Five books you need to read – from Nexford faculty

Nexford staff, featuring Dr Joe Cappa
20.03.2019·4 min read

Communication, adventure and personal authenticity are the themes of this must-read book list

We asked five of our top Nexford University faculty to pick their must-read book recommendations.

And some of the choices on our book list might surprise you.

There are no dusty, academic business textbooks here. Communication, adventure, personal authenticity in leadership and understanding your own truth are the common themes that run through their choices.

Read more about how understanding your authentic self can help you reach your career goals.

These are the books they selected as their favorite recommendations for Nexford learners.

If I Understood You Would I Have This Look On My Face?

By Alan Alda

Selected by: Patrick Hayes, Business Professor and Director of Course Production

How to communicate your big complex ideas is the crux of this book by actor and science communicator Alan Alda. He may be best known as an Emmy Award-winning actor, but Alda is also an active member of the science community, and has written extensively about how to communicate complicated ideas clearly. Relatability and storytelling are focal points for his advice. And if you want to understand how to lose the jargon, connect with people and communicate your work more clearly and with more empathy, there are plenty of lessons for you here.

Grit: The Power Of Passion And Perseverance

By Angela Duckworth

Selected by: Dr Joe Cappa, Business Program Director

Think success is all about genius? Angela Duckworth is here to tell you otherwise. It’s less about innate talent, and all about passion and long-term perseverance. She’s got some personal credentials in this field; the daughter of a scientist who often pointed out her apparent ‘lack of genius’, she rejected that label to become a celebrated researcher and professor. She interviewed dozens of high-achievers, from JPMorgan Chase CEO and Chairman Jamie Dimon to Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, teachers working in the toughest schools to learn about what builds success. If you’re looking for a read to fire you up and inspire you to stick at a project, this is it.

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life And In Business

By Charles Duhigg

Selected by: Dr Debbie Wilson, Assistant Business Professor

We all have habits. But why do they exist, and how can they be changed? Taking his readers into the boardroom, the global political arena and the sports field, Pulitzer Prize-winning business writer Charles Duhigg investigates the science behind habits and how they’re formed. He argues that the key to unlocking success, in business and in life, is understanding how this habit-forming process, and learning how to change them. The book spent over 60 weeks on the New York Times’ bestseller list, and if you’re looking to make major changes in your own approach, this book could be the answer.

The Pilgrimage

By Paulo Coelho

Selected by: Dr Joan Ilagan, Assistant Business Professor

This is the book that paved the way for his more famous novel, The Alchemist, and it charts Coelho’s personal pilgrimage from the south of France to Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain in search of ancient wisdom. A personal journey into spiritual self-discovery, there’s on-the-road adventure, profound philosophy and wisdom to be found between its pages. It may not be the most obvious choice as a book for business students, but it might just help you discover more about the fabric of the universe, and your personal purpose within it.

Leading With Soul: An Uncommon Journey of Spirit

By Lee G. Boleman and Terrence E. Deal

Selected by: Dr Robin Johnston, Director of Academic Innovation

Think that spirituality and business have no connection? Boleman and Deal are here to explain exactly why personal fulfillment is at the heart of great business leadership. In the wake of a global financial crisis, as the world faces existential challenges from climate change to extremist politics, business leaders with profound personal purpose and courage are more important than ever. And if you’ve got the sneaky feeling that your career should be less about the bottom line, and more about meaningful goals, you need to read this tale for our times.

This reading list was brought to you by Nexford’s faculty. Find out more about our distinguished academic team

About the Author

Nexford staff, featuring Dr Joe Cappa

Dr Joseph Cappa is applying his 10 years of teaching and administration experience at Nexford, where he works as the business program director. He takes an adaptive style to teaching by applying a variety of methods to meet the current level of each learner.

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