10 Books to Boost Your Career and Leadership Skills

‘Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” – Joseph Adison

Are you compiling your summer holiday reading list and looking for some titles to add to your selection?

Here are 10 great books about business, investment, technology, personal growth and leadership we hope you’ll find to be interesting, or useful, or both. Looking for more reading inspiration? Check out “10 books that will get you ahead at work” as well, which includes some excellent recommendations from our recruiters.

1. Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future by Martin Ford

Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future by Martin Ford

Amazon Synopsis: What are the jobs of the future? How many will there be? And who will have them? As technology continues to accelerate and machines begin taking care of themselves, fewer people will be necessary. Rise of the Robots is essential reading to understand what accelerating technology means for our economic prospects—not to mention those of our children—as well as for society as a whole.

2 . The Outward Mindset: Seeing Beyond Ourselves by The Arbinger Institute

The Outward Mindset: Seeing Beyond Ourselves by The Arbinger Institute

Amazon Synopsis: The Arbinger Institute has helped millions with their books Leadership and Self Deception and the Anatomy of Peace. Their latest book offers a new and intuitive way to teach these same principles—through the medium of “mindset.”

This book presents compelling true stories to illustrate the gaps that individuals and organizations typically have between their actual inward mindsets and their needed outward mindsets. And it provides simple yet profound guidance and tools to help any individual, group, and organization bridge this mindset gap and achieve breakthrough results in work, relationships, and organizational performance.

3. The Go-Giver Leader: A Little Story About What Matters Most in Business by Bob Burg & John David Mann

The Go-Giver Leader: A Little Story About What Matters Most in Business by Bob Burg & John David Mann

Amazon Synopsis: With their acclaimed bestseller The Go-Giver, Bob Burg and John David Mann proved that a heartfelt parable could also express a powerful idea. In The Go-Giver Leader (originally pub­lished as It’s Not About You), they offer an equally compelling tale about a struggling small business and the ambitious young executive trying to lead them to a crucial decision. The answers in this book may surprise you as you follow the characters on their journey to understanding that the path to genuine influence lies less in taking leadership than in giving it.

4. Managing The Mental Game: How To Think More Effectively, Navigate Uncertainty by Jeff Boss

Managing The Mental Game: How To Think More Effectively, Navigate Uncertainty by Jeff Boss

Amazon Synopsis: In this concise guide to mental management, executive leadership and team coach and former Navy SEAL, Jeff Boss, teaches a blend of unique mental training methodologies that will enhance your self-belief, self-confidence, and mental fortitude to help you reach new levels of success no matter what your profession is. Jeff’s unique WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) style of writing makes the science of mental toughness easy to read and relatable. With a client list that ranges from high potentials to top executives, Jeff demonstrates how to pave the way for breakthrough potential by sharing over 23 mental exercises for dealing with overwhelm.

This book is powerful—but only to the degree that you are willing to proactively put forth the focus to be the person you want to be. The lessons and techniques presented in this book are essential reading for anyone seeking greater success and peak performance, whether it be on the playing field, in business, or life in general.

5. Reinventing the CFO: How Financial Managers Can Transform Their Roles And Add Greater Value by Jeremy Hope

Reinventing the CFO: How Financial Managers Can Transform Their Roles And Add Greater Value by Jeremy Hope

Amazon Synopsis: On the heels of a decade of scandals and the new pressures brought on by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, corporations expect far more from their CFOs than simply managing the numbers. They expect decision-making support and performance insights that can improve bottom-line results. Unfortunately, the complexity and detail inherent in CFOs’ jobs keep them shackled to budgeting and transaction-processing systems that leave little time for value-adding activities.

Jeremy Hope says it’s time to redefine the role of CFOs in today’s organizations, liberating them from ineffective number-crunching responsibilities and enabling them to focus on helping managers improve performance. Grounded in extensive research, Reinventing the CFO outlines seven critical roles—from streamlining redundant processes to regulating risk to identifying a few key measures—that CFOs must take on in order to successfully transform the finance operation.

Challenging many of the finance field’s accepted practices and systems, this bold book revolutionizes the role of financial managers and frees them to make smart, ethical, strategic decisions that add real value to the firm.

6. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

Amazon Synopsis: In The Power of Habit, award-winning New York Times business reporter Charles Duhigg takes readers inside labs where brain scans record habits as they flourish and die; classrooms in which students learn to boost their willpower; and boardrooms where executives dream up products that tug on our deepest habitual urges. Full of compelling narratives that will appeal to fans of Michael Lewis, Jonah Lehrer, and Chip and Dan Heath, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: our most basic actions are not the product of well-considered decision making, but of habits we often do not realize exist. By harnessing this new science, we can transform our lives.

7. The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right 1st by Atul Gawande

The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right 1st by Atul Gawande

Amazon Synopsis: An intellectual adventure in which lives are lost and saved and one simple idea makes a tremendous difference, The Checklist Manifesto is essential reading for anyone working to get things right. In riveting stories, Gawande takes us from Austria, where an emergency checklist saved a drowning victim who had spent half an hour underwater, to Michigan, where a cleanliness checklist in intensive care units virtually eliminated a type of deadly hospital infection. He explains how checklists actually work to prompt striking and immediate improvements. And he follows the checklist revolution into fields well beyond medicine, from disaster response to investment banking, skyscraper construction, and businesses of all kinds.

8. The Only Game in Town: Central Banks, Instability, and Avoiding the Next Collapse by Mohamed A. El-Erian

The Only Game in Town: Central Banks, Instability, and Avoiding the Next Collapse by Mohamed A. El-Erian

Amazon Synopsis: In The Only Game in Town, El-Erian casts his gaze toward the future of the global economy and markets, outlining the choices we face both individually and collectively in an era of economic uncertainty and financial insecurity.

The future, critically, is not predestined. It is up to us to decide where we will go from here as households, investors, companies, and governments. Using a mix of insights from economics, finance, and behavioral science, this book gives us the tools we need to properly understand this turning point, prepare for it, and come out of it stronger. A comprehensive, controversial look at the realities of our global economy and markets, The Only Game in Town is required reading for investors, policymakers, and anyone interested in the future.

9. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni

Amazon Synopsis: In The Five Dysfunctions of a Team Patrick Lencioni once again offers a leadership fable that is as enthralling and instructive as his first two best-selling books, The Five Temptations of a CEO and The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive. This time, he turns his keen intellect and storytelling power to the fascinating, complex world of teams.

Throughout the story, Lencioni reveals the five dysfunctions which go to the very heart of why teams even the best ones-often struggle. He outlines a powerful model and actionable steps that can be used to overcome these common hurdles and build a cohesive, effective team. Just as with his other books, Lencioni has written a compelling fable with a powerful yet deceptively simple message for all those who strive to be exceptional team leaders.

10. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

10. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

Amazon Synopsis: In this must-read book for anyone striving to succeed, pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth shows parents, educators, students, and business people—both seasoned and new—that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a focused persistence called “grit.” Why do some people succeed and others fail? Sharing new insights from her landmark research on grit, MacArthur “genius” Angela Duckworth explains why talent is hardly a guarantor of success. Rather, other factors can be even more crucial such as identifying our passions and following through on our commitments.

Winningly personal, insightful, and even life-changing, Grit is a book about what goes through your head when you fall down, and how that—not talent or luck—makes all the difference.



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