4 Books To Reach Your Full Potential — At Work And In Life

4 Books To Reach Your Full Potential — At Work And In Life

A seminal study by researchers at the University of California, Irvine and Humboldt University in Germany found that people experience higher levels of stress and frustration when performing “interrupted tasks” — work disrupted by distractions like an urgent phone call, chat message, or physical intrusion into one’s workspace.

Meanwhile, an Economist Intelligence Unit analysis finds that workplace distractions sap nearly 600 person-hours of work per person, per year, at an average annual cost of about $35,000.

Completely eliminating interruptions from your workday is not a realistic goal. But some surprisingly small adjustments to your workflow and your mindset can significantly improve your productivity. Bigger adjustments pack a greater punch, though they can require months or years of effort to implement.

Each of the books on this list is an indispensable guide for entrepreneurs and business leaders frustrated with the status quo. Whether you’re dealing with emotional abuse at work or at home, struggling to manage diverse personalities effectively, or aching to find meaning in your personal and professional life, these authors have some answers.

1. Richard Grannon — A Cult of One

The signs of emotional abuse are difficult for trained psychologists to identify. For victims trapped in abusive relationships, it’s often all but impossible amid cycles of gaslighting, self-doubt, and guilt.

In A Cult of One: How to Deprogram Yourself From Narcissistic Abuse, Richard Grannon shares deeply personal lessons from a four-decade journey that’s immediately familiar to anyone who has experienced toxic narcissism in their own lives. Grannon doesn’t claim to have all the answers, but his evidence-based methodology — spanning zen meditation, psychedelics, martial arts, and spirituality — is broad enough to apply to your own personal journey, even if it looks nothing like Grannon’s.

You may not be a survivor of narcissistic abuse, but if you lead a growing company, it’s likely that you’ll soon encounter it in the workplace or find yourself managing those experiencing it in their own lives. For that reason, A Cult of One deserves a place on your office bookshelf.

2. Dr. Tomi White Bryan — Emotional Intelligence 3.0

Some distractions are momentary. Others are systemic and built into the fabric of our beings.

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It’s this second type of distraction that Dr. Tomi White Bryan attacks in Emotional Intelligence 3.0: How to Stop Playing Small in a Really Big Universe, a guide to rediscovering the boundless creativity that you had as a child and into young adulthood — before your parents or “society” or your own ambition began to chip away at it.

Dr. Bryan’s journey of self-rediscovery begins with gratitude, recognizing and giving thanks for the success you’ve already achieved. It proceeds through a reopening of your personal horizons and a reimagination of what’s possible in your life. It ends with a blueprint — unique to you — for achieving your goals, no matter how much they’ve changed during the course of the book.

Crucially, Dr. Bryan’s methodology is easy to apply beyond your own life and work. You might not know the deepest secrets and wildest ambitions of every member of your team, but Dr. Bryan’s approach is purpose-built for managers eager to get more from their direct reports.

3. Dana Roefer — Shop Social

If you’re distracted to the point of burnout by the pressures of conformity and consumerism, Dana Roefer’s Shop Social: Connect with the People + Products that Support Your Best Life is a must-read.

Shop Social is not a radical text; Roefer isn’t asking you to join a Buy Nothing group or start knitting your own sweaters. (Although you’re free to do so if it brings you joy.) Roefer simply wants us to tweak our approach to the world, to act more intentionally and less reactively as we decide what products to buy, which brands to support, and how we present ourselves.

Roefer’s secret: micro communities of like-minded consumers and entrepreneurs, which she calls circles. These aren’t the buying groups or MLMs of yesteryear. They’re expressions of common purpose and shared values that hold fast amid an accelerating race to the bottom. And your “shop social” circle could be the pivot that changes how you see your responsibilities to your team, your customers, and your social peers.

4. Joann Wortham — EDI Is the New Black

For far too long, workers from the C-suite on down have been hampered by implicit bias — the mother of all workplace distractions and a major drag on productivity.

Unlearning inequity is a challenging prospect, one that many organizations put off because it seems so overwhelming and they can’t see the payoff. But in EDI Is the New Black: Lead the Market With Diverse Teams, Joann Wortham argues that it’s no longer optional. The best time to embrace equity, diversity, and inclusion was yesterday; the second best time is today; and tomorrow isn’t an option.

EDI Is the New Black is a straightforward playbook that doesn’t require a human resources certification degree to make sense and won’t try to teach you a vast new vocabulary. It’s a no-nonsense guide to repair previously invisible wounds and strengthen your organization from within

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