Keep reading for a guide to our top book picks this month.
By Michelle Obama
‘Becoming’ is the memoir of former United States First Lady Michelle Obama published in 2018. The book talks about her roots and how she found her voice, as well as her time in the White House, her public health campaign, and her role as a mother.
This book has been an international bestseller and we weren’t sure whether it would live up to the hype. Thankfully we were wrong!
This was a powerful and moving account as well as being refreshingly candid. Michelle’s way of writing instantly draws you in and her story of determination in the face of adversity is nothing short of inspiring. We also loved her clear passion about the benefits of education and how, if we surround children with a supportive environment, anything is possible!
This book is crammed full of quotable passages but this particular line really stood out to us;
I’d been lucky to have parents, teachers, and mentors who’d fed me with a consistent, simple message: You matter.
As an adult, I wanted to pass those words to a new generation.
Find out more and buy here.
By Susan Cain
Would you describe yourself as an introvert or an extrovert?
Throughout history, some of the world’s most talented people have been introverts – without them we wouldn’t have the Apple computer, the theory of relativity and Van Gogh’s sunflowers.
At least a third of us could be classified as introverts, and yet shyness, sensitivity and seriousness are often seen as negative qualities. Are we increasingly moving towards a society where the extrovert ideal of a social, confident and easy going individual is favoured over others?
In her book ‘Quiet’, Susan Cain explores this question and provides useful tools for introverts to better understand themselves and take full advantage of their strengths. She also highlights that the introvert/extrovert spectrum is more nuanced than a simple either/or. Perhaps you are a shy introvert or a confident introvert and you might be surprised to discover where exactly you sit and how best to utilise your own skills and traits.
Find out more and order on the author’s website.
By David Marquet
David Marquet was an experienced officer in the U.S. Navy and used to giving orders.
He was reassigned as Captain to the USS Santa Fe, a nuclear-powered submarine. Once there he found himself responsible for more than a hundred sailors. In this high-stress environment, it was imperative that his men did their job and did it well. However, the ship was dogged by poor morale, poor performance, and the worst retention in the fleet.
Things changed when Marquet unknowingly gave an impossible order and his crew tried to follow it anyway. When he asked why the order wasn’t challenged, the response was “Because you told me to.” With this, Marquet realised that his crew had been trained to do solely what they were told and they were all in danger unless they fundamentally changed the way they did things.
Marquet took matters into his own hands and pushed for leadership at every level. Turn the Ship Around! is the story of how the Santa Fe skyrocketed from worst to first in the fleet by challenging the U.S. Navy’s traditional leader-follower approach. Struggling against his own instincts to take control, he instead achieved the vastly more powerful model of giving back control.
This book is an interesting read on promoting a leader-leader rather than leader-follower organisational and team dynamic. You may be surprised at the results.
Find out more and buy on the author’s website.