With holiday season upon us, there’s no better time than now to get stuck into a few books. To see you through Christmas, and leave you ready to take on 2017, I’ve rounded up some of my favourite books. Not all of these books are strictly business-related, but all are instructive in their own way. Without further ado…
1) Connect by John Browne. Drawing from the experiences of Browne, former CEO of BP, Connect explores the recurring gap between big businesses and social responsibility and how companies can succeed by engaging with communities and adopting genuine leadership.
2) Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman is a New York Times Bestseller which offers a whole new look at the way our minds work and how we make decisions. Kahneman believes that there are two ways we make choices: fast, intuitive thinking and slow, rational thinking. This book provides practical techniques for slower, smarter thinking, helping us make more logical and rational decisions at work, home and in everything we do.
3) Quiet by Susan Cain. Did you know 1 in 3 people we know are introverted? That means in a workplace, we’re all communicating and receiving information differently. Introverts prefer listening to speaking and favour working on their own over brainstorming in teams. This book explores how dramatically we undervalue this personality type, and how much we lose in doing so. A fantastic read to change how we see introverts and how introverts see themselves.
4) Creativity, Inc. by Amy Wallace and Edwin Catmull. One of our creative team members says this is one of the best books that’s been written about creative business and creative leadership. For anyone who strives for originality, and the first-ever, all-access trip into the nerve center of Pixar Animation—into the meetings, postmortems, and “Braintrust” sessions where some of the most successful films in history are made. It is, at heart, a book about how to build a creative culture—but it is also, as Pixar co-founder and president Ed Catmull writes, “an expression of the ideas that I believe make the best in us possible.”
5) Zero to One by Peter Thiel. Another New York Bestseller, this book explores how to build the future and continue innovating. Thiel shows his readers how we can still find singular ways to create new things and ultimately one of the most important life lessons: learning to think for yourself.
6) Payoff: The hidden logic that shapes our motivation by Dan Ariely. Payoff investigates the true nature of motivation. Every day, we are self motivated to go to work, be productive and create a life for ourselves and our families. From the boardroom to the living room, our role as motivators is complex. Ariely digs deep to find the root of motivation—how it works and how we can use this knowledge to approach important choices in our own lives.
7) Man’s search for meaning by Viktor E Frankl. Not your typical ‘business’ book but this emotional story teaches its readers the true definition of human purpose. Based on his own experience, Frankl beautifully explains that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. Frankl holds that our primary drive in life is not pleasure, but the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful.
8) The Universe Doesn’t Give a Flying Fuck About You by Johnny Truant. “The universe doesn’t hate you, but it doesn’t love you, either. You’re just an atom in its infinite workings. The universe doesn’t care if you live, die, suffer, or thrive. Whatever your life here will mean is up to you” – a book to liberate and inspire you to live your wildest dreams because, as Jonny Truant says: “if your life is to matter, it’s not going to matter to the universe”. This book is a profound reminder that time is short and if you want to reach your goals, the sky is the limit.
9) Rosie Revere Engineer by Andrea Beaty. This is a children’s story about young girls being encouraged to follow their entrepreneurial spirit. Definitely the easiest read of the group, this is a charming, witty picture book about believing in yourself and pursuing your passion.
About the author
Tim Reed became Chief Executive Officer of Australasia’s largest business management software provider in 2008, after gaining deep operational insights over five years in management roles including Managing Director, MYOB Australia and Group Product Executive.