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8 Books That Will Make You a Stronger Leader

Crack open a book and become a lifelong learner. It’ll make you smarter, and it just might be the key to eternal youth.

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BY Ilya Pozin - 21 Nov 2018

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

It's natural to want to improve at work, no matter how amazing a job you're already doing. Your career shouldn't be about becoming great then reaching a plateau; instead, focus on always becoming better than you were yesterday. If you adopt the latter mindset, you'll be a lifelong learner, which will increase your chances of career success.

Henry Ford considered himself a lifelong learner and has been quoted saying: "Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young." You'll need to continuously learn new things and add tools to your toolbox over the length of your career. Your college degree or vocational training is a good start, but it shouldn't be a stopping point.

Reading often is a great way to embrace the lifelong learner approach that Ford and other successful people have subscribed to. If you're wondering what should be next on your reading list, consider the following titles.

1. Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World by Ren Girard

French philosopher Ren Girard's book examines some fundamental facts about business that have been misleading people for as long as humanity has been around. PayPal founder Peter Thiel says the book has had a marked impact on his worldview.

2. Outliers by Malcom Gladwell

If you've heard that it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill, you've already been influenced by Gladwell's book. In it, he seeks to understand what makes the most successful people among us stand out, whether they're athletes, artists, or business leaders.

3. Daring Greatly by Bren Brown

Most people attempt to bury their vulnerabilities until they're no longer visible, but Brown cautions against that practice. Instead, she explores how letting others see our true selves, complete with flaws and vulnerabilities, is the key to not only happiness but success. Getting comfortable with being vulnerable will help you approach your team and customers in a more genuine way.

4. Conscious Capitalism by John Mackey and Raj Sisodia

Mackey and Sisodia explain how capitalism can actually be an agent of positive change, using companies such as Whole Foods, Patagonia, and The Container Store to illustrate their points. By adhering to their four tenets of conscious capitalism, you can create both a stronger business and a stronger community.

5. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

Ries's book provides a valuable blueprint for starting a business, whether you hope to take on massive competitors or start an Etsy shop in your spare time. He includes ways to validate your business ideas and explains how to use online tools that will be essential to building your venture.

6. The Psychology of Selling by Brian Tracy

Tracy's book distills years of sales experience into an easy-to-read format, helping you learn to connect with many different types of customers. His book also breaks down the pitching process to help you hear "yes" more often than you hear "no."

7. Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt

Hazlitt's book was first published in 1946, but the principles contained within it remain relevant to this day. Economics in One Lesson breaks down many of the fundamental assumptions business leaders have made about the economy and explains why they are actually incorrect and often destructive.

8. Escape from Cubicle Nation by Pamela Slim

It can be difficult to leave the relative safety of a full-time corporate job to strike out on your own, but Slim's book helps walk you through the basics of launching your own business. Because hearing from someone who's already found success can be daunting, Slim includes stories from her coaching clients and blog readers who are undergoing the same entrepreneurial hardships you're currently experiencing.

This time of year, there's nothing better than curling up with a good book. Plus, if that book can make you more successful in your job and spark a love of lifelong learning, that's even better.

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