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6 Insightful Books about Personal & Professional Development | Recommended Reading

There's NOTHING like sitting back with a good book to pass the time. I've been on the go so often lately, I haven't had as much time to read as I would like.

But when I spend time with a good book, I've been gravitating toward titles with new ideas I can bring to enrich my work-life, or insights that lead to finding a deeper understanding of myself. To show up and bring the BEST in my professional life, I have to continually #levelup!!

The way we grow and develop as people is from what we experience and learn from the world around us, and that can include the experiences and lessons shared within books. Like I mentioned in a blog from a while back, reading helps us to broaden our minds and creativity by introducing new ideas. Books allow us to see through different perspectives or present a different way of thinking we may not have been aware of before, which can help us to find a deeper understanding of ourselves.

Below is a list of a few books that have greatly influenced aspects of my life and career, so if you're looking for material to help expand and challenge your perceptions, or books to help you navigate and grow in your work/personal life, then check out these titles!

This I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women edited by Jay Allison and Dan Gediman (Amazon)

If you were given a few minutes to answer the question, "What do you believe?", how do you think you would respond? Thankfully, you're not actually on the clock, so it's a perfect time to check out this collection and see how 80 various people ―with different backgrounds, experiences, and ideals― have completed the thought that begins the book's title. From: "The Rule of Law" to "Be Cool to the Pizza Delivery Dude", each chapter is a quick thought-provoking piece that's great for brief moments of retrospection and invites readers to think about their own beliefs and values.

Who should read it?

Any curious and contemplative minds looking for a quick and insightful read. If you're short on time, this book is PERFECT, because you can pick a single chapter to dive into, without feeling committed to reading this one cover-to-cover!

When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Harold S. Kushner (Amazon)

Sometimes, life feels harsh and unfair. And that can make us question everything, leaving our beliefs shaken. When Harold Kushner found out his three-year-old son wouldn't live past his early teens due to a degenerative disease, he could only ask God: Why? Driven by this question and his experiences, Kushner wrote this book, looking back at the feelings of doubt and fear that grow during those times of struggle and tragedy, and sharing what he has learned as a rabbi, a parent, a reader, and a human being.

Who should read it?

Those who have experienced or are suffering a similar pain or struggle in their lives, and are looking for consolation and an open mindset in times of grief.

Power Moves by Lauren McGoodwin (Amazon)

Drawing upon the insights and experiences from developing Career Contessa, Lauren builds an engaging reference guide and handbook that's easy to understand and filled with references, advice, as well as practical lessons and tools to help make impactful life changes and build a meaningful career.

This guide was a substantial help when I first began my own career, even now I point back to some of its lessons and goals. If you're looking for inspiration to bring out your inner #bossassbitch, you should definitely check this out!

Who should read it?

Any woman fresh out of college, starting fresh, or wanting to find and build a successful career.

Dare To Lead by Brené Brown (Amazon)

"How do you cultivate braver, more daring leaders, and how do you embed the value of courage in your culture?"

WOW! Brené Brown's works have always left an impact on me (there's a reason why my Pinterest is full of her quotes). Applying the principles and skill sets I learned from this book in my career has transformed the way I approach leadership in regard to others and myself. Like in her other works, Brown pulls years of research and stories together with straightforward, actionable examples and tools in that honest, no-BS style she's known for to bring an effective and inspirational guide to brave leadership.

Who should read it?

Mentors, mentees; leaders, beginners; anyone willing and determined to step out of their comfort zone and learn about courageous leadership.

The Power of Moments by Chip Heath and Dan Heath (Amazon)

After reading this, my mind was FULL of new ideas for engaging and motivating my clients.

We've all had moments in our lives that we always remember or that have even influenced us in some way or form. Usually, they are the results of accidents or happenstance, but why leave it to chance? Chip and Dan Heath explore not only the how and why brief experiences can impact us but also showcase how we can learn to shape our own defining moments in our personal and work life.

Who should read it?

An interesting, engaging read brimming with positivity and enthusiasm! Great for anyone wanting to create those significant moments in their lives rather than wait for it to happen.

Blind Spot by Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald (Amazon)

We all carry hidden biases in our minds without even realizing it most of the time. Banaji and Greenwald illuminate and explore these unconscious biases or "blind spots", guiding readers through the workings of the brain to better understand our own minds. And, gaining awareness can help us "outsmart the machine" and adapt our beliefs and behavior so we can better our mindset and be fairer to those around us.

Who should read it?

Anyone who wants to open their perceptions and reshape their way of thinking.


What are your thoughts about this selection? Did any speak out to you?

What books have you come across that helped you #levelup?

I hope these books will broaden your perceptions (as well as your reading list)!

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About Karli

As the owner of Karli Sherman Productions, I am a professional speaker, leadership coach, and executive coach. I help companies, campuses, and individuals to level up and grow through professional development workshops, intensive coaching, and keynote presentations.

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