With summer holiday season just around the corner the team here at Cegos UK has drawn up a list of our top pick of business books. From how to be more efficient to managing teams, from consultative selling to leading from the shadows, there’s something for almost every business need.
We’ve also included our favourite biography that is sure to inspire you and a fiction book that will transport you to the world of 1970’s Jamaica.
We hope you get time this summer to put up your feet, relax and enjoy one or more of our recommended books.
Summer Reading Recommendations
1) Grit: The power of passion and perseverance by Angela Duckworth
We often spend a lot of our energy on short term tasks and goals but in this book Angela Duckworth looks at what makes the difference in achieving long term goals.
Angela has an interesting background – management consultant to teacher to psychologist – and makes a persuasive case for grit being the determining factor. It’s early days in the study of how the brain learns but the ability of the “learning part” of the brain to grow based on perseverance/repetition looks like important area to work on.
2) The New Solution Selling by Keith M. Eads
While I’m not sure how “revolutionary” this sales process is there are certainly some helpful tools for consultative selling. The “Pain Chain” is a nice way to ensure that your value proposition is relevant for the level of contact you need to develop.
3) Leadership and the One Minute Manager Ken Blanchard
A classic that’s been updated. Perfect for your short-haul flight as an hour will take you through the book. You’ll have plenty of a-ha! moments and come ready to change your workplace.
4) A Brief History of 7 Killings Marlon James
For a total change of pace and some fiction to get lost in enter the world of Bob Marley in 70’s Jamaica. I found this tough to get into but well worth it so if you have a couple of hours to make a big dent in it you’ll get a lot back.
5) Eat that Frog Brian Tracy
Always wanted to do something to improve your time management? – don’t put it off any longer!
21 ways to effectively deal with procrastination – easy to read in small chunks…………….perfect for ideas to be more organised and in control when you’re back from your summer holidays.
6) Consiglieri Leading from the shadows Richard Hytner
Not everyone can be No. 1, and more importantly, not everyone wants to be.
Consiglieri turns the spotlight on the second-in-commands – the advisers, assistants and counsellors (or ‘consiglieri’) – who are too often disparaged as the ‘No. 2s’.
An extremely interesting read, packed full of invaluable advice for every kind of leader, whether in the spotlight or the shadows.
7) Un-train your brain A formula for freedom Mike Weeks
This book empowers the reader to understand they have choice over everything in their lives and challenges them to move into the driving seat and take control.
The final chapter on meditation is powerful and will provides plenty of food for thought on how a few small changes can make a massive impact. A strongly recommended book for anyone who wants to achieve a state of high performance.
8) Motivational Interviewing Helping People Change (Third edition) William R. Miller & Stephen Rollnick
This book needs a bit more time to really appreciate the content. But if you’re interested in the powerful approach of MI and facilitating change than this is definitely well worth a read.
9) Bradley Wiggins: My Hour
Bradley Wiggins highlights the emotional and physical fortitude required to push himself to the limit in his latest challenge: The Hour. A relentless endurance event in which a solitary cyclist endeavours to cover as much distance as possible in the 60 minute time limit.
Here we are given a behind the scenes insight as he prepares, body and mind, to go further than anyone has ever done before. A triumph of spirit, determination, athleticism and sacrifice, but was it enough to secure his place in the record books?
10) Leadership Plain and Simple Steve Radcliffe
Steve Radcliffe’s vast array of experience, ranging from working with hundreds of CEO’s and teams at organisations including Unilever and the civil service, has led to him becoming one of the senior authoritative voices on the subject of leadership.
In this book Steve strips away the complexity and ‘buzz words’ surrounding the issue and provides a simple and practical framework on the principles of leadership for you to utilise in order to become a more confident and effective leader. With an emphasis on personal reflection and understanding, without self-criticism, this book is as much a motivational tool as a pragmatic guide book for established and aspiring leaders.
11) Poke the box’ by Seth Godin
Seth Godin’s inspirational guide encourages a call to arms to all the dreamers and wannabes to break out of their rut, and issues a forceful challenge. “When was the last time you did something for the first time?”
Seth’s fiery delivery is designed to shock you into action, providing the motivational and technical expertise to turn your dreams into reality and boiling complex ideas down to their simplest forms. Unapologetically forthright, a slap in the face of passivity and procrastination.
12) Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink
Think you know what motivates people? Think again. Daniel Pink shatters common misconceptions in this provocative guide to motivational techniques. Using the theories of leading scientists to illustrate the limited effectiveness, and potential damage, of common place carrot and stick methods.
In an age of creativity, Pink highlights the necessity for intrinsic rewards, such as autonomy, mastery and purpose, in galvanising a workforce. Accessible and thought provoking.
13) Your Brain at Work by David Rock
Like many others, you may have had days which left you wondering ‘why can’t I focus? Why am I so distracted?’ David Rock provides practical neuroscience, cleanly explained for the non-scientist, to understand how our brain works, and in doing so, equips readers with the tools to thrive in a modern working environment.
Learn to maximise your effectiveness, overcome difficulties in concentration, decision making and working with others. Understand how to effectively accomplish your goals, achieve fulfilment and feel strengthened and invigorated by using these functional techniques. Don’t work harder, learn to work smarter.