December 27, 2018

The Best Reads of 2018

You’ve waiting all year for this! Here are our favorite books of 2018!

Well, you made it (almost)…

Your left-overs are finished.  Your Netflix queue has significantly dwindled. You’re thinking about taking your holiday decorations down. You’re planning your resolutions for next year.

The end to 2018 is so close!

But before we say goodbye, many of you still have a long weekend on the horizon – a great time to continue relaxing and also get some good learning in as well.

Similar to last year, I’m highlighting my favorite business (and non-business) reads for 2018.  These books made an impact on my life over the past 12 months, and I think you’ll like them too.  They are quick/easy reads (my favorite) with lots of “ah-ha” moments that will get you ready for your Engaged Pursuit.

Here are my favorite reads of 2018:

Deep Work, by Cal Newport. Wow, I found this book super useful! I love how Newport highlighted the importance of FOCUS and setting yourself-up for success when it comes to doing work. No more random emails responses or insane multi-tasking.  Instead – set clear, known boundaries for work where you can really focus, get into “flow” and produce your best work.  A great read for those who struggle with constantly feeling overwhelmed (or have a big project due soon).

Dare to Lead, by Brené Brown.  Those who know me know that I love Brené Brown. She’s all about personal growth (through vulnerability and connection) – usually utilized outside of the office environment. In her latest read, Brown talks about how vulnerability and connection can (and should) happen within the corporate walls.  Her thesis – the best leaders are those who know themselves, set clear boundaries, and open themselves to feedback. A great “before-bed” read – especially if you’re considering a people manager role in the future.

Pivot, by Jenny Blake. I just finished this book and found it really insightful – especially for those who are thinking about something new in 2019.  Blake’s philosophy – take baby-steps (or “pivots”) when changing your professional experience. Keep one foot grounded as you think about something new (like a basketball player). Change doesn’t have to be huge or scary (you don’t have to jump off a cliff) – meaningful change can come through little changes and open eyes. The second-half gets a little “framework-y,” but I think it’s still worth it.

Becoming, by Michelle Obama.  While I don’t consider this a “business read,” some themes highlighted in this brilliant read do relate to business – have confidence, speak your authentic truth, be considerate to others, and have a good time.  Obama’s writing style is perfect – I couldn’t put her book down. A great page-turner for the last days of 2018.

Judgement Detox, by Gabrielle Bernstein. Judgement – and more specifically personal judgement – gets in the way of everything. Words like SHOULD get in the way of personal and professional growth way too often (I see this all the time with clients).  “I SHOULD have taken that other job” or “I SHOULD have left sooner.”  My thinking (and advice) – it doesn’t matter … you’ll get through this experience just like you have in the past. Bernstein’s thinking around this topic is magical and required reading if you’re going through (or about to go through) big change.

Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics, by Dan Harris. I love Dan Harris.  He’s funny, smart and honest about his experiences – sometimes life doesn’t happen as you think it should.  His solution to making things a little (10%) better … meditation. This is the second book from Harris around the importance of meditation in bringing professional clarity and I think you’ll really enjoy it! He also has a meditation app (called “10% Happier”) that you might like as well!

You Can Do Anything, by George Anders. A great read for the “Liberal Arts” majors in your life. The theme of the story – you can do (and be) whatever you want, regardless if you’re a Computer Science major or a History major (like myself).  It’s all about how you articulate your experiences (otherwise known as your “Professional Story”) and how you confidently show-up regardless of the situation (interviews, customer visits, etc).  Great read if you know someone in college (or getting ready to graduate).

Your homework this week:You know the drill!  Besides planning for Monday night, I know you have time to walk down to your library or local bookstore and pick-up my favorite reads of 2018! I promise you’ll find them really valuable as you continue on your Engaged Pursuit.

Coming-up next week:  I’m really excited to share with you my insights for 2018. A culmination of “What I’m seeing out there,” I’ll share with you the biggest take-aways from the year, as well as my predictions for 2019. You won’t want to miss this!

Here’s to your Engaged Pursuit!

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