The best business books to get your teeth into this year

Even seasoned professionals need to swot up sometimes...

One of the most common mistakes we all make at work is to stay stuck in a rut. All too often when things don’t go our way, or when work is tough, we feel isolated and stuck.

Well, even those most hardened professional needs support at times, and one of the easiest places to find it is in a handy business advice book. There are hundreds, probably thousands of of them out there, with mountains of hard-won commercial wisdom that has the power to inspire, motivate, or just provoke an idea to help you move forward. Here are five of the best business books that The Jackal team rates this year.

1. The Motivation Myth, Jeff Haden

Do you ever look at someone successful, and wish you had their motivation? Well, author and speaker Jeff Haden is here to tell you that motivation isn’t innate – it can be taught and, yes, you can learn it. In The Motivation Myth, Haden argues we need to reframe our thinking about motivation, and revise our assumptions that behind every success story there was a clear vision and the perfect plan. He demonstrates that success is never a foregone conclusion, but everyone can accomplish their goals by following a few simple steps and processes, and persevering. A real light at the end of the tunnel for anyone struggling in their career.

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2. Your Best Year Ever, Michael Hyatt

Balancing the demands of today’s always-online working world, and your personal life is no easy thing. Michael Hyatt knows this only too well. He’s spent over 30 years working in corporate publishing, helping authors to unlock their potential, and as he puts it ‘get heard in a noisy world.’ Now, in his own book, Your Best Year Ever, he shares his own system – developed over the course of his career – for setting and reaching the goals you want to achieve, including hacks to understand what’s holding you back, how to design your best year, and three simple ideas to triple the likelihood of you achieving what you want to. It’s all based around his deceptively simple five-step programme, which guides you from your initial thoughts all the way to making it happen. Whatever you’ve got in mind, from kickstarting a start-up, to bagging that next promotion, this book promises to get you there in 365 days or less.

3. The Little Book of Yes: How to win friends, boost your confidence and persuade others, Noah Goldstein, Steve Martin and Robert Cialdini

Struggling to win people over at work, or in your personal life? Then this handy little guide book could be the tool you’re searching for. Written with the combined expertise of three professors, all specialists in ethical influencing strategies, The Little Book of Yes has 21 short chapters that outline effective persuasion strategies, from ‘Giving’, which speaks about society’s culture of reciprocity, to ‘Liking’, which examines the powerful psychology of finding similarities with the people you want to build relationships with. These easy, bite-sized chunks of advice are simple to take on board, and can be implemented in all areas of your life. Machiavellian? A tiny bit. But if it helps you get the job done…

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4. The Multi-Hyphen Method, Emma Gannon

Sensing that the nine-to-five isn’t for you? Emma Gannon’s latest book, The Multi-Hyphen Method, tackles the concepts of the ‘traditional’ working day and a single career trajectory, in favour of building a way of working that just works better for different individuals. In it, Gannon explores how technology is freeing up the workplace, allowing us to work when and where we choose, as well as encouraging readers to diversify their skills in order to live more fulfilled and financially healthy lives. She argues that making the most of all your skills and interests is essential to get ahead in the modern working world, and can be the key to working less while creating more. For people looking for more flexibility, and fulfilment, than a traditional nine to five role can offer, this is the book for you.

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5. When To Jump, Mike Lewis

Most articles about business focus on building your career or starting your company. But what happens when it’s just not working for you anymore? Mike Lewis’s When To Jump is all about taking the closest exit route in your current career – and changing it to the one you’ve been dreaming about all along. In the book he lays out his four-step plan, ‘The Jump Curve’, to leaving your current role and pursuing the route that you really want to travel down. He also shares stories of people who have done it before, from the publicist who became a bishop, to the banker that started a brewery, and himself, too. He left a prestigious corporate role to become a professional squash player. SO, if you’re looking for the way out – and a way into your dream job – then this is the read for you.