beautiful mirror.

Dan Friesen

On page 10 of this book, Watts cites these words:

The perfect man employs his mind as a mirror; it grasps nothing; it refuses nothing; it receives, but does not keep.


I think I could reflect on that statement for years, and probably spend the rest of my life learning how to live it out.

This book lands on my list of books to re-read for sure. In Watts unique style, it is packed with thought-provoking ideas. Enjoy.

Book: Natural Brilliance by Paul R. Scheele

Paul Scheele is a genius. I’ve had the privilege of spending time with him and learning from him in person. He possesses a special kind of magic. He has training in NLP and hypnosis and roots that go back to involvement in the early career of Tony Robbins.

Natural Brilliance suggests that we all possess the ability to powerfully shift the course of our lives.

Overcome any challenge…at will

Paul R. Scheele

When we address a challenge in our life, we typically only look at two perspectives. Our present state of pain and some possible future positive state. We compare those two perspectives and then take a small step toward future positive. The moment we take that step, we realize that there are some future negatives we have not considered. Furthermore, there are present positives we have not considered. So we get lured back and enter a stuck state where we vacillate between present and future states.

The book shows you how to address those stuck states from the natural brilliance you already possess.

This is a read-and-do kind of book. Take your time going through it and put into practice what you learn. It offers practical shifts to the way you live.

Book: Stillness Is The Key by Ryan Holiday

Ryan Holiday continues his thoughtful and meaningful writings from Stoic philosophy. This book is a nice addition to his work, building off from the themes he set in The Obstacle is the Way, and Ego is the Enemy.

In a busy and noisy world, it is hard to find peace and quiet. It is even harder to find that peace and quiet internally. Ryan unpacks sound strategies that make peace possible, and demonstrates how that peace can have profound impact on personal growth and performance.

Book: Stealing Fire by Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal

This is book #6 on my top ten list.

The official website of the book has a robust description, including this excerpt:

Over the past decade, Silicon Valley executives like Eric Schmidt and Elon Musk, Special Operators like the Navy SEALs and the Green Berets, and maverick scientists like Sasha Shulgin and Amy Cuddy have turned everything we thought we knew about high performance upside down.

Instead of grit, better habits, or 10,000 hours, these trailblazers have found a surprising short cut. They’re harnessing rare and controversial states of consciousness to solve critical challenges and outperform the competition.

Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal

I will warn you that this book deals with altered states of consciousness. It takes a close and evidence-based look at how human beings enter a state of flow individually and in collectives. It uncovers the restorative, empowering and addictive nature of this state.

I will only ask you this. Once you have read Stealing Fire, please comment below by sharing what you do or have done to enter a state of flow.

Enjoy the read!

Book: Pre-Suasion by Robert Cialdini

I am a student of influence and persuasion. Dr. Cialdini is the world’s leader on research in this arena. I have had the privilege of working with him in person and have a personally signed copy of this book in my possession.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is ever in a situation where you are either the deliverer or recipient of a message in which persuasion is necessary.

“‌The guiding factor in a decision is often not the one that counsels most wisely; it’s one that has recently been brought to mind.‌”
‌Dr. Robert Cialdini‌

Examples: Parents, employees, students, CEOs, salespersons, human beings, etc.

If you find yourself in any of those categories, read this book. What you are exposed to before a message has a massive impact on how you will receive the message.

Reading this book altered the way I think about my work as a public speaker. It informed a bunch of the training programs I facilitate. It changed the way I parent my children.