My List of Ten Development Books

If we desire a new level of success, there has to be a degree of internal and external change to bring about the desired results. The difference may not be apparent to the naked eye, but there needs to be internal reconstructing to embrace new opportunities that will lead to a new level of success in leadership.


“If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what book he reads.” Ralph Waldo Emerson.


Reading books allows us to conquer the impossible; it enlarges the mindset and increases the capacity to embrace new opportunities. If you want to achieve the level of success, you desire in the coming months; you need to embrace a healthy appetite for the acquisition of knowledge.

Will Durrant capture the essence of knowledge so well, he stated, “Knowledge is the eye of desire and can become the captain of the soul.”


No woman can grow beyond what she knows. If you have set some audacious goals for yourself in the coming months, the best way to guarantee success is to first invest in the knowledge to acquire a new way of thinking as the key to achieve your evasive goals.


Benjamin Franklin once said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” There is no greater investment than investing in knowledge, the rewards are infinite and extend for generations. I implore you to make the acquisition of knowledge a key goal every year.

To start you on your journey of knowledge acquisition, here is my list of personal development books to help you on your way:


  1. Mindset by Dr Carol S.Dweck

This million best seller has been a reference book for many professionals from all occupations. It addresses a belief system that permeates our lives in one way or the other – the fixed mindset. What I love about this book is that it encourages the reader to embrace a growth mindset, which believes that we can accomplish anything we set our minds to do through the application of knowledge, effort and the right mental attitude.  This book enables the reader to step away from misconceptions and teaches how to use the right strategies to achieve the outcomes we desire in pursuit of excellence.


  1. Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss and Tahi Raz

Negotiation is a part of our daily lives whether we do it consciously or unconsciously – booking a holiday, buying a car, marriage proposal or a job promotion. Written by an ex-FBI hostage negotiator, this book provides insight into the mindset of a negotiator when there is only one desired outcome. It shares practical principles used in high stake encounters to improve the art of persuasion in any area of life.  If you want a win-win situation and fruitful engagement, this is the book to read to gain the required skill for negotiating deals in your favour.


  1. Invisible Influence by Jonah Berger

What affects the decisions we make on a daily basis? Is it our upbringing, family, friends, social status?  Jonah Berger brings to light the things that are right under our nose that affects the way we think and the decisions we make.  A good read for those who want to master their thoughts so they can make better decisions that produce positive and lasting outcomes.


  1. 13 Things Mentally Strong people do not do by Amy Morin

The author lost her mother overnight with no warning, and her husband on the third anniversary of her mother’s death. What prepares us for situations beyond our control?  The answer is mental strength. This book explains how to develop mental strength to deal with any circumstance thrown our way.

This book was a gift from a friend who wanted me to achieve greater success with what I do with my clients. It has given me ample information to support my clients through challenging situations to release their true abilities.


  1. How to succeed with people by Paul McGee

One of the sentences in the book sums it up nicely.  “Intelligent people do stupid things. A high IQ does not mean automatic success with people. They do not give out degrees in common sense. So be humble.” Paul McGee advises leaders to build better relationships with the people they manage and pay attention to their needs. I love his take on mutual success, which is achievable when we understand the other person’s situation, motivation, wants and needs.


  1. The Success Principles: How to get from where you are to where you want to be by Jack Canfield

This book is one of my favourite motivational books, but be warned there is a lot of information to imbibe. If you like personal development books, this is a ‘must have’ in your library. It is more than just a book; it is a reference you should go back to read more than once.  This book will jolt you out of your comfort zone and challenge you to take charge of your life using a comprehensive and practical system.

It will also nudge and teach you how to focus on your top priorities, set goals outside your comfort zone and achieve those audacious results. It is full of thought-provoking exercises, which will infuse you with the energy and drive to achieve the success you deserve.


  1. The One Thing by Gary Keller with Jay Papasan

In an age where we leave no margin in our lives due to the pressure to multitask and get more done in less time, this book is a refreshing interlude that advice us to focus on one thing.   Focusing on one key priority can be a challenge, but it is achievable as buttressed in this book with useful examples to support the core message. The writer takes the time to write in an easy to follow the pattern that helps you prioritise your life and achieve more on a daily basis.


  1. Successful Women Think Differently by Valorie Burton

Another one of my all time favourite, a great read for women who want to reach out for more opportunities and increase the level of success.  The core message of the book is to imbibe seven important habits for success. One of my favourite chapters is ‘Get off the Hedonic Treadmill’ – “the process of continually adapting to improving circumstances and eventually returning to a relatively neutral point.” It is the hit and miss pursuit of happiness by the acquisition of things. It is full of nuggets for daily living and principles for outstanding success.


  1. Goddesses never age by Dr Christiane Northrup

The author shows us in her thought-provoking book that we have the ability to enjoy the journey of growing old beautifully and gracefully. She addresses the need to cut down on certain foods, improve our emotions, and embrace who we truly are. She shows us what to expect in our later years if we pay attention to developing a healthy lifestyle now.  She states that ‘agelessness is about vitality, the creative force and connecting with our divine source.


  1. The Power of Focus by Jack Canfield

I have to feature this book because it is one of the books that helped me stop trying to be the master of all trade and expert at none. It shares simple but poignant principles that we probably know but never pays attention to them.  The power of focus in needful for every woman who wants to excel and extend her borders.


There you have it, my ten recommendations to add to your library and list of books to read this year.  Reading is an art we should imbibe on a daily basis. I am encouraging my clients to take the time to read more. If we commit to reading at least one book a month and put what we learn into practice, we will surely achieve some great things. I am expectant of great things happening in your life this year –go for gold.

This blog post was first featured in Women in Leadership Magazine.

Business Blessings

Temi Koleowo

The Idea Catalyst

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