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Our recommended book list

The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates

 How Empowering Women Changes the World

A debut from Melinda Gates, a timely and necessary call to action for women’s empowerment.

“How can we summon a moment of lift for human beings – and especially for women? Because when you lift up women, you lift up humanity.”

For the last twenty years, Melinda Gates has been on a mission to find solutions for people with the most urgent needs, wherever they live. Throughout this journey, one thing has become increasingly clear to her: If you want to lift a society up, you need to stop keeping women down.

In this moving and compelling book, Melinda shares lessons she’s learned from the inspiring people she’s met during her work and travels around the world. As she writes in the introduction, “That is why I had to write this book—to share the stories of people who have given focus and urgency to my life. I want all of us to see ways we can lift women up where we live.”

Melinda’s unforgettable narrative is backed by startling data as she presents the issues that most need our attention—from child marriage to lack of access to contraceptives to gender inequity in the workplace. And, for the first time, she writes about her personal life and the road to equality in her own marriage. Throughout, she shows how there has never been more opportunity to change the world—and ourselves.

Writing with emotion, candor, and grace, she introduces us to remarkable women and shows the power of connecting with one another.

When we lift others up, they lift us up, too.

Principles by Ray Dalio

Ray Dalio, one of the world’s most successful investors and entrepreneurs, shares the unconventional principles that he’s developed, refined, and used over the past forty years to create unique results in both life and business—and which any person or organization can adopt to help achieve their goals.

In 1975, Ray Dalio founded an investment firm, Bridgewater Associates, out of his two-bedroom apartment in New York City. Forty years later, Bridgewater has made more money for its clients than any other hedge fund in history and grown into the fifth most important private company in the United States, according to Fortune magazine. Dalio himself has been named to Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Along the way, Dalio discovered a set of unique principles that have led to Bridgewater’s exceptionally effective culture, which he describes as “an idea meritocracy that strives to achieve meaningful work and meaningful relationships through radical transparency.” It is these principles, and not anything special about Dalio—who grew up an ordinary kid in a middle-class Long Island neighbourhood—that he believes are the reason behind his success.

In Principles, Dalio shares what he’s learned over the course of his remarkable career. He argues that life, management, economics, and investing can all be systemized into rules and understood like machines. The book’s hundreds of practical lessons, which are built around his cornerstones of “radical truth” and “radical transparency,” include Dalio laying out the most effective ways for individuals and organizations to make decisions, approach challenges, and build strong teams. He also describes the innovative tools the firm uses to bring an idea meritocracy to life, such as creating “baseball cards” for all employees that distill their strengths and weaknesses, and employing computerized decision-making systems to make believability-weighted decisions. While the book brims with novel ideas for organizations and institutions, Principles also offers a clear, straightforward approach to decision-making that Dalio believes anyone can apply, no matter what they’re seeking to achieve.

Lift as you Rise by Bonang Mohale

Bonang Mohale is a highly respected South African businessman, who is known as much for his patriotism and his active role in seeking to advance his country’s interests as for the leading role he has played in companies like Otis Elevators, Shell South Africa and South African Airways, among others. Developed over 30 years of business experience, his insights have motivated change in organisations and individuals alike.

As CEO of Business Leadership South Africa, he frequently shares his insights through speeches and articles on the role of business in South Africa and the core tenets of leadership. Lift As You Rise is a compilation of some of his spoken and written words in which Mohale reveals the issues he is passionate about, among them transformation, people development, constructive collaboration and integrity, and how they came to define his career and his life. He looks into the ideas behind his words and offers fresh thoughts on the subjects they cover.

This well-balanced compilation is enhanced by contributions from others he has mentored or met on his journey which underscore who Mohale the man is, a fearless and energetic leader whose compassion, humanity and eternal optimism promote hope and encourage action.

There is value in this book for leaders in all walks of life, but it is Mohale’s hope that young people specifically, those rising through the ranks, will find his insights and experience inspiring, for they are the country’s future leaders.

Standout by Dorie Clark

How to Find your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following around it. Standing out is no longer optional.

Too many people believe that if they keep their heads down and work hard, they’ll be recognized on the merits of their work. But that’s simply not true anymore. “Safe” jobs disappear daily, and the clamor of everyday life drowns out ordinary contributions. To make a name for yourself, to create true job security, and to make a difference in the world, you have to share your unique perspective and inspire others to take action. But in a noisy world where it seems everything’s been said—and shouted from the rooftops—how can your ideas stand out?

Fortunately, you don’t have to be a genius or a worldwide superstar to make an impact. Drawing on interviews with more than fifty thought leaders in fields ranging from business to genomics to urban planning, Dorie Clark shows how these masters achieved success and how anyone—with hard work—can do the same. Whether it’s learning to ask the right questions, developing and building on an expert niche, or combining disparate fields to get a new perspective, Clark outlines ways to develop the ideas that set you apart.

Of course, having a breakthrough insight is only half the battle. If you really want to share your ideas, you have to find a way to build an audience, communicate your message, and inspire others to embrace your vision. Starting small is fine; Clark provides a step-by-step guide to help you leverage your existing networks, attract new people to your cause, and, ultimately, build a community around your ideas.

Featuring vivid examples based on interviews with influencers such as Seth Godin, David Allen, and Daniel Pink, Clark shows you how to break through and ensure that your ideas get noticed. Becoming a thought leader in your company or in your profession is the ultimate career insurance. But—even more important—it’s also a chance to change the world for the better. Whatever your cause, perspective, or point of view, the world can’t afford for the best ideas to remain buried inside you. Whether it’s how to improve the educational system or how to make your company more efficient, your ideas matter. The world needs your insights, and it’s time to be bold.

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