Marek Struszczyk

Co-Founder ManagerUp


As a manager, one of your primary tasks is to inspire your employees to believe in themselves so that they, as well as your organization, can reach their full potential.

It is impossible to inspire others, however, if you do not believe and have confidence in yourself.

Even the strongest leader, no matter how competent, can be plagued by momentary bouts of self-doubt and low self-esteem as they ponder critical decisions affecting their personal career as well as their organizations and employees.

Fortunately, the subject of confidence and self-esteem has been widely researched and written about by leaders from a variety of different fields.

The following are our favorite books on confidence and self-esteem from a wide range of experts that we believe will help empower you to take your career and business to the next level.

1. Managing the Mental Game: How to Think More Effectively, Navigate Uncertainty, and Build Mental Fortitude

By Jeff Boss.

Books on Confidence

Boss, a former Navy SEAL, has compiled mental exercises specifically designed to enhance self-belief and mental toughness to enable you to reach your full potential.

He outlines essential tools for controlling inner thoughts that make it easier to cut through negativity, noise, and chaos, remain focused on the positives, and to execute your personal goals.

In addition to providing advice on avoiding common mental traps that can lead to self-doubt, Boss offers a series of lessons and best practices for building mental fortitude and navigating the inevitable moments of chaos.

2. StrengthsFinder 2.0

By Tom Rath.

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This reference guide offers a self-assessment to help you identify and maximize your personal strengths.

Rath, a best-selling author, filmmaker, and a student and researcher of human behavior, developed the StrengthsFinder assessment in conjunction with Gallup.

The theory behind the assessment is that we are more successful when we focus on developing our unique strengths and talents instead of devoting our energy to correcting our weaknesses.

Along with the assessment, this latest edition of the book also offers action plans and strategies for applying and building upon your strengths.

3. Discover Your True North: Becoming an Authentic Leader

By Bill George.

In one of the seminal books on confidence, Bill George has compiled interviews from 173 leaders from around the world representing all areas of business that will help you find your leadership purpose and chart a personal path to success.

George has served as CEO of Medtronic, authored six best-selling books, and is currently a Senior Fellow at Harvard Business School.

Discover Your True North has been one of the must-read books on confidence since it was first published in 2007.

George shares his personal stories along with case studies from such global leaders as Michael Bloomberg, Warren Buffett, and Arianna Huffington to show how discovering your leadership purpose will help you pave the way to success.

4. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

By Susan Jeffers.

Books on Confidence

Jeffers, a noted workshop leader, internationally renowned author and media personality, offers practical advice on conquering fear and self-doubt that can serve as roadblocks to personal and professional success.

She explores how our inner fears of risk, rejection, and failure keep us from realizing personal and professional success and how our focus should be on making a decision with boldness and confidence instead of worrying about whether the decision is right or wrong.

5. Step Up: Confidence, Success, and Your Stellar Career in 10 Minute a Day

By Phanella Mayall Fine and Alice Olins.

Step Up is somewhat different from the other books on confidence on our list in that it was written by women for women who are looking to change their career trajectory, start their own business, or simply make themselves heard in the workplace.

Fine and Olin use their experience as executives and personal development coaches to create short career-building exercises in such areas as networking and harnessing the influence of others.

They offer advice to women who may be struggling with making their voices heard in the workplace or who want to advance their careers more quickly without compromising other aspects of their life.

6. The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance—What Women Should Know

By Katty Kay and Claire Shipman.

Noted journalists Kay and Shipman share advice from successful women from the fields of media, politics, and business.

The Confidence Code is a practical guide to understanding the importance of confidence at work.

While it may seem like an easy to understand quality, this book gets into how women of all ages and career stages can achieve it.

The authors provide food for thought on topics such as why women apologize more, why humility is more worn by women, and more, and combine research in genetics, gender, behaviors, and cognitions with their own experiences and those of other successful women.

7. The Little Book of Confidence

By Susan Jeffers.

In her second book to make our list of favorite books on confidence, Jeffers offers practical advice and affirmations designed to turn fear into a source of confidence and energy.

She explores such themes as developing self-awareness of our fears, affirming the positives in life, and learning to say “yes” instead of worrying about the potential outcomes of our decisions.

8. Mindset: How You Can Fulfil Your Potential

By Carol Dweck.

Carol Dweck explores how your state of mind may play more of a role in your success than your particular skills.

Dweck is a Stanford University psychologist and a leading researcher in the fields of developmental and social psychology and personality.

In Mindset, Dweck explains why our abilities and talents are not enough to bring about success. Instead, the key is fostering a growth mindset that will motivate us to push toward our personal and professional goals.

9. Black Box Thinking: Marginal Gains and the Secrets of High Performance

By Matthew Syed.

The author explores how you can use business failures as stepping-stones to success.

While we all know that it is important to learn from our mistakes and failures, we rarely approach these instances in an analytical manner that can turn them into a tool for success.

Matthew Syed, a best-selling author, award-willing journalist, and public speaker based in London, advocates using an approach similar to that employed by the aviation industry following a plane crash to identify the root cause of a failure so that policies and procedures can be implemented to prevent the same mistake from happening again.

10. The Power of Self-Confidence: Become Unstoppable, Irresistible, and Unafraid in Every Area of Your Life

By Brian Tracy.

Brian Tracy has penned more than 50 books on confidence that have been translated into 38 languages and has conducted personal development and leadership seminars around the world.

Tracy offers a systematic guide and daily mental exercises designed to get you thinking like a top performer and willing to step out of your comfort zone so that fear will no longer stand in the way of your success or productivity.

If you would like to read more about leadership and motivation specially for executives and entrepreneurs, be sure to check out our exclusive Books on motivation and confidence.

Books on Confidence

We would love to hear about your favorite books on confidence. Leave us a comment below.

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