It's no secret that I'm a massive reader. I love a business/self-development book. Indeed I 100% believe that reading books can change your world. If Sam Conniff hadn't written Be More Pirate I'm not sure where I would be now with business or indeed, life.
So here's five books that have challenged my thinking and helped me to get to where I am today.
1. Be More Pirate - Sam Conniff 🏴☠️
What else can I say about this one? I wrote about it in one of my musings - My Journey To Work Pirates.
'Be More Pirate' is the book that started all of this. It helped James and I find and connect with so many awesome people.
“The more powerful the person you meet, the more surprising it is to find out they’re just making it up, just like the rest of us.” Sam Conniff
The metaphor of the golden age of pirates plays out so well. It's a magnificent way of looking at how pirates changed the world and the many awesome things they invented! Start your reading here! (Or listening - it's lush on Audible too).
2. Playing Big - Tara Mohr 🏴☠️
I was told to read this one by my coach and so much of it resonated. Particularly about not going to war with your inner critic, how to deal with different types of fear, all the ways people 'hide' and how to get playing big within 2 weeks. Loads of useful info!
“Attachment to praise and avoidance of criticism keeps us from doing innovative, controversial work and--more simply--from following the paths we feel called toward, whether or not those around us understand or approve.” Tara Mohr
I loved it so much that I decided to go off and train with Tara to become a Playing Big Facilitator - so give me a shout if you have any questions about any of the exercises - as this is foundational to my coaching practice. I took a photo of James's copy where I attempted to cross out the 'wo' in women to trick him into thinking it was for him too! He agrees with me that it's a useful book for men as well as women 😉
3. Dare to Lead - Brené Brown 🏴☠️
This is my most favourite of Brené's books (so far). I suppose that it would be useful to read The Gifts of Imperfection before reading Dare to Lead as it's the foundation for this work.
In Dare to Lead, I learned all about the art of rumbling and having difficult conversations with people you work with. It's great for figuring out how to get out of your own way, dropping the ego and the need to be right all the time and connect with people around you.
“People are opting out of vital conversations about diversity and inclusivity because they fear looking wrong, saying something wrong, or being wrong. Choosing our own comfort over hard conversations is the epitome of privilege, and it corrodes trust and moves us away from meaningful and lasting change.” Brené Brown
I couldn't decide which quote to use, so here's my other favourite one.
"Clear is kind. Unclear is unkind." Brené Brown
And while we're talking about Dare to Lead do track down the podcast of the same name on Spotify.
4. Big Potential - Shawn Achor 🏴☠️
I love Shawn Achor - his TED Talk is brilliant. Super funny.
Big Potential is a book about creating positive ripples and how striving for individual achievement isn't the answer.
“By denying the light of praise, we extinguish it. By bending the light toward others, we magnify it.” Shawn Achor
Loved reading this book, was a delightful mix of research and amusing anecdotes.
Need to read this one again!!
5. How to Be More Pirate - Sam Conniff & Alex Barker
This is the second entry into the list from Sam. Alex tracked down and interviewed people who were totally being more pirate and wrote about their missions. The audio version is beautifully read by Alex. It's a guide of brilliant people to follow and the exciting things that they are doing. Totally inspirational and cheeky. I love it.
"Becoming a pirate was first and foremost about giving yourself permission to no longer be miserable." Alex Barker
Follow our Good Reads and share your book recommendations in the comments.