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Best Books for You and Your Team

Jeannine Klein
Jeannine Klein August 2019 7 min

Table of contents

Part of the inspiration and motivation required for creating a successful startup has a lot to do with the quality of people behind the work. An effective team of workers share a similar worldview and goals for the business.

If the same vision is not shared among your team, the team can quickly get disorganized and ineffective. On this page, we will break down some of the best books for you and your team to read while for motivation and developmental purposes.

Here at Penta, we understand how important personal and professional development are. Especially for growing startups that are in a delicate position which can end in either success or failure. To help people in this position, we offer Free Business Checking Accounts that come with several perks and benefits specifically geared towards assisting growing startups.

Professional Development Requires Personal Development

In order to change the way you handle yourself at work, it starts by changing the way you handle yourself outside of work. Your professional and personal lives are intertwined. If you expect yourself to be effective in the professional world, you should start by making yourself effective in your personal life. This starts by examining who you are, finding character flaws, and improving yourself.

Sometimes, you will need an outside unbiased opinion before you will be able to properly examine yourself. Books are wonderful at providing this sort of standpoint. If you read the right books, they can be a powerful agent of change in both your personal and professional life.

Best Professional Development Books for Your Team

If you are looking for some fresh inspiration and reading materialfor you and your team of employees, we have some great options for you.

Some of the following examples are very widely used and acclaimed in the professional world. Others are a little more obscure. Some are more targeted at professional development, others are targetted more at personal development.

1. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Think and Grow Rich was published during the biggest economic crisis in the history of the USA. The timing couldn’t have been any better. It quickly became one of the most widely acclaimed and endorsed books for personal success.

To write this book, Napoleon Hill was heavily inspired from a interview with successful philantropist and steel-magnate Andrew Carnegie. Hill interviewed several of the most successful people in the time to come up with a recipe of success.

Over 500 millionaires at the height of their success were interviewed by Hill. After combining their ideas, Hill came up with a recipe for success he think they all shared. John D. Rockefeller, for example, was one of the noteworthy people interviewed by Hill during the making of this book.

To put it simply, this book asserts that the individual has the ability to create their destiny. That positive thinking along with persistence, concrete plans, among other variables, are all factors which will determine whether or not success will occur.

2. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Part of your potential for success has a lot to do with how you treat yourself and other people. For example, the social interactions we have in the professional world at networking events can have drastic effects on your potential for success.

People aren’t perfect. There are are often flaws in our personalities which can harm ourselves and professional lives. For this reason, Carnegie wrote How to Win Friends and Influence People. In this book, he describes many different business communication skills he finds in successful people.

This book touches on topics such ashow to leave positive first impression, how to communicate effectly, how to handle feedback, strategies for keeping your co-workers and employees happy,and much more.

Those who needed some assistance with their negotiation skills, in particular, have been heavily inspired by this book. Carnegie does a great job describing how to use rhetoric strategically without sparking negative emotional responses.

3. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

This is one of the most popular modern self-help books. It has been widely acclaimed and implemented into the professional world. It is common for businesses to even use the ideas from this book as inspiration for their business model.

Covey asserts that there are 7 particular character qualities found in effective people. These are the people, Covey asserts, that are effective in both their personal lives and in the professional world. Here are the 7 habits which are discussed in this book:

  • Be proactive
  • Begin with the end in mind
  • Put first things first
  • Think win-win
  • Seek first to understand, then to be understood
  • Synergize
  • Sharpen the saw; growth

Although this book is a little lengthy, it is great to keep around in your personal library and come back to every now and then. Next time you need some inspiration in either your personal or professional life, crack this book open.

4. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Although this is a fantasy novel, The Alchemist is one of the most widely acclaimed and inspirational booksin modern history. Originally written in Portguese by a Brazilian author, the book soon became a widely translated international best seller.

It is a very short and easy read. Regardless, it has a very powerful messsage that is great for both personal and professional development.

The theme of this book is finding one’s destiny and accomplishing your dreams. In The Alchemist, Coelho tells the tale of a shepherd from a small province in Spain going against all odds to make his dreams come true and discover the true purpose of his life.

This is a highly motivational book for your personal and professional life. It tackles themes like persistence, struggle, pursuing love, handling persecution, facing your fears, and chasing your dreams.

Although this is a work of fiction and is highly metaphorical, The Alchemist has inspired the minds of political leaders, businessmen, and anybody on the journey of self-discovery and development. Accordingly, it is a great book to share with your team.

5. Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach

Much like The Alchemist, Jonathan Livingston Seagull is a work of fiction. This book tells the story of a seagull bored and frustrated with daily life. Due to the many relevant comparisons which apply to everyday human life, this is a great book to share with your employees.

This book initially started out as a series of short stories printed in Reader’s Digest. However, these short stories received a lot of support. When finally published in book form in 1972, it quickly found its way to the top of the New York Times Best Seller list for 38 weeks straight.

After refusing to conform to the flock’s expectations, Jonathan (the seagull) quickly leaves his flock to go out on his own. This risky decision led him to meet other seagulls who had made that same risky decision. Seagulls that flyhigher, better, and more skillfully than the flock he left behind.

After meeting positive mentors on a similar life path, he quickly realizes that his potential is a lot greater than he initially thought. He quickly changes his worldview and realizes the inner-strength that he had all along.

Jonathan Livingston Seagull is a short read full of lessons which are highly relevant to those on an ambitious path in the real world. It is only when Jonathan faces his fears and takes big risks that he ends up realizing how strong and powerful he was all along.

In short, this book can be a powerful agent for change. Especially for people who struggle with fear, standing up for themselves, and taking risks in the professional world on the road to success and freedom.

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