Books I’d recommend

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse

I’ve read hundreds of books. This one is probably my favourite out of them all. The wisdom and grounding that this book provides is incredible and it reminds you of the most important things along the journey of life as a human. Enjoy.

– Success Principles by Jack Canfield

This book I come back to again and again and I can’t describe the energy I get every time I read it. The tips are simple, impactful and really well explained and it’s a book you can flick through, skipping ahead and taking what you need. I would recommend this to anyone for simple recommendations to improve your life. Enjoy!

Supercoach by Michael Neill

For anyone working with others as a manager, coach, leader etc. or want to, this book has some really nice examples and tools to help you help others change. It’s simple and based on some great coaching skills and I come back to it again and again to refresh on some of these basic strategies.

Change Maker by John Berardi

This book was gifted to me at the start of my personal training qualification with ECA in Belfast and it’s a brilliant book. Although it focuses on Fitness industry professionals, the personal development topics e.g. values and vision are incredible and definitely worth a read. I read this book within 2 days because of timing and I’ve highlighted and gone back to this book multiple times.

Confessions of a Persuasion Hitman by Ian Stanley

If you want to learn a skill, go to the best, and Ian Stanley is regarded as one of the best copywriters in the world. This book is awesome in helping you understand people, writing and how to bring the two together. Definitely a good one and now that ChatGPT is live and people will use it for copywriting, I still think it’s valuable to learn why/how good copywriting can be done.

Entrepreneurial You by Dorie Clark

This book was recommended to me by a colleague who worked closely with Dorie as one of Marshall Goldsmith’s 100 coaches. It’s a good book, a good start to anyone thinking of launching a service based consulting / coaching business. It’s quite basic for where I’m at but I think for anyone else who wants a starting set of things to think about, this book is definitely a good one to think about!

Shantaram by Gregory David Robert’s

I don’t read fiction and haven’t done since I was a teenager but this book I read and it’s incredible. The writing is captivating, so descriptive and the adventure this book describes is incredible. Definitely a must-read and a welcome break from non-fiction books!

When the Body Says No by Gabor Mate

This book came along at a time I was curious about physiology and the impact of work/life imbalance on the people I was working with. Prolonged stress has a massive impact on our bodies and this book enlightens the path of understanding this but also providing useful things to think about to mitigate this. Anything Gabor Mate writes is going to be worth reading. I’m working through The Myth Of Normal at the moment and already amazed at the challenges we’re currently living through.

The Four Agreements

This book was one of the first books on personal development I got when I was about 12 / 13 living in Navan. A local pharmacist who was a coach gave me a copy and the agreement: don’t take things personally, changed my experience as a teenager who took everything personally! It transformed my teenage years and was part of the early path towards coaching and self-development. A brilliant book and his other book, The Mastery of Love is just as good!

Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck by Mark Manson

This book is my go-to recommendation for people who want to get started in Self-Development. It’s really well written so it’s simple to read and it covers some foundational but really impactful topics. We give a fuck about too many things, this book helps you realise this and give a fuck about the important things. Enjoy!

The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman

This book is really easy to read as there’s a page for each day of the year AND despite there being a lot of depth to each daily entry, the lessons are easy to pick up when you work through the book. I give a copy of this book to everyone that does my Close the Gap programme and many have said they’re highlighting it now multiple times with different colours because different things stand out to them on their second / third read. Enjoy!

Awaken the Giant Within – Anthony Robbins

I read this book years ago and reread it recently with a journal and highlighter because some of the chapters, especially the one on emotional mastery is so useful I didn’t want to miss any of the lessons! Read this, take the advice and live as a more powerful version of yourself!

The Four Hour Workweek – Tim Ferriss

I read this book years ago when it first came out and recently started to reread it again to learn about building and finding a ‘muse’ when making sense of the type of side-hustles could be meaningful and interesting to create. Systematic breakdown of many of the websites and companies we interact with who do dropshipping and other ways of building a lean business leveraging the internet to scale.

Maximum Achievement – Brian Tracy

This book, written in the 90’s describes some of the useful mindset shifts that successful people adopt. Despite being written long ago, and when contrasting this with some of the more modern books on success and achievement, it’s amazing how the same things keep shining through.

“It is how you see yourself, how you talk to yourself and how you act now, in the present, that is creating your future.”

Seeing What Others Don’t- Gary Klein

This book opened my eyes to the meta actions that can explain profound insights, and how to boost insights by intentionally using them. The stories told throughout bring this to life and help make the tactical actions really easy to understand. Some of the stories, like the one of the firefighters fighting forest fires will stay with me for a long time – and how doing the opposite of what you think is right, can actually be the right thing to do. Amazing book, great author and I’m looking forward to reading his other books, once I find room on my bookshelf!

How People learn – Nick Shackleton-Jones

This book debunks assumptions about how we learning and focuses on the shifts needed for creating experiences that actually help people learn. I loved the examples in this book, the references to philosophy and the descriptions of experiments that are used to support the claims. A great book for those working in learning organisations or within education!

Unlocking Leadership Mindtraps – Jennifer Garvey Berger

This book covers 5 mindtraps that our minds can fall into when we come in contact with complexity and I loved learning about them. They weren’t a surprise, but in building my understanding of the mindtraps, I was able to see why there is so much fear and uncertainty in our increasingly connected and global environment.

Simple Habits for Complex Times – Jennifer Garvey Berger and Keith Johnston

When interacting and leading in complexity, there are a number of things that can help us avoid overwhelm. This books provides both the story and academic type of content that helps bring these complexity theory concepts to the reader and I loved this book so much I’ve reread it a number of times!

The Fertile Void – John Leary-Joyce

This book gave me a deeper understanding and capacity in my coaching and conversations with people I come in contact with. Gestalt is a really amazing form of therapy and to be able to learn how to use this in my coaching was exciting.

Upgrade: Building your Capacity for Complexity – Richard Boston and Karen Ellis

This book focuses on four components of development that are useful to work through when interacting with complexity: Sense-making, Perspective-shifting, Self-relating and Opposable Thinking. I loved the practical aspects of this book as there are exercises you can do individually or with someone you’re coaching to help them move up through the development stages.

High Performance Habits – Brendon Burchard

This book covers 6 habits in a light, tactical style with questions after each chapter to nudge reflection which I really liked. Questions and reflective prompts such as: “A situation that might trip me up and how my best self would deal with that is…” or “Someone I could surprise with a note, gift, or sign of appreciation is…”

The 6 habits are:

  • Seek Clarity
  • Raise Energy
  • Raise Necessity
  • Increase Productivity
  • Develop Influence
  • Demonstrate Courage

I really enjoyed this book and flew through it with a highlighter and journal!

The Body Keeps The Score – Bessel Van Der Kolk

This book focuses on trauma and how the body stores and holds trauma. When thinking about our wellbeing, we often default to the mental component, and this book opened up the possibility for me that the body is just as important to pay attention to. Fascinating, insightful and a great book, now full of highlighted passages and quotes:

“Competence is the best defense against the helplessness of trauma,”

“Rage that has nowhere to go is redirected against the self in the form of depression, self-hatred and self-destructive actions.”

To Sell is Human – Daniel H. Pink

This book flips the narrative that not everyone is in sales, and shares the view that we are now all involved in selling in one form or another. The numerous case-studies and research papers to break down persuading and influencing others gives practical tips on moving people – whether that’s in presentations, mentoring, or selling – and simple models to help our understanding. I loved this book and have quoted it often:

“The salespeople with an optimistic explanatory style – who saw rejections as temporary rather than permanent, specific rather than universal, and external rather than personal – sold more insurance and survived in their jobs much longer.”

As some have noted, introverts are “geared to inspect,” while extraverts are “geared to respond.” Selling of any sort – whether traditional sales or non-sales selling – requires a delicate balance of inspecting and responding.