Last year I started something I’ve decided to make an annual tradition. Do two years make a tradition? Not so sure about that but I do plan on doing this annually, so hopefully that counts.

This blog is a roundup of my favorite resources that I rely on for new ways of thinking and being. If you’re looking to jump-start your brainpower for the coming year, this list is for you.

In a sea of information overload, there are more blogs, podcasts, books, articles, videos, and webinars than many of us have time to cull through to figure out which is THE ONE for us—our “go-to” when we want to laugh or escape work headaches or innovate in the way we work or [insert a million other reasons we turn to external resources]. So, if this list helps narrow down the endless possibilities, then consider it a gift from me to you. I don’t want to add to your information overload, so I’ve narrowed down this list to Stacey’s top three recommended podcasts and top three recommended books. That is a feat in and of itself!

I’m curious what’s on the top of your list. Please share, so we can all benefit!

Top 3 Recommended Podcasts (in no particular order…)

Nonprofits are Messy – This blog and podcast offer practical advice on everything from leadership (board and staff), fundraising, self-care, the DEI (diversity, equity, inclusion) journey, and so much more. Below are a few of my favorites:

The Happiness Lab – In this podcast, Dr. Laurie Santos will take you through the latest scientific research on happiness. Many of the things we think make us happy don’t actually do the trick. It’s a fascinating dive into psychology, the human brain, and practical strategies you can employ to kick up the happiness dial a few notches.

Nonprofit Everything – Full disclosure: I may have a bit of a bias toward this one since I co-host this podcast…. 😉

This is a simple Q&A style format. Nonprofit professionals send in their pressing questions, and my co-host @Andrew Schuricht and I give our best answers based on years of experience in, or consulting with, the nonprofit field. We also bring in guest experts when we are stumped, so if you get sick of hearing us, no worries—there are others involved, too. Warning: If you are not a fan of occasional irreverence, this may not be the podcast for you.

Top 3 Recommended Books (in no particular order…)

Looking to make your stories unforgettable? Many nonprofits know that storytelling can make the difference between attracting more doers, dollars, and donors, yet they struggle to craft stories in a way that sticks. Drawing on urban legends, personal stories, and advertisements, the Heath brothers give advice to make sure your cause sparks interest and mobilizes action.

If you’ve ever talked about what your organization does, rattling off your programs and services, then put this book at the top of your list. Sinek makes a good case about it not being the what or how that attracts top-notch people (think staff, board members, other volunteers, donors, to name a few) to your organization. It’s the why. In case you want a teaser to the book, check out his TED talk here.

(3) Difficult Conversations by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, and Sheila Heen

This book is a game-changer for many. Whether you’re looking for a raise, figuring out how to deal with a troublesome board member, or dealing with the neighbor who has a dog that won’t stop barking, it helps to have these conversations in a way that sets you up for success. This book explores what makes some conversations more challenging than others, why people avoid having tough conversations, and why people often manage these conversations poorly. The authors offer techniques for having a more effective, fruitful dialog. Score to helpful tools!

Hat tip to ongoing growth and learning!