• Margaret Page

5 Books to Help You Do More, Be More, and Understand More


Self improvement books

I absolutely love self-improvement books because I’m on a lifelong quest for growth. I’ve read countless tomes about ways to better understand the world, business, and myself. These five books are some of my current favorites for sparking ideas and learning more about how people work.


The Culture Code: An Ingenious Way to Understand Why People Around the World Live and Buy As They Do by Clotaire Rapaille. This beautiful book gives an unbridled perspective on how a variety of cultures view the world — the “code” mentioned in the title. I found the author’s summaries so fascinating. When he held the mirror up to my own country, I didn’t always like what he revealed. But that’s the value of this book: It forces us to look at cultures from a different angle than what we were taught.


Lead With Luv  by Ken Blanchard and Colleen Barrett. Barrett, the former president of Southwest Airlines, explains how she transformed Southwest into one of North America’s favorite airlines: In a word, with love. I really enjoyed Barrett’s description of service leadership and how it can transform work lives.

Let the Story Do the Work  by Esther Choy. As Choy explains: People forget facts, but they never forget a good story. This book is a must for anyone who is trying to be successful in a competitive field or market, whether that’s applying for an MBA program, sales, fundraising, or beyond. It’s especially great for public speakers; use Choy’s tips and you’ll be better equipped to hold an audience’s attention.

Invested: How Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger Taught Me to Master My Mind, My Emotions, and My Money (with a Little Helpd from My Dad)  by Danielle Town and Phil Town. Danielle Town is the daughter of renowned investor Phil Town, but she didn’t naturally take to investing — in fact, for a large part of her life she found it incredibly boring. But after her high-powered job made her feel as if her life was spinning out of control, she began tackling her finances as a way to regain her power. She makes investing understandable and doable, and her advice is wise and focused on using money as a way to support your own values.

Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done  by Laura Vanderkam. I first encountered Laura Vanderkam at a conference; she was a featured speaker and I was blown away by her research and her presence. She’s so authentic and so genuine, and that comes through in this book. You’ll learn how to narrow your focus and prioritize your time so that time will stretch to accommodate everything you want to do. It’s such a common topic, but her unique perspective allows you to see time at a different angle.

What are you reading? Which books have helped you live a better life or be more successful in business? I’d love to get your recommendations in the comments below.