Each year I make a list of books to read. If truth be told it’s because I am useless at prioritising reading and yet I love it. I also know there’s so much more I could learn and discover if I just dedicated some time each day / week to sitting down with a book.
So here’s my list of twelve books I’ll be prioritising in 2019.
(Yes they are all non-fiction and I’m conscious I also need to write a separate list for this, but I thought his would be most helpful to those of your reading this blog).
1. Donald Miller, Building a Story Brand
A client of mine recommended this book to me late last year and I haven’t regretted picking up a copy. I’ve only just started it but the first few chapters are incredibly helpful and straightforward, explaining the power of story in business and how we can learn to craft our businesses own brand story that speaks to our customers needs and desires.
2. Brene Brown, Dare to Lead – Brave work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts
I love Brene Brown and am slowly working my way through all of her books. I love listening to her on podcasts and remember hearing her talking about this new book on Marie Forleo’s podcast. This is her latest book based on new research conducted with leaders, change makers and culture shifters, she’s showing us how to put those ideas into practice so we can step up and lead.
“Leadership is not about titles, status and power over people. Leaders are people who hold themselves accountable for recognising the potential in people and ideas, and developing that potential. This is a book for everyone who is ready to choose courage over comfort, make a difference and lead.”
3. Michelle Obama, Becoming Michelle
I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this book. I went into a book shop recently to buy it but it wasn’t available yet in paperback, and personally I prefer paperbacks so I’m holding on in there until it’s released (but I might succumb to downloading it on my kindle). I have so much admiration for Michelle Obama I’m looking forward to learning more about her story.
If you want to listen to Michelle talking about her book, there’s two 40 minute episodes on Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations podcast.
4. Bungay Stanier Michael, The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever
I’ve just come across this but from the bio on amazon it looks like a really useful read. Amazon says: “Drawing on years of experience training more than 10,000 busy managers from around the globe in practical, everyday coaching skills, Bungay Stanier reveals how to unlock your peoples' potential. He unpacks seven essential coaching questions to demonstrate how – by saying less and asking more – you can develop coaching methods that produce great results.” Why wouldn’t you want to read it?
5. Seth Godin, This is marketing - You can’t be seen until you learn to see it
This book comes highly recommended to me by my mastermind group. More a book I’ll be recommending to my clients or adding to my recommended reading list for social entrepreneurs.
Amazon says: “At the heart of his approach is a big idea: Great marketers don't use consumers to solve their company's problem; they use marketing to solve other people's problems. They don't just make noise; they make the world better. Truly powerful marketing is grounded in empathy, generosity, and emotional labour.”
This sounds hugely relevant for the thousands of social enterprises trying to connect with more customers through marketing.
6. Deborah Frances White, The Guilty Feminist: From our noble goals to our worst hypocrisies
The Guilty Feminist is one of my favourite podcasts because it isn’t about work, it’s funny and educates me about all sorts of things I’m interested in and knew nothing about. If you haven’t listened you definitely should do.
So it made perfect sense to include at least one book in here that maybe isn’t directly related to helping me as an Impact Strategist, Business Coach or Marketeer but something that I know will be both educational and entertaining.
7. Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinene, Slay in your lane – the black girl bible
I’ve added this book to the list because of the Guilty Feminist podcast. In one episode I listened to, Yomi and Elizabeth, challenged me to read more books from people who are not like me, starting with theirs.
Both black women in London, Elizabeth and Yomi share stories of their own lives and interviews with dozens of the most successful black women in Britain.
Amazon: “From education to work to dating, this inspirational, honest and provocative book recognises and celebrates the strides black women have already made, while providing practical advice for those who want to do the same and forge a better, visible future.”
8. Bernedette Jiwa, Story Driven
I imagine this book follows similar themes to build your Brand Story and This is Marketing which together will surely fill in any gaps I have about the power of story in marketing and how I can use this to help social entrepreneurs share their unique story with the world.
9. Arianna Huffington, Thrive - The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Happier Life
We all need inspiration in our life, and I’m all about creating a happier and healthier life as well as redefining success on my own terms and helping others to do the same.
Unfortunately this is one of those books on my recommended reading list which I’ve never got round to reading so this is the year. I’m sure there are lots of insights I will find useful in here, as well as others I can share with my coaching clients on how to define what success looks like for them and their business.
10. Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic, Storytelling with Data: A Data Visualization Guide for Business Professionals
Another one I stumbled across whilst searching for books on research, evaluation and data on Amazon. This book sounds like exactly what Share Impact does and recognising there is always something to learn from others I thought this would be a great book to embed my existing knowledge and develop some new approaches to helping clients communicate their impact data.
11. Morgan Simon, Real Impact – the new economics for social change
One of my goals for 2019 is to learn more about impact investing - what it is, how it works, and the role of impact measurement within it. This book seems like a great start to anyone just starting out on this journey (like me).
Amazon: “With passion and counterintuitive arguments, Simon shows how impact investing can make real change. But she also illustrates how easy it is to make mistakes, showing how wind farms can lead to land grabs, and how short-term thinking by well-meaning investors can actually lead to more oppression and hardship in the communities they are trying to help. Impact investing, Simon argues, is making the same mistakes the aid industry has been making for years. But there are ways to invest and have real impact: by making sure the communities are involved in the decision-making and ownership of the project, that investors are adding more value than they extract, and that the risk and returns are balanced between the investors and the communities.”
12. Muhammad Yunus, A World of Three Zeroes: the new economics of zero poverty, zero unemployment, and zero carbon emissions
A guiding light in how we should do business (and capitalism) differently, Muhammad Yunus is a true inspiration and although I need no convincing I always love reading his books to deepen my understanding and learn from one of the worlds great visionary leaders.
Amazon says: “Here, he sets forth his vision to establish a new kind of capitalism, where altruism and generosity are valued as much as profit making, and where individuals not only have the capacity to lift themselves out of poverty, but also to affect real change for the planet and its people”.
(Could be a great book for anyone who doesn’t really get what you do as a social entrepreneur, or why you do it!)
I’d love to hear your book recommendations for 2019 (non-fiction or fiction) in the comments below.
What did you read last year that really helped or inspired you? What books have challenged the way you think or behave? Which authors entertain you?