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CAREER

Turn the Page: Books to Inspire, Empower, and Educate

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We’re usually absorbed in our everyday work routine, but now with social distancing in practice (and therefore time to spare), there’s no better time to arm ourselves with a well-rounded view on the business world. Read on for books written by industry experts to inspire, empower and educate you – you may even discover what you thought rang true, isn’t what it seems after all.

Authentic leadership

Book recommendation: Get Real: The Power of Genuine Leadership, a Transparent Culture, and an Authentic You by Anna Crowe

Sometimes, leadership isn’t just about looking outwards (to your team) as it is in (to yourself). In Get Real, author Anna Crowe, founder and CEO of Crowe PR agency, focuses on the importance of authenticity by offering advice on self-growth and navigating corporate culture, all in relation to leadership skills: “If you don’t know who you are, then how do you expect your team to?” It’s establishing connections and building genuine relationships that’s key to business success. So forget about “fake it ‘til you make it” – instead, learn the value of self-awareness and you’ll see that the most powerful thing to do as a leader is to show up as your sincere, genuine self.

Are you ready to be an entrepreneur?

Book recommendation: Building on Bedrock: What Sam Walton, Walt Disney, and Other Great Self-Made Entrepreneurs Can Teach Us About Building Valuable Companies by Derek Lidow

Walt Disney first dabbled in unheard of short films before eventually founding the legendary Walt Disney Company. Do you find yourself contemplating the entrepreneurial route too? While not everyone can call a certain cartoon mouse his muse, there are inevitably fundamental considerations to weigh before starting your own business. This book, penned by entrepreneur, former CEO and Princeton University Entrepreneurial Leadership lecturer Derek Lidow, will help you assess the pros and cons of taking that leap. By sharing personal experience and stories from other self-made entrepreneurs, Building on Bedrock takes you on an introspective review and provides sage advice for not only early entrepreneurs, but also founders, co-founders, and even investors.

Rethink the work week

Book recommendation: Shorter: Work Better, Smarter, and Less – Here's How by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang

What if the dream of working less but being more productive is actually reality? In fact, Silicon Valley-based consultant Alex Soojung-Kim Pang believes that it’s the only way to work. Already with one bestseller on his CV, Pang’s new release explores the benefits of working shorter, even fewer days. He contests the idea that outworking your colleagues, and overworking in general, is the route to success in the modern workplace. By re-examining the future of work with examples from visionaries who have succeeded in redesigning the traditional workplace, he describes how to improve focus, prioritise thoughtfulness in leadership, and strengthen team collaboration by being more effective during a four-day work week. This step-by-step guide will lead you to rethink the ideals of a typical schedule, well before you find yourself a victim of the burnout culture.

Understanding finance

Book recommendation: The Wisdom of Finance: Discovering Humanity in the World of Risk and Return by Mihir A. Desai

Risk management, leverage, fiduciary responsibility – these terms are probably foreign to those uninitiated into the world of finance. But Jane Austen, Jeff Koons, and The Producers – these names might be more familiar. It is through these personalities and cultural references that Mihir A. Desai, award-winning professor at Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School, illustrates the principles of finance. The Wisdom of Finance introduces parallels between finance and humanity: mergers are actually marriages, while bankruptcy shows us how to cope with failure. Those who find finance intimidating can gain knowledge in an easily relatable way, just as the more financial-minded can find enjoyment in these creative correlations. Desai’s imaginative take shows us that maybe, just maybe, it’s not always just about numbers and complicated calculations...

Women and the workplace

Book recommendation: The Fix: How to Overcome the Invisible Barriers that are Holding Women Back at Work by Michelle P. King

What if it’s not how women are – but how the workplace is – that’s deterring them from career advancement? This is what Director of Inclusion at Netflix Michelle P. King argues is the current, and actual problem. With 16 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies as a gender equality expert, she explores the idea of “gender denial” through research, interviews and thought leadership insight. The Fix claims that the workplace was gendered in the first place, as it was designed for men by men, which led to the existence of invisible barriers for women (the need to embrace multiple roles in life, downplay niceness, and behave like a man to belong). Empower yourselves with this read, girls – and recognise that it’s not you that needs to be fixed, but rather, the workplace itself. You got this!

Photo credits: Get Real: The Power of Genuine Leadership, a Transparent Culture, and an Authentic You (Lioncrest Publishing); Building on Bedrock: What Sam Walton, Walt Disney and Other Great Self-Made Entrepreneurs Can Teach Us About Building Valuable Companies (Everafter Romance); Shorter: Work Better, Smarter and Less – Here's How (PublicAffairs); The Wisdom of Finance: Discovering Humanity in the World of Risk and Return (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt); and The Fix: How to Overcome the Invisible Barriers that are Holding Women Back at Work (Simon & Schuster).


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