It's one of my favorite times of the year when I get to share my picks for summer reading. No romance or mystery novels just an impressive list of mostly 2018 books on how women can build their careers, how we can all improve our timing and become great at work and the science in getting people to help us with whatever we’re trying to achieve.
1. When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel Pink. Have you ever wondered when the best time is to ask the boss for a raise, when to start a new project or when you should schedule an important meeting? Pink and his researchers reviewed 700 studies on timing and makes some great recommendations on how timing can help us all be more effective. A great quote from the book: “Afternoons are the Bermuda Triangle of our days… a danger zone for productivity, ethics and our health”.
2. Reinforcements: How to Get People to Help You by Heidi Grant Ph.D. I have been a huge fan of Grants since her 2012 exquisitely researched small offering published by Harvard Business Review Press “9 Things Successful People Do Differently”. Now Grant is helping us all elicit helpful behaviour from colleagues and our direct reports. Grant is the chief science officer at the Neuroleadership Institute, an instructor at Columbia Business School and the Associate Director of the Motivation Science Center. Great quote: “Here’s the good news: humans are naturally wired to want to help each other. Now here’s the bad news: asking for help makes most of us wildly uncomfortable”. More bad news, the way most of us fumble apologetically when asking for assistance generally makes people less likely to help and feel imposed upon. Grant’s book can help.
3. Great at Work: How Top Performers Do Less, Work Better, and Achieve More by Morten Hansen. I believe this is one of the most important books we all should be reading as so many people struggle with how to work smarter. The unprecedented five-year, 5000 worker study that gave rise to this book helps dispel a number of myths and provides evidence-based insight and practical tips on how we can all become more selective and master our work, master working with others and improve our well-being. Surprising findings: top performers do not simply prioritize well, finding your passion and doing what you love is misguided advice and collaborating less is extremely effective.
4. Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility by Patty McCord. A quick read that sheds the light on how Netflix became an amazing place to work by doing things simply and with common sense. McCord is funny, sometimes irreverent and always insightful as she explains how Netflix treated people like adults, motivated them by offering challenging work not incentives and engaged employees by making sure they fully understood the nuts and bolts of the business, not just their jobs.
5. How Women Rise: Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back from Your Next Raise, Promotion, or Job by Sally Helgesen & Marshall Goldsmith. Two renown leadership experts help women break well-intentioned habits that get in the way of their success then provide brilliant insight on how to apply the advice.
6. Speed: How Leaders Accelerate Successful Execution by John H. Zenger & Joseph Folkman. It’s by the uber influential, always evidence-based groundbreaking leadership dynamic duo of Zenger and Folkman. Enough said.
7. Leading the Life You Want: Skills for Integrating Work and Life by Stewart D. Friedman Ph.D. The Wharton Business School professor and former leadership development wizard at Ford Motor Company offers a research-based and frankly a more realistic 21st century view of integrating work and life by focusing on 4-way wins. It explores how our work life, family life, community life and our inner life need to be integrated for our wellbeing and effectiveness.