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Everyone talks about employee engagement. But what happens when leaders are the ones who feel detached from their companies? Whether startup entrepreneurs or corporate executives, they need to reignite the fires that got them to their current position—and determine where the future is to consistently fuel their happiness.
Have you started to dread going in to the office? Are you less attached to what you’re doing on a day-to-day basis than ever before? Your well of enthusiasm may be in need of new tributary source. Conduct a little soul-searching with trusted family and friends. Then read a few of these great books to respark your old bliss or sow the seeds of an emerging passion.
Thrivers: An Entrepreneur’s Fable by Vance Brown and John Bolin
Do you consider your business persona to be mercenary or missionary? Vance Brown and John Bolin argue both mindsets are necessary to maximize your talents. What makes this book so intriguing is its approach. Instead of being set up as a nonfiction how-to, it’s structured in fable form. As I followed the protagonist, I found myself nodding at all the entrepreneurial risks he encounters. I’ve been there, done that and know the authors are right: We have to work to thrive, not just survive.
The Anomaly Mind-Set: How I Transformed My Business and My Life by Standing Out Instead of Fitting In by Sandi Krakowski
Misfits, unite! If you’ve ever felt like you’re not living your true life, pick up Sandi Krakowski’s book. For her, the disconnect came when her faith butted heads with standard business practices. I get it. I once thought I was founding an international investments holding company until life showed me I was really called to sell self-cleaning frog aquariums. You’ll be inspired to finally show your true colors and stop smothering your spirit after dipping into The Anomaly Mind-Set. Better your business by showing doubters the door and embracing the real you.
Find Your Way: Unleash Your Power and Highest Potential by Carly Fiorina
I had semi-forgotten that before she launched a political career, Carly Fiorina was the first woman CEO on the Fortune 500 list, a huge accomplishment. It’s clear why she hit the big leagues: Fiorina’s wisdom shines through in this hopeful work that pushes against the notion that you have to stay in an unfulfilling spot. Rather than living for others’ successes and plans, Find Your Way urges you to blaze a different trail. After this book, I’m ready to climb my next Everest.
Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals by Rachel Hollis
Despite the title, this book contains gems for readers of any gender who are sick and tired of being judged. Have you held your tongue in meetings or stopped short of taking risks because of fear? I know I’ve been through those ups and downs, and I wish I’d had Rhett, Stop Apologizing as a reminder that perfection and status quo are limiters, not motivators. Owning and defining yourself are beautiful things. Let Rachel Hollis help you shake off your self-made constraints.
Do It Scared: Finding the Courage to Face Your Fears, Overcome Adversity, and Create a Life You Love by Ruth Soukup
When my toy company was sinking, my heart sank, too. I felt intense, nearly debilitating fear. Ruth Soukup helps people who are similarly afraid understand how to make changes without succumbing to anxiety. I loved her Fear Archetype identification tool, something I hadn’t seen before and wish I’d had during my darkest times. You’ll enjoy finding out what scares you and which tools you need to slay the dragons. Soukup’s book can help anyone replace fear with a specific action plan for making forward progress.
The Purpose Path: A Guide to Pursuing Your Authentic Life’s Work by Nicholas Pearce
Can you name your life’s purpose without thinking too hard about it? Pearce asserts that to build memorable, viable brands, leaders must know and live their calling. Otherwise, a day’s work is just money without meaning. Years ago, I took positions simply to pay the bills, so I deeply connect with this principle. While dollars can be comforting, they don’t measure your dreams. To fuel your soul, find your purpose with an assist from Pearce’s book.
Limitless: How to Ignore Everybody, Carve your Own Path, and Live Your Best Life by Laura Gassner Otting
When you feel stuck, pull Limitless off your shelf. Laura Gassner Otting writes like your BFF and coach, offering the straight scoop on how to stop chasing everyone else’s idea of success. She gives you permission to ask the big questions, such as whether your work actually matters and why you’ve grown up believing you don’t deserve the best. Keep paper handy to jot down new bucket list ideas while you’re reading. I did, and I’m ready to go full throttle.