(Photo Credit: Kate Ter Haar/Flickr)
1. Motivation: The Business of Belief : How the World's Best Marketers, Designers, Salespeople, Coaches, Fundraisers, Educators, Entrepreneurs and Other Leaders Get Us to Believe by Tom Asacker – Unlock the secret behind motivating yourself and others with this thought-provoking book. One of the qualities of a great leader is the ability to positively influence others, and this book provides the reader with valuable insight on how to master this art so that they, too, can inspire others.
2. Meaning: Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work That Matters by Jon Acuff – It’s not too late to start living out your wildest dreams right now. Jon Acuff encourages professionals to kick fear in the teeth and pursue the life and career they’ve always wanted for themselves. Too many people give up on their dreams because they fear the unknown and believe that failure is inevitable. However, it’s the trying moments of life that define us, and everyone has a choice to take the path less chosen or continue taking the easy and safe way out. Acuff reminds us that, “Fear would have told the Wright brothers not to fly. Fear would have told Rosa Parks to change seats. Fear would have told Steve Jobs that people hate touchscreens.” Take some risks in 2014, will you?
3. Find your calling: 48 Days to the Work You Love: Preparing for the New Normal by Dan Miller – If you find yourself in a perpetual cycle of dead-end job after dead-end job, then this is definitely the kick-in-the-pants job hunting book for you. Dan Miller entices the reader to find his or her calling in life and make a career out of it, rather than doing unfulfilling work for a paycheck. Studies show that more professionals are seeking more meaningful work, and will even forgo promotions and higher pay to have a job that is impactful. Start 2014 off with a game plan to discover and land the career of your dreams.
4. Women in business: Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg – If there’s any book that was all the rage in 2013, it was definitely Lean In. This wasn’t your conventional feminist, I-am-woman-hear-me-roar book, it was more of an awakening for business women and men around the world to recognize the gender biases that discourage women from moving up the corporate ladder. Sandberg urges women to begin taking ownership of their accomplishments, while also encouraging men to do their part in and out of the home to support their wives and female colleagues’ career endeavors. Last year was a big year for women in business, and 2014 holds so many possibilities for women to take charge and break the proverbial glass ceiling once and for all.
5. Overcoming the odds: David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell – The #1 best-selling author of The Tipping Point and Outliers brings readers another stimulating book on how we, as a society, misunderstand what a weakness is, and, as Gladwell explains, “…we underestimate how much freedom there can be in what looks like a disadvantage.” In his example of David and Goliath, David is the underdog who is expected to lose to the incomparable giant, Goliath. However, the story played out with David – the more agile one who was an expert with his slingshot – conquering the much slower and unskilled giant, Goliath. This story parallels the way many people perceive their disadvantages in life. They don’t realize the power that lies in adversity. Gladwell encourages readers to become the “Davids” in their own lives and recognize that underdogs, often, make the best business people and leaders of the world.
Bonus: The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone – We decided to throw this bonus book in the mix because it did win the 2013 Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year award. With so many companies in the tech industry “going transparent,” Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com, opted to remain a very private and non-transparent person – until this book. Learn more about the man behind the wildly successful online retailer that “forever changed the way we shop and read.”
Hopefully, these books will help you to be fearless and prepared for the year ahead so that you can make 2014 the best year yet.
Tell Us What You Think
What other inspiring books would you add to the list. Share your thoughts on Twitter or in the comments section below.