8 Dec, 2022
A great way to invest in your personal development and stay sharp is by reading books and listening to podcasts, from delving into niche business topics to learning the ins and outs of new fantasy worlds. Especially amidst our busy work lives and modern lifestyle of distractions brought on by the thing we love most—technology, reading books and listening to podcasts can also be a great way to relax.
We compiled a list of the reads and listens that have made a mark on some of our invenioLSI executives; find out what currently captivates them, what inspires them, and what they consider their all-time favorites.
Books That Leadership Currently Can't Put Down
1. "Why We Kneel How We Rise" by Michael Holding
2. "The Bullet That Missed" by Richard Osman
“Why We Kneel How We Rise” concentrates on the effects of racism in sports through the lens of elite athletes such as Usain Bolt, Thierry Henry, and Naomi Osaka. The author even reveals anecdotes of his own. Chandan Vashista, EVP & MD, UK, stresses the gravity of this read, describing it as “Very moving and disturbing in some parts; it emphasizes the importance of education on this topic.”
3. "The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer from the Imposter Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It" by Dr. Valerie Young
Chandan is also reading “The Bullet That Missed” —the third book in the ‘Thursday Murder Club’ series. Despite the solemn name, this mystery novel is a fun read for Chandan. He recommends all the books in the series, as they offer “…a very unique style, funny, witty, plus a great mystery.”
VP of Global Marketing, Caroline Silva, recommends “The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women” for those who might need a bit of uplifting. She shares, “As a woman in a leadership role, I often face self-doubts. This book appealed to me because it helps me to combat those feelings.”
4. "Early Indians" by Tony Joseph
“Early Indians” stresses the importance of remembering those who came before you, specifically the struggles they faced and the challenges they overcame. Not only can it keep you motivated in your day-to-day life, but it can also help you to stay on top of change. Shyam Jajodia, EVP & Global Head of PreSales, explains that the book “…brings recent genetic evidence discovered about the people who inhabited the subcontinent over 60,000 years ago.” He states, “It is fascinating and shows why history is not immutable but instead is constantly changing.”
5. "Multipliers" by Liz Wiseman
Chief People Officer, Bipin Pendyala, recommends “Multipliers” as it describes ways to motivate business teams. Specifically, it outlines examples of leadership styles and behaviors and how they add as a “…force multiplier in enhancing outcomes and motivating teams.” This book centers around a great theme that applies to today’s business world.
6. "The Breakthrough Imperative" by Mark Gottfredson & Steve Schaubert
For first-time managers, “The Breakthrough Imperative” is a great choice. The authors of this book, whose experience Bipin finds quite intriguing, discuss the importance of one’s first year in their managing role and the expectations shareholders have of performance. They discuss challenges managers can face and how to ensure outstanding results. As an experienced manager, Bipin recommends this book as it has helped him in his managerial journey.
Additional Books Leadership Is Currently Reading
- “Think Like a Monk” by Jay Shetty
- Books by Malcolm Gladwell
- Harvard Business Review Publications
What to Read When in Need of Motivation
1. "An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth" by Chris Hadfield
Chandan Vashista reflects on a time when he was in the process of implementing one of his largest and most complex projects back in 2015. He recalls a quote from “An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth,” “When you’re the author of your own fate, you don’t want to write a tragedy. Aside from anything else, the possibility of a sequel is non-existent.” If you are looking for a book packed with wisdom and inspiration, this book is a fitting recommendation!
2. Brenè Brown
Caroline recommends numerous books by author Brenè Brown. In particular, she recommends “Daring Greatly,” “Dare to Lead,” and “Braving the Wilderness.” Brown has made a significant impact on Caroline, and one of her quotes has made a particular impression. Brown advises, “Talk about your failures without apologizing.” Caroline finds this quote sticks with her due to the constant pressure to be perfect in society. She believes that “owning failures, mistakes, or shortcomings and not apologizing or trying to cover them up makes great leaders.”
Reads That Will Inspire You
1. "Silos, Politics, and Turf Wars" by Patrick Lencioni
Through a simple story-telling approach, “Silos, Politics, and Turf Wars” illustrates how the corporate inside track is ‘really real’ and relatable. Bipin recommends this book for its light qualities and inspirational anecdotes. As you read this book, you will learn to appreciate the realities of corporate work and organizational behavior.
Books to Read for Fun
1. “The Art of Racing in the Rain,” “Water for Elephants,” “Timeline,” and “Harry Potter”
Caroline often finds herself inspired by the books she reads for fun—from “The Art of Racing in the Rain,” “Water for Elephants,” “Timeline,” and “Harry Potter.” Although these books are not directly work-related, Caroline recognizes that reading for fun can be inspirational.
Additional Light Reads
- “The Alchemist” by Paul Coelho
- “Hit Refresh” by Satya Nadella
1. "In Search of Excellence" by Tom Peters & Robert H. Waterman Jr.
Bipin recommends “In Search of Excellence” for its business lessons. The book focuses on career aspects such as entrepreneurship, customers, ambiguity, and productivity, thus making it an excellent selection for action-oriented employees and readers.
2. "Good to Great" by Jim Collins
Another informative recommendation from Bipin, “Good to Great,” is regarded as wonderfully crafted and research-focused. It highlights the qualities of being a good leader and maps out leadership as it relates to organizational success. This selection is a great motivational book to read as you construct the future of your career.
3. "Are Your Lights On" by Donald C. Gause & Gerald Weinberg
Shyam recommends “Are Your Lights On” specifically for consultants, as the book provides a whimsical look at what consultants do. He remarks, “It taught me lessons that have been useful in my entire career.” His following quote sums up his takeaway from the book, "Consultants don't take credit, we take cash."
Other Books to Help Shape Your Career
- “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie
- “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey
- “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho
- “Shantaram” by Gregory David Roberts
- “Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done” by Ramcharan and Larry Bossidy
- “The Checklist Manifesto” by Dr. Atul Gawande
Books That Leadership Will Always Remember
1. "Fountainhead" by Ayn Rand
As Chandan’s all-time favorite book and Ayn Rand’s first literary success, “Fountainhead” follows a character constantly looking for ways to challenge the conventional standards of society.
2. "Beartown" by Fredrick Backman
Caroline considers the light inspirational read “Beartown” as her favorite. This book follows the consequences of a heinous act in a hockey town. Caroline particularly loves this book because author Fredrick Backman “is an incredible writer, and his books often have deeper meaning about race, class, gender, society, and much more.”
3. "Shantaram" by Gregory David Roberts
“Shantaram” follows a convict who flees from an Australian prison to India. Its vibrant depiction of Bombay (now Mumbai) transports you to life in India in the 1980s. Leadership recommends this book for Roberts’ writing style, as well as the journey and experiences of the main character.
For Those Who Prefer to Listen Rather Than Read
1. On the Media
Shyam recommends ‘On the Media,’ which focuses on why the media tells a story in a certain way and what it may be leaving out. He finds it particularly engaging as the hosts frame the discussion as a detective story.
2. Tim Ferris Show
Chandan appreciates the breadth of this podcast; the focus extends beyond just one topic, and host Tim Ferris invites many guests to speak.
3. My Favorite Murder
Caroline loves to listen to ‘My Favorite Murder’ as she enjoys hearing hosts Karen Kilgarid and Georgie Hardstark’s outlook on life. It is entertaining for its discourse on famous crime stories, but what primarily stands out to Caroline is that the hosts are "wildly successful women who challenge society’s expectations." They are advocates for mental health and speak to how women can protect themselves from crime in a world that is still unsafe for many women today.
4. How I Built This
Many companies we know today failed at their inception and had to go through trials and tribulations to get to where they are today. Shyam suggests this podcast as a reminder that success and failure are intricately linked.
- The Diary of a CEO
- Jay Shetty
A special thanks to invenioLSI leadership for taking us on a tour of their personal libraries. We hope you find these recommendations beneficial to your professional development and entertainment. Happy reading!
To follow up with any of our leaders, please feel free to reach out to our team!