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8 Credible Books That Will Lead You Straight to Success

8 Credible Books That Will Lead You Straight to Success

Whether you want to reach new heights in your professional or personal life, there’s no better group of people to learn from than those who have overcome enormous challenges and gone on to attain great success. The next time you are in need of some inspiration, check out these books by world-class leaders.

1. “Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul” by Howard Schultz and Joanne Gordon 

credible books

    In 2008, former CEO of Starbucks Howard Schultz returned to the ailing coffee company with the intention of turning it around. Needless to say, thanks to his realistic but determined leadership mindset, he succeeded. This is his account of the steps he took to preserve one of America’s most iconic chains.

    2. “The Trusted Executive: Nine Leadership Habits that Inspire Results, Relationships and Reputation” by Paul Polman and John Blakey

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    credible books

      John Blakey is an internationally recognized leader in the art of teaching people to lead in a time of increased scrutiny and scepticism from the general public. He explains how it is more necessary than ever before that leaders develop their abilities, integrity, and benevolence. By following his three-part approach, you too can win the trust of those who follow you.

      3. “Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World” by Peter H. Diamandis 

      amazing books

        Peter H. Diamandis explains how, thanks to the rise of various new technologies and access to crowdfunding, entrepreneurs and small businesses can make a bigger and faster impact than ever before. In this book, he takes the reader through the steps required to become a leader in their field by leveraging digital and social resources.

        4. “The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey

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          Stephen R. Covey is one of the most famous writers to tackle personal change, growth, and leadership. The ideas within this book have been implemented by numerous CEOs around the world, which made the late Covey a highly respected leader and businessman in his own right.

          5. “Shift: Inside Nissan’s Historic Revival” by Carlos Ghosn

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            In 1999, car company Nissan was on the verge of bankruptcy. Fortunately, a new COO by the name of Carlos Ghosn was appointed to turn everything around. His astonishing success, which began when he undertook an extensive in-depth examination of every facet of the business, is laid out in this book.

            6. “Like A Virgin: Secrets They Won’t Teach You At Business School” by Sir Richard Branson

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              The successful owner of multiple companies, Richard Branson learned through experience rather than formal education. In his book, he explains how you too can attain phenomenal success by listening to those who work for you, daring to break the rules, and enjoying your work as much as possible. He makes a convincing argument for the power of rule-breaking, and why many business conventions actually stifle many peoples’ leadership potential and creativity.

              7. “My Own Words” by Ruth Bader Ginsburg

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                A Supreme Court Justice since 1993 and one of the most powerful women in recent US history, Bader Ginsburgtackles a wide range of topics relating to success and what it takes to make a change to society.

                8. “Can’t Is Not An Option: My American Story” by Nikki Haley

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                  The daughter of Sikh immigrants from the Punjab, Nikki Haley recounts her journey from a young girl who helped run her parents’ clothing business after school to her present-day position as Governor of South Carolina. After college, Haley embarked on a mission to change legislation in such a way that would leave many small businesses in the US better able to thrive. Along the way, she and her family have faced prejudice and racism. This memoir is an inspiring story about one woman’s determination to never give up despite encountering numerous obstacles as she embarked on pursuit of her goals.

                  Featured photo credit: Yukiko Matsuoka via flickr.com

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                  Jay Hill

                  Jay writes about communication and happiness on Lifehack.

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                  Last Updated on January 15, 2021

                  7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

                  7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

                  The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

                  Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

                  Posture

                  First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

                  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
                  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
                  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
                  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

                  All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

                  Facial Expressions

                  Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

                  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
                  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
                  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

                  If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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                  1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

                  A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

                  The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

                  This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

                  2. Relax Your Face

                  New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

                  The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

                  To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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                  3. Improve Your Eye Contact

                  Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

                  The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

                  To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

                  3. Smile More

                  There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

                  Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

                  4. Hand Gestures

                  Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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                  It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

                  5. Enhance Your Handshake

                  In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

                  “Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

                  It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

                  6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

                  As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

                  Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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                  Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

                  Final Takeaways

                  Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

                  If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

                  More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

                  Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

                  Reference

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