Executive Reads: Books to Get You Ahead

“Some people will lie, cheat, steal and back-stab to get ahead… and to think, all they have to do is READ.” 

 – Anon.

As young professionals, there’s one thing that we all strive for: to build our credibility and gain more experience in our field. We want to stand out, right? The only problem is that we want it now, and it can take years to earn our place at the executive table.

One surefire way to get ahead is to read books. This week we are featuring three book recommendations of authors who know a thing or two about success. By learning from experts in business, you’ll be a step ahead of your colleagues, and on the fast track to the corner office.

Linchpin, by Seth Godin 
If you’re reading this post right now, then you’re probably passionate about standing out and getting ahead. That’s the first step to being what Godin calls a “Linchpin” for your organization. If you are an employee that takes orders, does exactly what you’re told, and contributes the bare minimum, then you are rendering yourself replaceable. This book suggests that in today’s industry, you need to do the exact opposite to create a successful career for yourself. Linchpin explains how to maximize your potential by being passionate, creating art in everything you do, thinking outside the box, and thus becoming irreplaceable to your organization.

Focal Point, by Brian Tracy
We’ve all heard of setting SMART goals, right? Also known as specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-bound goals? Well Brian Tracy is the godfather of goal setting. This book provides tips, tools, and excellent examples of how to set SMART goals for all areas of your life, including personal, health, and professional. The only way to get where you want in your career is to decide specifically what it is that you want, which will also give you a reason to celebrate your achievements along the way. Win-win. 

Onward, by Howard Schultz
If there’s any group of people that I want to learn from, it’s the best of the best – and Howard Schultz has a lot to boast about in his career. As the founder of Starbucks as we know it and current CEO, Onward is the story of how he took the company from a place of uncertainty during the recession to greater success than ever before. Schultz is, above all, a true entrepreneur. He is extremely passionate about his organization’s mission, culture and brand – which not only can create better business for the organization, but also for your professional reputation.

What are your favorite reads? What books have helped you maximize your potential and further advance your career? 

Sara Demizio is a young professional living in Toronto.

Interested in more recommendations? Follow Sara on twitter @sarademizio and her blog 52in52, where she reviews a new personal development or business book each week. New posts every Monday!