As we end the year, I have been writing up my continuing professional development (CPD) log for the year and as part of the process I was recalling the books I have read in 2013.  Here are my top five reads that inspired me:

        

Let It Go, Dame Stephanie Shirley
This book reminded me that the challenge of women being able to fulfil their potential in the workplace has been around for a long time. Dame Stephanie Shirley’s memoir chronicles her life as a business woman, mother and latterly as one of the UK’s leading philanthropists, and encompasses what we might describe as modern business ideas which she was implementing back in the 1960s.

Work With Me, Barbara Annis and John Gray
A book that combines ideas from two experts in the world of gender intelligence to explain how men and women can work together effectively in the workplace, by understanding why each sex thinks and acts as they do.  Using the latest scientific research and practical examples – its well worth a read.

Drive, Daniel H Pink
I read this as part of my research for our forthcoming book “Motivating People”, and it made gave a great new perspective on the subject of motivation.

The Birkman Method, Sharon Birkman Fink and Stephanie Capparell
As a qualified Birkman consultant I already use the assessment tool, and now this book provides an easy entry into the subject of Birkman and understanding personality for leaders and those who want to build more effective teams.  The “secret sauce” of the Birkman is the concept of underlying needs – the drivers that we all have, which if left unmet cause us to be stressed and display unhelpful beheaviour.  This book enables the reader to take the Birkman assesment too and get a simple report to raise their own awareness.

What Got your Here Won’t Get you There, Marshall Goldsmith
I gave this book got a second read this year, as a reminder that the behaviours that help us to be successful often are the ones that need to change – before they become limiters to our progress.  I often encourage my coaching clients to read this one, as it helps them to understand what might be holding them back from making change.