Great Books for Personal & Professional Development

Updated: Dec 1, 2020

We know that reading is one of the fastest ways to get ahead because it helps us improve our leadership and business competencies. But finding good books can be a chore! So, to help you in your search for works on business, leadership, teamwork, culture, strategy, and more, we have The My Ascent Reading List.


If you struggle to find time to read, here's a tip: consider adding audiobooks into your daily routine. Washing dishes or cleaning the house? Great time for an audiobook. Taking the dog to the park or doing cardio in the gym? Audiobook.


Without further delay, the updated version of the My Ascent Reading List.


Culture Code – Why your company culture matters, and what you can do to establish and maintain a healthy, productive one.


Range – The Power of Perspective! Why being a generalist in a world over overly-specialized individuals is a superpower.


Can’t Hurt Me – David Goggins provides anecdotes from his own extraordinary life journey to inspire you and keep you motivated to reach even your loftiest goals.


The 4 Hour Work Week – Tim Ferris shares the tips and tricks he’s picked up creating the life that he envisioned.


The E-Myth, Revisited – A seminal work for any small business owner or aspiring entrepreneur.


The Obstacle is the Way – A good introduction to the philosophy of stoicism, and how you can incorporate its teachings into your life for more happiness and fulfillment, in addition to better leadership skills.


How to Win Friends and Influence People – One of the best-selling business books of all time, and for good reason. Learn how to be a better team member, coworker, boss, and person with the time-tested principles of this book.



Unf*ck Yourself – Get out of your own head, and start living the life you really want. Solid, sometimes hilarious, advice on discarding self-limiting beliefs.


Radical Candor – An absolute must-read for any current or aspiring leader. Learn about the elements of great communication and how to build the habits into your own life that will make you a better communicator and, by extension, a better leader and boss.


Antifragile – Nassim Taleb provides a detailed overview of his titular philosophy and how to achieve it. The narrative distinguishes it from resiliency and contrasts it with those theories, systems, and organizations that the author believes contribute to “fragility”.


Barbarians at the Gate – A riveting narrative about one of the biggest business deals of all time.


Linchpin – Seth Godin provides advice on how to make yourself indispensable.


The Courage to Be Disliked – You can’t please everyone, all the time. So as a leader, now or in the future, you need to find the courage the title calls for.






About the Author:




Matt Beckmann is the Founder & Managing Director of Ascent Consultants. In addition to experience as a former Chief of Staff to the Missouri Auditor and as a Corporate Vice President and General Counsel, he has advanced training and certifications in law, business, coaching, athletics, and other disciplines. His blog content, inspired by his deep passion for unlocking his reader's best potential, consistently equips business owners and individuals with the knowledge and resources to overcome obstacles that may be hindering growth.



Ascent Consultants provides business and project management consulting, as well as executive and leadership coaching. By converting client growth goals into an actionable "game plan," we lead companies and individuals to extraordinary outcomes.


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