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Work Smarter The Top 10 Books For Success To Read This Holiday Season

The Top 10 Books For Success To Read This Holiday Season

The Top 10 Books For Success To Read This Holiday Season
By Samantha Topp
By Samantha Topp
December 17, 2019
From a journalist and martial artist to a quantum physicist, Gen.T honourees share the one book that shaped their success and changed their career trajectory

Successful people are often voracious readers, with many crediting their love for reading as instrumental in their ability to be effective leaders. Bill Gates is famously said to read at least 50 books a year, averaging almost one a week, while Elon Musk has said he can build rockets simply “through reading books”.

Reading can result in improved intelligence, higher levels of innovation and insight, and more effective leadership through an increase in emotional and verbal intelligence, according to the Harvard Business Review.

The best reading list, it suggests, is an eclectic one; leaders who read a variety of books and “sample insights in other fields, such as sociology, physical sciences, economics, or psychology, and apply them to their organisations are more likely to innovate and prosper.” Even reading fiction has positive benefits, from improving empathy to heightening understanding of social cues, both of them allowing leaders to work better with others.

Reading also has a whole host of health benefits: it can reduce stress by around 68 percent, lower your risk of Alzheimer’s, strengthen your neural pathways and with decrease mental decline by 32 percent.

Here, seven Gen.T honourees recommend the number one book that has helped shape their success over the years.

See also: 5 Podcasts Gen.T Honourees Are Listening To

Cheng Ho

Cheng Ho
Cheng Ho

Founder, Choxue

Book How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Cheng says "I was first introduced to this book by my uncle when I was in high school. Initially, I was offended because I thought my uncle wanted to tell me that I didn't know how to make friends (and maybe he was right). However, I must say, this book completely opened my eyes and changed the way I talk to and approach people. Knowing how to communicate and work with people is key to success in life. This is a book I reread even today. I've even made a summary of the key points and wisdom in my office, so I can see it every day as a reminder."

Natashya Gutierrez

Natashya Gutierrez
Natashya Gutierrez

Editor-in-Chief, Vice Asia-Pacific

Book The Cow in the Parking Lot: A Zen Approach to Overcoming Anger by Leonard Scheff and Susan Edmiston
Natashya says "This book didn't just impact my mindset at work, but made me happier in my day-to-day life. It changed my way of thinking and dealing with unexpected issues and problems, whether it was a failed project, ineffectual colleague or my own regrettable mistakes. When you learn to react to unforeseen circumstances or negative people with clarity and a grounded mind, you are able to make smart and effective decisions, find solutions and move forward—rather than being bogged down by annoyance, blame or anger."

Felicia Kawilarang

Felicia Kawilarang
Felicia Kawilarang

VP of Marketing Communication, Halodoc

Book Grit by Angela Duckworth
Felicia says
"As Duckworth defines it, grit is passion and sustained persistence applied toward long-term achievement, with no particular concern for rewards or recognition along the way. It combines resilience, ambition and self control in the pursuit of goals. This book truly helped me keep things in perspective. People fail a lot, and what's important is the resilience to keep going to achieve your goals. The book encourages people to find their passion, to learn to work towards that passion, and to find a greater purpose for ourselves and be committed to it. I was always ambitious but I was never the smartest person at school, and what got me to where I am today has a lot to do with my grit: keeping my eyes on the prize and pushing ahead through all the challenges."

See also: In Pictures: The Indonesia List Unveiling Event

Dean Ho

Dean Ho
Dean Ho

Director, The N.1 Institute For Health

Book The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling
Dean says "One of the Harry Potter series’ most important themes involves teamwork and friendship in the face of overwhelming adversity. This same ethos has guided much of what we do at [clinical research institute] N.1, where we address some of the hardest challenges in medicine by drawing from a broad range of expertise amid what has become a family of innovators. I once flew 15 hours for a business trip and outside of work meetings, I spent the rest of the time reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which, among other lessons, showed that even expected sources of support can profoundly impact outcomes. Concepts like this inspired a project that was to ultimately include a team of engineers, clinicians, policy experts, economists, and behavioural scientists to collectively and successfully help a patient who was battling a complex disease."

See also: In Pictures: Gen.T Table On The Future Of Sustainability

Mary Jacquiline Romero

Mary Jacquiline Romero
Mary Jacquiline Romero

Westpac Research Fellow, University of Queensland

Book Creativity by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Mary Jacquiline says "This is probably the most systematic study of creativity, based on interviews with contemporary people from the arts and sciences. Often we relate creativity with genius, but more often being creative means balancing curiosity and drive. Curiosity makes me playful while drive makes me persevere even when work feels like utter torture. It was great to be able to relate the testimonies of great, creative people to my own experiences—quite comforting."

Jerry Liau

Jerry Liau
Jerry Liau

Martial Artist

Book The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
Jerry says "For over a decade, many of my favourite books have been ones written by Robert Greene. If I had to choose, the number one book on the list would have to be The 48 Laws of Power. As a martial arts practitioner and teacher, I consider Greene’s masterwork a psychological instruction to manage my school and use kung fu within the community. The 48th law of power is to “assume formlessness,” for it is not a weakness to disguise your strengths if in the end they lead to power. These instructions go hand in hand with training self defence, passing down traditional knowledge and protecting it."

CC Chang

CC Chang
CC Chang

Co-founder, Funnow

Book Powerful by Patty McCord, former Netflix chief talent officer
CC says "After its Series A funding last year, my company was scaling from a 20 person team to a 70-plus person company now. What worked when we all fit around one table was not working any more at that stage. There was a need to implement different changes. However, most of the time, changes were met with resistance, and Powerful was one of the books that inspired me a lot. It has helped me to rethink whether my team should be a great sports team or a family, and how my management team should be. To shape the company’s culture and values, deliver them to everyone and make sure they are exhibited at every level of the company is paramount. If growing and scaling the business is what you strive for, then teams will be crucial because they should be the people who are keen to take challenges and solve your toughest problems together."


See all honourees on the Gen.T List 2019.

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Work Smarter Books Reading Learning Self-Development

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