The end of the year is a crazy time for most professionals – the final sprint to reach both your personal and professional goals can be quite a challenge. If this sounds like you then you’ve come to the right place!
For the last month I have reviewed countless newspapers, magazines, and websites in my quest to find THE quintessential list of insightful books for the ambitious professional. With sources such as Publishers Weekly, USA Today, the New York Times and the Washington Post, you can rest assured that the following list of 14 is the best of the best.
So if you’re looking for a little advantage as you close out the year – put on your comfy jammies, settle into your comfy chair, and expand your mind with the books below. Don’t be surprised if your W-2 gets a lift as well!
|Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success by Adam Grant. A fascinating read that shows why giving is the real secret to getting ahead. This landmark book opens up an approach to success that has the power to transform not just individuals and groups, but entire organizations and communities.|
|Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t by Jim Collins. Peppered with dozens of stories and examples from the great and not so great, the book offers a well-reasoned road map to excellence that any organization would do well to consider.|
|Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz. Move over Freakonomics. Move over Moneyball. This brilliant book is the best demonstration yet of how big data plus cleverness can illuminate and then move the world.|
|Lead and Disrupt: How to Solve the Innovator’s Dilemma by O’Reilly and Tushman. One of the perennial puzzles in business is how established companies can maintain their core while simultaneously pursuing new growth. This book provides an insightful perspective on the important role leadership can play in solving that puzzle.|
|Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People by Vanessa Van Edwards. This book shares shortcuts, systems, and secrets for taking charge of your interactions at work, at home, and in any social situation. These aren’t the people skills you learned in school. This is the first comprehensive, science backed, real life manual on how to captivate anyone — and a completely new approach to building connections.|
|The Captain Class: The Hidden Force That Creates the World’s Greatest Teams by Sam Walker. Told through riveting accounts of some of the most pressure-soaked moments in sports history this book doesn’t just bring these events to life; it presents a fresh, counterintuitive take on leadership that can be applied to a wide spectrum of competitive disciplines.|
|Insight by Tasha Eurich. Through stories of people who’ve made dramatic gains in self-awareness, this book offers surprising secrets, techniques and strategies to help the reader do the same – and how to use this insight to be more fulfilled, confident, and successful in life and in work.|
|Barking Up the Wrong Tree by Eric Barker. Much of the advice we’ve been told about achievement is logical, earnest… and downright wrong. In this book, the author reveals the extraordinary science behind what actually determines success and most importantly, how anyone can achieve it.|
|Keep It Simple: Unclutter Your Mind to Uncomplicate Your Life by Joe Calloway. We live in a world that becomes more complex everyday, and cluttered processes and complications are the enemies of control in your life and your business. But with simplification and focus as your pillars, this book teaches you how to take charge of your goals and your life.|
|Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction by Derek Thompson. This book puts pop culture under the lens of science to investigate what every business, every artist, every person looking to promote themselves and their work is after: what makes a hit a hit.|
|The New Rules of Work: The Modern Playbook for Navigating Your Career by Cavoulacos and Minshew. Whether you are starting out in your career, looking to advance, navigating a mid-career shift, or anywhere in between, this is the book you need to thrive in the New World of Work.|
|Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger. Why do some ideas seemingly spread overnight, while others disappear? How can some products become ubiquitous, while others never gain traction? Jonah Berger knows the answers, and if you read this book – you will too!|
|Pause: Harnessing the Life-Changing Power of Giving Yourself a Break by Rachael O’Meara. Sometimes life throws you for a loop. Your impulse might be to lean in and tough it out, but what you may really need to do is take a step back. Reassess your life with a clear head and dive back in with purpose and poise. In this enlightening book, Rachael O’Meara guides you through the steps of your own pause journey.|
|Popular: The Power of Likability in a Status-Obsessed World by Mitch Prinstein. In this book, a leading psychologist examines how our popularity affects our success, our relationships, and our happiness — and why we don’t always want to be the most popular|
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