Get your year started off right with these captivating reads that will expand your mind, make you pause, and maybe give you a fresh perspective on yourself and the people around you! As 2021 comes to a close, we at BetterUp wanted to leave you with ten of our top reads of the year recommended by our BetterUp Coaches.
From inspiring to expansively informative, these books have left their mark on our minds and hearts – we hope they guide you to growth, innovative creation, and personal excellence in the new year.
Enjoy our top book picks for expanding your mind in the new year!
- Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know by Adam Grant
Feeling stuck seeing the world in absolutes? Adam Grant gives us tools to take on a more holistic perspective that promotes self-awareness and informed resolutions in our personal and professional challenges. A perfect blend of research, storytelling, and humor – this book will boost your curiosity in the new year and keep you excited about what you have yet to learn about the world.
“For people who are stuck thinking their challenge has a binary solution, Grant provides tools to turn it into a continuum. It also works in our current society of division to get people talking again.” -Russ Sharer, BetterUp Coach
“This book masterfully weaves in how to approach both personal and professional interactions in a more positive and productive fashion. It invites the reader to be more curious, open to learning differences in understanding, and to ask better questions. It does so while offering evidence-based research in an understandable and at times, humorous way to describe the human condition and how we can all grow.” - Ed Higgins, BetterUp Coach
“I spend a lot of time talking to clients about curiosity as it's the foundation for learning and growth. Grant's main idea is that we can have our convictions and our opinions, but also make space to admit that we might be wrong. When leaders maintain this level of curiosity, they build stronger relationships, learn faster, and achieve greater levels of innovation.” - Bethany Klynn, BetterUp Coach
“Adam Grant does a great job at exploring the possibilities before us if we step back and allow for the space to think differently. From current topics such as prejudice and stereotypes, to how we think about our careers, this book is enlightening and has me ‘thinking again.’” -Paula Rauenbuehler, BetterUp Coach
- Positive Intelligence: Why Only 20% of Teams and Individuals Achieve Their True Potential and How You Can Achieve Yours by Shirzad Chamine
Looking for personal and professional fulfillment? Often we’re our own worst enemy. Chamine’s research found 10 common ways that this self-sabotage can cause significant damage to anyone trying to achieve their full potential. He then helps you identify how much potential you really have and provides concrete steps towards realizing it, bringing welcome stress relief and happiness as your progress.
“This book opens our eyes to the habits of mind that hinder us when we self-sabotage. We are invited to transformation through understanding our own experience, as well as cultivating practices to calm and focus our minds. When we foster sage wisdom and mental fitness we gain empathy, the curiosity to explore, navigate and choose practical action in our work and in life.” -Jeanne Marie Mudd, BetterUp Coach
- The Burnout Fix: Overcome Overwhelm, Beat Busy, and Sustain Success in the New World of Work by Jacinta Jimenez
Taking on some big challenges in 2022? This evidence-based resilience toolkit helps you find more sustainable practices to help keep you in peak performance at work, home, and work at home. Dr. Jacinta M. Jiménez shows science-backed resilience strategies to stay balanced in a society that glorifies being stressed and overworked. Informed by the latest research in positive, social, and motivational psychology, this book will teach you how to nurture your personal pulse and find more enjoyable ways to be your best.
“I have recommended this book to members who I thought could benefit from anyone or from all or from a combination of the PULSE domains. In particular, I recommended The Burnout Fix to members dealing with overwhelm, uncertainty in turbulent times, or a desire to rejuvenate following a period (dis)stress and better prepare for the next period.” - Ross Dworman, BetterUp Coach
Trouble keeping your mind on track? Learn how to take control of your focus during distracted times. In a world that is constantly vying for our attention at every turn, it can seem impossible to stay focused, but you can actually train your brain to pay attention and this book will teach you to focus more effectively and operate at your peak ability.
“Focus issues are showing up increasingly as the primary challenge for members I coach. In this book, Amishi Jha, a contemplative neuroscientist and mindfulness researcher, offers new understandings of the science of attention and practical exercises that help us declutter our minds, strengthen focus and more fully experience life.” -Katie Drescher, BetterUp Coach
- The Surrender Experiment: My Journey into Life's Perfection by Michael Singer
Are you stuck going through the motions of life feeling unfulfilled? Michael Singer went from hiding out in meditation to building a billion-dollar software company in support of the medical industry by surrendering to what life was really asking from him. This book will have you looking at your life in a dramatically different way!
“To clients who lack trust in the flow of life and are challenged with a lot of effort which keeps them stuck in a repeating unfulfilling pattern in their life.” -Michael Simmonds, BetterUp Coach
- Oprah's The Life You Want Planner by Oprah Winfrey
Creating your vision for 2022 can seem like a daunting task. Who else would be better to get help from than Oprah herself? This planner is packed with journal prompts to help you reflect and inspiring quotes to give you a new perspective. Not a book, but this planner is so good it had to be on this list.
“If I, as a coach, could create a planner, this would be it! It features a wheel of life, a create your vision exercise, and so much more. This is the perfect way to invest in yourself around the holidays and to set the tone for an incredible 2022!” -Rob Michelucci, BetterUp Coach
Are your emotions getting the best of you in the face of challenges? We have all been there. Psychologist Susan David has spent over 20 years studying emotions, happiness, and achievement. Her key finding? The importance of inner work. It is how we navigate our thoughts, feelings, and self-talk that determines our success – this book gives you the tools to face tough times with acceptance and embrace the power of your emotions.
“This book takes the whole Emotional Intelligence domain to a new level. It not only provides great tools on how to unhook from emotional downs but also shows that it is possible to embrace challenges and change and come out of them even stronger. The book is well researched, is full of real-life cases, and a joy to read.” - Irina Sergeeva, BetterUp Coach
“It is a very well-written book about emotions and how to manage emotions. I find this a big theme in coaching, and unsurprisingly so, as emotions underlie everything. In a straightforward and touching way, this book makes us more aware of our inner emotional life, and also about how we can become more agile in expressing our emotions.” -Petya Wienand, BetterUp Coach
- The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever by Michael Bungay-Stanier
Looking to be a more inspirational leader this year? With so many competing priorities, being an impactful leader who brings out the best in others can be challenging. In this book, you’ll learn how to identify, discuss, and resolve people's obstacles to change with a simple yet effective approach. We love this book because it helps managers become leaders by embodying one of our BetterUp behaviors: Do less deliver more!
“This book is the gold standard for leaders looking to improve their effectiveness in becoming more coach-like in their leadership. Short, fun, practical, and a little quirky, it quickly becomes a book most people can’t put down and fall in love with.” -Greg McLeod, BetterUp Coach
“I often recommend this book when a member is struggling to find effective ways to direct their team or communicate about challenges with colleagues at any level. It's a highly practical guide to developing a coaching approach, and you can start experimenting with the techniques right away. It's quite a quick and very engaging read - I get great feedback on how helpful it's been.” -Louise van Haarst, BetterUp Coach
We hope you find wisdom and inspiration in these career books, but most of all, we hope that they will help propel you toward your goals for the new year. You have everything you need inside of you to be your best self. We believe in you, and we’re here to support you on your journey. Now get out there and show 2022 all that you have to offer this world!
Content Marketing Manager, ACC