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Top 10 books every working professional should read in their lives to become leaders

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There are many self-help books written by many great authors available in the market and every book can create such an impact that it can transform your life for the better. Every book that you read has a role to play in your life which can take you from one level to another. It is like playing a video game where you need to know or do something ‘extra’ to move to the next level and the role of that ‘extra’ is played by the books. As they say, ‘Readers become leaders’.

After reading a lot of books ourselves and with a lot of research, we are presenting a list of the top 10 highly recommended books that every working professional should read to become leaders in their life. For the sake of better understanding, we have divided these books into three stages of a professional’s corporate experience level.

STAGE 1: To strengthen the BASE in the initial phases of your career

  1. Atomic Habits by James Clear
Atomic Habits by James Clear

In the initial phases of the career, the most difficult task is to create a habit and stick to it with a high level of discipline. The habit might be as small as sleeping early or waking up early. It can be about incorporating some ‘Me’ time in your daily routine or finding that much-needed ‘workout’ time, young professionals find it difficult to inculcate good habits. James Clear, a bestselling author of Atomic Habits, says,” Habits are the compound interest of Self-improvement.” “Atomic Habits” is a definitive guide to breaking bad habits and inculcating good ones in four simple steps, showing you how small, incremental, everyday routines compound into massive, positive change over time.

2. The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel

The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel

Many professionals in the early stages of their careers face the challenge of managing their hard-earned money a lot. This happens primarily because of the lack of financial management education at our schools and colleges. The Psychology of Money, written by Morgan Housel, offers insights into how we perceive and manage our finances, and the impact of emotions on our financial decisions. The book explores a complex relationship between money and human behaviour in an accessible way.

3. Mindset by Dr. Carol S. Dweck

Mindset by Carol Dweck

The professionals in the initial phases of their careers keep battling with their mindset because of the lack of focus towards achieving greater things in life. This happens because one does not realise his/her true potential in the initial phases. In her book ‘Mindset’, Dr. Carol S. Dweck, an American Psychologist, who is also a professor of psychology at Stanford, explains in her book how a person’s perspective on his/her abilities and the range of possible mindsets can have a significant impact on the performances in every area of the life. Dweck explains the distinction between what she calls a ‘fixed’ and ‘growth’ mindset.

STAGE 2: To capitalise on the strong base and build a successful career

4. Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman

Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman

“In a very real sense we have two minds, one that thinks and one that feels,” says Daniel Goleman. Many times in the professional environment, one’s emotions take over the ability to think clearly and critically and they end up losing more than they would have ever gained. “Emotional Intelligence” explains the importance of emotions in your life, and how they help and destroy your chances to move ahead in your life and career. The book also gives you the practical advice to improve the emotional intelligence and why is that a key to success in the first place.

5. The Subtle Art Of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

The Subtle Art of not giving a f*uck by Mark Manson

In a day-to-day hustle many a time corporate professionals start focusing on low-yielding things which at the same time consume a lot of time and energy. Mark Manson says,” Who you are is defined by what you are willing to struggle for.” The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck explains to us the importance of a no-BS approach to living a life that might not always be happy, but meaningful and centred only around what’s important to you.

6. The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Dr. Joseph Murphy

The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Dr. Joseph Murphy

In a highly cut-throat corporate environment, professionals often give up on their dreams and desires to acquire everything that they ever dreamt of since their childhood. This happens due to a lack of mental conditioning because our educational system only prepares us for the competition on the physical plane and not on the mental one. The Power of Your Subconscious Mind, written by Joseph Murphy is a powerful book which explains the significance and science of visualisation and affirmations that can help you achieve anything in this life just by sending messages to your subconscious mind and channelising it to your advantage.

7. The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone

The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone

The common discussion point between professionals over corporate lunches or dinners is how to climb the corporate ladder fast and efficiently. But many professionals remain oblivious to this technique their entire lives and eventually, they settle for less. The major miss is that they do not set their goals high enough. ‘The 10X Rule” by Grant Cardone highlights the importance of keeping your goals higher i.e. you should set your targets 10X than what you believe you can achieve and you should take actions that are 10X greater than the actions you think are necessary to achieve that goal.

STAGE 3: To keep multiplying what you have gained in the initial and mid-career

8. The Courage to be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Kago

The Courage to be disliked by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga

Many professionals get stuck in their careers by ‘overthinking’ and they are always busy either analysing what happened in the past or how the future will shape up for them or if somebody said something nasty to them. This happens because they assume they can control everything and are too worried about the validations from others. ‘The Courage to be Disliked’ is one book which can make you believe that the courage to be happy includes the courage to be disliked. The book is a Japanese analysis of the work of 19th-century psychologist Alfred Adler, who established that happiness lies in the hands of each human individual and does not depend on past traumas.

9. The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy

The Compound Effect By Darren Hardy

The professionals at this stage of their careers should understand that it is not the different interesting things that they do occasionally that get them success but it is the same mundane, unsexy, unexciting, and sometimes difficult daily disciplines compounded over time that will give them everything that they ever wanted in their life and career. ‘The Compound Effect’ explains beautifully how a series of small and smart choices over a longer period compound to build anything for you. Darren Hardy says,” You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routines.”

10. Zero to One by Peter Thiel

Zero to One by Peter Thiel

“Brilliant thinking is rare, but courage is in even shorter supply than genius,” says Peter Thiel. One way to grow your prospects exponentially is by having an entrepreneurial way of thinking and having the belief and courage to set up and run a particular business for the larger good. The book “Zero to One” is highly regarded for its innovative approach to the process of formulating strategies that help entrepreneurs build successful startup businesses. 

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