I typically love to read business, non-fiction books, however I also learn a lot from biographies, and they are typically a good break from the constant business read! 

I actually do not ‘read’ books, I listen to them on audible, which has made any type of travelling a reading pleasure. 

Here are my top picks for this year: 

‘18 minutes’ by Peter Bregman 

I have recently been struggling to keep my calendar in check, and I have had far too many days in which I look back and question what I’ve accomplished. I cannot vouch for the positive outcome of the implementation of the ideas provided by this book, since I have only just finished reading it. However, it provides excellent suggestions of how we can make better use of our day and ensure we are productive. It is also not simply about being productive, but about ensuring that our ‘productivity’ is in line with our goals, whether personal or career related. 

‘The 4 disciplines of execution’ by Chris McChesney, Jim Huling, and Sean Covey 

The biggest problem with any plan is execution. This is another highly-recommended read – it provides a number of ideas and tools on how to ensure that we execute our plan and follow up on a regular basis. Many times, we focus on the results, which is often way too late, particularly if we need to change the strategy. We need to understand, and more importantly, track, our lead measures which will get us to our goal. Tracking regularly allows us to identify problems and recalibrate before it is too late and before the goal is missed. 

‘Who moved my cheese?’ by Spencer Johnson 

If there is one thing we learnt since the start of the pandemic it is that change is inevitable. We sometimes try to resist change or become very uneasy when change happens. Yet we know that the only constant is change. This book is a story about four characters who look for cheese to nourish them and make them happy. It teaches us a very valuable lesson on how we should manage change, both in our personal life and at work.  

‘Ikigai’ by Francesc Miralles and Hector Garcia 

This book is about finding our Ikigai, our reason for living – the place where passion, mission, vocation, and profession intersect. The author interviews a number of Japanese residents and reveals their secret to longevity and happiness. Whilst we sometimes get lost in the speed at which life is passing us by, it is important to stop and reflect on what our purpose is and ensure that everything we do reflects this purpose. 

“Only staying active will make you want to live a hundred years.” –Japanese proverb  

There is no concept, or word, which means ‘to retire’ in Japanese, because they continue to remain active and work, constantly pursuing their Ikigai. 

‘The 5AM Club’ by Robin Sharma 

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a morning person, and love waking up early and getting things done whilst everyone is sleeping. If anyone struggles to understand the benefits of waking up early, I highly recommend reading The 5AM Club. 

The book is a story about two strangers who find mentorship in an eccentric tycoon, and during their journey understand the benefits of waking up before 5AM. Both strangers are struggling in every aspect of their lives, which begins to take a turn for the better as they learn the benefits of waking up before dawn every day. Whilst the story is fictional, it provides true life situations as to how waking up early can help both our physical and mental wellbeing.  

At the risk of needing to change the title of this article, a couple of my favourite biographies include, ‘Alex Ferguson’ by Alex Ferguson, ‘Quiet Leadership’ by Carlo Ancelotti, ‘Becoming’ by Michelle Obama, ‘A Promised Land’ by Barrack Obama, and of recent, ‘Will’ by Will Smith. 

Enjoy! 

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