Power Up – Recommended Reads from May

With the perfect weather throughout May, our Power Up club members have been picking up a book or plunging into a podcast and getting some quality rays in the garden!

The sunshine combined with our recent company strategy day seems to have lifted the spirits of our Power Up club and spurred them to read motivational career driving books. So, let’s dive right in. . . .

‘Shoe Dog’

Author: Phil Knight

Reader: Be Peters

8/10 – The book is really down to earth. It’s written as though it’s a story and not super preach like some entrepreneur stories can be. I love that his genuine passion shines through and shows his humble beginnings.

Key Learnings

  1. Everyone’s idea of success is different, some people want wealth, some people want a career even if it doesn’t pay that great, but he wanted his life to be playful. It’s important to define your idea of what success looks like to you in order to create a life around that.
  2. If you’re passionate about something, you’ll make it happen. Phil had a genuine passion for running and running shoes which meant he cared and took an active interest in innovative and creating something that would truly benefit runners.
  3. You must know your audience, to think like them. Being a runner, Phil had already identified problems he faced when running and was able to address these with his products. It also meant he could relate to his audience anticipating what they would want from products.

Read it yourself

‘Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts’

Author: Brené Brown

Reader: Paulina Cage

7/10 – I think this is an inspiring book with some great tips for any leader or someone who would like to lead a team in the future. The author’s main focus is on vulnerability associated with courage and strong values.

Key Learnings

  1. Perfectionism and fear are keeping people from learning and growing. It holds us back from self – improvement and true courage.
  2. Self awareness and self love matter – who we are is how we lead. The true underlying obstacle to brave leadership is how we respond to our fear. The real barrier to daring leadership is our armour we use to protect ourselves when we aren’t willing and able to rumble with vulnerability.
  3. We don’t really see people until we know their values.

Read it yourself

Listen to it here

‘Stepping Up. How to Accelerate your leadership potential’

Author: Sarah Wood and Niamh O’Keeffe

Reader: Emma Squires

6/10 – Great companion guide for students, not so good for people new to marketing but also can only read when doing the qualification. Though there are some other books that can be read that match the information that I had from the book.

Key Learnings

  1. Set yourself up as a leader with five key steps: Vision, Values, Velocity, Votes and Victories.
  2. You need to invest in yourself before being able to lead other people. Everyone has leadership potential but successful leaders are the ones who build up their skills and capabilities that equip them for leadership.
  3. Invest your time in other people. No successful leaders have ever done it by themselves.

Read it yourself 

‘Thrive Through Yoga’

Author: Nicola Hobbs

Reader: Emma Squires

8/10 – I love this book, especially in a time when we need to focus on our minds and mental health, this book has been really helpful, more than for physical health.

Key Learnings

  1. Thriving isn’t about losing weight or looking like a model, thriving is about feeling better in yourself and realising what it feels like to be alive.
  2. You don’t have to be good at yoga, you can just take time out for yourself and that can help free your mind of troubles or stresses. Taking the time to be present in your mind and focus on other things that are not causing us stress right now, makes you feel happier, healthier and free. 
  3. There is a tremendous amount of strength in the human body, when faced with struggles in life, at work, in relationships. “When we are faced with some kind of struggle in our lives, we can treat it as an opportunity to transform ourselves and see the word with a fresh outlook.” How many times do we have struggles and let it get us down, what if we change our mindsets to use struggles in life and in work to form opportunities for taking our lives forward…

Read it yourself

‘Don’t get a job, make a job’

Author: Gem Barton

Reader: Be Peters

6/10 – Although this book offers great insights from a collection of people, I found the diversity of opinions and views very disjointed making it difficult to read as it wasn’t a linear flow. However, it was good to gain insights from a range of perspectives.

Key Learnings

  1. There’s enough for everyone. Once you realise that someone else’s success isn’t your failure, you are freed from the nasty circle of feeling envious or defeated before you start. Think of how many companies there are doing the same thing, each business offers something different, you are not the same as your competition.
  2. Celebrate the success of others. If you see someone doing really well, network with them, say what you admire about them or their business and ask if they have any advice from their journey or experience. Build each other up.
  3. Be authentic, one thing no one else has, is you. What ever your passion is, share it with others, this will help you build a following of people who not only buy into your brand or business but you. This will especially help with networking and getting yourself out there. Don’t follow “how to’s” and everyone else’s carbon copy of how to build your business.

Read it yourself

‘The Effects of COVID-19 on Candidate Confidence’

Author: Bristow Holland

Reader: Emma Squires

9/10 – A great report that gives valuable insight into confidence and career outlook of IT professionals, either in work, furloughed or on contract.

Key Learnings

  1. Before reading this report, I would have guessed that more people had a negative outlook on the future outcomes, particularly those on furlough, a more negative view on salary increases in future and also people’s opinions on whether or not they would be confident looking for a new role. But actually the percentage of people who were on furlough was lower than expected and the confidence of people across the industry was higher than expected. Definitely worth a read

Read it yourself

‘100 Ways To Motivate Yourself: Change Your Life Forever’

Author: Steve Chandler

Reader: Paulina Cage

8/10 – Self improvement book with lots of inspiring ideas. Sometimes I felt that some of the bullet points repeated themselves but other than that it’s a good read if you are looking for motivational tips.

Key Learnings

  1. “What you do is create a vision of who you want to be, and then live into that picture as if it were already true.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
  2. “If you’ve got something hard to do and you’re hesitant to do it, pick out something even harder and do that first.”
  3. “Stop worrying about what you think of yourself and start building a track record that proves that you can motivate yourself to do whatever you want to do”
  4. “If your vision isn’t getting you up in the morning, then make up another one. Keep at it until you develop a vision that’s so colourful and clear that it puts you in action just to think about it.”

Read it here

‘The real reason you procrastinate’

Author:  Margaret Atwood

Reader: Be Peters

8/10 – This completely de-bunks so many common misperceptions of what causes procrastination and useful methods to overcome this bad habit.

Key Learnings

  1. You procrastinate to avoid the negative feelings brought on by the task you should be doing. If you lack confidence or feel worried that you won’t complete the task on time, you will procrastinate to stop those feelings. People who procrastinate, are not lazy and often do a lot more than people who don’t.
  2. Methods to overcome procrastination when you’re having negative feelings about the task ahead of you include avoiding any judgement on yourself before you start the task and starting the task before you overthink it.
  3. People write a ‘to-do’ list everyday, but if you know there are things that you do when you procrastinate, write them down in a ‘to-don’t’ list as a constant reminder that you need to stay on track.

Listen yourself

‘Eat That Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time’

Author: Brian Tracey

Reader: Paulina Cage

6/10 – This book has some helpful ideas to improve your daily workload but to be honest I have not learned anything new personally. However I am sure this could be an inspiration for someone who has not read much motivational or daily planning literature, as this provides fundamentals of time management.

Key Learnings

  1. “It is the quality of time at work that counts and quantity of time at home that matters”.
  2. “Set deadlines and sub-deadlines on every task and activity. Create your own “forcing system”. Raise the bar on yourself and don’t let yourself off the hook. Once you’ve set a deadline, stick to it and even try to beat it.”
  3. “Lay out each of your major goals, projects or tasks by priority, what is most important, and by sequence, what has to be done first, what comes second and so forth. Start with the end in mind and work backward.”
  4. “Continuous learning is the minimum requirement for success in any field”.

Read it yourself

 

Stay tuned each month as we offer our monthly round up of our Power Up sessions sharing our insights into what we’ve been learning each week.

If you’d like to know why we created power up and the benefits of reading our reading group, check out last month’s Power Up blog here.