This past week, members of the VP Associations team made the journey to Toronto, Ontario, Canada, to attend the ASAE Annual Meeting and Exposition. Almost 6,000 association executives and industry leaders made the trip for the largest and most anticipated conference in the association industry. Between the game-changing speakers, breakout sessions, and the stunning beauty of the host city, our team had an exhilarating experience and took away plenty of lessons, memories, and inspiration from the four days we spent in attendance.

If you missed ASAE 2017, or you’re like me and you’re still fired up from the experience, here are three books from, in my opinion, some of the most impactful speakers of the conference. Their stories of positivity, productivity, and perseverance are unparalleled. I was able to find all three at a local bookstore, but they’re also available for purchase on Amazon.

U Thrive: How to Succeed in College (and Life) by Dan Lerner

For me, Dan Lerner’s presentation was one of the highlights of the conference. His focus on how to find meaning in one’s work and in one’s personal life was a refreshing deviation from the abstract fluff that most self-help speakers are usually known for. Dan showed, through detailed statistics, that the most wealthy and “successful” people are usually miserable due to sacrificing their time, energies, and passions in pursuit of a singular goal. And, it’s that one goal that rings so hollow when they finally achieve what they had been working so hard toward. Dan’s message of being harmoniously passionate about one’s work and hobbies struck a strong chord for me and many other attendees.

I’m Judging You by Luvvie Ajayi

The truth will be uncomfortable. But it’s when we become uncomfortable and face the hard facts of race, politics, and religion that we begin to grow into more complete people. Some may define her style as blunt, but I’d describe it as refreshingly honest. In an age of people tip-toeing around topics to preserve some imagined personal “brand” or to avoid ruffling feathers, Luvvie’s straight-forward approach to a diverse range of topics should encourage all of us to be as honest with ourselves as she is with her audience and readers.

Shoot Like a Girl by Mary Jennings Hegar

It’s not often I go from laughing uncontrollably to fighting an internal urge to throw an object across the room. But Mary Jennings Hegar’s story has that effect on a lot of people. As a combat helicopter pilot who served three tours in Afghanistan, Mary’s battlefield expanded well beyond the mountains in a remote country in the Middle East and all the way to the congressional halls of our nation’s capitol. Her mission to improve combat effectiveness through gender equality across the branches of the military was as moving and as riveting as her story of how she received the Purple Heart after being wounded in battle. Displaying a perseverance that goes beyond a scope that most people can contemplate, Mary’s commitment to her comrades and her cause is an exceptional source of inspiration for all.

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Article written by:

Wes Sovis

Business Development Manager – Associations