Power Up on World Book Day

9 min read by Charles Craik 4 Mar 2021

A good book can magic you away into a new world of thinking and opportunity, broaden your mindset and help you focus on the important things in life. 

In celebration of World Book Day, the StrategiQ Power Up readers share their top 10 recommended reads – from managing work loads, setting goals, inspirational stories from global leaders and a few life lessons from the animals …

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*CK

Author: Mark Manson
Reader: Hatii Shuttleworth

This book encourages you to see situations in life from different perspectives. It taught me that not everything is always in my control, but the way I choose to think, behave and react to a situation is always within my control.

Read it yourself:  The Subtle Art of Not Giving A ..

Building a Story Brand

Author: Donald Miller
Reader: Ian Garstang

Building a Story Brand is a succinct framework to help readers build a story around their brand. This book links the thinking behind Simon Sinek’s ‘Start With Why’ with Joseph Campbell’s ‘Hero of a Thousand Faces’ to use the commonalities found in popular stories and apply them to your brand.

Read it yourself: Building a Story Brand

It Doesn’t Have To Be Crazy at Work

Author: Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansoon
Reader: Roisin Ryan-Self

I would recommend anyone who works in a busy agency or business environment to read this book. Sometimes we get caught up in a perpetual loop of being ‘busy’ and assume that being busy is the same as being effective, but that’s just not the case 100% of the time. The book dives into how best to build a company and culture based upon ‘calm’ productivity. 

Read it yourself: Doesn’t Have To Be Crazy


Author: Angela Duckworth
Reader: Sarah Smith

A good read that talks about why you should set goals and the characteristics you will need to achieve them i.e passion and resilience.  The idea being, if you have a real passion for something you will stay loyal to it.  It talks a lot about long term goals and how you shouldn’t lose sight of the bigger picture.  A lot of people are impatient and expect to achieve reward and promotion without necessarily putting the hard work in over a longer period of time.

Read it yourself: Grit

The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and the Horse

Author: Charlie Mackesy
Reader: Becky Evision

A joy for all who discover this simple and uncomplicated narrative artwork. Whoever that may be, irrelevant of age or background, will find something relatable and poignant in this book. The illustrations are beautiful and mimic the profound nature of the phrases captured. It’s simply a lovely book to pick up and put down which offers a time to pause and a little hope in times when everyone needs it.

Read it yourself: The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and the Horse

Strategy Beyond the Hockey Stick

Author: Chris Bradley, Martin Hirt and Sven Smit
Reader: Jordan Bambridge

I’d recommend this book if you are interested in understanding why strategies fail and how you can elevate your business. 

The authors spent five years researching over 2,400 of the biggest companies to see why 90% of business strategies fail to deliver. Sometimes it’s as simple as rushing the process and ideas phase. Or it’s a bit more complicated by looking at the correct business numbers to make sure you are measuring what matters. Ultimately this book taught me that sometimes the best step forward is actually to step back and see the bigger picture. Assess your quality input to a strategy = quality out!

Read it yourself: Strategy Beyond the Hockey Stick


If I Could Tell You Just One Thing

Author: Richard Reed
Reader: Rebecca Harris

An easy and insightful read, where remarkable people from across the globe, share their most valuable pieces of advice and wisdom. It covers many themes from work and relationships, to creativity, spirituality and survival. A really motivating and feel good read, with many simple ideas to implement into your daily life.

Read it yourself: If I Could Tell You Just One Thing

Webs of Influence: The Psychology of Online Persuasion

Author: Nathalie Nahai
Reader: Emma Squires

This is a great book that looks at the psychologies behind digital marketing and how marketers can use this to their advantage within developing strategies. Our social norm focuses on an obligation to give, receive and repay, which is something we can use in the world of marketing. The art of reciprocity can make an effective influencing strategy and sometimes be more impactful than simply giving a reward. 

Read it yourself: Web of Influence

Extreme Ownership – How U.S Navy Seals Lead and Win

Author: Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
Reader: Ian Garstang

Out of the many books I have read recently, Extreme Ownership, changed my conscious thoughts profoundly and made me change how I see and deal with problems. At first, my eyes rolled as the story jumped from frontline Navy Seal action, to possible applications in the business world, but the concepts helped me realise how I had as much to blame in the issues I faced, as the team members with the initial problems. A life changing read.

Read it yourself: Extreme Ownership


Author: Gino Wickman
Reader: Sarah Smith

This book is great for helping businesses review their effectiveness. It uses the strategy of having ‘rocks’ (clear goals) to focus activity and aim for achieving results. Having a clear plan is critical and having the right people on the right seats is how you achieve the best out of people i.e you need to be passionate about what you do! Ideal for leaders who are frustrated in their business and who are seeking a way to add structure, clarity and a route forward.

Read it yourself: Traction

We hope our National Book Day recommendations give you the inspiration to choose one of the titles to explore ideas and insights, to help you grow professionally and personally. Join us again soon as we share what we’ve been reading, our thoughts and what we’ve learned from it. Sign up to our newsletter to receive regular content and reading recommendations from the team!


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