We hope you love the books people recommend! Just so you know, The CEO Library may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page.
This book has 9 recommendations
Reid Hoffman (CEO/Linkedin)Entrepreneurial professionals must develop a competitive advantage by building valuable skills. This book offers advice based on research and reality--not meaningless platitudes-- on how to invest in yourself in order to stand out from the crowd. An important guide to starting up a remarkable career.
Kevin Kelly (Co-Founder/Wired Magazine)This book changed my mind. It has moved me from 'find your passion, so that you can be useful' to 'be useful so that you can find your passion.' That is a big flip, but it's more honest, and that is why I am giving each of my three young adult children a copy of this unorthodox guide.
Derek Sivers (Founder/CDBaby)First book in years I read twice, to make sure I got it. Brilliant counter-intuitive career insights. Powerful new ideas that have already changed the way I think of my own career, and the advice I give others
Seth Godin (Author & Entrepreneur)Stop worrying about what you feel like doing (and what the world owes you) and instead, start creating something meaningful and then give it to the world. Cal really delivers with this one.
Daniel Pink (Author)Do what you love and the money will follow' sounds like great advice -- until it's time to get a job and disillusionment quickly sets in. Cal Newport ably demonstrates how the quest for 'passion' can corrode job satisfaction. If all he accomplished with this book was to turn conventional wisdom on its head, that would be interesting enough. But he goes further -- offering advice and examples that will help you bypass the disillusionment and get right to work building skills that matter.
Leah Lizarondo (Co-Founder/412 Food Rescue)Not sure about my career path specifically but truly to understand your own personal power--sure, read the success doctrine books to inspire you. But one book I give to people to balance out all those is So Good They Can't Ignore You by Cal Newport. The subtitle says it all "Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love" I think what is lost in many success books is the utter honesty that to be good at something, you really have to invest time and effort. The universe will not conspire in your favor unless you do so. You can't magically conjure up work that you love. Passion gets you to a certain place, then it's just old fashioned "work" that moves you forward. This is also a great book for entrepreneurs who have found their "passion" but there are days when you need more than that passion to keep going.
Pedro Cortés (Independent Designer)To get a good a fulfilling career I believe you need to balance money with your mindset and personal life and for those, I would again recommend the 4hww (to question the 9-5 life), F.U Money (to turn your beliefs about money into good ones), Ego is the enemy (to keep the ego in check), So good they can't ignore you (to adopt the mindset of a craftsman and mastery instead of passion) and Predictably Irrational to be aware of the irrational things you and other people can do so you can adapt to them instead of living your entire life being blinded by them.
Todd Henry (Founder of Accidental Creative)The best book I’ve read on career planning and management.
Anant Jain (Co-Founder/CommonLounge)Don’t follow your passion. Follow whatever you’re so good at that they can’t ignore you — this is the premise of Cal Newport’s book “So Good They Can’t Ignore You”, and I highly recommend reading this one as well. As Dr. Newport (who is not only an excellent author but also a Computer Science professor at Georgetown University) says, being satisfied with work is connected to passion, which in turn is related to intrinsic motivation. Three essential components of intrinsic motivation are autonomy, competence, and relatedness. You should feel you have some sense of control over your time, that you’re good at what you do, and finally, you should be able to relate to others in the process.
In this eye-opening account, Cal Newport debunks the long-held belief that "follow your passion" is good advice. Not only is the cliché flawed-preexisting passions are rare and have little to do with how most people end up loving their work-but it can also be dangerous, leading to anxiety and chronic job hopping.
After making his case against passion, Newport sets out on a quest to discover the reality of how people end up loving what they do. Spending time with organic farmers, venture capitalists, screenwriters, freelance computer programmers, and others who admitted to deriving great satisfaction from their work, Newport uncovers the strategies they used and the pitfalls they avoided in developing their compelling careers.
Matching your job to a preexisting passion does not matter, he reveals. Passion comes after you put in the hard work to become excellent at something valuable, not before. In other words, what you do for a living is much less important than how you do it.
With a title taken from the comedian Steve Martin, who once said his advice for aspiring entertainers was to "be so good they can't ignore you," Cal Newport's clearly written manifesto is mandatory reading for anyone fretting about what to do with their life, or frustrated by their current job situation and eager to find a fresh new way to take control of their livelihood. He provides an evidence-based blueprint for creating work you love.
SO GOOD THEY CAN'T IGNORE YOU will change the way we think about our careers, happiness, and the crafting of a remarkable life.
See more books written by: Cal Newport
- So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love [editorial reviews]
- Leah Lizarondo, Food Waste Fighter, Talks About the Pleasures of Reading Fiction
- Independent Designer Pedro Cortés Talks about Books that Teach & Inspire
- Todd Henry, Founder of Accidental Creative & Author, on Books that Changed His Mindset
- Book-Talk with Anant Jain, Co-Founder of CommonLounge: Common Entrepreneurial Mistakes & Reading Habits