Over the course of this week, we have posted the shortlist selections in the General Business, Leadership, Management, Innovation & Creativity, Small Business & Entrepreneurship, Marketing & Sales, Personal Development, and Finance & Economics categories. Just one last category left: Personal Development.
Stay tuned, because on Monday, December 17th, we’ll announce the category winners, and, on Wednesday, December 19th, we’ll celebrate the overall winner of the 2012 800-CEO-READ Business Book Awards!
The selections for the Personal Development category are:
- Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown, Gotham Books
- Extreme Productivity: Boost Your Results, Reduce Your Hours by Robert C. Pozen, Harper
- The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone—Especially Ourselves by Dan Ariely, Harper
- So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love by Cal Newport, Business Plus
- The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It by Kelly McGonigal, Avery
What can you do to be a better you? Maybe it’s refining your strengths, or developing new skills, changing a bad habit, embracing a particular (and maybe peculiar) personality trait. Whatever your goal for yourself is, personal development books can help. And the five books on our Personal Development shortlist can help change your life. Kelly McGonigal’s The Willpower Instinct reveals the science behind your impulses, your fears, and your tendency to procrastinate, and how you can use science to develop your willpower like a good workout helps develop your muscles. The benefit of that practice is an increased ability to reach the kind of Extreme Productivity that Robert Pozen details in his new book. Pozen’s results-oriented premise is that most of us waste a considerable amount of time being unproductive, and we can actually work less by doing more. But personal development isn’t all about “doing.” Sometimes it’s about “being,” and Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly challenges us to re-cast vulnerability as a welcome thing, to embrace the risk and the fear that comes along with it, and work through all those issues of shame, perfection, anxiety and cynicism that come up when we are courageous enough to face uncertainty. Perhaps vulnerability can prevent the kind of deceptive and defensive behavior Dan Ariely presents in his newest book, The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty. Ariely’s books always help us better understand human nature, and by doing so, we can bring the better angels of our nature to work and to our businesses. And it’s not surprising then that when we do bring our better selves to work, we begin to love the work we do. Cal Newport’s So Good They Can’t Ignore You posits that the usual advice of finding work you love by following your passion is off target, and that we’re better off by following a craftsman mindset, focusing on the value we’re producing, the skills we’ve developed, pursuing what we’re good at.