There’s nothing better than kicking back with a good book when you have a bit of downtime on a business trip. So why not take the opportunity to step up your leadership game and management skills? Whether you’re heading over to the bookstore to get a hard copy or downloading them onto your Amazon Kindle, this selection of great books will really help you boost your professional skills. Not to mention that they’re an amazing read for any business traveler on your next trip!
Why you should read more
Reading is a recurring habit among successful people. It’s commonly known that Warren Buffet would read about 800 pages a day, Bill Gates reads 50 books a year, and that the average CEO reads 4-5 books a month.
So, why is so important for you to start reading on your path to professional success?
1. It reduces stress
Every professional worldwide has experienced work-related stress at some point or another. A study from the University of Sussex found that reading can reduce stress by 68%, outperforming things like listening to music or taking a walk. They attributed this relief to the fact that reading transports you into a literary realm that is stress-free and disconnected from your daily life.
2. It enhances your vocabulary & writing skills
It doesn’t take much to figure this one out—the more you read, the more words you learn. The more words you learn, the more you can use them in your writing. Being well-spoken and articulate is a huge asset in business, allowing you to build stronger arguments and express your thoughts more succinctly. Whether you’re writing a report or speaking at a conference, mastering a language in this way will really set you apart.
3. It sparks creativity
You know what they say—inspiration comes to those who seek it. What better way to seek inspiration than through literature? Nurture and harness your own ideas and beliefs by reading what others have had to say about it! The world is full of knowledge and the best way to develop your own ideas is by exposing yourself to new perspectives, especially when you're on the road. You’ll see how quickly your creative juices get flowing both at work and at home.
4. It improves your decision-making
According to this study, reading can actually help improve how you process information. Those who read on a regular basis were found to have fewer “cognitive closures”, leading to increased rationality and creativity. The average adult has to make over 35,000 decisions each day. Don’t you think that doing something that can help speed that process along is time well spent?
5. It makes you smarter
Think about it this way. You’re working on your physical flexibility, trying to touch your toes. You stretch every day, and every day you get closer to your goal. Then you forget for a few days. When you try it again a week later, you’re back to where you started. The same goes for the mind. Your brain is a muscle that needs to be exercised. Reading is one of the most nourishing exercises for your mind. Work at it, and you’ll see your cognitive abilities level up!
Here’s what you should be reading on your next business trip
Use whatever downtime you may have to catch up on your reading. Put away your phone and your social media accounts, and grab a new book to set you on the path to success both this and next year. Whether you’re on a flight, winding down at the hotel bar, or commuting to your office, here are some of the best non-fiction business books out there. And no, they're not just books about business travel or travel management, we promise.
By William N. Thorndike
Meet the 8 individualistic CEOs who run General Cinema, Ralston Purina, The Washington Post Company, Berkshire Hathaway, General Dynamics, Capital Cities Broadcasting, TCI, and Teledyne. Ranked #1 on Warren Buffet’s recommended reading list, this book takes you on a journey through these CEO’s paths to success.
By Kim Scott
Ever encounter someone in the workplace and think they didn’t need to be jerks to make their point? Kim Scott certainly has, and in her book Radical Candor, she discusses how you can strike a balance between being kind and being clear. Having worked both at Google and Apple, Kim Scott provides readers with insights on how to be an effective leader.
By Eric Ries
Eric Ries’s book The Lean Startup changed the way entrepreneurs launch business worldwide. He argues that yes, most early phase businesses fail—but that most of the time, those failures can be prevented. The book started an entire movement transforming the way businesses and products are built and launched. A must-read for modern entrepreneurs.
By Angela Duckworth
Want to know what the “big secret” to success is? Passion and perseverance. It’s a simple recipe. Angela Duckworth’s Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance outlines the importance of sticking to your laurels when the going gets tough. She claims that following your passion is the only thing that will keep you going through thick and thin. It’s a great piece for anyone looking for a bit of motivation.
By Stephen R. Covey
For over 25 years, this book has been influencing and inspiring professionals across the globe. A bestseller, it has sold more than 10 million copies, guiding people through its philosophical principles on how to become a more effective individual in a step-by-step approach. It’s about helping you achieve a life of fairness, integrity, honesty, and dignity. Not to mention that it comes with a great workbook to help you put this theory into practice.
By Simon Sinek
Do you lead a team, or hope to one day? Simon Sinek analyzes why some teams develop great levels of trust, and others don’t. He traveled the world, working with organizations and observing how different leadership styles and actions can affect how teams come together—or don’t. He draws a parallel to the military “officers eat last” credo and argues that a good leader sacrifices everything for the sake of their team.
By Adam Smith
First published in 1776, this is the world’s first real analysis of how nations build wealth. It is the basis of modern economics and has inspired countless politicians, economists, and thought leaders who shaped the world as we know it today. The book looks at significant topics like productivity, the division of labor, and free markets. This is an absolute must-read for anyone hoping to advance their career, especially in economics and finance.
Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder
By Arianna Huffington
For any of you thinking that our global approach to work and life needs a bit of a change, this is the book for you. Arianna Huffington, Co-Founder of the Huffington Post and CEO of Thrive Global, looks at the demands of a career against the demands of a family. She explores topics like meditation, mindfulness, psychology, and sleep, weighing the importance of this in building the right attitude towards success.
By Michelle Obama
Sometimes, the best lessons come from the real-life stories of others. Michelle Obama takes her readers on a journey through her life—from growing up in the South Side of Chicago, to becoming on of the most influential women on the planet. All while raising two children and developing a career of her own. She shares her successes and failures, giving readers an inside glimpse into her world. Pick it up for an engaging way to spend time on your flight.
By Carol S. Dweck
A renowned psychologist from Stanford University, Carol S. Dweck explores how everything we do can be influenced by our mindset. From sports to work, to friendships, he believes that people with a growth mindset are more likely to flourish than those with a fixed mindset. Read this book if ever you’re feeling a little stuck in your personal or professional life.
For full summaries of each book and what you can get out of them, don't forget to look at their GoodReads reviews. If you're more interested in travel tips, check out our article on the best tips for corporate travel.
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