Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members


The previous year brought an extremely difficult time in our lives. Uncertainties, disruptions and anxiety marked our days for the longest periods of time. But gradually we got used to the new normal and learned to survive with the pandemic. 2021 is essentially a very critical year. It poses new challenges that we must face with composure.

Critical thinking, disruptive mindset and empathy are the three most important facets of thriving in this tumultuous year. Improving soft skills has also become a priority now. Here are 5 handpicked business reads for the current times that can help you grow your team and turn challenges to opportunities. Reading list recommended by The Growth Faculty.

  1. The Disruption Mindset by Charlene Li

Lesson: An inspirational book that helps readers to accept the realities ushered by change. Ignorance only amplifies problems and the best alternative is to change the perception. When you accept change as something positive, you figure out ways to develop an undertaking by pulling people to your cause.

Charlene Li has featured in the list of Top 50 Leadership Innovator by Inc. A former student of Harvard and an entrepreneur, Li has also written the New York Times bestseller Open Leadership.

  1. Leadership in Language by David Marquet

Lesson: Share of voice is very important and must be given adequate attention. It is not easy to achieve the perfect balance of share of voice, where all participants get equal opportunities to voice their thoughts.

David Marquet’s previous book, Turn the Ship Around became a bestseller and the author is back once again with a book that features a ship with a crew. This time, however, there’s a dreadful tragedy which could have been prevented if the crew member had a different conversation.

  1. Upstream by Dan Health

Lesson: The general inclination is to ask someone to fix the problem. We want the problem solved but seldom think of it as our problem which we should fix. That attitude might be the real reason behind the persistent problems. The author thus emphasizes the need to look “upstream from the problem” to actually find a solution.

Dan Health, a New York Times bestselling author shows readers how to resolve problems even before they unfold.

  1. The Motive by Patrick Lencioni

Lesson: Leaders who evade difficult conversations might be themselves motivate by a boss/leader for the wrong reasons. Eliminating hard conversations is not a healthy solution. Good leaders must encourage and participate in difficult discussions, because opposing views and critical arguments are necessary for good leadership.

The bestselling author and popular event presenter, Patrick Lencioni examines how the motivation of being a good leader is capable of making or breaking a person.

  1. Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss

Lesson: Two primal impulses drive the behavior of humans – the desire to “feel in control” and the need to feel secure and safe. When negotiating with another party, no matter the situation, your tone should be light and encouraging and you must replicate the language used by the other party.

This author, unlike many authors used to be a field person. Voss used to be a kidnapping negotiator with FBI and now runs a business organization that offers negotiating skills to clients, including prime organizations.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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