The best books for making the impact you want in work and in life

Who am I?

I'm an author, trainer, coach, and podcaster – a description that would have shocked my much younger self. My own journey of self-development has taken me to the privileged position, through my business, of helping others on their journey to discover their own potential. The joy of seeing this emerge is fresh with every individual and group I work with, and of course my own journey of discovery continues too. Someone once said to the Dalai Lama, "When do you get to enlightenment?"…. "When I die!" came the reply. He recognised the value of being open to ideas and change… which is just some of the fabulous gifts we get from books and each other!

I wrote...

The Intention Impact Conundrum: Practical ways to achieve the impact you want

By Florence Madden,

Book cover of The Intention Impact Conundrum: Practical ways to achieve the impact you want

What is my book about?

Have you ever wondered… What it is like to be on the receiving end of you? Why don’t people see things as you do? How you can improve your relationships with others?

These questions were the starting point of my own quest – which in turn fired my passion for personal development and redefining what is possible. In my book, I blend NLP with other complementary approaches for giving and receiving feedback better, becoming aware of the power of language, and shifting our patterns of thinking to see ourselves and others in a more resourceful way. For years I resisted clients’ suggestions that I ‘write this stuff down’ ….and finally, I did! So much of our happiness and success depends on our mindset…and this book happened when I changed mine!

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Perception Projection: 9 Principles To Empower Your Team

Florence Madden Why did I love this book?

The book is summarized by the words of Socrates:

“Let him who would move the world first move himself.”

This is the first book written by another fabulous Greek my late friend Eleni Sarantinou, with whom I co-authored another book on NLP. I was privileged to review a draft of her book before publication and couldn’t wait to get a hard copy and read it all again. It is a fabulous book packed with Eleni’s practical wisdom for those who want to lead others, and themselves of course, through change to success.

Eleni brings into our conscious awareness the importance as a leader and as a person to know our impact and to recognise the limitations our perceptions may place on us. She emphasises the importance of curiosity, self-reflection, and being connected to our emotions, as well as giving and receiving feedback that feeds the soul and spurs the receiver on to be their best. 

This book will leave you thinking about your own perceptions of yourself and others and what changing these could give you.

By Eleni Sarantinou,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Perception Projection as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Are you in a position of leadership where the responsibility of a team, department or company is riding on your shoulders?

Perception Projection: 9 Principles To Empower Your Team helps you understand the underlying motivation for ALL of your actions, which in turn will unlock your power as a leader. Once you have this key, this powerful message needs to be put into action, so you will also be given strategies and tactics to turn your team, department, company into an unstoppable force for good.


• Motivate those that work for you.
• Challenge…

Book cover of Time to Think: Listening to Ignite the Human Mind

Florence Madden Why did I love this book?

I have been in love with the apparently simple wisdom of Nancy’s approach since I first read this book…and delighted to see this in action when I was privileged to attend several courses with her. Nancy is the real deal – funny, empathetic, perceptive, and respectful of the latent brilliance in others that we can bring forth through creating a ‘Thinking Environment’. She writes in a way that is straightforward and accessible – as you go through her 10 components of a Thinking Environment, (a client of mine refers to them as the 10 commandments!), you think, ‘Oh yeah, I get that!’. There is a deceptively simple truth behind each that is obvious when she points it out – and I have been privileged to see how inspiring and transformational others have found her approach when I have introduced them to it. Nancy has transformed how I work with others and the results I get as a trainer, as a coach, and as a person.

By Nancy Kline,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Time to Think as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Most people think they listen well, but they rarely do - not at this level. Listening this way is a radical act.

The power of effective listening is recognised as the essential tool of good management. In this book, Nancy Kline describes how we can achieve this, and presents a step-by-step guide that can be used in any situation.

Whether you want to have more productive meetings, solve business problems, create bold strategies, or build stronger relationships, this book offers you a new world of possibilities.

From blue chip companies developing high-powered teams to individuals seeking personal growth, a Thinking…

Book cover of Counselling for Toads: A Psychological Adventure

Florence Madden Why did I love this book?

This is a joyful book to read – a clever pastiche of Graham Greene’s Wind In the Willows it explains the principles of Transactional Analysis in a way that more ‘technical’ books on the subject can’t reach. Once again it is about awareness of how you are speaking and impacting on others and how shifting your approach can help them shift their thinking.

The ‘story’ format is hypnotic...and I love the hypnotic quality of stories that convey learning in an almost imperceptible way. The poet Seamus Heaney, Nobel Laureate, a countryman of mine summed up the power of poetry (and by implication I think) of stories, in this way:

“I can’t think of a case where poems changed the world, but what they do is change people’s understanding of what is going on in the world.”

By Robert de Board,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Counselling for Toads as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Toad', the famous character in Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows is in a very depressed state and his good friends Rat, Mole and Badger, are 'worried that he might do something silly'...
First they nursed him. Then they encouraged him. Then they told him to pull himself together... Finally, Badger could stand it no longer. That admirable animal, though long on exhortation, was short on patience.
'Now look here Toad, this can go on no longer', he said sternly. 'There is only one thing left. You must have counselling!'
Robert de Board's engaging account of Toad's experience of…

Book cover of The Inner Game of Tennis: The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance

Florence Madden Why did I love this book?

Originally written as a tennis coaching text – the wisdom of this approach transcends the world of tennis and carries an important message about how changing our thinking can release the latent potential in us whatever we are doing.

The focus is on the importance of self-talk – what our outer self is telling the inner self and in doing so chimes beautifully with what we know about our unconscious mind. We know that more than 90% of our behaviour is driven by our unconscious and it hears everything we say to ourselves – so consider the impact of critical self-talk and the potential damage to our confidence and performance.

The book is summarised in the formula: Potential minus Interference = Performance

We achieve at our best when we manage the ‘Interference’ we impose on ourselves!

By W. Timothy Gallwey,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Inner Game of Tennis as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Improve your game and discover your true potential by increasing your concentration, willpower and confidence.

Described by Billie Jean King as her 'tennis bible', Timothy Gallwey's multi-million bestseller, including an introduction from acclaimed sports psychologist Geoff Beattie, has been a phenomenon for players of all abilities since it was first published in 1972.

Instead of concentrating on how to improve your technique, it starts from the understanding that 'every game is composed of two parts, an outer game and an inner game'. The former is played against opponents on the court, but the latter is a battle within ourselves as…

Book cover of Legacy

Florence Madden Why did I love this book?

As a lifelong rugby fan, inspired by my late brother Charlie, this book was recommended to me by a course delegate. And the messages transcend the world of rugby.

There are again the recurring themes with my other choices, of respect for the contribution others… and yourself, of course. The value of giving and receiving effective feedback and that getting something ‘wrong’ is simply a springboard to making improvements.

This book has influenced by approach to training team leaders: the importance of clear goals, loyalty, courage, and that wonderful elusive blend in a leader or a team member, of confidence and humility. The enduring success at the top of World Rugby of the All Blacks is testament to what happens when it comes together.

By James Kerr,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Legacy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Champions do extra. They sweep the sheds. They follow the spearhead. They keep a blue head. They are good ancestors. In Legacy, best-selling author James Kerr goes deep into the heart of the world's most successful sporting team, the legendary All Blacks of New Zealand, to reveal 15 powerful and practical lessons for leadership and business. Legacy is a unique, inspiring handbook for leaders in all fields, and asks: What are the secrets of success - sustained success? How do you achieve world-class standards, day after day, week after week, year after year? How do you handle pressure? How do…

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Traumatization and Its Aftermath: A Systemic Approach to Understanding and Treating Trauma Disorders

By Antonieta Contreras,

Book cover of Traumatization and Its Aftermath: A Systemic Approach to Understanding and Treating Trauma Disorders

Antonieta Contreras Author Of Traumatization and Its Aftermath: A Systemic Approach to Understanding and Treating Trauma Disorders

New book alert!

Who am I?

As a trauma therapist and dedicated researcher, I love uncovering valuable insights within lesser-known books. There are hidden gems, free from the pressure of commercial success, crafted by authors deeply committed to research, understanding, and the art of writing itself. Their dedication resonates with me, as I believe in the profound value of information and the power of critical thinking. Through my own book, Traumatization and Its Aftermath, I aim to emphasize that psychological concepts often lose their depth in translation and my mission is spreading awareness and fostering a deeper understanding of trauma and its intricate facets. With that idea in mind, I chose these five titles. 

Antonieta's book list on uncovering the human experience and exploring the depths of trauma

What is my book about?

A fresh take on the difference between trauma and hardship in order to help accurately spot the difference and avoid over-generalizations.

The book integrates the latest findings in brain science, child development, psycho-social context, theory, and clinical experiences to make the case that trauma is much more than a cluster of symptoms to be tamed, but instead best understood as development gone off course, away from growth and towards (only) survival.

This book prompts a profound shift in perception, inviting to view trauma as an intricate and diverse experience, a point of view that ultimately leads to sharper treatment and, hopefully, more healing. It encourages a transition from asking, "What happened to you?" to the deeper question, "What is your relationship with what happened to you?"

Traumatization and Its Aftermath: A Systemic Approach to Understanding and Treating Trauma Disorders

By Antonieta Contreras,

What is this book about?

The book is comprehensive, bold, and practical-a much-needed resource for the assessment and treatment of trauma. Instead of the traditional focus on the overall importance of healing, Traumatization and its Aftermath decodes why some people don't heal as easily as others, analyzes the various failures of diagnosis, and explains how to make therapeutic interventions truly effective.

This book offers a systemic deep dive into traumatization that clarifies myths and misinformation about the entire spectrum of trauma and provides both clinicians and non-clinicians with the right level of validation, preventive measures, conceptualization methodology, assessment tools, and healing facts that have not…

5 book lists we think you will like!

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