Below you’ll find a sample of some of my top recommended resources for leading and succeeding in the multigenerational workplace, including books on leadership, business, generational differences, and the future of work. You’ll also find organizations, podcasts, and apps to support your success.
Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links.
The Multigenerational Workplace
The Remix: How to Lead and Succeed in the Multigenerational Workplace by Lindsey Pollak (2019)
Now available for pre-order!
I couldn’t be more excited to share my new book with you. The Remix contains all of my latest research and advice on how to lead a team and manage your own career in today’s unprcedented five-generation workplace.
Gen Z @ Work: How the Next Generation is Transforming the Workplace by David Stillman and Jonah Stillman (2017)
Millennials are no longer the new kids in town. Generation Z (born approximately 1997 and later) is now entering the workplace and making their mark. This generation is the most racially and ethnically diverse in American history and, it almost goes without saying, remarkably tech savvy. David Stillman and his Gen Z son Jonah unpack this new cohort in this helpful guide.
Humanity Works: Merging Technologies and People for the Workforce of the Future by Alexandra Levit (2018)
Alex and I have been friends and colleagues for many years, and I was thrilled to learn she was writing a book about how robots and AI will affect the future of work. Alex’s view is that talent and machines can work side by side, but we have to be proactive and plan to course-correct as technology advances. A must-read if you are concerned about how automation will impact your job or industry.
Not Everyone Gets a Trophy: How to Manage the Millennials by Bruce Tulgan (2016)
I would say there’s no more widespread (and I think, unfair) cliché ascribed to millennials than terming them the “trophy generation.” Not Everyone Gets a Trophy by the wise and thoughtful Bruce Tuglan gives practical advice for engaging, developing and retaining this generation, and this second edition also includes a look at the up-and-coming Gen Z.
Research & Stats
Pew Research Center
There is no organization I rely on more than Pew for data on issues, attitudes and trends related to the multigenerational workplace and many other essential topics. I like the weekly summary newsletter that provides a roundup of all new Pew Research Center content, and I am obsessed with Pew’s extensive report, “How Millennials Today Compare With Their Grandparents 50 Years Ago.”
Another essential in my daily routine is reading the YPulse newsletter, a one-stop source for strategic insight, trends and data on tweens, teens and Millennials that covers entertainment, technology, the workplace and much more. Even better, YPulse augments its cross-functional team of marketers, researchers and technologists by going straight to the source with a community of two million millennials who participate in online research panels and mobile social Q&A surveys.
If you’re looking for data on the entry-level workforce, NACE is the place. I am a long-time member of this organization and religiously read (and tweet) their research findings. I even had the honor of keynoting the NACE Annual Conference in 2016.
Becoming the Boss: New Rules for the Next Generation of Leaders by Lindsey Pollak (2014)
Written to address the unique needs of Gen Y readers, I wrote Becoming the Boss by drawing on original research, my own extensive experience and interviews with newly minted Gen Y managers and entrepreneurs around the world who share the secrets of what makes them successful leaders—and shows young professionals how to use that knowledge to rise in their own careers. You’ll find this book to be a tech-savvy success manual filled with real-world, actionable tips.
Work Rules! Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead by Laszlo Bock (2015)
“We spend more time working than doing anything else in life. It’s not right that the experience of work should be so demotivating and dehumanizing.” That’s the premise of Bock’s book that explores how to strike a balance between creativity and structure, based on his epic run leading people operations for Google.
The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels by Michael Watkins (2013)
One of my favorite takeaways from The First 90 Days that I use constantly is the notion of a “style conversation,” where you initiate a discussion at the beginning of any new work relationships to find out the best way to communicate with a new boss, client or colleague. It’s just one of many effective strategies you’ll find in the book on how to manage crucial transitions.
The One Minute Manager by Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson (1982)
When I reached out to dozens of colleagues to ask what their favorite business book was, The One Minute Manager received the most mentions. Consider this super-short book a “management for dummies” that’s really very smart.
I had the pleasure of meeting London Business School professor Dan Cable at an event where we both spoke. He is a master of combining fabulous anecdotes and scientific proof to teach people how to find true happiness and fulfillment at work.
Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity by Kim Scott (2017)
This boss talk book boils down to two simple points: You have to care personally and challenge directly to be a good boss. Managers will appreciate the simple way Scott helps you learn to create a culture of feedback and build a cohesive team to generate results you’ll all be proud of.
Inclusion: Diversity, The New Workplace & The Will To Change by Jennifer Brown (2016)
Diversity and inclusion are at the heart of today’s business success. Brown discusses why today’s increasingly diverse workforce must feel that they are welcomed, valued, respected and heard by their companies and co-workers.
The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever by Michael Bungay Stanier (2016)
Today’s employees regularly say they want to be “coached”—given the why and not just the what. The Coaching Habit introduces managers to seven key coaching questions, backed by research in neuroscience and behavioral economics, that can help you as a leader to produce excellent results.
The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age by Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha and Chris Yeh (2014)
As one of the co-founders of LinkedIn, Hoffman has instant credibility in what employees are looking for. The Alliance explores how companies can balance between the old model of guaranteed employment, which no longer works in today’s current environment, and the concept of “tours of duty.” Hoffman and his co-authors recommend you think of employees not as family or free agents, but as allies.
The founders of some of the world’s best-known companies—think Drybar, Southwest Airlines, Airbnb, Whole Foods—tell amiable host Guy Raz about their successes and stumbles along the way.
Silicon Valley investor/entrepreneur Reid Hoffman talks with business legends like Netflix’s Reed Hastings and Spanx’s Sara Blakely about how they grew their companies into massive success stories.
Career and Life Success
I was a freshman in high school in 1989, and I remember how insanely popular The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People was when it launched. It’s probably the book I’ve seen on successful business people’s bookshelves more than any other and the book I recommend most to others. Genuinely life changing
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown (2014)
My word of 2017 was “essential,” and that is at the heart of this book which explores how and why to do “the right thing, in the right way, at the right time,” rather than merely doing less or doing more in less time. You’ll learn how to apply the discipline as a way of life and a mindset.
168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam (2011)
You will think about your busy life a whole lot differently when you consider that we all have the same 168 hours in the week. Vanderkam talks to a wide range of busy, happy people who would appear to have it all—jobs, hobbies, families as well as plenty of sleep—and shares how we all can make time for the important stuff.
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth (2016)
The concept of grit is one of the hottest buzzwords of the day, and Duckworth explores how this special blend of passion and persistence, rather than talent or luck, contributes to success.
Brown has written more recent books, but to me this is the most impactful. Her exploration of Theodore Roosevelt’s words are a life-changing call to bravery: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena … and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”
Quiet by Susan Cain (2012)
Susan Cain received so much press for this book that many business schools are now talking in leadership and communication classes about introversion. Quiet teaches you what makes introverts tick and how to communicate better across personality types in general.
Getting Things Done by David Allen (2015)
Allen is a productivity guru whose tips for organization and time management are legendary. This book is so popular, especially among entrepreneurs, that it has a cult following of people who simply refer to it as GTD (and there are many blogs dedicated to Allen’s philosophies).
Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi with Tahl Raz (2005)
My all-time favorite book on networking. As you might guess from the title, Never Eat Alone is about why you need to spend more time networking. This book is about genuine relationship building and the mutual benefit that you and another person can provide each other.
Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman (1995)
When you hear people talk about EQ, this is what they are talking about. Emotional intelligence relates to your skills in dealing with and reading emotions. Goleman argues that EQ can be even more important than the cognitive skills (your IQ) that are usually cited as the reason for someone’s success or career advancement.
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie (1936)
This was one of the very first self-help books and it’s still amazingly relevant. Carnegie’s tips are simple, but spot-on, from displaying genuine interest in other people to being a good listener.
Host Michael Hyatt, a publishing executive turned “virtual success coach,” delves into the concept of intentional leadership, exploring topics such as building trust, becoming a more self-aware leader and avoiding the “busy” trap.
College Students and Early Career Professionals
Getting From College to Career: Your Essential Guide to Succeeding in the Real World by Lindsey Pollak (2012)
In this book I tackle the age-old question: How do you get a job without experience and get experience without a job? The book is packed with career advice on building the experience, skills and confidence you need before starting your first major job search.
Are the 20s just an emerging adulthood? Dr. Jay argues that this decade has been trivialized, when it actually is the time that you should use your time wisely to develop your career, relationships, personality and social networks.
Mastering Adulthood: Go Beyond Adulting to Become an Emotional Grown-Up by Dr. Lara Fielding (2019)
Whether you’re graduating from college, starting a career, trying to gain financial independence, or creating meaningful relationships—entering into the world of grownups can be more than a little overwhelming. This book can help.
Looking for your first job or ready to make a career shift? Check out this podcast where speaker Grant Baldwin has interviewed more than 140 people from all walks of life to talk about what, why and how they make their living.
Building a Speaking Business
by Elaine Pofeldt
According to the US Census Bureau, there are more one-person, million-dollar enterprises today than ever before — 33% more than in 2011. This book shares the story of many of these successful enterprises and shares helpful advice for those who want to join this enticing club.
by Jane Atkinson
Jane Atkinson is the authority on every aspect of building and running a profitable speaking business. I recommend this book to aspiring speakers more than any other.
The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss (2009)
This book changed my life by introducing me to the concept of a virtual assistant, who works remotely and eases the life of an entrepreneur by handling time-consuming tasks such as answering common e-mail requests, booking travel and scheduling meetings. This book still receives major buzz and for good reason.
The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber (1995)
This is a true classic. Gerber’s main point is an insistence on the importance for entrepreneurs of working on your business and not just in it, meaning that you as the leader need to pay more attention to the structure, processes and operations of your organization or team than to your product or service. Another game changer.
Yep, I sweat when I’m speaking. Sometimes a lot. These little adhesive underarm shields, which come in nude and black, have changed my life…and the longevity of my blazers.
Call me old fashioned, but I love a good, thick letterpress business card. I am often asked where I get mine printed, and I’m happy to recommend The Mandate Press.
If you’re going to have nice business cards, you want a nice place to put them. I love my hot pink business card holder from Mark & Graham. It’s lasted me for years and is easy to find in my tote bag. If you don’t like pink, you have 11 other colors to choose from. Note that my card holder–along with anything else monogrammable I own–is not monogrammed, because I do not have a middle name, which is something I resent that my parents did to me, which I have written about here.
If you haven’t noticed from my website, I love chartreuse. Thankfully, Poppin offers office supplies in my signature color (although they call it lime green), along with a bunch of others. Colorful office supplies just make my workdays a little more cheerful.
I feel a bit uncomfortable recommending expensive shoes, but I get asked about my speaking footwear all the time. Here is the truth: I only own two pairs of speaking shoes, both beige, one round toe and one pointy toit’se. I’ve had the same two pairs for more than five years, and once a year I get them spruced up at the cobbler. My mom once gave me the wise shopping advice that to figure out the true cost of an item, you should divide the price (which I know is outrageously high for these shoe brands) and divide that by the number of times you will wear them. If that math is correct, then these shoes now owe me money.
To know me is to know how much I love the Pocket app. I’m constantly finding articles all over the web, and Pocket allows me to save the articles to read later. Even better, the Recommendation feature adds more great content to my list.
A lot of people ask me how I have time to read a lot of business books, and the answer is I don’t always read entire books. The Blinkist app offers nonfiction books (in categories ranging from productivity to personal development to parenting) distilled to 15 minutes of reading or listening time.
Have a book, podcast, app or other resource to recommend? Please tweet it to me @lindseypollak!