10 Best Books to Read Right Now
One of the things that helps me to conquer the imposter syndrome is my ability to keep it real and tell people that I am a semi-expert. Having an unquenchable thirst for knowledge makes it possible to learn new things, grow as a person, and create opportunities for myself and others.
It makes me cringe when people say I am an expert. Even if I had a Ph.D. in leadership, I would not be an expert. I feel that if I say I am an expert, then my brain will switch off and say, “That’s it; you don’t need to learn anymore.” Argh! Hence the semi-expert tag and I love having a Growth Mindset – it’s a key to success!
I am always learning, every single day. I never want to stop. I love to learn. That is why I write, speak and read about leadership books all the time. I suppose when you are truly passionate about something, you love to learn about it.
Many times I’ve had people ask me, “In addition to coaching and training, what else can I do to learn more about how to improve myself? How can I learn to be a great leader that propels myself and others towards greater growth and greater opportunities?”
My answer is simple, read. Read everything you can about successful leaders and leadership and the steps that they have taken to achieve peak performance for themselves and their organisations.
The following is a list, and brief overview (love your recommendations too!) of some of the best books that I have read (and written!) about leadership (click on title to learn more and purchase via Booktopia)
In Principles, Dalio shares what he’s learned over the course of his remarkable career. He argues that life, management, economics, and investing can all be systemized into rules and understood like machines. The book’s hundreds of practical lessons, which are built around his cornerstones of “radical truth” and “radical transparency,” include Dalio laying out the most effective ways for individuals and organizations to make decisions, approach challenges, and build strong teams. He also describes the innovative tools the firm uses to bring an idea meritocracy to life, such as creating “baseball cards” for all employees that distill their strengths and weaknesses, and employing computerized decision-making systems to make believability-weighted decisions. While the book brims with novel ideas for organizations and institutions, Principles also offers a clear, straightforward approach to decision-making that Dalio believes anyone can apply, no matter what they’re seeking to achieve.
The world is crying out for kind and courageous leadership. In First Comes Courage, Sonia McDonald explores the power of leading with courage, and offers you great insights and tools to develop, nurture and grow courage within you and your teams. You will be introduced to the courage compass which you can use to guide your teams selflessly, building them up and enabling them with the tools they need to achieve success. You will learn to lead through example, using the four points on the courage compass:
This book will empower you to be spirited, confident, dauntless and selfless in all aspects of your life.
We are living through a crisis of distraction. Plans get sidetracked, friends are ignored, work never seems to get done. Why does it feel like we’re distracting our lives away? In Indistractable, behavioural designer Nir Eyal shows what life could look like if you followed through on your intentions. Instead of suggesting a digital detox, Eyal reveals the hidden psychology driving you to distraction, and teaches you how to make pacts with yourself to keep your brain on track. Indistractable is a guide to making decisions and seeing them through. Empowering and optimistic, this is the book that will help you design your time, realise your ambitions, and live the life you really want.
Untamed explores the joy and peace we discover when we stop striving to meet the expectations of the world, and instead dare to listen to and trust in the voice deep inside us. From the beloved New York Times bestselling author, speaker and activist Glennon Doyle. For many years, Glennon Doyle denied her discontent. Then, while speaking at a conference, she looked at a woman across the room and fell instantly in love. Three words flooded her mind- There. She. Is. At first, Glennon assumed these words came to her from on high but soon she realised they had come to her from within. This was the voice she had buried beneath decades of numbing addictions and social conditioning. Glennon decided to let go of the world’s expectations of her and reclaim her true untamed self. Soulful and uproarious, forceful and tender, Untamed is both an intimate memoir and a galvanising wake-up call. It is the story of how one woman learned that a responsible mother is not one who slowly dies for her children, but one who shows them how to fully live.
The New York Times Bestseller. Why do human beings behave as they do? We are capable of savage acts of violence but also spectacular feats of kindness: is one side of our nature destined to win out over the other?
Every act of human behaviour has multiple layers of causation, spiralling back seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, years, even centuries, right back to the dawn of time and the origins of our species. In the epic sweep of history, how does our biology affect the arc of war and peace, justice and persecution? How have our brains evolved alongside our cultures? This is the exhilarating story of human morality and the science underpinning the biggest question of all: what makes us human?
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The key steps to leading a happier, more contented and fulfilling life
Hugh van Cuylenburg was a primary school teacher volunteering in northern India when he had a life-changing realisation: despite the underprivileged community the children were from, they were remarkably positive. By contrast, back in Australia Hugh knew that all too many children struggled with depression, social anxieties and mental illness. His own little sister had been ravaged by anorexia nervosa.
How was it that young people he knew at home, who had food, shelter, friends and a loving family, struggled with their mental health, while these kids seemed so contented and resilient? He set about finding the answer and in time came to recognise the key traits and behaviours these children possessed were gratitude, empathy and mindfulness.
In the ensuing years Hugh threw himself into studying and sharing this revelation with the world through The Resilience Project, with his playful and unorthodox presentations which both entertain and inform. Now, with the same blend of humour, poignancy and clear-eyed insight that The Resilience Project has become renowned for, Hugh explains how we can all get the tools we need to live a happier and more fulfilling life.
Gripping, thought-provoking and deeply rewarding, 12 Rules for Life offers an antidote to the chaos in our lives: eternal truths applied to our modern problems.
Jordan Peterson’s work as a clinical psychologist has reshaped the modern understanding of personality, and now he has become one of the world’s most popular public thinkers, with his lectures on topics ranging from the Bible to romantic relationships drawing tens of millions of viewers. In an era of polarizing politics, echo chambers and trigger warnings, his startling message about the value of personal responsibility and the dangers of ideology has resonated around the world.
In this book, he combines ancient wisdom with decades of experience to provide twelve profound and challenging principles for how to live a meaningful life, from setting your house in order before criticising others to comparing yourself to who you were yesterday, not someone else today.
A revolutionary system to get 1 per cent better every day
People think when you want to change your life, you need to think big. But world-renowned habits expert James Clear has discovered another way. He knows that real change comes from the compound effect of hundreds of small decisions – doing two push-ups a day, waking up five minutes early, or holding a single short phone call.
He calls them atomic habits.
In this ground-breaking book, Clears reveals exactly how these minuscule changes can grow into such life-altering outcomes. He uncovers a handful of simple life hacks (the forgotten art of Habit Stacking, the unexpected power of the Two Minute Rule, or the trick to entering the Goldilocks Zone), and delves into cutting-edge psychology and neuroscience to explain why they matter. Along the way, he tells inspiring stories of Olympic gold medalists, leading CEOs, and distinguished scientists who have used the science of tiny habits to stay productive, motivated, and happy.
These small changes will have a revolutionary effect on your career, your relationships, and your life.
Slowing down will get you ahead – powerful new wisdom from the bestselling author of Ego is the Enemy.
Throughout history, there’s been one indelible quality that great leaders, makers, artists and fighters have shared. The Zen Buddhists described it as inner peace, the Stoics called it ataraxia and Ryan Holiday calls it stillness: the ability to be steady, focussed and calm in a constantly busy world.
This quality, valued by every major school of thought from Buddha to Seneca, John Stuart Mill to Nietzsche, is urgently necessary today. And, Holiday shows, it is entirely attainable. Just as Winston Churchill used bricklaying as a time to recharge and reflect, or Oprah Winfrey learned deep empathy from her quiet childhood, we can all benefit from stillness to feed into our greater ambitions – whether winning a battle, building a business, or simply finding happiness, peace and self-direction.
Filled with wisdom and examples from historical and contemporary figures, this book shows how to cultivate this quality in your own life. Because stillness is not merely inactivity, but the doorway to the self-mastery, discipline and focus necessary to succeed in this competitive, noisy world.
Every day we speak around 16,000 words – but inside minds we create tens of thousands more. Thoughts such as ‘I’m not spending enough time with my children’ or ‘I’m not good enough to present my work’ can seem to be unshakable facts. In reality, they’re the judgemental opinions of our inner voice. Drawing on more than twenty years of academic research, consulting, and her own experiences overcoming adversity, Susan David PhD, a psychologist and faculty member at Harvard Medical School, has pioneered a new way to enable us to make peace with our inner self, achieve our most valued goals, make real change, and live life to the fullest. Susan David has found that emotionally agile people experience the same stresses and setbacks as anyone else. The difference is the emotionally agile know how to unhook themselves from unhelpful patterns, and how to create values-based success with better habits and behaviours. Emotional Agility describes a new way of living and relating to yourself and the world around you.
Become aware of your true nature, learn to face your emotions with acceptance and generosity, act according to your deepest values, and flourish.
What do you think and what books would you recommend?
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