The best books about success

Start 2021 on the right foot with our edit of the best books about success.

If you're starting a new venture or looking for ways to become more productive in the new year, read on for our edit of the best books about success. With behind-the-scenes insights into some of the world's biggest companies, stories of people who have made their dreams a reality and proven techniques to help you become more productive and efficient, these books will set you up for a successful year. 

How I Built This

by Guy Raz

Book cover for How I Built This

Having interviewed some of the world's most accomplished people on his podcast, Guy Raz knows a thing or two about starting a successful venture. In this new book, Raz distils everything he's learnt into a practical guide for entrepreneurs who want to make  their big ideas a reality. 

Blue Ocean Shift

by Renee Mauborgne

Book cover for Blue Ocean Shift

Essential reading for managers, business owners and entrepreneurs alike, Blue Ocean Shift offers insights and practical examples for inspiring confidence in your teams and helping your organisation to grow. In this book about leadership, professors W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne draw upon more than a decade of research to share proven techniques that will set you and your teams up for future success. 

Working Backwards

by Colin Bryar

Book cover for Working Backwards

Launched out of Jeff Besoz's garage in 1994, Amazon is now one of the biggest and most profitable companies in the world. In Working Backwards, two Amazon executives lift the lid on how the company achieved such domination, and how products including Kindle, Amazon Prime, Amazon Echo and Alexa came to be. Sharing the secrets of the company's fourteen leadership principles, meticulous hiring process and rigorous business principles, this is a must-read book for entrepreneurs.

Daily Rituals

by Mason Currey

Book cover for Daily Rituals

If there's one thing we've learnt from working from home, it's that a well-established routine is one of the keys to staying productive. In Daily Rituals, Mason Currey shares the practices of some of the world's most successful individuals. From Ernest Hemingway's 5.30am starts to Beethoven's morning brew (made every morning from precisely 60 coffee beans) you'll find inspiring ideas from more than 160 of the world's most accomplished leaders, thinkers, writers and creatives. 

The Character Edge

by Robert L. Caslen Jr.

Book cover for The Character Edge

A former superintendent of the US Army's West Point Academy and a psychologist explain why a strong character is an essential component of strong leadership. In this new book about leadership, General Caslen and Dr Matthews offer practical tools and exercises to help you strengthen your character and become a more effective manager.


by David Epstein

Book cover for Range

For years we've been told that becoming an expert in your field is the key to success. In Range, David Epstein argues that this idea is entirely wrong. After reading this groundbreaking book, you'll understand how to solve problems better, how to learn more effectively and why developing broad interests and skills, rather than siloing yourself, is the key to succeeding in a complex world. 

The Formula

by Albert-László Barabási

Book cover for The Formula

In The Formula, expert Albert-László Barabasi uses Big Data to explain the principles of success. From why persistence pays off, to why the last interviewee almost always gets the job, Barbasi shares the secrets of why some people always seem to succeed – and how you can too. 


by Chris Bailey

Book cover for Hyperfocus

In Hyperfocus, Chris Bailey offers a practical guide for how to work smarter in our distracting world. This book will teach you how to work fewer hours but achieve more, why sometimes tiredness is the key to creativity, and lots of ways to harness your attention span and be more productive with your time. 

Growth IQ

by Tiffani Bova

Book cover for Growth IQ

In Growth IQ, Salesforce's Tiffani Bova shares ten strategies for how companies big and small can achieve sustainable growth. In this book about success, Bova explains that a purpose-led culture is at the heart of the world's most successful organisations and teams, and shares practical takeaways you can apply to your business.

Just Work

by Kim Scott

Book cover for Just Work

In this new book, Kim Scott outlines the reasons why, in all companies, some employees are consistently excluded and underestimated, while others are overestimated and promoted. A practical guide for how to recognise, call out and eliminate prejudice within your business, Just Work is an essential book for leaders striving to create a fairer and more successful workplace.


by Malcolm Gladwell

Book cover for Outliers

In Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell asks: why do some people achieve so much more than others? Through studying some of the world's highest achievers – from rock stars to runners, tech-geniuses to scientists – Gladwell learns that success is just as much about where we come from as who we are. 


by Carol Dweck

Book cover for Mindset

Discover how the right mindset can help you reach your goals with this bestselling book. Drawing on decades of research, psychologist Carol Dweck shares the idea that it's not just our abilities that determine whether we achieve success, but rather the mindset we have.  

Atomic Habits

by James Clear

Book cover for Atomic Habits

Start small to achieve big things with James Clear's Atomic Habits. In his bestselling book about success, Clear explains how making tiny changes – like waking up five minutes earlier or doing two push-ups a day – can add up to life-changing outcomes.