Reading the right material, whether alone or as a team, has a way of motivating people into action, while also giving them new skills to practice.
The following 5 books can make you feel empowered and enthusiastic about work again. To have a lasting impact, consider starting an optional, informal book club with a few coworkers or as a team!
How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action – Simon Sinek
This read makes a strong case for the value of purpose, and how excitement and engagement are best driven by leading with a strong understanding of “Why do we do this?” before the “What do we do?” and “How will we do this?” Simon shares a number of historical examples of companies and leaders who’ve led with why, and how it can lead to greater business stability, motivation, and captivation.
His Ted Talk on the subject is one of the most watched of all time.
The Happiness Advantage – Shawn Achor
Which comes first: success or happiness? Shawn Anchor is a positive psychology expert, and in this book, he dives into the research, which suggests that brains that are wired for happiness have a number of advantages over their counterparts – at work, at home and in life. Shawn makes the case for training or rewiring your brain for happiness, using principles in the book, and argues that success is actually a result of happiness.
Shawn also has a TED Talk on the topic: The Happy Secret to Better Work.
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking – Susan Cain
In an extroverted world, being naturally quiet can often seem like a barrier. Introverts can often be incorrectly perceived as aloof, standoffish, antisocial or even less competent than their extroverted peers. Susan Cain’s research highlights the rise of Western culture idealizing extroversion, and the impact that introverts can make and how their natural advantages can be better tapped.
Her Ted Talk, The Power of Introverts, has over 20 million views.
Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead – Brené Brown
You may have seen her Netflix special or a few of her Ted Talks like Listening to Shame and The Power of Vulnerability. Her premise is simple: vulnerability is a sign of courage and strength, especially in a space where being confident and all-knowing seems to be the goal. She discusses the research behind vulnerability, and how it can give way to positive emotions like joy, passion, and love.
The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit and When to Stick – Seth Godin
This read is less than 100 pages and gets straight to the point – the Dip is the long period between starting something new and becoming excellent at it. Successful people are successful because they learn how to push through the dip, and how to identify when a dip is actually a dead-end.
Seth has also given infamous Ted Talks, such as How to Get Your Ideas to Spread
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