Six books to make you more successful in 2016


With Christmas only two weeks away - it's time to start planning your festive reading schedule (and to pick up last minute gifts).

As well as being a time of celebration, the festive period can also be a time for reflection. If you are looking for some fresh thinking, or a dash of inspiration as we enter 2016, Alan Jordan and Ron Immink from Bookbuzz have been looking back on the year in books - and they've picked out their six favourite reads from the past 12 months.

Turn the Ship Around - L David Marquet

This book, by a former navy commander of a nuclear submarine, explores how leadership can evolve beyond "command and control," style management.

Taking his experience into account, Mr Marquet began to explore new power structures, and how organisations can benefit from empowering individuals, rather than sticking to strict hierarchical structures.

The Rise of Superman - Stephen Kotler

"Mindfulness is the new black" in business and management according to our reviewers. Steven Kotler explores the idea of flow - getting into a state when you are totally focused to the point that you lose track of time - and how it can be used in the business world.

"Flow will become the ultimate motivator. It captures everything. Purpose, meaning, learning, happiness, productivity, creativity, speed, left brain, right brain, product and service design and ultimately business success," Ron Immink wrote in his initial review of the book.

Rookie Smarts - Liz Wiseman

“In a rapidly changing world, experience can be a curse. Careers stall, innovation stops, and strategies grow stale. Being new, naïve, and even clueless can be an asset. For today’s knowledge workersconstant learning is more valuable than mastery," Liz Wiseman writes.

Her book tackles a question which many workers must face, "Will by knowledge and skills become irrelevant - and how can you keep up with the next generation?"

She explores to what extent being able to pick up new skills is better than having knowledge and established skill sets.

X: The Experience When Business Meets Design - Brian Solis

This title examines the extent to which brands can use good customer experience as a way to gain a competitive advantage.

It explores the idea of "branding through experience" - and finds that in some cases companies can charge up to 25% more by creating better customer experiences than their rivals.

Excellent Sheep - William Deresiewicz

“The system is charged with producing our leadership class, the so-called meritocracy - the people who run our institutions, governments, and corporations. So how has that been going? Not, it’s clear by now, too well. What we’re doing to our kids we’re ultimately doing to ourselves. The time has long since passed,"  argues William Deresiewicz.

The book explores our approach to education - Mr Deresiewicz started exploring this issue when he noted that many people who are high achievers in the US education system lack the capacity to think critically and creatively, and he started to wonder how we can correct this shortfall.

6. The Navy Seal Art of War - Rob Roy

"Pain is good - if you are in pain you know that you are alive," Mr Immink says, commenting on the Navy Seal approach to life.

This book deals with leadership, movement and mindset - the book shares 57 "in your face, no bars hold, hard nosed, drum your chest and stop crying, type of lessons," he adds.

But this is not a one dimensional take on life - it involves "creating trust, purpose, honour, dignity, respect, loyalty, and integrity," through our actions.

More business book reviews are available on the Bookbuzz blog - and you can listen to Alan Jordan and Ron Immink's takes on the latest business books live on Business Breakfast every Thursday from 6:30am.

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