Finding a good book is one of my most time-consuming (yet rewarding) activities. In the spirit of saving you time and contributing to your growth, I've whittled down my 45 reads from 2021 into my top 14 suggestions for you in 2022.
My selections span personal development and business. Why? Because you are a whole person, not easily separated into different categories. Your personal well-being deeply impacts your leadership and the growth of your company.
Here are my top picks, in no particular order:
Four Thousand Weeks by Oliver Burkeman
This book builds on the premise that the average lifespan is about 4,000 weeks. Using that as a framework helps you be rigorous when you're choosing how to spend them. It upends much of the common conversation around time management, productivity, "hacks," and tips.
BE 2.0 (Beyond Entrepreneurship 2.0) by Jim Collins and Bill Lazier
This is a great read for a) those who are scaling a company and growing their team and their offerings, or b) those who coach or consult for such companies. It's full of well-researched, thoughtful, and applicable advice.
Will by Will Smith
Oprah called Will Smith's memoir "the best she's ever read," and I get it. I loved it too. So much so that after 500 pages, I still wanted more. Candor, strong storytelling, salient life lessons, are all wrapped into one. Plus, Smith is a consummate entrepreneur and you'll learn a lot that applies to your business.
Atomic Habits by James Clear
At some level, anything you desire to do (or stop doing) boils down to your habits. When you don't clearly understand the contributing factors to make (and keep) or break (and truly stop) habits that are moving you toward or away from what you ultimately desire, you'll stay stuck.
Burnout by Emily Nagoski
A feminist lens and science-backed approach to understanding and unlocking the stress cycle. I truly think every human in modern society would benefit from reading this and implementing at least one tip into their lives. It's written in a unique way that doesn't feel pedantic or like a cliché. If you're ready to move away from toxic states of burnout, read this.
Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller
If you've ever struggled with your brand messaging, read this book. Reading it is like taking a course, because it's broken into simple steps. In addition, it's paired with a digital platform to compile your messaging framework, which you can put it into action for all of your marketing materials.
Think Again by Adam Grant
This book couldn't be more timely: an evidence-based approach to the benefits of rethinking our beliefs and being wrong. It offers lessons such as how to disagree and persuade effectively, as well as how to build time to think again into our lives, families, and businesses.
How to Change by Katy Milkman
The title says it all, and who among us doesn't have at least one pesky goal to reach that feels elusive? Author and professor Katy Milkman beautifully blends scientific evidence with anecdotes to help you overcome hurdles such as favoring short- over long-term gain, forgetfulness, and procrastination to see lasting change.
A Radical Awakening by Dr. Shefali
This one will trigger and challenge you: It's for your own good and growth. I was immediately drawn in by how Dr. Shefali goes there and goes deep. Step by step, she unwinds so much of our conditioning to help us awaken to our truth and true selves.
Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
This is a short but deeply meaningful handbook on life. But don't let its seeming simplicity fool you. These are lessons we learn and grow into over and over each day, and only a few, if any, truly master them.
I'm Still Here by Austin Channing Brown
A must-read for non-Black Americans, in particular. Author Austin Channing Brown offers deep insights into how "intentions" for racial equity are falling short across our institutions and communities and shares her lived experiences in a society built for whiteness. No matter where you are in your antiracist journey, this book should be a part of it.
Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb
With a quippy writing style, you'll go behind-the-scenes of sitting in a therapist's chair and see what it looks like when a therapist gets therapy. As a coach, I'm often asked about the line between therapy and coaching, and this is a really unique vantage point to unearth that distinction more deeply. I'm also a huge fan of adding tools to your tool belt as a leader, whether it be to grow one's empathy and self-knowledge, or to have different dimensions to bring to your client work. This book hits on all of that.
A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle
If you loved The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, this one is a great follow-up. He approaches the idea of awakening to one's purpose in a way that's unlike others. If you're looking to better understand the relationship between your ego and reality, want to connect with your purpose, or want some more reminders of how to be and exist with greater presence, check this out.
Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
A great read to understand why you make the choices you do, and why your customers, team, and family do too. Consider it a manual to better understand your (predictably) irrational self, and everyone else around you too.
Want more recommendations? Check out my list from 2021. Or follow me on Instagram, where I share reviews of my most recent reads in real time. Happy reading!