Did you ever hear your mother tell you to stop eating cookies or you’ll turn into one? Well, it’s true, you become what you put into your body. Of course, this also applies to your mind. It’s simple, garbage in = garbage out.
If you are looking to develop yourself in any aspect of your life, reading is something you must do. By putting reading into your daily schedule you’re making an investment in yourself. Reading is also a great way to “live” the learnings of others. Remember, it’s important to learn from your own travels and the travels of others as well.
I wasn’t always a reader. In fact, if you ask my family they would say that when I was growing up I liked TV and video games (and not always in that order). As I started to develop as a business leader, I realized I had a lot to learn from others.
Being a poor graduate, cash was a scarce resource. Books have always been the fastest and most economical way for me to learn and grow. They are a great equalizer.
In this post, I am going to share with you some of the great books I have come across. I have segmented the books into sections to make this digestible. One other thing to note is that I will be updating this list as I find more interesting books for you to read. Be sure to come back.
High-Performance and Personal Development
7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
One of the all-time chart-topping books. In this classic personal development book, Stephen Covey shares the seven habits that successful people adopt in their lives. The book is an easy read and its ideas can be implemented quickly. If you are starting your journey to a better life this should be one of your first reads.
Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
This often referred to book is expertly written by New York Times columnist Malcolm Gladwell. The book is easy to digest. It explores what talent really is and how you can become more accomplished. Take a look at this book if you are looking for an inspirational book on how to develop your skills.
Bounce: Mozart, Federer, Picasso, Beckham and the Science of Success by Matthew Syed
Written from the mind of an Olympic ping-pong champion Matthew Syed shares his insights on how to reach the top of your game. One of my favourite sections in the book is about athletes and the use of performance-enhancing drugs. The book begs you to ask, what would you do to succeed?
Good to Great by Jim Collins
One of Jim Collins’ best-known books, Good to Great divulges how a good business can become great. This book takes a highly scientific approach to the success factors that a company must utilize in order to excel. For some people, this method and style of writing can make the book hard to finish. If you can muster the courage you will gain many insightful ideas to apply in business.
Moneyball by Michael Lewis
You know any book that gets turned into a film is a big hit. Michael Lewis’ story is a perfect story from baseball of how things aren’t always logical and that we need to seek out opportunities that others have missed. One of my favourite examples is when Billy Bean, the main star in the story, starts looking for players who have the best on-base percentage, which is something most team managers don’t care about.
Getting to Plan B by Randy Komisar
If you are thinking of starting a business this book is a must-read. It gives a detailed overview of how startup companies create success. It shows a simple way to plan a business that makes it easy for people to just get on with it.
The Good Struggle by Joseph Badaracco
The Good Struggle is an overview of why leaders do what they do. It covers five enduring questions that every leader should ask themselves. It’s a quick read that offers great advice for anyone who is looking to lead.
Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni
Told as a fable, this book covers five key areas that teams must develop in order to function well. It offers some surprising insights on how leaders can create high performing teams.
Strength Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath
Not really a book per se, this assessment will guide you to find your strengths. Unlike some programs, Strength Finder looks to uncover your aptitudes and natural abilities. The bulk of the book is an online quiz that will evaluate your natural strengths. I’ve found it to be an accurate and insightful look into my skills.
Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath
Made to Stick is a great book from the dynamic writing duo Chip and Dan Heath. This book covers how to make communication more persuasive, a skill that every marketer should have. In it, the Heath brothers cover easy to implement ideas on how to get your ideas to stick.
Groundswell by Charlene Li
Groundswell is a research-based book that covers the inner workings of social media. It highlights many interesting ways that big businesses are engaging their fans. One caveat is that because social media is always changing this book might get stale. So far, it’s still hitting its mark.
Purple Cow by Seth Godin
Purple Cow is a major achievement for the Seth Godin brand. In the book, Seth explains why being different is so important. In doing so, he shows you how a purple cow can help grow your business.