The Best Book Gift Ideas for Coworkers: Secret Santa Exchange 2012

Oh joy!  It’s almost time for the holidays at work. For many of us, that means a potluck lunch and the (dreaded) office secret Santa.  With your luck, you’ll end up picking the name of the new guy that you know nothing about.  Here is a list of great business and career books that are popular on Amazon and should be safe picks for the holiday gift exchange.

StrengthsFinder 2.0
Help your coworker tap into their natural talents. StrengthsFinder 2.0 is designed to help workers tap into their strengths rather than dwell on fixing their
shortcomings.  I particularly enjoyed the “50 Ideas for Action.”

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
It’s such an obvious pick that it’s almost embarassing to include it on the list.  But with 1,000 days on the Amazon Top 100, and over 15 million copies sold,  it’s guaranteed to be a safe pick for the office secret Santa.

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable
This corporate fable reads like fiction but delivers valuable nuggets of into on group behavior and critical business procedures.  With common work themes such as absence of trust, fear of conflict, and lack of commitment, every cube dweller can relate.

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
It’s an age-old question: Do we all work for the money?  According to the author of ‘Drive,’ the the  secret to high performance and satisfaction is our need to direct our own lives.  Your coworkers will enjoy the examination of autonomy, mastery, and purpose when it comes to motivation.

The $100 Startup
This book is the perfect holiday gift for the entrepreneurial coworker who is rotting away in his cubicle everyday.  Be inspired with tales from a man who has visited over 175 countries and has never held a “real” job.  According to the author you don’t need an MBA, a business plan or even employees to have a successful business.

The Lean Startup
Rather than wasting time creating elaborate business plans, The Lean Startup offers entrepreneurs – in companies of all sizes – a way to test their vision continuously, to adapt and adjust before it’s too late. Ries provides a scientific approach to creating and managing successful startups in a age when companies need to innovate more than ever.

Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard
Why is it so hard to make lasting changes in our companies, in our communities, and in our own lives? Switch shows that successful changes follow a pattern, a pattern you can use to make the changes that matter to you, whether your interest is in changing the world or changing your waistline.

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers might have little in common, but they all started with why.  Drawing on a wide range of real-life stories, the author weaves together a clear vision of what it truly takes to lead and inspire.

Extreme Productivity: Boost Your Results, Reduce Your Hours
A road-tested formula for improving your performance, from one of the business world’s most successful—and productive—executives.  Offering antidotes to a calendar full of boring meetings and a backlog of e-mails, Extreme Productivity explains how to determine your highest priorities and match them with how you actually spend your time.

The Happiness Advantage
Learn about one of the largest studies of happiness and potential at Harvard and others at companies like UBS and KPMG. Using stories and case studies from his work with thousands of Fortune 500 executives in 42 countries, the author explains how we can reprogram our brains to become more positive in order to gain a competitive edge at work.

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