Business Books and Podcasts for Career Progression in 2023

Posted February 13 2023 By Mary Munoz

Audiobooks. E-books. Actual books. Podcasts. Ted Talks. YouTube tutorials. We are inundated with information as to how to get better. Better in our work lives, better in our home lives, better in our social lives … You name it, there’s an author or a speaker attached to it.

So, how do you cut through the noise and find content that is relevant to you? What books are genuinely worth the investment of your time? What podcasts will keep you company as you type away at your desk?

We asked some of our team to highlight the content that has made a difference to them over the past year – giving them inspiration for whatever lies ahead in 2023.

Hilary Roberts, CEO

We’ve had lots of good books to learn from, thanks to the HRC book club which we started for our managers in 2022. Personally speaking, I really enjoyed The Chimp Paradox by Professor Steve Peters.

It provides useful insight into how you react to situations and people and, perhaps most importantly, how you can control this. It’s very astute and useful for those looking to manage (and manage up!).

Joe McShane, CCO

Whilst I will always find time to peruse the business sections of the newspaper and websites like McKinsey, I don’t usually read business books. As a lover of classic works, I believe we can find all the “business lessons” we ever need from Shakespeare. This year, I took time to re-read Anthony & Cleopatra.

Some key takeaways from that include: assess where power really sits before you act; don’t allow romance to cloud your career judgement; realise when your time is up; and, of course, beware of asps …

Steve Anderson, Financial Controller

Two books, in particular, have stood out for me this year.

The first is Cues by Vanessa Van Edwards. This is essential reading if you want to come across as charismatic to others. It offers full tips on how to get others to trust you based on, often, subconscious cues such as your body language, your vocal inflexions and the words you use.

The second is Atomic Habits by James Clear. This book sets out how much of your life is a series of habits and beliefs. These can be shaped to be the person you want to be. It offers advice as to how to structure your life to reinforce your good habits, and start to eliminate your bad habits. It also demonstrates how willpower alone is not enough. Just telling yourself to “try harder” almost always fails – you need to structure your environment to succeed.

Kirsty Leggate, HR & Operations Business Partner

I second the recommendation for Atomic Habits by James Clear. I liked the idea of “habit stacking” – building a new habit onto an existing one. It has cheat sheets and a habit tracker that you can use to help get you started. If your new habit is convenient and easy to do, you are more likely to do it. I’m excited to apply all this learning in the year ahead.

Margaret Richmond, Director – Professional Services

I have been watching and listening to a lot of Simon Sinek via his YouTube channel.

I have also just started reading Surrounded by Idiots by Thomas Erikson. The title certainly makes people double take when I take it out to read. It focuses on the four personality types, how to work out which personality type you and your team has and how to communicate effectively between types.

Jackie MacGregor, Divisional Manager - Professional Services 

My recommendation would be Work Like A Woman by Mary Portas. Don't let the title of this put any gents off. This is a generous read from a very successful individual. It covers a lot of topics and pays particular attention as to what could be holding you back from career success. It's excellent for presenting you with a mindset shift.

There's also an accompanying podcast, with different guest speakers on every episode.

Matt Brown, Director – Healthcare & Hospitality

My recommendation is Fish by Stephen Lundin. I read this as part of a business improvement project in a previous life but it’s a book I keep coming back to.

It’s a great read and gives a different take on making a dull, monotonous task more fun. Changing your approach to your work and your environment can have a massively positive effect on your job and this book shows you how to do just that. It also offers tips on making your team more productive and enthusiastic, so it’s a great one for existing and new managers, too.

Mary Munoz, Marketing Manager

I struggle with business books as I often find them quite cheesy, but I have been listening to a few podcasts that have been very helpful.

The first of these is the Anxious Achiever podcast, hosted by Morra Aarons-Mele. Overall, it focuses on mental health and wellbeing as you work your way up the career ladder. There are episodes about good models for leadership when you are anxious and it offers up advice on topics such as setting expectations, dealing with workplace triggers and forming good habits.

The second of these is The Diary of a CEO podcast, hosted by Steven Bartlett. Steven is a marketer and social growth expert, so that piqued my interest. But it was his range of guests that kept me hooked – their stories are absolutely incredible. I particularly enjoyed the episode with Louis Theroux.

However you consume your content, we hope you find some inspiration within these recommendations.


HRC Recruitment does not receive any commission for affiliate links – these are purely for readers’ reference.

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