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9 books that you must read in 2018

Auteur: YESS International Consultants

A new year means new resolutions. Going to the gym, eating healthier, travelling to a great destination, and reading more inspirational books, to name but a few. To help you out with at least one of these resolutions, we have asked professionals from various industries and functional practices to pick and mix their New Year’s favorite readings.

In addition to the classic must reads and re-reads for everyone who wants to develop personal leadership skills, such as Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and Claudio Fernandez Araoz’s Great People Decisions, these books will learn you more about yourself, others, and your organisation.

Snezana Zivcevska-Stalpers, Project Manager Technology & Innovation @ IBM

Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown

“It requires us to be who we are”

In this book, the author talks about the experiences that bring meaning to our lives: experiences of courage, vulnerability, love, belonging, shame, and empathy. And according to her, the true belonging doesn’t require us to change who we are, but requires us to be who we are.

Enabling Genius: A Mindset for Success in the 21st Century by Myles Downey

In the “story of a genius” there are at least 3 key variables: the genetic inheritance, the surrounding environment and the mental state. Two of them can have direct influence, but the idea “I am what I am” is simply without substitution.

The Golden Rules by Bob Bowman and Charles Butler

“Bowman is teaching how to get gold out of every day”

Bob Bowman is best known as the coach for the record-breaking run of Michael Phelps and is one of the most successful coaches in the sports history. This is his motivational book about winning in all aspects of life and what everyone has to do to get there. He presents ten key concepts (see text box) that all people should live by, illuminated by spirited anecdotes. Bowman is teaching how to get gold out of every day by setting goals and getting motivated to achieve them. He also explains that taking risks is the key to success in any pursuit, and how to become more risk-tolerant.

Kati Tavy, Consultant & Executive Coach @ YESS International Consultants

Het Enneagram in Organisaties by Oscar David

“The book is full of experiences”

Organisations become flatter, and teams more self-steering. Therefore, understanding your own and other’s motivations is more important than ever. The enneagram is a proven model that describes nine personality types (see text box). It offers you tools with which you can communicate more effectively, manage more consciously, and achieve better results with teams. During the past 25 years, Oscar David has introduced the enneagram to a large number of organisations, including YESS International Consultants. This book is full of practical experiences, also from YESS where, at that time, all enneagram types were represented.

Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges by Amy Cuddy

“She invented her own power poses”

Amy Cuddy, a professor at Harvard Business School, expands on her popular TED talk about adopting confident body postures, or “power poses,” to enhance self-confidence and bring presence to social and professional situations. She draws insights from successful venture capitalists and from a host of social psychology studies conducted by herself and others. She uses William James‘s belief that physical experiences trigger emotional states to lend credence to her own invention of power poses, providing specific instructions on how and when to use them.

Geert Beckers, Senior Supervisor Integrity Risk @ De Nederlandsche Bank

The Spider Network by David Enrich

“Should the facts be interpreted differently?”

The story of a shocking bank fraud. This book is written with the full cooperation of the protagonist: the mildly autistic math genius and former trader for UBS and Citigroup Tom Hayes. The fraud was extensive, the supervisors acted robustly, and the main character was wrong… Or should the facts be interpreted differently? Judge for yourself. The book gives a nice insight into the banking world through the eyes of Hayes.

Big Mind by Geoff Mulgan

We read lots of self-help books to become smarter, and to perform better at work. But why are some organisations as a whole smarter than others? And why can a team of high professionals make stupid choices? In short: what fuels or hinders collective intelligence? Geoff Mulgan, an American professor, is fascinated by this theme. He sought answers and wrote a convincing manual, which comes in handy for any professional.

David Lips, Interim Head of Financial Business Planning & Control @ Tele2

Leading the Way: The Seven Skills to Engage, Inspire and Motivate by Andrew Leigh and Michael Maynard

“Inspiring leaders leave us feeling motivated”

Inspiring leaders are few, yet we always know when we’ve met one. They leave us feeling engaged, motivated and ready to run the extra mile. This book outlines the essential skills you need to become that leader, getting the most out of people around you, and boosting your own career and performance along the way. Development experts Andrew Leigh and Michael Maynard show how to maximise the potential of your innate strengths, whilst driving the core behaviours behind effective leadership.

Good to Great by Jim Collins

Can a good company become a great company and, if so, how? In this book, an answer is provided to this question based on extensive research. It addresses a number of management, personnel, and operational practices, behaviors and attitudes that are needed for the good-to-great transition. The key take-away that I learned from the book is that a company needs to define a narrowly focused objective and field of competency, and then funnel all of the company’s resources toward that area of strength.

“A company needs to define a narrowly focused objective”

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Bob Bowman’s 10 golden rules

As summarised by ValueWalk:

  • Set a “dream big” vision
  • Adopt an “all-in” attitude
  • Take risks, and enjoy the rewards
  • Draft short-term goals: they will lead to long-term success
  • Live the vision every day
  • A team approach can inspire individual success
  • Stay motivated over the long haul
  • Adversity will make you stronger
  • When the time comes, perform with confidence
  • Celebrate your achievement, then decide what’s next

The Nine Enneagram Types

  • The reformer: the rational, idealistic type
  • The helper: the caring, interpersonal type
  • The achiever: the success-oriented, pragmatic type
  • The individualist: the sensitive, withdrawn type
  • The investigator: the intense, cerebral type
  • The loyalist: the committed, security-oriented type
  • The enthusiast: the busy, fun-loving type
  • The challenger: the powerful, dominating type
  • The peacemaker: the easygoing, self-effacing type

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