7 Must-Read Books for Personal and Professional Growth

professional growth

True professionals embrace lifelong learning. As busy as we get—no matter what our role is—it’s still important to stay up to date with the latest industry information, trends and technologies. That makes prioritizing professional growth through continued education an essential habit to help us improve job performance, boost innovative thinking and capitalize on marketplace changes. Additionally, research has shown that reading increases emotional intelligence and consequently improves how we operate in social and business interactions. Don’t know where to start? Here are seven books we believe can help your professional growth to become a consistent learner and quality contributor to your team and your company as a whole.

Uncharted: How to Map the Future Together by Margaret Heffernan

professional growth

Businesswoman and Margaret Heffernan’s 2020 book draws on a wide array of people and places to represent how to overcome uncertainty and create the future we want. Using examples of long-term projects developed over generations with unpredicted results, Heffernan shows us how uncertain times lead to growth. In a time when uncertainty is abundant, Heffernan shares which “experiments, led by individuals and nations, discover new possibilities and options. Radical exercises in forging new futures with wildly diverse participants allow everyone to create outcomes together that none could do alone. Existential crises reveal the vital social component in resilience.”

What Businesses Need to Know Right Now: Expert Interviews by Nettie Owens

professional growth

When discussing insights that are relevant to present day, we’d be remiss not to mention Nettie Owens’ collection of interviews collected in 2020. “This compilation of interviews was taken in the first six months of the pandemic when the world was both at a standstill and changing moment to moment,” Owens says. Ranging from sales expertise to inclusivity practices to productivity strategies, this collection taps directly into the minds of business owners and experts, revealing real-world tips for overcoming challenges, optimizing productivity and growing your business.

Leadership Is Language: The Hidden Power of What You Say…and What You Don’t by L. David Marquet

professional growth

In this book, U.S. Navy Captain David Marquet explains how to implement intent-based leadership, a concept he developed while commanding the USS Santa Fe. Marquet outlines six guidelines anchored in language to show how choosing your words can dramatically improve decision-making and execution for leaders and team members. Closely resembling the U.S. Army’s concept of mission command, this approach to leadership may not be for everyone but showcases concepts that can inform your understanding of leadership and shape your own leadership and decision-making styles.

Content Inc. by Joe Pulizzi

professional growth

Content marketing expert Joe Pulizzi created a comprehensive resource for building a solid small business. His content-focused approach aims to establish a loyal audience before you start selling products or services. Focusing on connecting with and understanding the audience first, Pulizzi argues that this produces “a lower-risk, better way to build a successful business by re-engineering the process that so often leads to failure. You’ll learn how to develop valuable content, build an audience around that content―and then create a product for that audience.”

Digital Marketing Strategy: An Integrated Approach to Online Marketing by Simon Kingsnorth

professional growth

When it comes to the fast pace of technology and digital spaces, staying on top of trends is a must. An in-depth guide with content ranging from social media and SEO to customer loyalty, AI and personalization, Kingsnorth’s book explores all things digital in today’s marketing space. Accompanied by downloadable templates and resources, this book enables marketers to streamline a digital marketing strategy for measurable, optimized results.

Fast-Track Your Business: A Customer-Centric Approach to Accelerate Market Growth by Laura Patterson

professional growth

The term customer-centric has become popular among businesses but adopting a customer-centric approach takes continuous effort. Laura Patterson’s recent book breaks down that process into practical, actionable steps that make a data-driven, customer-centric strategy a part of a company’s culture. Patterson covers topics that range from how to acquire customer insights, how to create customer-centric outcomes, and how to develop strategies and measurable executable plans. This book promises to help your company use a customer-centric framework and practical and systematic processes to navigate and accelerate a sustainable path to organic growth.

Belonging: The Key to Transforming and Maintaining Diversity, Inclusion and Equality at Work by Sue Unerman, Kathryn Jacob and Mark Edwards

professional growth

Through research and case studies, the s of this book lay a groundwork of understanding for the corporate systems that have limited diversity and equality in the workplace. The book offers actionable advice to promote progress for companies hoping to see and make change toward equality. Belonging outlines “how to launch effective diversity initiatives without laying responsibility for their success at the door of disadvantaged groups, how to build a more agile and engaged workforce by promoting healthy disagreement, and how to get comfortable with being uncomfortable as hard conversations and necessary changes take place.”

Increase Professional Growth by Learning From the Experts

professional growth

When it comes to business, many have been in your shoes. Some of them have produced valuable insights to solve common problems and took the time to write about their experiences. These s have evolved as thought leaders, and their books are designed to help others enhance their personal and professional growth and development skills. When professionals take the time to read and then implement the lessons they’ve learned, they can avoid common mistakes, increase their business acumen and add value to their organization.