Unconventional graduates and interns at Aurecon
Aurecon graduates program

Top 10 must-reads for graduates from our senior leaders and CEO

Our CEO and top senior leaders have put together a recommended reading list to help you develop and become the happiest and most successful version of yourself.

The list, created for those who aspire to be unconventional and hit the ground running after university, adds to the literary classics you read during high school and university.

1. Into the Storm: Lessons in Teamwork from the Treacherous Sydney to Hobart Ocean Race by Dennis N.T. Perkins and Jillian B. Murphy

Recommended by William Cox, Chief Executive Officer

In 1998, a crew of sailors navigated their small yacht through a treacherous storm in a world-renowned sailing competition. Their victory tells a story of teamwork through cooperation, trust, planning, and execution. As a passionate sailor himself, our CEO recommends this book to all graduates and interns so they can develop the tools needed to support teams, and overcome obstacles in life and in business. 

2. Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

Recommended by Louise Adams, Chief Operating Officer

Based on the principle that good leadership is contagious, Willink and Babin show that even in a volatile world where people find themselves in complex teams relying heavily on influence rather than control, the resilient ability to put aside excuses and take ownership for all outcomes will be respected and replicated, both by those who lead you and those whom you lead. 

3. The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee

Recommended by Andrew Maher, Group Managing Principal, Eminence, Digital & Innovation

As the full impact of digital technologies is felt, Brynjolfsson and McAfee identify the best strategies for survival and offer a new path to prosperity. A fundamentally optimistic book, it alters how we think about issues of technological, societal and economic progress.

4. Oh, the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss

Recommended by Maureen Thurston, Chief Experience Officer

“You are the shaper of your own destiny. It is entirely up to you where you want to go and who you want to be.” The last book that Dr. Seuss published during his lifetime is a perfect read for anyone starting a new phase in their life. 

5. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Recommended by Liam Hayes, Chief People Officer 

Kahneman exposes the capabilities, faults and biases of fast thinking, tells us where we can and cannot trust our intuitions and explains how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking. He offers insights into how choices are made in our business and personal lives and how we can use different techniques to prevent the mental glitches that can get us into trouble.

6. The Economist – weekly magazine-format newspaper

Recommended by Stephane Asselin, Chief Executive, Asia

The Economist is a great source of information about everything in the world, business, finance, and innovations. It enables you to stay abreast of key global events. The nice thing about the publication is that it never becomes irrelevant in the sense that if you don’t have time to read it each week, there are always many articles that you can enjoy reading later. Annual special editions such as the ‘Festive Season Double Issue’ and the ‘World in 2020’ are also fantastic sources of information. I have subscribed to The Economist for 25 years!

7. Break The Ceiling Touch The Sky: Success Secrets of the World’s Most Inspirational Women by Anthony A Rose

Recommended by Stéphanie Groen, Director, Coastal & Climate Change and Advisory Lead in Asia

Female leaders are achieving great successes in engineering, business, politics and society, because they are just as passionate as their male counterparts and truly believe in making a positive difference. This book is an impressive compilation of success stories from the world’s top female leaders of large Fortune 500 organisations, who share their tips on how to negotiate the business environment and accelerate your career.

8. Liar’s Poker by Michael Lewis 

Recommended by Brad McBean, Group Managing Principal, Advisory

Michael Lewis was fresh out of Princeton and the London School of Economics when he landed a job at one of Wall Street’s premier investment firms. An entertaining read, it’s a behind-the-scenes look at a unique and turbulent time in American business, touching on greed, gluttony, and outrageous fortune.

9. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

Recommended by Aneetha de Silva, Managing Director, Government – Australia and New Zealand

You’ll find this book on many ‘must read’ lists and that’s because it has been empowering readers for over 25 years. The tips in this book are relevant for every stage of your career, are simple and easy to follow and will help you learn how to operate more effectively.

10. How We Lead Matters: Reflections on a Life of Leadership by Marilyn Carlson Nelson

Recommended by Tracey Ryan, Managing Director, New Zealand

Marilyn Carlson Nelson is one of the most successful CEOs in the world, achieving global recognition for the Carlson company and brand. This book was recommended for its real and heartfelt glimpse into the challenges Marilyn faced as a leader; and the principles, values and experiences that guided her.

If the saying ‘knowledge is power’ is true for you, then the above list will kick-start your career. Good luck on your journey!

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