Communication Skills

Best Career Books 2021 – Recommendations From Our Expert Coaches

As we approach the middle of the year, we want to take a moment to reflect on any resolutions or goals that were made for 2021. How are you tracking with them? Do you need some inspiration, motivation or guidance to get back on track?

If you, like many others, saw 2021 as an opportunity to invest in your own career and development, due to the upheaval and change Covid-19 has brought with it, or perhaps for some other reason, keep reading! We asked the expert coaches and facilitators at The Colin James Method® to provide us with their top reads and career podcasts—think of it as the ultimate 2021 careers reading/listening list. So without further ado, here are our best career books 2021.

Before we jump in though, here’s a word from the editor: In compiling this list of career development books and audio, we have taken inspiration from every decade—even as far back as the 1930’s! However, what makes this the best list of career books for 2021 is the fact that each recommendation is as relevant right now as it was when it was written. But don’t take our word for it, see for yourself.

Our team’s list of enthralling podcasts, TEDX Talks and the best career books in 2021


  1. Phosphorescence – Julia Baird (2019)
  2. How to Think Like a Roman Emperor: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius – Donald Robertson (2019)
  3. The Infinite Game – Simon Sinek (2018)
  4. High-Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way – Brendan Burchard (2017)
  5. Black Box Thinking: The Surprising Truth About Success – Matthew Syed (2015)
  6. How To Lead A Quest: A Guidebook for Pioneering Leaders – By Dr Jason Fox (2015)
  7. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less – Greg McKeown (2014)
  8. Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling – Edgar Schein (2013)
  9. Seeing The Big Picture: Business Acumen To Build Your Credibility, Career, and Company – Kevin Cope (2012)
  10. Change Your Questions, Change Your Life: 10 Powerful Tools for Life and Work – Marilee Adams (2009)
  11. Start With Why – Simon Sinek (2009)
  12. Thinking in Systems – Donella Meadows (2008)
  13. Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work and in Life One Conversation at a Time – Susan Scott (2002)
  14. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference – Malcolm Gladwell (2000)
  15. Bringing Out The Best In People: How To Apply The Astonishing Power of Positive Reinforcement – Aubrey C Daniels (1994)
  16. How To Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie (1936)


  1. Work-life Balance (TED Podcast) – Adam Grant (2018–current)


  1. Bring On The Learning Revolution – Sir Ken Robinson (TEDTalk 2010)
  2. The Magical Science of Storytelling – David JP Phillips (TEDX Stockholm) (2017)

We hope you enjoy our suggestions for the best career books 2021 list. Every single one of these titles has been chosen because of its value to professional development and effective communication.
Beyond our selection of professional development books and podcasts, if you really want to take your growth and impact to the next level, consider our executive coaching programs. Designed to unlock potential, increase performance and accelerate success for those in high pressure environments, our training will equip you for career success in 2021 and beyond.

The Colin James Method® Facilitators train corporate executives to improve their professional communication skills with a proven methodology. Our highly trained Facilitators and Coaches are recognised for their experience in their fields and have worked with many individuals and organisations around the world to master the art of communication.

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