As the year of 2018 moves steadily forward, it is now mid July.  This means that for many it is almost time for a well deserved summer holiday going away with family and friends.  In many cases this will involve going somewhere hot, laying on a sun lounger, relaxing and enjoying reading some books.

Therefore, I would like to share some thoughts on the books I have enjoyed as some ideas.  However, before that a quick reminder on the importance of planning for vacations.  You do not want to spend your time away being stressed about what is going on, constantly responding to emails or worrying about the mess you will go back to.  Take a look at the post on “Keeping your projects on track during the summer holidays” for some practical tips.

With that important point covered, here is my list of books that you may find of interest.  They may not all be pure project focused books.  However, they do teach very good lessons that can help build and enhance the skills of all change professionals.

The One Thing – Gary Keller & Jay Papasan

The One Thing bookThis is probably one of the best principles I have learnt.  It is brilliant yet simple.

Instead of trying to complete many items at the same time and not completing any, select the piece of work, “the one thing” that will provide the maximum benefit.  With this clear in your mind focus on getting this work completed.  The theory being is that this will provide the maximum value.


The Chimp Paradox – Professor Steve Peters

The Chimp Paradox bookThis has been a best seller for many years.  It helps you to understand how your mind works and importantly, how you react in different situations.  The idea being that understanding allows us to take control of the reaction.

The chimp brain has the “flight or fight” response.  The book helps to recognise this and to be able to take control in order to choose a more appropriate response.  Think how many times a co-worker has made you angry and sent you into “fight” response when for a better long term outcome you should have set aside the reaction to want to win.

The Phoenix Project – Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, George Spatford

The Phoenix Project bookI have lost count of the times I have referenced this book.  While a fictional account, the writers clearly have a very good understanding on how IT operations and projects work.  Some great fictional case studies play out in the chapters with some very good ideas on what you can do if you face a similar situation.



The 5 Second Rule – Mel Robbins

The 5 Second Rule bookAnother simple idea that is easy to put into action.

When it comes to difficult decisions or conversations, many of us put blockers in the way to defer having to face the situation.  The problem is the more we put off a difficult situation the worse it gets.  Sometimes leading to paralysis.

The 5 second rule gives you a simple tool you can implement immediately to stop this by making you take action however difficult the situation.

The Miracle Morning – Hal Elrod

The Mirracle Morning bookThis is a great read for those who are short of time or, looking for a great way to get each and every day off to the right start.

If you search Youtube you will find many people sharing their very own miracle morning routines.



The 360 Degree Leader – John C Maxwell

The 360 Degree Leader bookI have read this many times over the years.  It explains how you can lead up, down and across even if you are not officially in a leadership role.  Great tips that you can easily implement.




The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist bookThis is an enchanting story that takes you on a journey that is full of life lessons.  I will not spoil it but it does make you think about what you are looking for and what you have to do to gain it.  Sometimes the answer is closer than you think!




Space Barons – Christian Davenport

Space BaronsIf you want to be inspired by the feats of men like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson and others, this is a great read.  It covers their drive and vision to fulfill their dreams of reaching space.

It shows what is possible if you dare to dream.




There are many more books that I have enjoyed.  However, I thought this was a good mix of some of the ones that stand out for me.

Tip: if you do not like carrying or reading a book, many of these titles are available in audio format from Audible.  This means you can lay and get comfortable on the sun lounger without having to hold pages open.  Plus a really good way to listen to books when you return from vacation and are on the daily commute as no book to juggle getting on or off public transport.

If you have a book that has inspired you in your change career, why not post in the comments below.

Have a great vacation…..

PM Majik