Your winter reading list has been sorted. Here are our top books to keep you warm over winter.

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Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

It has been a while since I have read a good ‘story’. As stories go, they don’t come much more interesting than the history of Nike and how it was created from nothing and evolved into the multi-billion dollar powerhouse it is today.

Phil Knight chronicles the early years of establishing the company. Starting with an idea, to importing a small batch of shoes from Japan, to gradually growing their operation, their obstacles and failings are laid bare. What they had to sacrifice, the stress they were under and the ‘make or break’ style of growing the business made for gripping reading. It seemed like absolute failure was just around the corner for about a decade.

Along with the strength of the story, there are plenty of lessons along the way. Not only with business management, but self-management and building a team.

Would be a good read for a broad range of people.

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Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg is the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook and has an impressive resumé throughout the corporate/tech world. The focus of this book is her experiences and observations of the challenges women face with pursuing and maintaining businesses leadership roles. She is uniquely qualified to identify and call out gender inequality amongst the upper echelon of the corporate world.

From identifying a gap in leadership ambition, to balancing family & work life, Sandberg hits all the key issues that prevent more women from taking leadership roles.

While not particularly relevant to the pathway that I’m on, it was interesting to hear about her meteoric rise and the challenges she faced on the way that would not have been as problematic for a man.

Although she has her detractors stemming from recent Facebook PR issues, she sets a great example for ambitious women in the workforce.

An interesting success story with some lessons on perspective on the way.

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Thrive by Arianna Huffington

Some books change the way you think and feel as you read them. I connected with this book in a big way.

You can often feel so overwhelmed in your professional life that it directly impacts every other aspect of your life including health and family. This book provides a fresh perspective on the lifestyle of a modern professional and how to prioritise what matters, while taking your workplace performance to greater heights.

There are many lessons to take away from Thrive. Key messages are around mindful practices, health and wellbeing, sleep habits, digital detoxing, relationships and gratitude.

I have never finished a book and considered re-reading it straight away! But onto the next one, will definitely come back though. Give it a read.


The Ultimate Book of Influence by Chris Helder.

This book was anonymously gifted as a random act of kindness, something that I absolutely love! The best part is that it’s a brilliant book and should be read by anyone who relies heavily on inter-personal connection in their profession.

Chris covers a broad range of areas of influence, including influence of self, others, reading people,and strategies to get on the same page as others.

Not only is the content highly practical and relevant, but it’s delivered in a punchy, to-the-point way that leaves you easy implementation points. You could seriously run training sessions off the back of this book. There are many ideas and strategies in here that I haven’t read in any other book.

Would make a great gift or perhaps an anonymous, random act of kindness of your own.


The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

*Very good book alert*

This book had all the elements I like: 
✅ Engaging writing style.
✅ Research based analysis.
✅ Practical application and pathway to improvement.
✅ Absolute relevance and importance.

Anyone in a self-directed profession understands the importance of productive, effective use of time. We know these behaviours are driven by our habits. Our habits are so strongly engrained in us they can be very difficult to break, or create new ones.

This book breaks down the science of habits and lets you understand why much of what you do is automated based on your psychological makeup. It shows you how you can disrupt bad habits and construct new ones but in a much more in-depth method than you would think. There’s a reason why so many people fail at changing habits and this book explains why and how to be successful in creating change.

It’s quite a feat to write in a scientific, fact based style but still be very engaging to read.

Read this book if you want better habits.

Jarrad McCarthy
Harcourts Buderim

Pauline Smith