The hazy, lazy days of summer are upon us and everyone I know is looking for a place to kick back, relax, and take in as much summer as they can. However, if you’re anything like me, even “downtime” is an opportunity to hone my craft and learn a thing or two.
With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of a few great reads that should get the wheels in your head turning while you work on your tan.
If you’ve ever had a bad boss then you know how demotivating and debilitating their management styles can make a workplace. If you’re currently a boss, are planning to hire in the future or are simply interested in the best ways to keep employees happy and productive, don’t pass up this read.
Jill Geisler’s manual for creating a positive and productive workplace is an extremely well-researched read which draws on her years of leadership experience. With detailed work plans and assessment tools she provides step-by-step, actionable ways to get the most out of yourself and out of your employees.
Too often, especially in business, we’re taught that working that extra bit harder or sacrificing that extra evening or weekend is the key to success; that by neglecting our own well-being we can capture happiness for ourselves.
Tom Rath’s latest bestseller challenges the reader to rethink their goals and to start framing their success not as “chasing happiness” but as “creating meaning.” By drawing from research spanning across several fields including business, economics and psychology this book challenges us to rethink our day-to-day interactions and put our own mental well-being first.
If you’re anything like me, the idea of public speaking feels daunting no matter how often we step in front of that crowd. Carmine Gallo, author of the bestseller The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs, analyzes hundreds of TED talks and interviews some of the top presenters to present nine steps to an engaging, captivating and truly TED Talk-level presentation.
You'll have to work at some of these strategies to perfect them, but there are others that are immediately actionable. Take a look at Gallo's quick video below where he outlines the three keys to Steve Jobs' presentation style and how you can model your own presentations after his.
Dealing With Difficult People — 24 Lessons for Bringing Out the Best in Everyone by Rick Brinkman and Rick Kirschner is a super-quick read — 48 pages, in fact — but still manages to be full of helpful tips, tricks and suggestions for dealing with all types of people.
From whiners to know-it-alls, pushy people and those who have no spine, this speedy read is perfect for the beach and will leave you feeling like you can take on anything the moment you set foot back in the office.
I’ve saved the best for last: at the risk of sounding hyperbolic How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie is one of the most important books about dealing with people that you will ever read. I’ve re-read it at least five times and it continues to be full of simple, easily applicable advice that still rings true even almost 80 years after it was first published.
This book teaches some of the fundamentals of handling people from business associates, to bosses, to employee and friends, six ways to make people like you, twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking, three ways of handling people, nine ways to change people without arousing resentment… it’s got it all. It’s a wonderfully well-researched and interesting book, with lots of examples from the studies that Carnegie did while researching the book. I can’t recommend this one enough.
What did we miss? Tell us your favourite business book for the beach in the comments below.
Main image credit AJ Batac on Flickr (edit: clone & titles added)