The Second Machine Age by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee – Short listed for the 2014 FT/McKinsey book of the year, @2MA argues that we’ve just hit a technology-driven inflection point. Digitisation is about to have the greatest impact on humanity since the Industrial Revolution. A must-read and a great read.
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni – a practical and powerful guide to building high performing teams. His latest book, The Advantage, summarises most of his other work on teams and leadership, and is a great read, too.
How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie – The classic text on how to maximise interpersonal effectiveness and communication.
Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras. A classic from the 1990’s showing how great companies triumph over time and how characteristics supporting long-term performance can be built into a company’s DNA from its inception. Dovetails well with Lencioni’s work.
Good to Great by Jim Collins – Built to Last looked at companies that were ‘genetically gifted’ right from the start. This followup book looks at organisations that weren’t built on such ideal foundations, and describes how they too can make the journey from good to great. Another business classic.
Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg – a must-read for ambitious female executives, as well as for leaders looking to reap the benefits of a genuinely diverse corporate culture. Sandberg copped some flack when this book came out, because she tells it like it is, not as it should be.
What they don’t teach you at Harvard Business School by Mark H McCormack – as entertaining as it is informative, the founder of IMG shares the timeless principles that underpin business success. As relevant now as when it was written 30 years ago.
Flow: the psychology of happiness by Mihaly Csiksentmihalyi – how to live a fully engaged life.
Authentic Happiness by Professor Martin Seligman – the seminal work of by the founder of Positive Psychology. Also, highly recommend the associated website authentichappiness.org at uPenn, particularly the Values In Action questionnaire, for those that want to understand themselves better.
What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith – describes the perspective shifts and behavioural changes that are needed to be truly effective as one moves up through the management ranks.
Gifts Differing: understanding personality type by Isabel Briggs Myers with Peter B. Myers – the Myers Briggs Type Indicator is the world’s most widely used and statistically validated personality instrument. It explains the different personality types found in normal, healthy individuals.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Steven Covey. You only have one life. Make the most of it. Read this book.
… and some great biographies:
The Snowball: Warren Buffet and the business of life by Alice Schroeder
Open by Andre Agassi (a perfect holiday read, whether you enjoy tennis or not!)
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
Losing My Virginity by Sir Richard Branson