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7 Books Sheryl Sandberg Recommend You To Read (Only If You Want To Succeed At Work)

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As the chief operating officer of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg has become a national leader. Here are the seven books that Sandberg recommends – a surprising mix of fiction, fact and more. Of course, you can also read her 2013 book, “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.”

1. A Short Guide to a Happy Life by Anna Quindlen

Quote: ““You cannot be really first-rate at your work if your work is all you are.”

This book of stories is a perfect read for those going through a milestone in life. Often given as a graduation present, Quindlen’s book prompts us to consider think through each moment. Work matters and it is only one part of a full and happy life. We all need inspiration to get through life’s difficult moments – this is a great book for those times.

Buy A Short Guide To A Happy Life on Amazon

2. Bossypants by Tina Fey

Quote: ““Don’t waste your energy trying to educate or change opinions; go over, under, through, and opinions will change organically when you’re the boss. Or they won’t. Who cares? Do your thing, and don’t care if they like it.”

As one of the world’s most successful comedians, Tina Fey’s memoir makes for a great read. For fans of the “30 Rock” show, reading this book will give you the inside story behind making the program. Fey also shares insights and commentary on beauty and what it means to be a woman in modern America. The book is also incredibly funny with many great moments (the honeymoon story on the cruise ship comes to mind).

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Buy Bossypants on Amazon

3. Conscious Business: How to Build Value Through Values by Fred Kofman

Quote: “To change a culture, the leaders have to change the messages people receive about what they must do to fit in. When people understand that there are new requirements for belonging, they adjust their behavior accordingly.”

Kofman’s book inspires business owners, entrepreneurs and the rest of us about the importance of leadership. Based on his research and work as a consultant, Kofman shares exercises and activities designed to help leaders improve their organizations. Those looking for an easy read will need to go elsewhere. Kofman describes his program as comparable to running a marathon.

Buy Conscious Business on Amazon

4. Home Game: An Accidental Guide to Fatherhood by Michael Lewis

Quote: ““Memory loss is the key to human reproduction. If you remembered what new parenthood was actually like you wouldn’t go around lying to people about how wonderful it is, and you certainly wouldn’t ever do it twice.”

Michael Lewis is best known for his gripping books that explore the financial industry (“The Big Short” and “Boomerang” are my two favourites). In this book, Lewis explores the family through the perspective of fatherhood. It’s a new perspective on family that shows just how much children change your life. The book has three sections that comment on each of his children. Oddly, there is not much discussion of Lewis’s wife in the book. If you’re seeking a novel gift for Father’s Day, this is the book for you.

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Buy Home Game on Amazon

5. Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton PhD

Quote: ““At an early age, you started hearing it: It’s a virtue to be “well-rounded.”… They might as well have said : Become as dull as you possibly can be.”

Where exactly should we focus our efforts at work? Common wisdom suggests that we ought to focus on fixing our weaknesses. In this groundbreaking book, the authors point out that there are far greater results to be had from a focus on your strengths. Knowing yourself and your strengths is essential to becoming successful in business. Not sure what your strengths are? Read “StrengthsFinder 2.0” and take the online test that comes with the book.

Buy Now Discover Your Strengths on Amazon

6. Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution by Caroline Weber

Quote: “This ornamentation impressed upon all viewers their king’s ability to channel limitless resources into his own, and his family’s, supreme glorification.”

Like it or note, clothes matter. What you wear to the office shapes how you are perceived. Caroline Weber explains how Queen Marie-Antoinette expressed her power through clothing. What the Queen wore to events mattered; her decisions on which clothes to buy could also make or break careers. As a long time student of history, we have much to learn from works of scholarship. If you are working to develop your personal style, you can learn a great deal from this 18th century Queen.

Buy Queen of Fashion on Amazon

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7. The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries

Quote: ““A startup is a human institution designed to create a new product or service under conditions of extreme uncertainty.”

The Lean Startup has become the Bible of 21st century startup companies. Small companies that rapidly build products and innovate based on customer feedback are often inspired by this book. Companies that use the book’s methodology include Dropbox, Votizen (now called Brigade) and Grockit. If you want to start a company and achieve results fast, this is the book for you.

Buy The Lean Startup on Amazon

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Featured photo credit: Sheryl Sandberg/Wikimedia Commons via commons.wikimedia.org

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