Summer is here or at least it’s starting to feel like it and if you are like me, you are starting to feel that salty breeze on your face and getting your bathing suit ready for that long-awaited and totally deserved vacation.
Also, if you are like me, you will pack a couple of summer reads that will help you earn your way to success, whatever success means to you. However, for the purposes of this blog, I will narrow down this selection to books that will help you in your life and career.
It’s no secret that I’m a self-described bookworm. Ever since I was a kid, before going on any vacation I would go to the public library and borrow a stack of books.
Reading has been one of the pillars of my personal and professional growth. As an Executive Career and Leadership Coach, one of the things that I enjoy the most (I’m so lucky to be able to do) is to read books that I know serve my clients well. The list below is a compilation of the books that I think will add value to your career and life. Without further adieu, let's start:
1. Find Your Why
This book is a spin of Simon Sinek’s classic must-read book start with why. This book is all about understanding the importance of knowing and communicating your why. If one wants to gain true influence and inspire others not only in business as well as in your personal life, this book is calling for you. There are true gems in this book including the concept of the golden circle, which is a framework Why—How—What. “Why” is the reason. “How” is the means. “What” is the result. They all must be in balance, compelled by the why, and when they are, you will achieve authenticity and success.
2. Dare to Lead
Well, you all know this one was coming. Brene Brown’s book on leadership is so refreshing as it is real. The main reason I love this book is that it teaches us that Leadership is not about titles, status, and power. A leader is anyone who takes responsibility for recognizing the potential in people and ideas and has the courage to develop that potential. I would say that this book changed the view that I had on leadership many years ago and I only wished I had read this much earlier than when it got to me.
3. Never Split the Difference
You might be wondering why a negotiation book is on this list, and you might think that I am completely out of whack here, but would you please do yourself a favor and pick up this book today? Written by a former FBI negotiator, Chris Voss, and his co-authors, they do an excellent job of explaining how to use negotiation skills to use in everyday scenarios (life is a negotiation process!) and at the same time making it an entertaining read. If you finish the book and feel like you are ready to practice, please join the Black Swanlings LinkedIn Group which is an excellent resource to keep learning and practicing the skills in the book.
4. Ladies Get Paid
Here is a book that I recommend to anyone either right out of school or in years two and three. However, it’s my opinion that everyone can potentially learn something from this book. Written by Claire Wasserman who is the founder of the community by the same name, the book has “step by step” advice for many career conundrums, from how to network to how to ask for more compensation. This is a must-read for anyone looking to up their career game.
5. More than Ready
Self-help books are not very diverse, meaning that there is not a lot out there written by women of color, even less a Latina. I found this book inspiring as well as relatable. Moreover, within this book, Author Cecilia Muños has actionable strategies that come from the perspective of a #firstgenriser and #Latina that is not afraid of using her gifts as a power source for success.
6. The Memo
This is another must-read book for women of color and allies that want to understand more what women of color face at work and in their daily lives. Minda Harts does an excellent job of speaking truth to power on this one as well as providing actionable advice on what to do if you want to advance in your career.
7. Successful Women Speak Differently
Confession: I'm still listening to this audiobook (Yes I do listen to audiobooks) and it almost did not make it here. However, I listened to enough of it to suggest it here. Communication is one of the biggest issues for my clients and this book has so many golden nuggets and wisdom when it comes to speech, tone and in general how to communicate effectively. Valorie Burton unearths practical insights you can put to work in your life immediately.
8. Atomic Habits
I read this book last summer, and I highly recommend it for anyone who struggles with goals, and boundaries, and in general, changing a habit. It will reshape the way you think about progress and success.
9. Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life
A lot of people are coming out of this pandemic seriously reconsidering the next chapter. In this book the authors, Bill Burnett and Dave Evans show us how to design thinking (the same design thinking that helps create products) can help us create a life that is both meaningful and fulfilling, regardless of who or where we are, what we do or age. I highly recommend anyone starting the quest to a career pivot.
What if you get stuck?
I hope these books bring you all the inspiration and certainly help you in your way to success. However, if you find yourself in need of more help or stuck, a certified coach like myself can give you that extra push you need to achieve the life of your dreams. If you are interested in learning more about what I do or my VIP program, Elevate and Own your Voice, you are more than welcome to fill out the form here.