Job interviews can be pretty intimidating, one way to put yourself at ease is to ask your own questions. Do you have a favourite question that you like to be asked, or even one you ask the interviewer?
February – it can be a hard month to get into the swing of work. It’s still summer and the sunny days can make sitting down to the laptop a little harder than usual. Maybe it’s returning from summer holidays with days spent at the beach or around the pool that make zoom meetings a little less enticing. Fear not, we have gathered six of the hottest titles on the market that will inspire you to dust off the brain cells and get back to work. A common thread in each of these books is that to live your dream life and have a career you really want, you have to work very hard for it. It’s not going to be the easiest of rides, nor will it be handed to you. It’s not a new concept, but these business leaders are proof that hard work pays off.
This Is Me by Mrs Hinch
Have you met Mrs Hinch? Mrs Hinch took the UK by storm with her infectiously addictive charm, clever cleaning hacks and her passionate belief in the life-changing magic of tidying. Following Mrs Hinch’s huge success with her first two books Hinch Yourself Happy, the cleaning guide and The Activity Journal, this is the stand-alone memoir every hincher has been waiting for. Readers will discover the story of becoming Mrs Hinch- her journey to becoming the Instagram star she is today, overcoming anxiety, how cleaning has got her through her toughest moments, getting married to Jamie, her close friendships, her relationship with her dorgeous dog Henry Hinch, and becoming a mother to her beautiful son, Ronnie.
Make Life Beautiful by Syd McGee, Shea McGee
Okay, so I have read this book twice already, and binged the Netflix special (both seasons). For the one million-plus followers who turn to Syd and Shea McGee for advice on building a beautiful home and life, Make Life Beautiful is a behind-the-scenes look into how the couple transformed Shea’s small room of fabric samples and big dream of becoming a designer into one of the most successful and fastest-growing interior design businesses in the US. Both long-time and new fans will not only gain insight into how the McGees built such a successful company but also be inspired to apply design principles to their lives.
The Rip Curl Story is the remarkable tale of two young surfers Doug ‘Claw’ Warbrick and Brian Singer who pursued an audacious dream to make a living in pursuit of the ultimate ride. The brand they built, Rip Curl, not only satisfied their own surf wanderlust, but also inspired countless others, riding the wave of the global youth revolution of the late ’60s. Rip Curl’s mantra became ‘the Search’: the pursuit of new waves on distant shores, new thrills – skiing, snowboarding, windsurfing – and better equipment to elevate the experience. Along the way they supported the careers of many of the world’s great surfers from Midget Farrelly to Michael Peterson, Tom Curren to Damien Hardman, Pam Burridge to Stephanie Gilmore, and of course Tyler Wright and Mick Fanning. Bestselling surf writer Tim Baker tells this implausible story in an irresistible series of ripping yarns, offering rich life lessons, a maverick business primer and a wild ride of adventure, good times and outlandish ambitions spectacularly realised. The Rip Curl Story will make you want to surf more, travel further, follow through on that great business idea and pursue your own search.
Don’t Push Too Many Trolleys teaches readers ten crucial principles required to succeed in life and business. Written by Ying Tan, Founder and CEO of a multimillion pound financial services company, Don’t Push Too Many Trolleys imparts sage advice suitable for anyone, at any stage of their life.
The author describes the attitudes, lessons, and traits that allowed him to become one of the youngest Vice Presidents ever at Goldman Sachs. He shows readers how he built a company from the ground up to create one of the most influential and powerful financial services companies in the UK. Full of concrete strategies and practical advice, this book provides a deeply personal and humble perspective on success in life and business with actionable advice that makes a real difference in the pursuit of happiness and wealth. Written for entrepreneurs, business people, financial professionals, and anyone else with an interest in improving their personal and professional life by taking full responsibility for their choices and actions, Don’t Push Too Many Trolleys is an indispensable addition to the libraries of people across the world.
Invent and Wander: The Collected Writings of Jeff Bezos by Jeff Bezos
Invent and Wander is the core principles and philosophy that have guided Jeff Bezos in creating, building, and leading Amazon and Blue Origin. In this collection of writings including his unique and strikingly original annual shareholder letters, plus numerous speeches and interviews that provide insight into his background, his work, and the evolution of his ideas, you’ll gain an insider’s view of the why and how of his success. Spanning a range of topics across business and public policy, from innovation and customer obsession to climate change and outer space, this book provides a rare glimpse into how Bezos thinks about the world and where the future might take us. Written in a direct, down-to-earth style, Invent and Wander offers readers a master class in business values, strategy, and execution.
Each insight offers new ways of thinking through today’s challenges and more importantly, tomorrow’s.
Family Business Success Stories tells the stories of eight of Australia’s oldest and best-known family-owned businesses in Australia, all of them more than one hundred years old. The stories illustrate the passion within each generation and demonstrate the influence of individuals in the families on the evolution of a successful business against a background of the social and economic history of Australia. Each chapter tells the story of how the business started, the hopes and dreams of the founders, the colourful characters, humour, setbacks and tragedies along the way. The author also shares the triumphs of the family business, including landmark products or services and awards. For fellow family-business owners there are lessons to learn about innovation, collaboration, conflict resolution, resilience and transfer of leadership. Family Business Success Stories is readable and engaging. It will appeal to both the business community and consumers of these eight iconic brands. This book will send a strong message to Australian consumers about the social, cultural and economic value of family owned businesses. Although not a ‘How to . . .’ book in name, it is a must-read for anyone contemplating starting a small business or any family business in its first or second generation.
This week on the blog we’re diving into biographies from business leaders that inspire and motivate us. But to kick the week off we have these wise words to share. Happy Monday!
February is typically when we are all back in the office and into the swing of the 9-5 work day. However this year things are a little different. COVID-19 has meant that many of us are working from home and our office hours have become more flexible. While having the coffee machine and fridge close by and a non-existent commute are all wonderful upsides to working from the home office, there are days when motivation is seriously lacking. The good news is, that it’s okay to feel unmotivated from time to time, but for those days when you just can’t seem to get inspired we have rounded up a few books that could help. Self-help is a hugely popular genre and we are super happy that there is a continual stream of new titles being released, but it’s these ones below that we think will help you on a rather -ahem- unproductive day at work.
Make yourself a cuppa and settle in for a bit of a read… it’s okay, it’s ‘kind of’ work related.
How to Decide: Simple Tools for Making Better Choices by Annie Duke
What do you do when you’re faced with a big decision? If you’re like most people, you probably make a pro and con list, spend a lot of time obsessing about decisions that didn’t work out, get caught in analysis paralysis, or endlessly seek other people’s opinions to find just that little bit of extra information that might make you sure. Or, you might take pride in your gut instincts and go with that. What if there was a better way to make quality decisions so you can think clearly, feel more confident, second-guess yourself less, and ultimately be more decisive and be more productive? Making good decisions doesn’t have to be a series of endless guesswork. Rather, it’s a teachable skill that anyone can sharpen. In How to Decide, bestselling author Annie Duke and former professional poker player lays out a series of tools anyone can use to make better decisions.
Out of My Skull: The Psychology of Boredom by James Danckert, John D. Eastwood
No one likes to be bored. We avoid boredom at all costs. It makes us feel restless and agitated. Desperate for something to do, we play games on our phones, retie our shoes, or even count ceiling tiles. And if we escape it this time, eventually it will strike again. But what if we listened to boredom instead of banishing it?
Psychologists James Danckert and John Eastwood contend that boredom isn’t bad for us. It’s just that we do a bad job of heeding its guidance. When we’re bored, our minds are telling us that whatever we are doing isn’t working, we’re failing to satisfy our basic psychological need to be engaged and effective. Too many of us respond poorly. We become prone to accidents, risky activities, loneliness and we waste ever more time on technological distractions. But, Danckert and Eastwood argue, we can let boredom have the opposite effect, motivating the change we need. The latest research suggests that an adaptive approach to boredom will help us avoid its troubling effects and, through its reminder to become aware and involved, might lead us to live fuller lives. Out of My Skull combines scientific findings with everyday observations to explain an experience we’d like to ignore, but from which we have a lot to learn. Boredom evolved to help us. It’s time we gave it a chance.
Be inspired and moved by the words of Malala Yousafzai, Amelia Earhart, Michelle Obama and Banksy in a collection of great and memorable quotations from across the centuries. Thematically-arranged quotes from the most notable minds, orators, celebrities, writers and politicians that ever lived. Struggling to recall those elusive quotes and sayings? With this thematic approach, The Times has the answer with a selection of the best one-liners across multiple topics and including a people index to help you find who and what you are looking for. This is one of our favourites: No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.
The Quokka’s Guide to Happiness by Alex Cearns
Meet the Quokka. Miniature marsupial, tourist attraction and the happiest animal on the planet. Unique to Rottnest Island and small areas of the West Australian coast, these cute little critters have featured in more selfies than the Kardashians – no pouting necessary, just an adorable smile! Featuring stunning photography from award-winning Alex Cearns, and uplifting quotes, The Quokka’s Guide to Happiness is a gorgeous compilation sure to bring a cheeky little grin to anyone’s face and anyone wanting to break away from watching cat videos on Youtube.
How to Thrive at Work: Mindfulness, Motivation and Productivity by Stephen J Mordue
This is an essential read for anyone experiencing low level anxiety or stress, this book pulls together the various individual strands of business logic, scientific research, self-care, spirituality and common sense to provide a one-stop guide to thriving at work. The widespread ‘more for less’ attitude is creating a dramatic rise in work-related stress and a higher ratio of staff sickness. Not only does this create a fiscal impact upon the organisation and the broader economy but it has the potential to create significant long-term mental health issues for employees. You cannot always alter the demands of your professional or personal lives but, by understanding more about how your brain functions and by actively pursuing well-being techniques, you can enhance the skills that help you manage and succeed at the challenges thrown at you and reduce the risks associated with burnout. With a focus on improving mindfulness, motivation and productivity, this book offers sound, practical advice and strategies for self-care whatever your working environment and whatever stage you are at in your career.
The Demotivated Employee: Helping Leaders Solve the Motivation Crisis That Is Plaguing Business by Cathy Bush, Tara Peters
This one is for those of you that have a team to guide. Do you ever wonder why employees are not as motivated and productive as you would like for them to be? Do you find yourself thinking that some employees are just “lazy slackers”? You may be surprised to learn that there are other explanations for employee demotivation that you may not be thinking about when you are leading people. Authors Tara Peters and Cathy Bush have worked with thousands of leaders who are shocked to learn that managers and leaders play a significant role in causing employees to lose motivation. Without even realising it, we take all sorts of actions during the process of leading people and organisations, and many of these actions actually deflate the motivation that people bring with them to work. In The Demotivated Employee, readers will learn what leadership behaviours they are engaging in that might demotivate their employees; how to better communicate with employees so this doesn’t happen; and how to work within the constraints of organisational culture to help employees thrive.
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. In this Ted talk at a Stanford University commencement speech, Steve Jobs, CEO and co-founder of Apple and Pixar, urges us to pursue our dreams and see the opportunities in life’s setbacks including death itself and to march to the beat of our own drum.
Every now and again, the video below doesn’t play, if this is happening, then please click through with this link here.
Brene Brown, Stephen Covey, James Clear…there are just so many self help books on the market to choose from, who’s your favourite motivational author?
January marks the start of a new year full of promises, fresh resolutions and plans to get things done. It’s also the time of year where we all vouch to become slightly better organised making it the perfect time to get yourself a new diary. Diaries and planners are come in so many shapes, sizes and formats. There are online versions that sit in the cloud and can be accessed from multiple devices, there are paper ones that weigh down you bag, tiny ones that slip into pockets, ones that offer daily motivational snippets and ones made to look pretty on a desk. We’ve rounded up a few of our favourites for you.
It’s got 169 numbered pages, a blank table of contents, handy little pocket in the inside cover large enough to store business cards and other treasure. A page marker and elastic band fastener and it’s bright yellow. What more could you want than a notebook screaming of sunshine and bright times ahead?
Leuchtturm may be a brand that we can’t pronounce but it’s one you’ll find yourself being loyal to. Founded more than 100 years ago, Leuchtturm1917 is a cult icon amongst lovers of fine stationery. With a classic air of simplicity and unmistakable attention to detail on show in their range of notebooks and diaries, Leuchtturm1917’s time-tested designs continue to be the standard by which others are measured.
Begin the new year with this hugely popular weekly 12-month planner which covers the entire year, from January to December 2021, with a page dedicated to every day of the week for a complete view. The Moleskine Weekly Planner allows you to have a complete view of the entire week on the left, while on the right it includes a ruled page for notes just like the classic notebook.
These planners include a special insert of 295 coloured stickers to personalise your weekly planner: 1 sheet of alphabet stickers and 2 sheets of icon stickers.
Born in 1997, Moleskine has brought back the legendary notebook used by artists and thinkers over the past two centuries, such as Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso and Ernest Hemingway. Based in Milan, Moleskine brings the timeless quality of classic notebook design to a vast family of paper objects, bags, books, travel and writing tools.
This one goes out to all the #plannerlife fanatics. The stationery experts at Pipsticks+Workman know the pure joy (not to mention organisational prowess) that comes from personalising a planner with stickers. So. Many. Planner Stickers. is a collection of 2,600 stickers, bursting with energy and colour, that are specially made for use in a planner to flag appointments and notes, track goals, spruce up any occasion or just trade with your besties. There are 50 sheets with 52 tiny, friendly stickers on each one: chic glasses to mark book club meetings, trendy sneakers for gym days, cute tote bags for travel weekends, and helpful, simple reminders.
#makechichappen: Your 52 Week Social Media Game Plan by Katy Ursta
If you have a small business or a side hustle and are looking to grow your social media presence this year then this planner may be what you need. #makechichappen is a 52-week social media game plan by Melanie Mitro and Katy Ursta of Chic Influencer will help the busy entrepreneur stay organised, craft a niche specific message, and create a comeback audience.
The planner will help you simplify your social strategy and clarify your specific marketing messages. It also offers an Income Producing Activity Tracker, Time Blocking Tracker, Resources, Content starters, Weekly planning, Reflection, and Brainstorming activities.
Encounters Day Planner 2021 by Paulo Coelho
World-renowned author Paulo Coelho has inspired millions with bestselling classics like The Alchemist, The Pilgrimage, Manuscript Found in Accra, Adultery, The Spy and most recently, Hippie. Now, with this 2021 day planner, the same wisdom that draws readers to his books time and time again can serve as a source of daily inspiration year round. Available in English and Spanish, Encounters (Encuentros) features moving and revealing quotes by internationally beloved author Paulo Coelho. More than your average planner, readers can begin each day with a word of wisdom, receive spiritual food-for-thought as they navigate through their everyday lives, and have Coelho be their guide as they plan and embark on their own travels and personal journeys.
Sad Animal Facts Weekly Planner 2021 by Brooke Barker
Kinda sad – but oh, so funny. This is a quirky and engaging weekly planner based on the Instagram phenomenon @SadAnimalFacts that became a New York Times bestselling book. From writer and illustrator Brooke Barker, Sad Animal Facts highlights a different animal species, and the unfortunate truths of its existence, every week with a drawing, a fact, and a dryly hilarious thought bubble communicating what the animal may actually be thinking. Studies show that snails prefer eating in groups to eating alone. (All this lettuce and no one to share it with.) A horse can produce a gallon of sweat in an hour. (That saddle was bone dry a minute ago.) The average worker honeybee produces a twelfth of a teaspoon of honey during her life. (Enjoy that toast.) It’s a planner that will tickle the fancies of animal lovers all year long.
It’s a big week for many in the political sphere around the world. On Thursday we’ll share some of our favourite books on the blog that discuss political lessons for change, but to start the week, we have these wise words for you.
The concept of leadership – and what qualities define a good leader – came to the fore this year as countries worldwide started to navigate through the turmoil associated with COVID. Many of us have craved guidance on a personal level as well, as we tackled the disruptions we experienced. So this week, as inspiration, we share stories about remarkable leaders who have tackled tremendous challenges with courage, tact and resilience.
Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
Long Walk to Freedom was first published in 1994, only months after Nelson Mandela was elected President of South Africa in its first, democratic and post-apartheid election. Begun secretly during Mr Mandela’s long imprisonment, this autobiography was decades in the making. Despite knowing the worldwide reverence for his resilience, dignity and courage, the Nelson Mandela revealed here is surprisingly human – he is a naive and headstrong youth, a neglectful husband, a distracted father; a pragmatist who chooses tactics over principles. Yet it is indeed his famed resilience and positivity that enables him to survive, and even accomplish political objectives, during his 27 years at the notorious Robben Island prison. Long Walk to Freedom is also available as a picture book suitable for younger readers aged 5 and up.
Interventions: a Life in War and Peace by Kofi Annan with Nader Mousavizadeh
For over 40 years, Kofi Annan was at the centre of international diplomacy, working for the United Nations on issues including health, refugees and peacekeeping, culminating in his appointment as the Secretary-General. Interventions: a Life in War and Peace shows us glimpses of the complex and difficult task of balancing the interests of 190+ UN member states. Mr Annan writes eloquently yet candidly, not only about the successes (the Responsibility to Protect doctrine, and being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001), but also UN’s failures (such as the Bosnian War and the Rwandan genocide), as well as highlighting the ongoing challenges due to a general slow retreat of world governments from the UN’s founding purpose.
A Promised Land by Barack Obama
The release of A Promised Land, the first volume of Barack Obama’s memoirs about his presidency, looks to be the biggest publishing event of 2020 – with an initial print run of over 3 million copies in 25 languages. A Promised Land starts with Mr Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008, ending upon the death of Osama bin Laden in 2011, and “aims to provide an honest accounting of my presidency, the forces we grapple with as a nation, and how we can heal our divisions and make democracy work for everybody”. It is an account of both public progress and personal growth. Expect fascinating insights and assured writing – Barack Obama was already a successful author before becoming President.
The Other Side of the Coin offers a rare and authoritative glimpse into the life of the Queen by a still-serving, senior member of staff. Angela Kelly is the Personal Assistant and Senior Dresser for the Queen, and has personal royal approval to reveal these charming anecdotes and never-before-seen photographs. The Queen’s distinctive outfits – which are often imbued with meaning and used as a tool of diplomacy – are not only curated by Angela Kelly, but sometimes created by her as well. Behind the focus on fashion, The Other Side of the Coin shows us the logistical demands of running the Royal Household, and glimpses of the Queen’s famed commitment to duty, hard work and service.
In Extremis: The Life of War Correspondent Marie Colvin by Lindsey Hilsum
Intrepid, uncompromising, hard-drinking, a great raconteur – Marie Colvin lived the life of a stereotypical war correspondent. She was much admired for her journalistic prowess, and also famous for her glamorous personal life – full of wild parties and unsuitable relationships. Marie Colvin’s realisation that journalism can save lives motivated her to take ever greater risks in uncovering stories. In 2012 she died in an explosion while reporting in Syria. Lindsey Hilsum wrote In Extremis as a tribute to her friend and peer, drawing on unpublished diaries and interviews with friends, family and colleagues. As a fellow war correspondent, Hilsum’s own knowledge of the world’s conflict zones adds great depth and enlightenment to the narrative.
Being Nixon: a Man Divided by Evan Thomas
Richard Nixon: villain or misunderstood? Acclaimed biographer Evan Thomas balances sympathy with criticism as he tries to unravel the psyche of a complicated man. Nixon was socially awkward, insecure, solitary, and self-conscious of his humble origins – not the ideal personality for a politician. These behaviours created a tense internal balance – at their best, these insecurities gave him the drive to push past self-doubt, to dare to be brave, and get things done; at their worst, they fuelled petty vindictiveness, racist outbursts, and a wilful disregard of the law – leading to his spectacular downfall. And despite its ignominious end, Evan Thomas reminds us that the Nixon presidency had many significant achievements, including détente with China and the Soviet Union, the creation of the EPA, and proposing major health-care reforms.
A conductor faces the ultimate leadership challenge: creating perfect harmony without saying a word. In this charming Ted talk Itay Talgam demonstrates unique styles illustrating crucial lessons for all leaders.