Books, Books, and More Books! - A Recommended List from OTA Staff and Instructors

In honor of books, the written word and you, here is a collection of “must reads” brought to you by the OTA staff and instructors; books that inspire, stimulate, educate, books that stir and motivate, books that you can use for self-improvement in life or in the workplace, books you could read again and again.

“...[for] a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.” -- George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

Because we had so many books recommended by the OTA family, this is Part 1 of several. Happy Reading!

Recommended Books

Alisha Acosta- Marketing Automation Administrator

"I love this book because it challenges us to not only dare greatly by practicing vulnerability in our own lives but also how institutions like school and the workplace need to start embracing failure rather than shaming failure, to cultivate true innovation.  It truly is a great book for anyone who wants to be a leader."

Jim Lund- VP Online Education

"This book helped me deeply understand three key concepts that keep high performing team members motivated. Autonomy, or the desire to be self-directed; Mastery, or the itch to keep improving at something that’s important to us; and Purpose, the sense that what we do produces something transcendent or serves something more meaningful than ourselves.

I was also surprised to learn that rewards often don’t work. People are more motivated by internal factors than by external drivers. For example, paying your child to take out the trash pretty much guarantees that they will never do it again for free, as you have killed the intrinsic motivation. In fact, once the initial money buzz goes away, you’ll likely have to increase the reward to continue the behavior."

Suzy Patz- Instructor

"I recently reread this book.  It reminds me to keep pursuing what my true purpose is in this life, recognizing that there will be detours, doubts, and setbacks during the journey. To be aware of, and open to, the opportunities life provides along the way. One of my faves!"

"This book really opened my eyes to the power of how we communicate and the huge impact that it can have on our ability to approach challenging situations in life.  Real data and studies confirm the power of mindset and assist in solidifying the message.  Thank you, Wilbur Salazar, for the recommendation."

"Written by an Aikido master, this book breaks down the challenges we face when pursuing our goals, working through how we often ineffectively approach goals, and gives guidance for how to push through and continue on." 

"This is a hard read.  If you don’t know who Viktor Frankl is, he’s a physiatrist who survived Nazi concentration camps.  His perspective on how we cope mentally in difficult situations, to find meaning in it, and move forward is powerful."

"So, this book was the catalyst for me reading almost every book on this list.  It is a compilation of many successful people’s answers to some really interesting and simple questions.  One of those questions was, “What is the book (or books) you’ve given most as s gift, and why?  Or what are one to three books that have greatly influenced your life.”  The Alchemist, Mastery, and Man’s Search for Meaning all appeared several times as the answer."

John O’Donnell- Research Director

"What Has Government Done to Our Money gives the history of evolution of the money unit from barter to gold to fiat."

"The myth of the seen vs unseen."

"The Austrian Economist Nobel award winner FA Hayek perspectives on free markets & global economic growth. All 3 are classics that deliver time-tested economic wisdom that has transformed my life and career. They will be good to read for 500+ years if you want freedom and prosperity for society!! Give this wisdom to your kids and loved ones."

Clarence Churn- Tax Accountant

"I have a wonderful book that was given to me by my mother.  It is called Complete Life’s Little Instruction Book by H. Jackson Brown Jr. The reason that I love this book is because it is a simple read and well as some very sound advice. This is the type of book that every parent should give their kids or that a grandfather would give his grandson. What I took away from this book is that some of these things are common sense, but many do not think about until reading it. Hope you like it."

Jason Rotman- Instructor

"Awaken the Giant Within helps you realize the power of decision to change your life for the better."

Mike Richardson- President

"I love the elegant simplicity of this book in tacking such a complex topic as the journey to mastery of anything complex (like a musical instrument, a martial art, a language … or leadership, business agility … or trading and investing) and speaking to the nature of the journey so succinctly.  My favorite parts are:

  • You better learn to love the plateau, because you will spend most of your time on it! … of course, most people hate the plateau, because they are beavering away with seemingly no progress, not feeding cravings for instant gratification.
  • So, three other characters show up to try to talk would-be Masters off the path to mastery, Dabblers, Obsessives & Hackers!  I love how punchy and confronting that it, causing us to look in the mirror and reflect upon when we are being in that mode and how can we be more like a Master in the flow of the inevitable nature of the journey to mastery, getting comfortable being uncomfortable.

It describes so well every breakthrough journey I have been on in my life and career and serves me so well in every breakthrough journey I embark upon."

Tim Blotzer - Instructor

"Think and Grow Rich has a lot of the same points we believe in here at OTA.  One of the main points is to be successful you must have a burning desire!  Kinda sounds like what we say that you must have a WHY.  I say, when the WHY is big enough, the HOW doesn't matter.  One other point the book makes is you must build a Mastermind team.......I think we encourage and do that."

"In What You Say When You Talk to Yourself, it details that we must change our thinking.  We need to use positive affirmations to build our belief and get out of our comfort zone in order to move on.  Our biggest enemy to our success is our thoughts.  We have to start speaking truth in advance.  If we don't believe we can make money in the market......we won't.  Start saying things like, "I am a successful trader" over and over again until it comes true.  Very similar to what Henry Ford said, 'Whether you think you can, or you can't, you're right!'"

Diana Hill- Education Development Manager and Instructor

"I read this book in my early forties, and it had a significant impact on my life. Of the four agreements, the two which touched me the most deeply were: “Don’t Take Anything Personally” and “Don’t Make Assumptions.”  The confidence I gained from implementing these thought processes into my life is beyond measure."