We asked the people interviewed for the latest issue of homeWORK which books inspired them and helped them to find success in business, particularly in the fields of talent and leadership. Here are the five top recommendations:

To read our last set of book recommendations visit the last Workspace Book Corner.

The author, bell hooks – writer, teacher and insurgent black intellectual – writes about a new kind of education: education as the practice of freedom. Full of passion and politics, Teaching to Transgress combines a practical knowledge of the classroom with a deeply felt connection to the world of emotions and feelings. This is a rare book about teachers and students that dares to raise questions about egos and rage, grief and reconciliation, and the future of teaching itself.

“I’ve learned a lot about issues related to inclusion and talent from this book. The author’s intellectual breadth is vast. This book is for any leader who is prepared to dig deep and grapple with the ways that inequity plays out in our world, in them and around them. Unusually, while this book is most obviously speaking to professors or teachers, there is a parallel power dynamic with a leader. Whether you want to create cultures of equity, justice and accountability in your classroom or company, this is an extremely powerful book.”
Hanna Naima McCloskey, CEO of Fearless Futures, Canalot Studios

 

Discover your unique edge. Each of us has strengths, abilities and skills that allow us to shine and deliver exceptional results. These are the underlying qualities that energise us and we are great at (or have the potential to become great at). But how do you understand and build upon your strengths, and how do you inspire others to do the same? Optimize Your Strengths provides a proven strengths-based approach to achieving peak performance for you and your team. You’ll discover your core strengths and learn to use them to bring out the best in yourself, and inspire passion, innovation and engagement in the people you lead.

“This book is full of super-practical tools and techniques to support teams and leaders to achieve their best through a strengths lens.”
— Zara Bates, Head of Consulting and Training at Strengthscope, The Print Rooms

 

 
Andy Warhol – American painter, filmmaker, publisher, actor and major figure in the Pop Art movement – was in many ways a reluctant celebrity. Here in his autobiography he spills his secrets and muses about love, sex, food, beauty, fame, work, money, success, New York and America, and its place in the world. But it is his reflections on himself, his childhood in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, the explosion of his career in the 60s and his life among celebrities – from working with Elizabeth Taylor to partying with the Rolling Stones – that give a true insight into the mind of one of the most iconic figures in 20th-century culture.


“It’s all about how Andy Warhol saw life, and it’s a really interesting glimpse into the mind of somebody as creatively talented as him. This unique perspective on the world can help to inspire creative talent.”
— Marta Yarza, Co-founder at Yarza Twins, formerly based at China Works

 
Why do some products capture our attention, whereas others flop? What makes us engage with certain products out of habit? Is there a pattern underlying how technologies hook us? This book introduces readers to the “Hook Model”, a four-step process that companies use to build customer habits. Through consecutive hook cycles, successful products reach their ultimate goal of bringing users back repeatedly – without depending on costly advertising or aggressive messaging. Hooked is a guide to building products people can’t put down. Written for product managers, designers, marketers, start-up founders and people eager to learn more about the things that control our behaviours, this book gives readers actionable steps for building products that people love, and practical insights to create user habits that stick.

“This is a really interesting book that looks at the interaction between humans and technology. It digs deep into human psychology and looks at the dopamine hit you get from endless scrolling on the internet. It gives a great insight into human addiction.”
— Ben Gancz, Director at Qumodo, The Print Rooms

 

In Legacy, best-selling author James Kerr goes deep into the heart of the world’s most successful sporting team, the legendary All Blacks of New Zealand, to reveal 15 powerful and practical lessons for leadership and business. It’s a unique, inspiring handbook for leaders in all fields, and asks: What are the secrets of success – sustained success? How do you achieve world-class standards, day after day, week after week, year after year? How do you handle pressure? How do you train to win at the highest level? What do you leave behind you after you’re gone?

“The key takeaway for me from this book is the four stages of organisational change: a case for change – there needs to be a real need for it; a compelling picture of the future; a sustained capability to change; and, finally, a credible plan to execute. The All Blacks applied this to their team over the course of four years, culminating in reaching the final of the Rugby World Cup in 2013. Good work if you’re a Kiwi!”
— James Watson, Chief Marketing Officer at Immerse Learning, The Record Hall

 

Read more about these topics in homeWORK online, or pick up a copy in the lobby area of any of our Workspace buildings. Looking for some more reading inspiration? Browse the six top reads as recommended by our customers.