About a week ago, I met with a friend for delicious Panna Cotta at Vapiano in Basel. He is in his 20s and wants to develop his career in a direction that is both fulfilling and highly profitable.

Since that’s a topic I love talking about for hours, I gave him some advice.

He asked me what he needs to do to get to the top. I told him there are 3 things to look out for and invest in.


A Career to Believe in

I told him going to the top is a fine choice. However, too many people end up at the top of the career ladder just to realize that it leans against the wrong wall.

That’s not an experience I wish for anyone so I told him to make sure he picks a path that is aligned with his values and vision, one he can truly believe in.



As the second ingredient I mentioned relationships. Without them, you won’t get to the top. Nobody ever does it alone. It’s not just about getting your career to the next level.

At some point, having relationships or not will determine how effective and therefore successful your are in your role. As a senior executive, having great relationships with your employees, peers, competitors, the board members and the CEO helps immensely to avoid unnecessary bureaucracy and actually get the job done.


Personal Development

The third thing I told him was to invest in himself.

If you are not personally developed enough to be a CEO, it’s not going to happen. Your level of personal development needs to be aligned with the level of your career, otherwise you will either not get there or fail if you accidentally get promoted into such a role.

Remember the Peter Principle?

Personal & Professional Development is what this article is about, so let me share with you my 5 favorite audiobooks for career development.

I specifically decided to list audiobooks because my friend is both lazy and efficient. He’d rather listen to a book in 7 hours while commuting or at the gym than having to make time to read it.


1. Linchpin by Seth Godin

Many of the career development topics that I talk about are inspired by Seth Godin’s Linchpin. He describes what it takes in today’s world to become an indispensable asset. He talks about leadership and change.

He talks about what it takes to be in demand in today’s world as a leader and what you can do to create relentless demand for what you have to offer.


2. The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin

I have mentioned this book several times in my blog posts. That’s because it had such a huge impact on my career and business.

Seth talks about how the industrial age has driven us to believe that we ought to follow instructions and seek out the safe and predictable path. He also talks about the importance of breaking out of that mindset and of un-brainwashing ourselves to be successful in today’s very different world.


3. Start With Why by Simon Sinek

Filled with inspiring stories about businesses, careers and other projects that have succeeded because they had an inspiring purpose and started with Why, this is an audiobook that has completely changed the way I look at the world.

Through his famous concept of the Golden Circle, Simon dives deep into why it’s important to start with Why and what the implications are if we don’t.

His audiobook is a perfect embodiment of the concept of Why.


4. Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins

This is an audiobook that has been in my shelf (maybe more accurately on my iPhone) for a while but I never really worked through it until I got stuck at the airport in New York and had to kill 4 hours without internet access.

I decided to listen to it again and this time, actually do the work. It has been a great experience, especially to identify and eliminate limiting beliefs and to define my ideal life.

One of the things I told my friend over dessert at Vapiano was that simply having the goal of becoming a senior executive is not enough. I told him he needed to know why he wanted to get there. That’s where the ideal life comes in.

We don’t just want to earn a lot of money as the end result. It’s more like a tool to achieve a much greater vision. You need to know what that vision looks like for you to actually achieve your goals.

That’s one thing Awaken the Giant Within helps you with.


5. The Power by Rhonda Byrne

There are universal laws that govern the universe. One of the major ones is the law of attraction. What we focus on is what we attract.

I have read and watched The Secret and thought it was good. It was not necessarily spectacular but it was good. The Power is a follow up to The Secret and much more detailed and inspiring.

If you enjoyed The Secret, you will love The Power.


What are your favorite audiobooks? Share it in the comments below.


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