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Coaching / Development Human Performance Leadership & Culture Motivation Performance | 20.03.17

Leaders Reading List

Adam Alter, The acclaimed Author of Drunk Tank Pink shares some of his favourite books in the performance space.

The acclaimed Author of Drunk Tank Pink shares some of his favourite books in the performance space. Topics on the agenda include human irrationality, addiction, the use of analytics, and the strength of the human spirit.


The Antidote: Oliver Burkeman

“Hundreds of writers focus on human psychology, but Burkeman is among the best. He writes a regular column for the Guardian about human irrationality, and The Antidote is like an extended column that picks apart our culture’s obsession with positive thinking. We can be happy, Burkeman argues, but not by merely ‘thinking positive.’”


Addiction by Design: Natasha Dow Schüll

“Schüll spent more than a decade researching gambling addiction, and this book is the result. It’s a meticulous and devastating critique of the people who design casinos and slot machines—who foster our addictions by design—and it also explains why so many of us are addicted to our phones, games, and other forms of technology.”


Salt, Sugar, Fat: Michael Moss

“This is an excellent companion to Schüll’s book, focusing instead on how the packaged food industry designs its products to be maximally addictive with—you guessed it—a deadly combination of salt, sugar, and fat. The way we eat shapes how we perform at work, at play, and on the sports field, and I learned more about food from this book than I have from any other source.”


Soccernomics: Simon Kuper & Stefan Szymanski

“This is one of my favourite books in the data-analysisin- sports genre. It argues, among other things, that Australia will soon dominate world football (as an Australian, I approve), but, apart from its fascinating content, it shows why you should analyse sports performance—and test your intuitions—with data rather than relying on expertise and theory.”


No Shortcuts to the Top: Ed Viesturs with David Roberts

“I’ve read countless sports memoirs, but the intensity of mountaineering and Viesturs’ stoic recollection of ‘climbing the world’s fourteen highest peaks’ elevate this one above the pack. It’s hard to think of another book that combines tragedy, victory, inspiration, and integrity while deftly educating the reader in the subtleties of a new sporting domain.”


Check out more reading lists:

Dr. Andy Walshe, Director of High Performance, Red Bull

Matthew Syed, Author, Black Box Thinking

RC Buford, General Manager, San Antonio Spurs

Adam Grant, Professor of Management and Psychology, The Wharton Business School

Alastair Clarkson, Head Coach, Hawthorn FC