30 Books that Made My Year in 2019

I am finally back from my year-end month off – a great time to sit down, recap the good and not so good things that happened last year and set the vision, goals and the tone for the year to come.

In 2019 my reading capacity was significantly influenced by organizing the Personal Branding Summit 2019, the first fully digital conference in the Czech Republic focused on strategic personal communications and personal branding. Its conception, preparation and follow-up took more than 750 hours of my time; when I wasn’t working at it I was serving existing and future customers and catching up on sleep. However, with my new policy of December and July off, at the end of the year I was finally able to sate my reading appetite. Therefore, here are the books that enriched me and opened my mind, heart and perspective in 2019.

  1. Banaji, Mahzarin, Greenwald, Anthony – The Blind Spot. Hidden Biases of Good People
  2. Holiday, Ryan – The Obstacle is the Way. The Ancient Art of Turning Adversity into Advantage
  3. Goldsmith, Marshall – Triggers. Creating Behavior that Lasts, Becoming the Person You Want to Be
  4. David, Susan – Emotional Agility. Get Unstuck, Embrace Change and Thrive in Work and Life
  5. Iyer, Pico – The Art of Stillness. Adventures in Going Nowhere
  6. Pink, Daniel – Drive. The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
  7. Ariely, Dan – Payoff. The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivation
  8. Kraemer, Henry – From Values to Action. The Four Principles of Values – Based Leadership
  9. Newport, Cal – So Good They Can’t Ignore You. Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love
  10. Schawbel, Dan – Back to Human. How Great Leaders Create Connection in the Age of Isolation
  11. Purkiss, John – Brand You. Turn Your Unique Talents Into a Winning Formula
  12. Clark, Dorie – Reinventing You. Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future 
  13. Berger, Jonah – Contagious. How to Build Word of Mouth In the Digital Age
  14. Radecki, Dan – Psychological Safety. The Key to Happy, High-Performing People and Teams
  15. Drucker, Peter – Managing Oneself
  16. Zak, Paul J. – The Moral Molecule. How Trust Works
  17. Holiday, Ryan – Stillness Is the Key
  18. Chamberlain, Claire – Self-Care. How to Live Mindfully and Look after Yourself
  19. Goleman, Daniel – Organizational Awareness. A Primer
  20. Cori, Jasmin Lee – Healing From Trauma. A Survivor’s Guide to Understanding Your Symptoms and Reclaiming Your Life
  21. Bettinger Dicken, Swerdloss, Natasha – Coming Home. Uncovering the Foundations of Psychological Well-being
  22. Jiwa, Bernadette – The Right Story. A Brief Guide to Changing the World
  23. Hyatt, Michael – Your Best Year Ever. A 5-Step Plan for Achieving Your Most Important Goals
  24. Jarvis, Paul – Company of One. Why Staying Small is the Next Big Thing in Business
  25. Jiwa, Bernadette – Marketing – A Love Story. How to Matter to Your Customers
  26. Passiak, David – Empower. How to Co-Create the Future
  27. Goleman, David, Davidson, Richard – Altered Traits. Science Reveals How Meditation Can Change Your Mind, Brain, and Body
  28. Jiwa, Bernadette – Meaningful. The Story of Ideas that Fly
  29. Segall, Ken – Think Simple. How Smart Leaders Defeat Complexity
  30. Zak, Paul – Trust Factor. The Science of Creating High-Performance Companies

Obviously, some books are more meaningful and impactful than others. Therefore, here is my TOP5 that I would recommend with an open heart to any leader interested in self-development or the developement of their teams and organizations:

  1. Zak, Paul J. – The Moral Molecule. How Trust Works
  2. Berger, Jonah – Contagious. How to Build Word of Mouth In the Digital Age
  3. Schawbel, Dan – Back to Human. How Great Leaders Create Connection in the Age of Isolation
  4. Goleman, David, Davidson, Richard – Altered Traits. Science Reveals How Meditation Can Change Your Mind, Brain, and Body
  5. Kraemer, Henry – From Values to Action. The Four Principles of Values – Based Leadership

These books are so packed with scientific insights and real-life experience that they uplifted my spirit. They also inspired me to upgrade some of my training content and come up with new products. That for me is meaningful reading – when you feel that the author sits next door and you can draw anything you need from their experience and wisdom that they so generously put at your disposal.

My TOP5 doesn’t do justice to the many other great books on the list above. Fabulous and inspiring reading were also Ryan Holiday’s, Susan David, Dorie Clark and Bernadette Jiwa’s books. In fact, as it always happens, each book touches us in a very different and personal way. In 2019 I was touched by the wisdom shared on this list. What 2020 has in the pipeline for us? I guess we will know and share this next year by this time. Till then joyful reading and all the best for 2020!

This blog post was first published on my LinkedIn Profile Account. 

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The best way to gain, retain, and restore your critical distance as a woman CEO is to have a faithful guide, thought partner, and inspiring challenger by your side. This is what I am for women CEOs. If you are facing major developments in your business or in your career this year, we should talk. Please book or have your assistant book a no-strings-attached free 30-minute CEO exploration call with me; we will get to know each other and I will be thrilled to spot how I could be of your service in 2024 and beyond.
Cristina Muntean
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Let's Talk

The best way to gain, retain, and restore your critical distance as a woman CEO is to have a faithful guide, thought partner, and inspiring challenger by your side. This is what I am for women CEOs. If you are facing major developments in your business or in your career this year, we should talk. Please book or have your assistant book a no-strings-attached free 30-minute CEO exploration call with me; we will get to know each other and I will be thrilled to spot how I could be of your service in 2024 and beyond.