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

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

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

AnnaQuindlenBook

    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

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    Bossypants

      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).

      Buy Bossypants on Amazon

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

      ConsciousBusiness

        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.

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        Buy Conscious Business on Amazon

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

        HomeGame

          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.

          Buy Home Game on Amazon

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

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          Now Discover Your Strengths

            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

            QueenOfFashion

              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.

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              Buy Queen of Fashion on Amazon

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

              the-leanstartup

                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

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

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                Bruce Harpham

                Bruce Harpham is a Project Management Professional and Founder and CEO of Project Management Hacks.

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                Last Updated on March 13, 2019

                How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

                You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

                Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

                1. Work on the small tasks.

                When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

                Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

                2. Take a break from your work desk.

                Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

                Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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                3. Upgrade yourself

                Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

                The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

                4. Talk to a friend.

                Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

                Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

                5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

                If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

                Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

                Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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                6. Paint a vision to work towards.

                If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

                Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

                Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

                7. Read a book (or blog).

                The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

                Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

                Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

                8. Have a quick nap.

                If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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                9. Remember why you are doing this.

                Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

                What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

                10. Find some competition.

                Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

                Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

                11. Go exercise.

                Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

                Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

                As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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                Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

                12. Take a good break.

                Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

                Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

                Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

                Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

                More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

                Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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