In the last few months, COVID-19 has completely changed the way the world operates. If 2020 is making you think of advancing your career or you need to make a career pivot due to a COVID-related job loss, here is a list of five thought-provoking books to consider.
Use this time as a valuable opportunity for personal development by going through this list with books from economics, behavioral psychology, business-savvy, and a memoir. We hope that each read will offer insight into how you can survive and thrive both during and after quarantine.
Good Economics for Hard Times, by Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo
The winners of the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2019 show how economics, when done right, can help us solve the thorniest social and political problems of our day. Recommended by Bill Gates in his summer 2020 reading list this book offers solutions to critical economic questions, like whether international trade works for everyone or immigrants from poorer countries take jobs away from low-income native workers.
This year has demonstrated just how precarious our world can be. Taking a step back to read this book will offer a chance for you to look at how to deal with today’s critical economic problems and the challenges of our times. Immigration and inequality, globalization and technological disruption, slowing growth and accelerating climate change—these are sources of great anxiety across the world, from New Delhi and Dakar to Paris and Washington, DC. The commonality we all share is a good reminder during this time. Provocative and urgent, this book makes a persuasive case for a society built on compassion and respect.
“Economics is too important to be left to economists.”
Shoe Dog, a memoir by the founder of Nike. Phil Knight
A New York Times bestseller by Nike founder and board chairman Phil Knight is an illuminating story on this iconic company’s early days as an intrepid startup and its evolution into one of the world’s most recognized, game-changing, and profitable brands. The “swoosh” icon, of course, remains instantly recognized across the world. Knight recalls the relationships that formed the heart and soul of Nike, with his former track coach Bill Bowerman and with his first employees, a group of misfits and savants who were all obsesses with making shoes.
Bill Gates named Shoe Dog one of his five favorite books of 2016 and called it “an amazing tale, a refreshingly honest reminder of what the path to business success really looks like.”
“Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do, and let them surprise you with their results.”
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
Award-winning business reporter Charles Duhigg discusses scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. Distilling vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives that take us from the boardrooms of Procter & Gamble to the sidelines of the NFL to the front lines of the civil rights movement, Duhigg presents a whole new understanding of human nature and it’s potential. The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, being more productive, and achieving success is understanding how habits work. As Duhigg shows, by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.
“This is how willpower becomes a habit: by choosing a certain behavior ahead of time, and then following that routine when an inflection point arrives.”
Outliers: The Story of Success, by Malcom Gladwell
In this book, Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of “outliers”–the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different?
His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from. Their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing. Along the way, he explains the secrets of software billionaires, what it takes to be a great soccer player, and what made the Beatles the greatest rock band.
“Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.”
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck
A simple but groundbreaking idea—the power of mindset—after decades of research by world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D. In this brilliant book, she shows how success in school, work, sports, the arts, and almost every area of human endeavor can be dramatically influenced by how we think about our talents and abilities. People with a fixed mindset—those who believe that abilities are fixed—are less likely to flourish than those with a growth mindset—those who believe that abilities can be developed. Mindset reveals how great parents, teachers, managers, and athletes can put this idea to use to foster outstanding accomplishments.
“We like to think of our champions and idols as superheroes who were born different from us. We don’t like to think of them as relatively ordinary people who made themselves extraordinary.”
A career change or reflection requires thought and planning. Luckily, there has never been a better time for introspection, ambition, and contemplating a new—and better future—for yourself and the planet.
Don’t forget to check out our Amazon store in case some of these books—and other business/career development books—are currently available at an affordable price. You never know what we may have in stock! Also, share your favorite books with us; we would love to hear from you!
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