5 books to motivate you to become your best self


You might have some free time this holiday. Why not spend it curled up with a good book and a beverage of your choice? Here is Chauncey Mabe’s selection of success stories and how to win books that will inspire you to set new goals and empower you tackle any crisis head-on in the new year.

  1. The Power of Broke: How Empty Pockets, a Tight Budget, and a Hunger for Success Can Become Your Greatest Competitive Advantage By Daymond John with Daniel Paisner

Being broke forces you to dig deeply – to trust and invest in yourself. Being broke means you have to occasionally “kick yourself in the butt” to keep moving forward, writes Daymond John, founder of fashion empire FUBU and star of ABC’s Shark Tank.
Revisiting his entrepreneurial origins, John recounts his start selling hand-knit hats with $40 in startup money, being turned down by 27 banks when seeking funds to finance his first FUBU orders, and borrowing $100,000 against his mother’s house for equipment and supplies to fill those orders. His story and that of the other entrepreneurs he profiles prove that success requires perseverance, creativity, ingenuity and a hefty dose of hustle.
The Power of Broke is an entertaining mix of practical advice, success stories and behind-the-scenes Shark Tank tales. Still, readers may be left longing for more of John’s invaluable business intelligence.

Find it at Takealot, The Book Depository and Loot.

  1. All the Leader You Can Be: The Science of Achieving Extraordinary Executive Presence By Suzanne Bates, David Casullo and William Macaux

Numbers seem to be important in the leadership game – 10 qualities (or is it nine?) that make a great leader, 12 things you can do, or seven steps you can take. Suzanne Bates and William Macaux have a number, too: “15 qualities of executive presence.” But the important number is one, as in: “There’s no single formula for achieving extraordinary executive presence.”

Executive presence is the authors’ term for that indefinable leadership quality that enables talented people to become highly successful. The good news is that Bates, author of the best-selling Speak Like a CEO, and Macaux, a management psychologist, have developed what they call a science-based approach that enables each person to locate his or her individual executive-presence identity. What’s more, they’ve arranged this volume as a guidebook for each stage of a rising executive career. All the Leader You Can Be is not a breezy read—at times it’s as technical as a textbook. It’s a serious book, and serious readers may well benefit.

Get it from Takealot, Amazon and The Book Depository.

  1. Negotiating the Nonnegotiable: How to Resolve Your Most Emotionally Charged Conflicts By Daniel Shapiro

Daniel Shapiro, a Harvard expert on conflict resolution, promises a “step-by-step method to resolve life’s most challenging conflicts.” But he delivers much more. For example, in the second chapter, “The Dual Nature of Identity,” Shapiro delves into the paradox of human personality—it feels both fixed and also changeable. “This paradox cuts right to the heart of conflict resolution,” Shapiro writes, using a scene from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to illustrate his point.

Alice realizes identity is both fluid and fixed, a fact that allows conflicts to be resolved. Based on Shapiro’s 20 years of research around the world, Negotiating the Nonnegotiable shows how threats to our sense of identity, what he calls “the Tribes Effect,” can make compromise seem impossible—in family conflict, a workplace dispute or even an international crisis. Shapiro has written a book of psychological, social and political significance.

Buy your copy from The Book Depository, Loot and Amazon.


  1. Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It By Chris Voss with Tahl Raz

The biggest error of conventional negotiating theory, says Chris Voss, formerly the FBI’s top international kidnap negotiator, is the assumption people are logical and behave in their own best interests. In fact, no one behaves rationally, leaving emotion to dominate pressure situations. That’s as true in business, Voss writes, as it is in the FBI. After all, life is one negotiation after another—from buying a car to starting a business to asking for a raise.

Voss provides lists and tips throughout the book, breaking effective negotiating into nine general principles: Be a mirror; don’t feel their pain; beware of yes, master no; trigger the two words that immediately transform any negotiation; bend reality; create the illusion of control; guarantee execution; bargain hard; and find black swans. Voss illustrates points with anecdotes from his FBI career, lending the book some suspense—rare for a business treatise.

You will find it at Loot, Takealot and Makro.

  1. Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges By Amy Cuddy

More than 28 million people have watched Harvard Business School associate professor Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk, “How Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are.” In her new book, Cuddy dives deeper into the topic, exploring how our state of mind, behaviors and body language reflect power and presence (or the lack thereof).

According to Cuddy, presence stems from “believing and trusting… your feelings, beliefs, values and abilities.” She points out that if you don’t trust in yourself or believe in what you’re saying, it’s difficult to project the confidence inherent to presence. Leaving the scientific jargon for the classroom, Cuddy masterfully illuminates the complex relationship between what we think and how we present ourselves. She counsels readers on how to reduce anxiety and pump up presence through “tiny tweaks” (paying attention to posture, eye contact, language and tone, for example). More than a valuable and fresh look at how we present ourselves to others, Presence is a well-written, absorbing read.

Get it from Ubuy, Takealot and The Book Depository.

For  bigger selection of interesting titles, read the full story here.