Career Books
Career, Branding, Leadership, Personal Growth
(Updated Regularly)

Reading career books has not always been a priority of mine, but that changed back in 2015. I set a goal to read 12 books, though not all career books, that year, and even though I only hit 10, it was a significant improvement from reading maybe 1 book a year.

Since then, I’ve read between 10 and 20 books a year, and it’s given me some fantastic insights learning a lot of things and given me ideas that have been so valuable that I’ve implemented them in my own life.

I thought a list of some of my favorite leadership- and career books could be helpful for you to gain clarity on your career path. So to help you out a bit, I’ve listed some of the best career books as well as branding, leadership, and personal growth books that have inspired me the most throughout the past couple of years. 

My All-Time Favorite Career Books

Great Work Great Career

By Stephen R Covey & Jennifer Colosimo


This career book is based on the same universal principals as in Stephen Covey’s timeless best-seller ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’, which you’ll find under leadership books.

In Great Work Great Career, Covey and Jennifer Colosimo lay out the blueprint to help you create a career where you can make the impact you desire to make.

This book will give you a proactive way of taking charge of your career. It’ll give you great advice about standing out and delivering at interviews and in the workplace.

The book will help you find a higher professional purpose, and create a contribution statement you can actively use as your career compass.

Get Stephen Covey and Jennifer Colosimo’s ‘Great Work Great Career’ here.

The Go-Giver

By Bob Burg and John David Mann


The Go-Giver is a little masterpiece on bringing value to the people around you through having a Go-Giver mindset.

Reading this book has given me a lot of great inspiration about how to network. I try to implement the five laws that the book is describing whenever I can.

The Five Laws of Stratospheric Success

Value  ⎟  Receptivity  ⎟ Influence  ⎟  Authenticity  ⎟  Compensation

Get Bob Burg and John David Mann’s ‘The Go-Giver’ here.


By Daniel Pink


In ‘Drive’ Daniel Pink talks about what it takes for us to be motivated in the workplace.

Pink talks about the three pillars of how what it takes to stay motivated over a longer period of time, and here’s a catch… Money isn’t one of them.

To me, this book was an eye-opener!

It made me take a closer look at what kind of tasks I’m motivated by and why. Now, it a lot easier to go after the kind of projects that bring the best out in me.

Get Daniel Pink’s ‘Drive’ here.

Start With Why

By Simon Sinek


In ‘Start with Why’ Simon Sinek dive into the power of communicating from the inside out.

He talks about the ‘Golden Circle’ concept. That is starting, for instance, your elevator pitch with why you do what you do. And not with what you do and how you do things.

This book can help you create a way of communicating that will resonate with people on most levels.

Once you get clear about your why you’ll begin to attract people’s attention to the things, you do powerfully.

Get Simon Sinek’s ‘Start With WHY’ here.

Find Your Why

By Simon Sinek, David Mead, and Peter Docker


This is the workbook to go along with Simon’s bestseller ‘Start With Why’.

Find Your Why is packed with exercises you can do both on your own, but it’s recommended to find someone to bring along on the journey to find your Why asking you reflective questions you otherwise wouldn’t answer.

The workbook also has an entire section designed for teams to their collective Why.

Get Find Your Why here.

Strengths Finder 2.0

By Tom Rath


This is a great little book if you have difficulty getting clarity on your skills and strengths.

Strengths Finder 2.0 is based on Gallup’s 40-year study of human strengths. All this has been summed up into 34 of the most common talents.

Along with the 34 most common talents, Strengths Finder 2.0 will give you ideas on how to take action on all of those talents so that you can put them into play in a useful way.

Get Tom Rath’s ‘Strengths Finder 2.0’ here
*With a purchase of the book, you also get free access to the Clifton Strength Finder Test.

Endless Referrals

By Bob Burg


Bob Burg is my #1 go-to guy when it comes to networking.

I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Bob a couple of times, first about The Go-Giver which he co-wrote along with John David Mann and the second time was for The Career Branding Summit talking about this GREAT book ‘Endless Referrals.’

Endless Referrals gives you the best networking tools and strategies to build authentic and valuable professional relationships. AND you don’t have to be in sales to leverage the teachings Bob delivers.

Get Endless Referrals

The Industries Of The Future

By Alec Ross


Alec Ross used to work for Hillary Clinton as her Senior Advisor for Innovation, and he has written this book about which industries he expects to flourish within the next 10 to 20 years.

Based on his travels all over the world, talking to world leaders, and seeing how industries are developing, this book gives a great insight into what to be on the lookout for next, so you can adapt and build the skills necessary to stay competitive in the future job market.

Reading this book will also serve your kid’s future.

Get The Industries of The Future

Sell With A Story

By Paul Smith


Storytelling has been around for as long as we’ve been on this plant, but it’s a skill that many of us never learn, and very few use it efficiently in their career.

In this book, Paul provides you with a storytelling model that you can use in any professional setting, not just in a sales situation but also if you do presentations for your manager, CEO or the Board. Using Paul’s method will help your message get the attention it deserves and build trust with the people you’re presenting it to.

Get Sell With a Story

Born For This

By Chris Guillebeau


In Born for This, Chris is introducing a way to finding work that intersects joy, money, and flow. In other words, Chris shares actionable steps and tools that will help you gain clarity about your career options through inspiring stories of how others have found their way to a fulfilling career based on their interests, skills, and experiences.

An inspiring read!

Get Born for This here

So Good They Can’t Ignore You

By Cal Newport


In this book, Cal Newport writes about why skills trump passion in the quest for work you love. I have to admit this book provoked me a bit and didn’t necessarily totally agree with his point of view, but I believe it’s a mix of having a passion or interest in investing in building the skills you need to get to do work you love.

Of course, you need to have the skills necessary to get to do the work you love. You won’t get there just being passionate. But, you have to have the passion for pushing through learning the skills you need to get where you want to go.

Get So Good They Can’t Ignore You

How To Win Friends And Influence People

By Dale Carnegie


This timeless classic is laying down the ground rules for being a class act human being in general.

Even though the first edition was published more than a century ago, it’s still highly relevant and gives you the perfect etiquette for networking and establishing valuable relationships with people you meet in any social and professional setting.

Get How to Win Friends and Influence People

Reinventing You

By Dorie Clark


In Reinventing You, Dorie lays out a format to help those who want to change careers and gives you a great outline of things to do to help you through the process. And Dorie knows how to that from her experience being laid off as a journalist the day after 9/11 to becoming the recognized communications and branding expert she is today.

Get Reinventing You


By Jenny Blake


The only move that matters is your next move, that’s the tag line of Jenny’s book, and isn’t it true? Every move you make matters and should count towards the career you dream of.

In her book, Jenny takes you through a process of making sure your next big career will be a successful one because you’ve tested and tried out your options before you make the defining move.

Get Pivot here

Art of Work

By Jeff Goins


In the Art of Work, Jeff talks about how to find your calling and guides you through the discovery process with inspiring stories.

If you’re feeling stuck or maybe even burned out by doing what you do, then I recommend you check out The Art of Work.

Get The Art of Work here

If you want more inspiration like this, then drop your name and best email down below, then I’ll make sure you get my best career and personal leadership tips in your inbox.

Niels Reib - Career Strategist & Mentor

Get productivity and career inspiration in your inbox.

My All-Time Favorite Branding Books

Stand Out

By Dorie Clark


Dorie Clark’s books are great and actionable.

In Stand Out, she helps you to become a thought leader in your industry focusing on how to find your breakthrough idea and then building a following and platform around it to help you stand out.

Standing out is no longer an option if you want to succeed in a noisy and competitive job market.

Get Stand Out


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Promote Yourself

By Dan Schawbel


Dan Schawbel has a story that really shows how sharing your passion, combined with your skills, can lead to amazing things.

Dan started a blog where he wrote about his passion (social media) and how companies could use that in HR…

One of his blog posts got picked up by The New York Times, who wrote an article about Dan. That led to a promotion in the company Dan already worked within. They established a new position, where he got to work with his passion.

Get Dan Schwabel’s ‘Promote Yourself’ here.

If you want more inspiration like this, then drop your name and best email down below, then I’ll make sure you get my best career and personal leadership tips in your inbox.

Niels Reib - Career Strategist & Mentor

Get productivity and career inspiration in your inbox.

My All-Time Favorite Leadership Books

7 Habits of Highly Effective People


This one might come as a surprise to find here on a list of career books. But to me, it’s a book you should consider reading if you want to grow, not only professionally but personally as well.

The timeless and universal principles this book is built around have been life-changing for me and have played a big part in getting me to where I am today.

The 7 Habits

Proactivity ⎟  Begin with the end in mind ⎟  First things first ⎟  Win-Win ⎟  First seek to understand, then to be understood ⎟  Synergy ⎟  Sharpen the saw

Get Stephen Covey’s ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ here.

If you want more inspiration like this, then drop your name and best email down below, then I’ll make sure you get my best career and personal leadership tips in your inbox.

Niels Reib - Career Strategist & Mentor

Get productivity and career inspiration in your inbox.

My All-Time Favorite Growth Books

Miracle Morning
The 6 Habits That Will Transform Your Life Before 8 AM

By Hal Elrod


For a long time, I’ve wanted to put together a morning routine, and I recently picked up Hal Elrod’s ‘Miracle Morning’ to find out if Hal’s morning habits could help me do that.

It has. I read the very actionable book in 3 days. I started implementing the 6 habits covered, and putting together the routine has had a powerful effect on my overall productivity and well-being.

Starting your day on purpose and with intent launches your day on your terms giving you time to do things that otherwise easily get neglected in our busy lives.

Get The Miracle Morning

The 5 AM Club
Own Your Morning. Elevate Your Life

By Robin Sharma


I love how Robin Sharma shares his great insights through storytelling.

Reading ‘The 5 AM Club’ reminded me of another great business parable, ‘The Go-Giver’, as you’ll find on the list as well.

The 5 Am Club is full of golden nuggets that will help you start your days on purpose and with mastery in mind.

Get The 5 AM Club

Motivation Manifesto

By Brendon Burchard


This New York Times Bestseller is a masterpiece that will help you take your power and motivation back.

The nine declarations Brendon covers in the book are timeless, and if implemented, they will have an impact not just on yourself but the people around you as well.

If you’re ready to meet life with full presence and power, reclaiming your agenda, defeating your demons, practice joy and gratitude, amplifying love, and inspire greatness, then this book is for you.

Get Motivation Manifesto

The Book Of Joy

By Dalia Lama, Desmund Tuto, And Douglas Abrams



So profound. Full of wisdom. And with so much compassion floating from the pages of this heartwarming book. It’s written based on a five-day meeting between The Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

When I read it, I couldn’t help but smile and picture those two men as they sat there during their meeting, teasing and praising each other.

A book I’ll turn back to, just to make sure I didn’t miss some of the great wisdom and lessons included in the book.

Get The Book of Joy

High-Performance Habits

By Brendon Burchard 


In High-Performance Habits, Brendon guides you through the six habits he has found to be the defining habits that highly successful people have in common.

Based on his extensive research, Brendon gives you get the necessary tools to become an extraordinary high performing professional through gaining laser-focused clarity, knowing exactly what actions to take, having the energy, and mental margin to achieve what you go after.

High-Performance Habits

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

By Angela Duckworth


I can vouch for what Angela writes about in her book, Grit.

When you’re passionate about what you do, it unleashes the superpower of perseverance, and it’ll be hard if not impossible to get you off course in pursuit of reaching what you set your mind to achieving.

In her book, Angela backs this with extensive research that shows why passion and resilience are the secrets to success.

Get Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance here.

If you want more inspiration like this, then drop your name and best email down below, then I’ll make sure you get my best career and personal leadership tips in your inbox.

Niels Reib - Career Strategist & Mentor

Get productivity and career inspiration in your inbox.


Get productivity and career inspiration in your inbox starting today.

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