With Christmas approaching it’s time to give some thought to your wish list or risk unwrapping yet another copy of Superfreakonomics.
But where do you begin? With so many books out there it can be hard to separate the timeless treasures from the tired turkeys. Luckily, we’ve done all the hard work for you, here are the best of the best business leadership must-reads:
The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle
Coyle is the author of the 2009 bestseller “The Talent Code,” in which he taught readers how to capitalise on their own talent.
In “The Culture Code,” Coyle, who currently works with the Cleveland Indians on performance culture and player development, turns his attention to successful groups. Coyle studied teams from Pixar to the US Navy SEAL Team Six, and concluded that group performance boils down to safety, shared risk, and purpose.
Laszlo Bock, the former senior vice president of People Operations at Google, has called the book a “must-read.”
Lead & Influence by Mark Fritz
Lead & Influence is about the power of ownership and why taking ownership is crucial to becoming a more successful leader. Clear and empowering, Mark Fritz’s book explains exactly how to implement ownership: firstly, you must establish your own personal ownership, secondly, strive to enable ownership in others and finally focus on enabling ownership within your team and organisation.
Mark believes that taking ownership as a business leader leads to better accountability – and crucially, engenders a culture of ownership amongst staff. As he says: ‘When was the last time you washed a rental car? Probably never because you don’t own it.’
The Myth of the Nice Girl: Achieving a Career You Love Without Becoming a Person You Hate by Fran Hauser
Fran Hauser deconstructs the negative perception of “niceness” that many women struggle with in the business world. It’s a refreshing dose of forward-looking feminism that will resonate with smart, professional women who know what they want and are looking for real advice to take their career to the next level without losing themselves in the process.
When to Jump by Mike Lewis
After college, Mike Lewis took a job at Bain because it seemed like the thing to do. But while the job was prized, his heart wasn’t in his work and he decided to go against everything he was conditioned to believe and left to pursue his real passion, the game of squash.
Lewis lived out his dream of being a pro squash player and then decided he would like to inspire others to stop pursuing careers that make them miserable. Featuring a foreword by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, “When to Jump” is a guide for assessing what you need to get from your work in order to be fulfilled.
When by Daniel H Pink
Daniel Pink is a household name in households that like books about self-improvement and professional success. His previous works include the bestsellers “Drive” and “To Sell is Human.”
In “When,” Pink tackles the subject of time and how it affects all facets of our lives. For example: What should be your ideal daily routine? What’s the best time to quit your job? And when should you get married? It’s all in there, backed by extensive research and told through compelling stories.
Black Box Thinking by Matthew Syed
If you’re a Malcolm Gladwell fan, look no further. Espousing the importance of acknowledging and engaging with our failures, Black Box Thinking is as engaging as it is insightful. Syed explores scientific research, politics, psychology, complexity theory and a variety of real-life cases for a read which transcends the average scope of books in this genre.
The author believes that we often hide our failures from ourselves and others, and in doing so, deny ourselves the opportunity to learn, grow and reach our full potential. “For organisations beyond aviation, it is not about creating a literal black box; rather, it is about the willingness and tenacity to investigate the lessons that often exist when we fail, but which we rarely exploit. It is about creating systems and cultures that enable organizations to learn from errors, rather than being threatened by them.”
Crushing It! By Gary Vaynerchuk
Gary Vaynerchuk is not only the founding CEO of ad agency VaynerMedia — he’s one of the world’s most popular personalities in the entrepreneurial and career insight spheres.
Drawing from his agency’s work as well as his interviews from his podcast, “Crushing It!” is Vaynerchuk’s latest collection of knowledge through the lens of his limitless energy and outspoken style.
Elite – Floyd Woodrow & Simon Acland
Thought-provoking and innovative, Elite shares the secrets of exceptional performance and leadership. Written by an ex-military man who was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal, Floyd Woodrow’s book offers a glimpse into the experiences of an SAS soldier, transferring motivational techniques learned in the most adverse environments to the world of business