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10 Books to Level Up Your Career

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10 Books to Level Up Your Career

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Need recommendations for your 2017 professional development reading list? Here are ten titles to start with, plus the best tips from each book!

Need recommendations for your 2017 professional development reading list? Here are ten titles to start with, plus the best tips from each book!

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10 Books to Level Up Your Career

  1. 1. LEVELUP 10 BOOKS TO YOUR CAREER Recommendations by Sr. Consultant Sara Gallagher
  2. 2. LEVELUP YOUR INFLUENCE Pre-Suasion A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade Author: Robert Cialdini What if the key to persuasion didn’t lie in the message itself, but in the key moment before that message was delivered? This is the idea behind “pre-suasion,” or working ahead of time to ensure people are receptive of a message before they experience it. Tip From The Book Don’t sit next to the person you want to influence in a meeting. You may be tempted to sit next to a VIP, but if discussion rotates around a table, you’ll be subject to the “next in line” effect. Speak directly before the VIP, and she’ll be rehearsing what she plans to say when you are done. Speak after, and she’ll be mentally rehashing what she just said. Instead, sit across from the person you want to influence. Not only will you avoid the “next in line” effect, but you’ll also have better “visual prominence.”
  3. 3. LEVELUP YOUR DISCIPLINE The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business Author: Charles Duhigg Pulitzer Prize-winning business reporter Charles Duhigg uses the latest scientific discoveries to explain why habits exist, and how they can be changed. Read this book if you are seeking to make a difficult, permanent change in your life. Tip From the Book Cultivate keystone habits. Certain habits are proven to create a domino effect of personal change, so that it has an exponential impact on your life. Two common keystone habits are 1) waking up early and 2) making your bed.
  4. 4. LEVELUP YOUR WRITING Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century Author: Steven Pinker How do you learn to write well? This book uses insights from linguistics and neuroscience to answer this question and put even the most language-challenged on the path to clear, persuasive communication. Tip From the Book Remember your reader’s basic tolerance for the pace of information. If you’ve got a big, hairy, complicated phrase, move it to the end of the sentence so that the reader doesn’t have to hold it in mind while they’re figuring out the structure of the sentence.
  5. 5. LEVELUP YOUR NEGOTIATION Never Split the Difference Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It Author: Chris Voss This book takes you inside the world of high-stakes hostage negotiations, sharing nine effective principles that you can use to become more persuasive in your negotiations. Tip From the Book Don’t try to get them to say yes. A lot of advice suggests that getting people to say “yes” multiple times will make them more likely to say “yes” to whatever you want. But while that may have been good advice years ago, people are on to it. Today, people are reluctant to say “yes” because they suspect it is being used to manipulate them or secure commitment they aren’t ready to provide. On the other hand, getting people to say “no” helps them relax. Try a phrase like, “Would it be a bad idea if…?”
  6. 6. LEVELUP YOUR PRODUCTIVITY Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity Author: David Allen This is the definitive guide to staying productive in an information-intensive career. The principles can be applied to both a paper and electronic workflow; resources abound online to help you apply this book to your system of choice (i.e. Outlook, Todoist, OneNote, etc.) Tip from the Book Don’t put projects on your to-do list. Focus your to-do list on tangible actions that move you closer to your project objectives. Instead of writing “Marketing proposal” (a project), think about the next thing you must do to move that project forward. Put that instead. Example: “Schedule meeting with sales to define scope of marketing proposal.”
  7. 7. LEVELUP YOUR TEAM LEADERSHIP The Speed of Trust The One Thing That Changes Everything Author: Stephen M.R. Covey Want to improve performance at your organization? Start by building trust. This provocative book outlines how stablish trust immediately so your organization can forego the time-killing, bureaucratic, check-and-balance processes that thrive in low-trust environments. Tip From the Book Assess your trustworthiness. Building trust starts with an honest assessment of your own trustworthiness. Covey identifies four cores of trust: integrity, intent, capabilities, and results. Use the assessment in the book to identify where you need development along with coaching tips to help you develop yourself as a better team leader.
  8. 8. LEVELUP YOUR DECISION-MAKING THINKING FAST AND SLOW Author: Daniel Kahneman Renowned psychologist and Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman gives us a groundbreaking tour of the mind, explaining the two systems that drive the way we think and make decisions. The book isn’t all theory—it offers practical insights on how choices are made in both our business and our personal lives—and how we can use different techniques to guard against the mental glitches that often get us into trouble. Tip From the Book Good executives are good thinkers. If it is part of your job to manage and assess risk, understanding how your brain works is a pre-requisite. Reading this book will help you understand how the very qualities that help you think quickly on your feet may work against you when making high-significance decisions.
  9. 9. LEVELUP YOUR FOCUS The Dip The Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (And When To Stick) Author: Seth Godin What if winners were just really good quitters? This counter-intuitive (but really useful) book challenges us to think about where we spend our energy and where we can make the best impact. Tip From the Book Winners can be quitters. Winners quit fast, quit often, and quit without guilt—until they commit to beating the right Dip. A Dip is a temporary setback that will get better if you keep pushing. But sometimes, a Dip is actually a total dead end. What sets superstars apart is the ability to tell the two apart.
  10. 10. LEVELUP YOUR BUSINESS KNOWLEDGE Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity Author: Josh Kaufman Want to fill gaps in your overall business knowledge? This digestible book by Josh Kaufman is like an MBA in your pocket. Tip From the Book Skip business school. Using the technology available today, you can acquire many of the tools, skills, and connections an MBA provides for free. Check out MOOCs (massive open online courses), join or form a peer coaching group, and build a personal reading list to design a curriculum tailored to your needs.
  11. 11. LEVELUP YOUR WORK/LIFE BALANCE 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works Author: Dan Harris After having a nationally televised panic attack on Good Morning America, Dan Harris knew he had to make some changes. This book chronicles his unexpected, hilarious, and deeply skeptical odyssey through the strange world of self-help—but it also provides excellent insight about how to stay mindful and balanced, even in a highly competitive industry. Tip From the Book Set modest goals. Most people have a “set point” for their happiness. Some people are naturally more melancholic, or more easily excitable, or more “on edge” than others. But most people, whatever their starting place, can make modest steps toward balance by employing a basic discipline of mindfulness and meditation (hence the title, 10% happier.)

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