Today, leaders need to be their best possible versions if they want people to follow them. The ideas that fill the pages of these books are practical and force you to ask: am I being my best self?
1. Positivity: Groundbreaking Research to Release Your Inner Optimist and Thrive by Barbara Fredrickson (2011)
Can you bottle positivity? It’s more complicated than that. In fact, it’s a life’s work. Happiness, hope and wellbeing might be adages of today, but the concept of positive psychology has been around for more than 15 years. This self-help book empowers people, no matter what their status, to unleash their imagination and put positivity centre-stage. If you want to calculate and track your positivity ratio, simply use Barbara Fredrickson’s handy positivity list to transform your approach to life.
2. Redirect: The Surprising New Science of Psychological Change by Timothy D. Wilson (2011)
What if you wore an earpiece so that someone wiser could send you subtle prompts, making your words more impactful? In essence, that’s what Redirect does. Leading psychologist Timothy Wilson empowers you to redirect the stories you tell. Even the smallest changes can significantly change the way you see the world around you, and yourself. If you’re looking to construct your own distinct narrative, as all leaders today should, use Wilson’s practical interventions and start editing your unique story.
3. Mindset: How You Can Fulfil Your Potential by Carol Dweck (2012)
Have you ever taken a survey one day and finished it off the next? It’s amazing how your mood affects your answers, isn’t it? That’s the power of your mindset. World-acclaimed psychologist Carol Dweck explains why skills and talent alone aren’t enough. Learn about the difference between fixed and growth mindsets and discover which you have. Apply Dweck’s novel way of thinking to foster a love of learning. Build on a set of beliefs to inch your personal and professional goals well within your reach.
4. Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realise Your Potential for Lasting Fulfilment Paperback by Martin E. P. Seligman (2003)
The most common answers to the question ‘what do you want most out of life?’ are health, love, wealth and happiness. Everyone wants to be happy, but not everybody knows how to hold on to it. Celebrated psychologist Martin Seligman explains why happiness can be learned. He takes you on a tour of 24 strengths and virtues – of which you will have at least five – and appeals for you to develop more. Learn how generosity, humour, optimism and curiosity all play a role in our everyday lives, and recalibrate your joy barometer.
5. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do, and How to Change by Charles Duhigg (2013)
Alcoholics can become sober. And dysfunctional companies can transform themselves, argues award-winning New York Times writer Charles Duhigg. Some habits can mean the difference between failure and success, life and death – Duhigg helps you break yours. With a host of case studies, and scientific evidence, he sheds light on how habits work, before showing you how they can be stopped in their tracks. If the research and stories don’t alter your perspectives, they’ll no doubt provide inspiration for dinner party conversations.