Summer is a perfect time to catch up on reading. And although light beach reads are a popular choice for lazy afternoons, insightful leadership books shouldn’t be discounted from the summer reading shelf. For those looking to supercharge their summer hustle during this traditionally slower season, read on.

We checked in with our team to see what recommended reading they suggest on the topics of leadership, marketing, and self-improvement that will help make your time in the sun — or whenever you’re reading — feel more productive. 

1. “To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others” by Daniel H. Pink

This book comes recommended by a few of our Executive Recruiters and Client Strategists. According to the book’s publisher, “Pink describes the six successors to the elevator pitch, the three rules for understanding another’s perspective, the five frames that can make your message clearer and more persuasive, and much more. The result is a perceptive and practical book — one that will change how you see the world and transform what you do at work, at school, and at home.”

2. “Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products” by Nir Eyal

This international bestseller explores branding strategies behind products that go beyond a trend or a fad and turn into something users can’t put down or imagine their lives without.

3. “The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results” by Gary W. Keller and Jay Papasan

In this non-fiction bestseller, the authors focus on the notion that no matter how success is measured and how many challenges life throws at you, you can still reach your goals by eliminating distractions that stand between you and the one thing you are focusing on.

4. “Emotional Intelligence 2.0” by Travis Bradberry

To be a truly great leader, one needs to have a high level of emotional intelligence along with IQ. Emotional intelligence (EQ) has risen in significance in the past 10 years and has become an important factor in building a successful career. The Washington Post has referred to EQ as “the sole determinant of professional success that we can actually improve.”

5. “Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World” by Cal Newport

In our article on productivity tips in a busy workplace, we talked about hiding notifications at work to stay laser focused and resist the urge to pick up your phone every few minutes. Easier said than done? This book will help you keep your technology use in check.

6. “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey

This book is a veteran in the self-help and self-improvement genre. Author Stephen Covey ignored trends and focused on psychological principles that would still be relevant decades later. His two-by-two matrix of time management is something you can apply to both your professional and personal life.

7. “Nine Lies about Work: A Freethinking Leader’s Guide to the Real World” by Ashley Goodall and Marcus Buckingham

According to the publisher, “As strengths guru and bestselling author Marcus Buckingham and Cisco Leadership and Team Intelligence Head Ashley Goodall show in this provocative, inspiring book, there are some big lies — distortions, faulty assumptions, wrong thinking — running through our organizational lives. Nine lies, to be exact. They cause dysfunction and frustration and ultimately result in a strange feeling of unreality that pervades our workplaces.”

8. “The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference” by Malcolm Gladwell

The publisher of this popular book writes, “The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a small but precisely targeted push cause a fashion trend, the popularity of a new product, or a drop in the crime rate.”

9. “You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life” by Jen Sincero

A lighter read on this list that covers all areas of our lives: from work and goals to taking chances and being your best self. Techniques and life philosophies the writer elaborates on can be applied to anything from leading your team to becoming a better boss.

Need a break from all the summer reading? Explore our job board.

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