Holiday Gift Guide: Readers Edition

It’s the festive season! Everywhere we look these days are signs the holidays are upon us. Gift buying for loved ones, friends, employees and colleagues can be challenging so we wanted to do our part and recommend some of our favourite books that will delight the HR professionals, business leaders or inquiring minds on your list. Books make great gifts as they are easy to wrap, don’t require batteries and there’s no assembly required.

Below are our staff’s picks for best reads of 2018.


Title: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking
Author: Susan Cain

Recommended For: Introverts, Extroverts & Ambiverts Alike! Leaders especially take note!

Recommended Because: I found this book incredibly helpful on a personal level and as a resource to help my clients. Personally, as an introvert who is continually called on to behave like an extrovert, I found such strength in the science within this book. As a contributor at my workplace I find myself often pulled to quiet corners but as a leader I'm expected to be present. This book personally resonated with me so much that I find it very easy to incorporate into the discussions I have with clients about how to create respectful and healthy workplaces for all employees. 

Buy it: 

Ted Talk:


Title: Local Dollars, Local Sense: How to Move Your Money from Wall Street to Main Street
Author: Michael Shuman

Recommended For: Anyone interested in bettering their local economies through common sense (or should I say “cents”!)

Recommended Because: I am very passionate about community economic development, and after having taken a course with Michael Shuman, I became fascinated with his philosophy. He takes big themes and brings them down to earth so you can affect change in accessible ways. You don’t need to be the mayor to start shopping locally or thinking about how your actions can keep local dollars, local. The best part about this book is that it gets the wheels turning. See where it takes you!

Buy it:


Title: Tribe of Mentors
Author: Timothy Ferriss

Recommended For: Anyone seeking assistance with finding inspiration and self reflection.

Recommended Because: This book provides a wealth of perspectives from successful and influential individuals on questions we should often be asking ourselves.

Buy it:


Title: The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't 
Author: Robert I. Sutton

Recommended For: Business Owners, Leaders, HR Professionals and individuals who make hiring decisions

Recommended Because: This book illustrates the importance of teamwork and how much an "a-hole" in your organization costs your culture, reputation, organizational effectiveness and even the bottom line. Sutton's argument is laid out in no-nonsense terms: a-holes cost money, demoralize staff and turn off customers. Research shows, Sutton writes, that companies cannot afford even top performers who are a-holes because the actual cost must be viewed in terms of what it costs the company in turnover, lost sales and lost productivity in the remaining staff who are forced to spend a lot of time avoiding or protecting themselves from a-holes. Hire character. Train skills. 

Buy it:


Title: Lean in
Author: Sheryl Sandberg

Recommended For: All, and more specifically women to "take a seat at the table" and the push to lead

Recommended Because: It was an innovative yet practical look at overcoming boundaries in the workplace combined with humor and personal business and life wisdom. From big picture examples, Sheryl provides real life strategies for professional achievement and excellence. *I would also recommend her next book "Option B" as it is an updated version of guide to life after the sudden passing of her husband. This book is less about business and more about navigating it all in a life that was unplanned, option B.

Buy it:

Title: Human Resource Management in Canada
Author: Gary Dessler and Nina Cole

Recommended For: HR professionals &/or inquiring minds

Recommended Because: After working in HR for 6 years, I took the HR Management course at SFU and this book (combined with the education) brought it back to the basics. We can get so wrapped up in our role and organization that it is important to remember the fundamentals. The most recent version of this book is an excellent HR guide for helping organizations excel within their people management. 

Link to Buy:

(This is the 13th edition vs the 11th that I can speak to. The most updated version was written by Gary Dessler and Nita Chhinzer).