Books topic


Hidden Potential by Adam Grant

Adam Grant
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Charlie Unwin is a former Army Officer & GB Champion for Pentathlon. He has worked since then as a Performance Psychologist for a host of elite athletes and teams, in sport, business and the military as well as working with us at Metris whenever the opportunity arises.

This book is a brilliant distillation of all of his insights and experiences delivered through a range of anecdotes and stories. He turns theory into practice in plain English that anyone interested in their personal performance and potential can apply.

Inside Out: Train your mind and your nerve like a champion

Charlie Unwin
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Sports and performance psychologist Bill Beswick shares 20-lessons, illustrated with a fund of stories and anecdotes on the themes of mindset and performance. Designed with a view to practical advice that any motivated individual can apply to their own goals.

Changing Your Story

Bill Beswick
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Katy Milkman is a behavioral Scientist, Wharton Professor, and Co-Director of the Behavior Change for Good Initiative. This book looks at the major barriers to behavior change and what strategies can be used to overcome them. Applied research at its best.

How to Change

Katie Milkman
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Patti Niemi’s autobiographical story of her journey to become a professional orchestral percussionist. It provides a powerful insight into a world of obsessive relentless practice, competitive auditions and the impacts of pressure on performance.

Sticking it Out

Patti Niemi
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Jane McGonigal is a game designer and psychologist whose  research focuses on how the positive characteristics of gameplay, such as focus, determination, resilience and persistence can be applied to real life challenges.  The book describes both the research science and the game methodolgy ‘SuperBetter‘, which is designed to help participants maximize their personal potential by applying the psychology and mindset of gameplay to real life challenges.

Super Better

Jane McGonigal
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Beloved by a host of NFL coaches and players, the book looks at how the philosophy of stoic thinkers such as Seneca and the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius is as relevant today as it ever was, where philosophy has its original meaning of being a guide to life.  Stoicism focuses on what is within your power to change – for example your attitude and your approach to circumstance, accepting it for what it is neither good or bad.  This book is a great read for anyone interested in resilience and the development of character, through stress and adversity.

The Obstacle is the Way

Ryan Holiday
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Author and journalist Jonah Lehrer is a contributing editor to Wired magazine.  This book is a 101 of both the neuroscience and  psychology of how we make decisions.  It explores the constant biological tension between our emotional impulses – driven by the limbic system and the neurotransmitter dopamine which are broadly responsible for most of our decision-making and our ability to rationalize and control our emotional instincts.  The book explores how by understanding our own biology and the impact our blood chemistry has on our behaviour we can learn to make better, more self-aware decisions.  Excellent primer for anyone wishing to understand how biology influences decision-making.

How We Decide

Jonah Lehrer
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Colin Robertson is a researcher and writer on performance psychology.  This book is about willpower and the role it plays in helping us to achieve our goals.  Using examples from Motzart to J K Rowling the author looks at the science of willpower and how it can be developed and harnessed to improve personal performance.

The Will of Heroes

Colin Robertson
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Hendrie Weisiger is a noted psychologist and his co-author JP Pawliw-Fry who works at the Institute for Health and Human potential are both research experts in the field of performance psychology. Based on a wealth of research and the authors own studies the book first examines the nature of pressure and what actually happens to us in a biological and psychological sense when we try to perform under pressure.  The second part of the book before looks at practical coping strategies and how to apply them in order to better resist the impact of stress.  Excellent for any interested in the science oof why we struggle to perform under pressure and what we can do to improve.

How to Perform Under Pressure

Hendrie Weisinger & J.P Pawliw-Fry
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Stan Beecham is an American sports psychologist with decades of hands on experience working with professional sports men and women in a multitude of sports.  This is a well written quick and comprehensible read that gives both an insight into how our beliefs inhibit our potential and performance but how we can address our thought process in order to unlock our potential.

Elite Minds

Dr Stan Beecham
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Dave Alred is a performance coach and pioneering performance psychologist famous for his work with the England Rugby World Cup winning team and with Jonny Wilkinson in particular.  This book is the story of his experience working with elite sportsmen in a wide variety of sports and examines what it takes to develop the mindset to continue to perform even under the most extreme pressure.

The Pressure Principle

Dr Dave Alred MBE
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Ericcson is a Swedish research psychologist internationally renowned for his work exploring expertice and human performance.  This work is a laymans synopsis focused primarily on the idea of ‘deliberate practice’ – specifically defined in the book and in Ericcson’s research the secret to all expertise (& the source from which Malcom Gladwell popularized the myth of 10,000 hours).


Anders Ericcson & Robert Pool
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The contention of this book is that the greatest obstacle and adversary to our success is our own Ego.  The book explores what ego is and the damage it causes us with a host of historical and contemporary anecdotes.  The aim of the book is to help us replace ego with humility and true self-confidence.  Valuable to anyone seeking success.

Ego is the Enemy

Ryan Holiday
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A professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Angela Duckworths’s research is in many respects a synthesis of earlier studies on mental toughness, passion and perseverance. Popular and influential particularly among education professionals this is a summary of her research findings looking at what marks out high achievers special.

Grit – The Power of Passion & Perseverance

Angela Duckworth
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A thorough, well written and researched examination of the impact of fear and how to cope with it.  Using a host of examples from sport the military & medicine Clark takes the reader through the status of current research and examines how it applies to anyone who wants to get better at performing under pressure.  Its not about dispelling fear but learning to ride the beast.

Nerve: Poise Under Pressure

Taylor Clark
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Eric Barker is a blogger and researcher into the science of what it takes to be successful.  The book is packed with stories and anecdotes organized as a challenge to much perceived wisdom on success.  An easy read in a conversational and engaging style that has plenty of thought provoking material.

Barking Up the Wrong Tree

Eric Barker
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This is a book of applied psychology that seeks to take decades of research into motivation and organizational culture and distill it into language and a set of principles that are easily understood and applied.  Its a comprehensive distillation of ideas into a unified system the authors refer to as Total Motivation.  The authors are both former consultants at McKinsey & Company and their belief is that why we work in large part is going to determine how well we work.

Primed to Perform

Neel Doshi & Lindsay McGregor
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Psychiatrist, philosopher and writer, Dr Neel Burton explores the meaning and consequence of emotion.  At the heart of all our behaviour and decision making emotion is a fundamental part of who and what we are and yet our self-awareness and comprehension of our own emotions is often woefully ignorant.  This book sets out to provide an in depth audit of our emotional landscape.  Invaluable primer for anyone who realizes the values of self-awareness.

Heaven & Hell – The Psychology of The Emotions

Dr Neel Burton
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Academic, author and practitioner, Damian Hughes has a wealth of hands on experience.  This book is a distillation of his experience working with and observing sports teams and coaches.  Plenty of anecdotes and take-aways this is a useful field guide to the practical business of leading coaching and developing others.

The Winning Mindset

Prof Damian Hughes
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Psychologists Dr Emma Barrett and Dr Paul Martin explore the psychology of what it takes to cope and perform in extreme environments.  Using a wealth of research and examples they look at those who play and preform in extremes of all types from astronauts in space to polar explores and extreme climbers.


Emma Barrett & Paul Martin
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Daniel Nettle is a Professor of Behavioural Science and Co-Director of the Centre for Behaviour & Evolution at Newcastle University.  This books provides the current reality of our understanding and research on personality, without the cod science of popular psychometrics. If you want a solid foundation for understanding personality, its evolution and consequence this is a great place to begin.


Daniel Nettle
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Brad Stulberg, is a former McKinsey and Company consultant who now writes on health and the science of human performance. Steve Magness, is a performance scientist and coach of Olympic athletes.  The book is an exploration of recent research on how to apply the principles of peak performance well illustrated with examples and anecdotes.  Interested in personal performance? Then this book is for you.

Peak Performance

Brad Stulberg & Steve Magness
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James Clear is an American author, entrepreneur and photographer who focuses on human performance.  He writes about applied research from psychology and neuroscience and in this book looks at the power of habits – the compound interest of developing potential.  Richly illustrated this book is a practical guide of what to do to build good habits combined with insights into why it works.

Atomic Habits

James Clear
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Scott Adams is well known as the creator of Dilbert, a business cartoon that calls out and pokes fun at management BS.  This book is a guide to critical thinking and takes the mental tool kits and thinking habits of engineers, psychologists artists and entrepreneurs,  to explore their value in combating the uncritical thinking habits we all too often fall into.

Loserthink. How Untrained Brains Are Ruining The World

Scott Adams
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Professor Daniel Kahneman is a psychologist who won the Noble Prize for Economics for his work with Amos Tversky exploring the nature of decision making. They showed how prone to bias we are as a consequence of how the brain has evolved short cuts for handling information. We are more rationalizing than rational. This book explores intuition and reason, describing them as system 1 (fast) and system 2 (slow) and richly illustrating how our patterns of thoughts have evolved. Essential for anyone concerned with the business of decision making.

Thinking Fast and Slow

Daniel Kahneman
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