When you want to make it big in your professional life, self-help books and guides can be the perfect mentors. However, we’ve exhausted all the classics from Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People to Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People.
Fortunately, there’s a whole range of new books that are changing the professional world and how we look at it. Times have changed and so should your go-to books to navigate the workplace and be successful. In what was a daunting task, we put together some of the must-reads over the past decade.
Be warned, there were many compelling reads that didn’t make the cut, but these were our final picks.
Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg
Written by former Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg in 2013, Lean In is for women who try to balance motherhood with a successful career, or even just get ahead in the workplace. In what is still predominantly a man’s world, read Lean In to understand the way women are perceived in the professional world. Sandberg discusses everything from subtle workplace sexism to equal division of labour in parenting. Working women can benefit massively from the years of experience she’s had in her field.
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
Charles Duhigg, a successful New York Times reporter penned this insightful guide to changing your life, one habit at a time, in 2012. At the heart of this book is the power to create and transform habits. Duhigg distils the success stories of CEOs and companies around the world, to their ability to use habit creation and transformation to their advantage. From quitting smoking to exercising regularly, we’re all just a few habits away from unlocking our true potential, and making smart reading choices is probably one of them.
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink
Have you ever thought about what drives you to work hard? In his 2009 book, author Daniel Pink reveals the three things that drive us to succeed- autonomy, mastery and purpose. When these three factors are satisfied, so are we. Pink unlocks the secret to why money can’t buy happiness, and what truly motivates us as humans.
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
If you’ve ever thought you’ve lost out on opportunities and success because of networking (or the absence thereof), Cain’s defence of introverts and their valuable traits in the workforce will lift your spirits. Not only that, she spills home truths like the fact that we live in a world that respects and values extroverts way too much and that being an introvert is as much of an asset. You heard it here first, folks.
Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel
In 2014, PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel decided to share with us his wisdom on building a successful start-up. Spoiler: It’s all about providing a service that no one else can. In today’s world, start-ups are popping up everywhere, but a lot of them almost never see the light of day. Thiel’s book will show you how to not only sustain your company but dominate the market with it.
Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time by Keith Ferrazzi
Well, this side of the introvert-extrovert spectrum can be fun too. Never Eat Alone is mainly about making lasting friendships in the right places, and how you can network in a way that everyone gets what they want. Sounds too good be true? Ferrazzi shows us that it’s not. Be your most genuine self and you’ll attract others like you. This book shows you how to get to where you want with simple give and take.
The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups by Daniel Coyle
Ever wondered how the most efficient, talented groups function without a hitch? Coyle tells you how in this 2018 book that takes a look at some of the most successful teams in human history - including Pixar and the San Antonio Spurs. If you’ve ever managed a team shooting for the stars or even been part of one, Coyle’s strategies of what makes a team tick can take yours to the next level.
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