The best books on maximizing your talent

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m one of the world’s leading experts on the maximization of talent, who is the author of six books on leadership and talent. I’m also a LinkedIn Top Voice in Leadership and Workplace, and one of the few people who was a guest on The O’Reilly Factor, with Bill O’Reilly, who left the show unscathed.


I wrote...

Can We Talk?: Seven Principles for Managing Difficult Conversations at Work

By Roberta Chinsky Matuson,

Book cover of Can We Talk?: Seven Principles for Managing Difficult Conversations at Work

What is my book about?

Having difficult conversations at work is a necessary discomfort. Instead of avoiding these conversations with our boss, colleagues, or direct reports, you need a strategy that won't leave you feeling like you were being talked at or ignored.

The key to solving this problem starts and ends with changing the conversation. Recognizing that it takes two people to engage in meaningful conversation, Can We Talk? outlines what each contributor needs to do to achieve the best possible result. Illustrated with scenarios from everyday work situations, the author offers guidance on how to create the right conditions for a meaningful discussion as well as defining the seven key principles (confidence, clarity, compassion, curiosity, compromise, credibility, and courage) that enable both parties to gain a deeper understanding of what the other person may be thinking and establish their point of view more clearly.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of What Got You Here Won't Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful

Roberta Chinsky Matuson Why did I love this book?

I love this book because Marshall Goldsmith doesn’t hold back. He speaks the truth. The skills and relationships that got you a particular job aren’t necessarily the same skills and relationships you need to take your career to the next level. This explains why many people find themselves stuck in a particular position. Marshall explains exactly what you need to do to advance in the corporate world of work and he does so in a way that makes it easy for readers to implement his advice.

By Marshall Goldsmith, Mark Reiter,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked What Got You Here Won't Get You There as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Your hard work is paying off. You are doing well in your field. But there is something standing between you and the next level of achievement. That something may just be one of your own annoying habits.Perhaps one small flaw - a behaviour you barely even recognise - is the only thing that's keeping you from where you want to be. It may be that the very characteristic that you believe got you where you are - like the drive to win at all costs - is what's holding you back. As this book explains, people often do well in…


Book cover of How Women Rise: Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back from Your Next Raise, Promotion, or Job

Roberta Chinsky Matuson Why did I love this book?

This book is another top pick of mine. Helgesen and Goldsmith provide advice for leaders who are ready to move forward, but are confused by what is holding them back. The book breaks down the 12 habits that hold women back (and some men) and prevents them from taking their careers to new heights. I love their direct no nonsense approach and pragmatic suggestions. A must read for women who are ready to break through and achieve greatness.

By Sally Helgesen, Marshall Goldsmith,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How Women Rise as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

_________________________________
By the bestselling author of What Got You Here Won't Get You There

Do you hesitate about putting forward ideas? Are you reluctant to claim credit for your achievements? Do you find it difficult to get the support you need from your boss or the recognition you deserve from your colleagues?

If your answer to any of these is 'Yes', How Women Rise will help get you back on track. Inspiring and practical by turns, it identifies 12 common habits that can prove an obstacle to future success and tells you how to overcome them. In the process, it…


Book cover of Leading with Noble Purpose: How to Create a Tribe of True Believers

Roberta Chinsky Matuson Why did I love this book?

All too often, managers try to motivate their employees with money and outrageous perks. If that stuff worked, these companies would have a fully engaged workforce. Leadership expert Lisa Earle McLeod tackles the employee engagement crisis by showing leaders how to put workplace meaning front and center. Lisa’s book includes plenty of examples of how to put her words into action. It’s an easy read, with a very important message.

By Lisa Earle McLeod,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Leading with Noble Purpose as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Profit doesn't drive purpose. Purpose drives profit. We made some incorrect assumptions about work and those assumptions are killing us. We allowed a narrative that is solely about earnings to replace what we know to be true about human motivation. Human beings are hardwired to seek purpose, but according to data, most people don't feel a sense of purpose in their work. Work has become a grind, an endless series of tasks that lack meaning. Building upon her bestseller Selling with Noble Purpose, leadership expert Lisa Earle McLeod tackles the employee engagement crisis by showing leaders how to put workplace…


Book cover of Power in Organizations

Roberta Chinsky Matuson Why did I love this book?

Power in Organizations changed my life. This book was required reading for me in grad school. What I learned from this book is that there is office politics in every organization and that the company I was working for had way more politics than any one person should have to handle. Upon completion of this book (and grad school), I quit my job and traveled around the world, where it took me a year to recover from the politics that was going on all around me. I wish I read this book before I entered management. I’m sure I would have been better prepared to manage the people above me, as well as my peers.

By Jeffrey Pfeffer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Power in Organizations as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book aims to synthesize current knowledge on power in organizations, and to develop a reasonably consistent theoretical perspective that can guide analysis and understanding of power phenomena. Throughout the book, hypotheses are proposed which have no empirical evidence to support them.

The perspective of this book is basically sociological. Power is seen as deriving from the division of labor that occurs as task specialization is implemented in organizations. When the overall tasks of the organization are divided into smaller parts, it is inevitable that some tasks will come to be more important than others. Those persons and those units…


Book cover of Edge: Turning Adversity Into Advantage

Roberta Chinsky Matuson Why did I love this book?

I can’t recall the last time I read a business book in less than a week’s time. Laura’s book is so well written that I didn’t want to put it down. I loved this book so much, that I made it a point to meet the author. Laura Huang shows that success is about gaining an edge: that elusive quality that gives you an upper hand and attracts attention and support. She teaches you how to find a competitive edge when the obstacles feel insurmountable. Having met Laura, I can tell you she writes exactly how she speaks. Great book. Grab a copy.

By Laura Huang,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

There's power in owning the obstacles you might face. This book shows you how to unlock it.

In an ideal world, we'd succeed based on our actual skills and performance. But in the real world, subtle perceptions and stereotypes - about appearance, race, gender, experience and more - colour others' perceptions. The result might be that your hard work isn't noticed or appreciated, your effort doesn't lead to proportional rewards and your good ideas aren't taken seriously.

But it doesn't have to be that way. As Harvard Business School Professor Laura Huang has discovered, there's a way to flip stereotypes…


You might also like...

Api's Berlin Diaries: My Quest to Understand My Grandfather's Nazi Past

By Gabrielle Robinson,

Book cover of Api's Berlin Diaries: My Quest to Understand My Grandfather's Nazi Past

Gabrielle Robinson Author Of Api's Berlin Diaries: My Quest to Understand My Grandfather's Nazi Past

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Retired english professor

Gabrielle's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Gabrielle found her grandfather’s diaries after her mother’s death, only to discover that he had been a Nazi. Born in Berlin in 1942, she and her mother fled the city in 1945, but Api, the one surviving male member of her family, stayed behind to work as a doctor in a city 90% destroyed.

Gabrielle retraces Api’s steps in the Berlin of the 21st century, torn between her love for the man who gave her the happiest years of her childhood and trying to come to terms with his Nazi membership, German guilt, and political responsibility.

Api's Berlin Diaries: My Quest to Understand My Grandfather's Nazi Past

By Gabrielle Robinson,

What is this book about?

"This is not a book I will forget any time soon."
Story Circle Book Reviews

Moving and provocative, Api's Berlin Diaries offers a personal perspective on the fall of Berlin 1945 and the far-reaching aftershocks of the Third Reich.

After her mother's death, Robinson was thrilled to find her beloved grandfather's war diaries-only to discover that he had been a Nazi.

The award-winning memoir shows Api, a doctor in Berlin, desperately trying to help the wounded in cellars without water or light. He himself was reduced to anxiety and despair, the daily diary his main refuge. As Robinson retraces Api's…


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