The country feels split in two at the moment. No, I’m not talking about Brexit. There are those people who think the heatwave has outstayed its welcome and those who never want it to end. Whichever side of this raging debate that you fall down on, your best bet is to just pull up chair in the shade and tuck into a summer read or two.

For inspiration, here are some personal recommendations:

Dream Teams by Shane Snow

There have been countless books written about what makes an effective team – but none quite like ‘Dream Teams’, which dabbles in history, neuroscience, psychology and business to explore why some teams soar while others sink.

Snow uses examples from sport, music and law enforcement in his ‘evidence’, which makes the book both extremely relatable and enjoyable. It really is a book that every leader should read. As one reviewer put it, “Just when you think you’ve read it all, this book comes along.”

Principles by Ray Dalio

Founder of US$160 billion investment firm Bridgewater Associates, Dalio is known for his unconventional principles, which he believes are the main reason behind his success. In this book, he reveals some of those principles in all their glory, including the controversial philosophy of “radical truth” and “radical transparency”.

Having now taken a step back from the business, his focus is on ensuring his philosophy remains in his absence. After reading this book, I’ve no doubt he’ll do it. I was even tempted to start recording and archiving all my meetings by the end of it.

Applied Empathy by Michael Ventura

Anybody that’s worked with me will know that I pride myself on my empathetic approach. So, when I stumbled across ‘Applied Empathy’, a purchase was never in doubt. I’m a firm believer that anyone can benefit from being able to see the world from other people’s perspectives.

Ventura’s book, derived from a course he taught at Princeton University, teaches readers about the power of thinking and designing from a place of empathy.

As the blurb puts it, “Empathy is not about being nice. It’s not about pity or sympathy either. It’s about understanding – your consumers, your colleagues, and yourself – and it’s a direct path to powerful leadership.”

Off the Clock by Laura Vanderkam

As a business leader, a lack of time can pretty much put an end to everything, if you let it: business growth, holidays, and even happiness.

Vanderkam tells us it doesn’t have to be this way by revealing the seven counterintuitive principles the most time-free people have adopted.

Want to know what it feels like to be in control of your time again? Get this book.

Please share your book recommendations with me on LinkedIn.