If you want to have a more successful career, the best thing you can do is learn from the successes of others. That is why serial business founder Katerina Yip makes reading a top priority. She always keeps up to date with the latest non-fiction, especially as it relates to business, careers, and learning. She outlines a list of her top three must-read books to further your career.
The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brand Stone
The Everything Store is a bestselling non-fiction piece written by prominent American journalist Brad Stone that provides an in-depth look into the rise of Amazon.com and the ongoing success of one of the most influential entrepreneurs in the world, Jeff Bezos. Interviewing both former and current Amazon employees, Stone provides a gripping retelling of Bezos’ visionary leadership, building Amazon into what it is today.
According to Katerina Yip, “Jeff Bezos is a true innovator, with the rare ability to inspire people to achieve things that they may have previously thought impossible. The Everything Store is an fascinating glimpse into the ideology and culture behind one of the world’s most successful companies and the man that led it to prominence — warts and all. Bezos has a famous mental model he uses called the ‘regret minimization framework’ and The Everything Store provides examples of this in action, covering both Bezos’ successes and failures in a refreshingly honest look at the company.”
Good to Great by Jim Collins
Good To Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t was written by American researcher and author Jim Collins who has made a career of studying what makes great companies tick, and identifying the timeless concepts that these companies have in common. Good To Great goes through seven key characteristics in companies that made the leap from being good to great.
“I highly recommend this book for anyone looking to gain a solid foundation about the fundamentals of what makes a company truly successful,” says Katerina Yip. “It’s a short but deeply illuminating read; though some of the ‘great’ companies studied have gone on to struggle, I strongly believe that the principles Collins and his colleagues have identified still apply. One of the concepts that has stuck with me is what Collins refers to as ‘First Who, Then What’, which is the idea of first getting the right people on the bus and then figuring out where to drive it. Choosing the right people and putting them in the right roles seems so obvious in theory, but in practice it’s one of the most difficult things to do and it really takes someone truly extraordinary to first identify talent and then to figure out which roles they’ll shine in.
Grit by Angela Duckworth
Grit was written by Award Winning psychologist Angela Duckworth. Drawing from her own experiences, Grit is a powerful retelling of Duckworth’s challenging path to professional success. Having previously struggled with self-doubt, she aims to convey that talent alone does not always lead to success. Instead, it is a combination of passion and sustained persistence which she refers to as grit.
According to Katerina Yip, “Grit is extremely insightful. Duckworth identifies it as one of the most important traits that people who have obtained some measure of success have in common; more so than intelligence or talent. When read in combination with Mindset by Carol S Dweck, it really highlights the importance of having a persistent learner’s mindset as you go through life, rather than the mindset that intelligence and ability is fixed. One of the more surprising reasons why is because if you have a fixed ability mindset, failure is harder to accept and move on from because you may be operating on the basis that there is something inherently wrong with you. However, if you have a learner’s mindset, you understand that you can still grow and develop, which makes it easier to recover from failure and pick yourself back up.”