7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey
Outliers: The Story of Success, by Malcom Gladwell
Talent is Overrated, by Geoff Colvin:
Asked to explain why a few people truly excel, most people offer one of two answers. The first is hard work. Yet we all know plenty of hard workers who have been doing the same job for years or decades without becoming great. The other possibility is that the elite possess an innate talent for excelling in their field. We assume that Mozart was born with an astounding gift for music, and Warren Buffett carries a gene for brilliant investing. The trouble is, scientific evidence doesn't support the notion that specific natural talents make great performers.
According to distinguished journalist Geoff Colvin, both the hard work and natural talent camps are wrong. What really makes the difference is a highly specific kind of effort-"deliberate practice"-that few of us pursue when we're practicing golf or piano or stock-picking. Based on scientific research, Talent is Overrated shares the secrets of extraordinary performance and shows how to apply these principles. It features the stories of people who achieved world-class greatness through deliberate practice-including Benjamin Franklin, comedian Chris Rock, football star Jerry Rice, and top CEOs Jeffrey Immelt and Steven Ballmer.
First, Break all the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers do Differently, by Marcus Buckingham:
Buckingham and Coffman explain how the best managers select an employee for talent rather than for skills or experience; how they set expectations for him or her -- they define the right outcomes rather than the right steps; how they motivate people -- they build on each person's unique strengths rather than trying to fix his weaknesses; and, finally, how great managers develop people -- they find the right fit for each person, not the next rung on the ladder. And perhaps most important, this research -- which initially generated thousands of different survey questions on the subject of employee opinion -- finally produced the twelve simple questions that work to distinguish the strongest departments of a company from all the rest. This book is the first to present this essential measuring stick and to prove the link between employee opinions and productivity, profit, customer satisfaction, and the rate of turnover.
StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath:
Do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day?
Chances are, you don't. All too often, our natural talents go untapped. From the cradle to the cubicle, we devote more time to fixing our shortcomings than to developing our strengths. To help people uncover their talents, Gallup introduced the first version of its online assessment, StrengthsFinder, in 2001 which ignited a global conversation and helped millions to discover their top five talents. In its latest national bestseller, StrengthsFinder 2.0, Gallup unveils the new and improved version of its popular assessment, language of 34 themes, and much more (see below for details). While you can read this book in one sitting, you'll use it as a reference for decades.
A Field Guide for the Hero's Journey, by Jeff Sandefer