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It’s World Book Day – Win in the workplace with these brilliant books

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lots of books

The old saying goes ‘reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary’ – and there’s an endless library of books centred around self-improvement and giving you a leg-up in the workplace. 

With so many titles to choose from, it can be tough to know where to start. So to celebrate 25 years of World Book Day, we’ve picked out some of our favourite titles geared around delivering a professional power-up!

Atomic Habits (James Clear)

Wherever you want to be in your career, the ideas laid out in Atomic Habits will edge you towards them ever so slightly every day. 

By the time you’ve finished James Clear’s ground-breaking bestseller, you’ll be equipped to smash bad habits, create good ones, and master tiny traits that can have a revolutionary effect on your career.

Atomic Habits focuses on simple life hacks, such as ‘habit stacking’ and the ‘two-minute rule’, and tells inspiring stories of Olympic gold medallists and top CEOs who have used the science of tiny habits to stay productive, motivated, and happy. 

One key lesson:

Get 1% better every day. Focus on the process, not the goals.

Watch James Clear talk through some of Atomic Habits’ key points:

Grit: Why passion and resilience are the secrets to success (Angela Duckworth) 

When it comes to success, talent and luck are overrated. Instead, it is grit that has a bigger say in pushing someone towards outstanding achievement.

Angela Duckworth, a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, interviewed dozens of high achievers to support her theory that success relies more on a special blend of resilience and single-mindedness, rather than inborn talent. 

One key lesson:

Perseverance and passion matter just as much as talent and intelligence.

Get a taste of Grit with Angela’s TED Talk:

Can’t Hurt Me (David Goggins)

How did a depressed, overweight young man with no future and a dark childhood go on to become one of the world’s top endurance athletes and an icon within the US Armed Forces? 

That’s the tale of Can’t Hurt Me, which explores how most of us only use 40% of our capabilities and that anyone can push past pain and demolish fear to unlock their full potential. 

One key lesson:

Run your own race – you’re only competing against yourself.

Find Your Why (Simon Sinek)

Would this list even be complete without a mention of Simon Sinek? Nope, and we’re going with the follow-up to the supremely popular ‘Start Your Why’. This time, Simon delves into how teams and leaders can find inspiration within the workplace; in short, their ‘why’. 

It kicks off by inviting the reader to find their personal ‘why’, before widening the scope to help their colleagues identify the ‘why’ of their organisation. 

Can you have more than one ‘why’? Does it matter if your ‘why’ matches your competitor’s? What do you do if your ‘why’ doesn’t align with your work? All these questions are explored with the goal of setting you on a path to a more fulfilling life and long-term success for you and your colleagues.

One key lesson:

Happiness comes from what we do. Fulfilment comes from why we do it.

Power Moves (Lauren McGoodwin)

A must-read for any women keen to pivot and reboot their career. Centring on career transitions, Power Moves explores how women can grow in their careers and urges them to abandon the idea of that elusive dream job, quit the comparison game, and take control of their finances. 

One key lesson:

Start with yourself. Make time to self-reflect and take stock of your career so far.

Barking Up the Wrong Tree (Eric Barker) 

What if everything you knew about success and achievement was wrong? Drawing on startling statistics and surprising anecdotes, Barking Up the Wrong Tree is a funny and fascinating collection of science-based life hacks that aims to outline what works and what doesn’t, so that anyone can achieve success.

One key lesson:

A lot of the time, being the best means just being the best version of you.

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