3 Motivational Book Recommendations

Reading a book

As the great writer Alan Moore once said, “Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth.” Therefore, there are few things more inspiring and motivational than a truly good book. We asked some of our experienced Motivational Map practitioners to select their “most motivational book” and explain to us why they made their choice. So, here are three book recommendations by deep experts in motivation!

Susannah Brade-Waring – Senior Practitioner

My current favourite motivational book is NOT for everyone.  Indeed, I hope very few people need to read it.  But it’s my current favourite for 3 main reasons which all link to motivation.  It’s called, Somebody I Used to Know, by Wendy Mitchell. The first reason is that, unlike virtually every book and ‘helpful’ leaflet about dementia, this book offers hope. In my opinion, HOPE is the no. 1 driver of motivation.  When we have hope, we can believe and when we believe, we take action. When that action produces results, we gain a sense of achievement and confidence, and that reinforces and boosts our motivation.

The book is beautifully written by Wendy, who was diagnosed with early onset dementia aged just 58. She describes, in detail, the tactics she uses to maintain her independence. It touches the reader’s heart because it’s so relevant, real, and empowering. That’s the second and third reason. Motivation is emotional, and highly motivated people defy logic, statistics and naysayers. They relish the challenge, and have their ‘eyes on the prize’ because they believe it will be worth it.  And that’s why (unlike most other ‘helpful’ guides) it’s a book that I’ve given to my parents to give us all hope, to motivate us all to take action towards being the best we can be.

Queen Ramotsehoa – Business Practitioner

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz:

BE IMPECCABLE WITH YOUR WORD - Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

DON’T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY - Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS - Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST - Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

These agreements remained a north-star for me especially during the pandemic and as we came out of the pandemic. Life happened, and I realised that when people kept saying ‘be resilient’, I could follow and practice these agreements to stay clear, creative, and on track.

It might sound crazy that I am even talking about staying on track, and with these agreements the following were possible for me:

  1. As soon as I appreciated that everyone was impacted, I pulled myself towards myself and started preparing for beyond the pandemic. Nothing was personal so I choose to take life in my stride.
  2. I went back to the drawing board and reviewed all my plans. I acknowledged everything that was derailed. I confirmed the damage. I recommitted to the goals that stayed relevant and discarded or tweaked those goals that I needed to attend to. This means I was sitting with revised goals. Once those were in place, I put together an implementation plan and stayed impeccable with my word. I spoke life into everything that I did. 2022 has provided evidence of the integrity that drove my execution.
  3. No matter how difficult those days were, especially the unpredictability and the heaviness of loss of lives around us, I demanded the best from myself. This carried me. The more I did my best, the more I generated hope that kept me going.
  4. I did not allow myself to assume anything. I stayed focused on what I saw and was very selective with what I listened to. I took precautions and thanked God I survived with what I did, because I acknowledge that others did not, despite doing their best. I focused on facts. I resisted nuances and stories that were added that impacted clarity. So at all cost I avoided assumptions.

The Four Agreements have become my formula for resilience. Simple yet impactful as a template to deal with curveballs in life.

Kate Turner – Senior Practitioner

I’ve been wracking my brain to think which of the scores of books I’ve read on motivation over the years is my favourite. When first asked the question, it triggered my ‘Expert’ Motivator into thinking which one I’ve learnt the most from; or which one, if others were inspired to read, would give them the 1-2-3 of motivation. Having sat with the question for some time, I realised, the book I am compelled to write about is the one which set me off on a different trajectory in life. The one which helped me see the choices I had at my fingertips, rather than accepting the hand I felt I had been dealt. It’s from an author which divides the audience for he is a ‘marmite’ character. Indeed, for years, it is he who I have had in my head when I’ve distanced myself from the ‘rah rah’, ‘walking on hot coals’ type of motivational training. And yet, it is this author who intrigues me enough to vote one of his books my favourite on motivation. Have you guessed who it is yet? Yes, Anthony Robbins and Awaken the Giant Within.

Having dusted the book down off my shelf, why am I so keen to read it again over 20 years later?  In a word – congruence. As I thumb through the pages today, I am struck by how many practices, ideas, quotes and theories align with who I am today and the life I am keen to lead. I recognise the influence the book has had on my own teachings, including my own book. It reminds me that the words it contains are easy to read yet take a life time to practice. I so wish I had taken notes on my first reading to compare my thinking now to then. How have I changed? How am I different today? In one part of the book it invites you to score yourself in ten critical areas – including one of spirituality. In the margin, I wrote ‘not sure what this even means’. How different to my perspective today!

Links to purchase these books here:

Somebody I Used to Know, by Wendy Mitchell

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

Awaken the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins

THE GENERATION GAP: Motivation & What Employees Want - part 4 - Generation Z

Gen z eye

Welcome back to our motivational analysis of the Generation Gap. In the previous article (3 of 4) we covered Millennials. Today, we’re looking at the youngest generation, Generation Z.

Generation Z: born after 1996


Whereas Millennials grew up as the technology continually evolved and changed, Generation Z have always had advanced technology, and are therefore digitally fluent. The difference here is subtle. Millennials are more about flexibility and adaptability (having had to continually adjust to changes), whereas Generation Z are about extreme proficiency with the current technological tools. A friend of mine entered university as an older-adult student studying film. He was surrounded by Gen Z students. He considered himself a good editor and cinematographer, but when one of the classmates managed to make and edit a video within just a few minutes—during the lecture and without interrupting it—he realised just how fast the new generation are able to comprehend and master new technology. The explosion of the social media platform TikTok is an embodiment of this principle. A whole generation are using TikTok, which empowers one to create and edit videos—some of which are more sophisticated than you would think—with just a phone. Of course, there are massive downsides to this type of social media platform, but it’s not within the scope of this article to address them. Moving on, like Boomers and Millennials, Generation Z are likely to have Expert motivator high on their list of motivators. However, they are also highly practical—they like to achieve results, whether that be TikTok views, YouTube subscribers, or some other metric. This correlates more with the Builder motivator, who is by nature competitive and focused on measurable gains. What’s interesting is whilst these are two motivators shared by the Boomer generation (Builder and Expert), they express themselves so differently because the technological, economic, and cultural landscape of today is so different. Whereas Builders might have been focused on the acquisition of wealth as a practical measure of success, Generation Z seem to be more interested in digital measures of progress. This taps into an important Maps lesson, that the motivators will always mean something different for each person. It’s all very well knowing that someone has Creator as their number one motivator, but what does creativity mean to them?

Lastly, Generation Z flourish in diverse workplaces. The workplace is only going to become more diverse as our societies become more globalised, therefore, creating an environment that is diverse not just in terms of race, ethnicity, and gender, but also in terms of age, experience, role-type, and personality will give Generation Z a stimulating environment more likely to catalyst collaboration and learning.


In exchange for their expertise and practicality, Gen Z want a culturally competent employer. In other words, they want someone who is up to date, who can keep up with trends, and who understands the world we live in today. Nobody wants to work for someone who is living in the past, or clueless about how their industry is evolving, but it’s particularly galling for Generation Z, who are so plugged in to the increasingly rapid shifts in culture. Gen Z like competitive wages—which correlates with their Builder drive. They value their expertise highly and therefore expect suitable reward for this. However, they are also open to being mentored. Like all Expert motivators, the relationship with knowledge is bi-directional. They like to acquire it as well as share it! Lastly, there is an interesting point of contrast between Generation Z, and Millennials and Generation X. Whereas Gen X and Millennials are characterised by their shared desire for independence and flexibility, Generation Z prefer stability—which corresponds with the Defender motivator—much like Boomers, which shows that history is indeed cyclical!

In conclusion:

Whilst no review of such a large and important topic can ever be complete, we hope this blog series has given you some interesting guidelines and action points on how to approach each generation. Of course, as we stated in the introduction, the best method is always to look at an individual’s motivational profile to get the best sense of who they are and what drives them—what they truly want. But hopefully identifying some of the broad trends correlating to each generation will give you a few ways to start meeting their motivational needs, and thereby retaining and nurturing top talent, whatever their age!

To find out more about Motivational Maps contact one of our licensed practitioners

You can also find more information in the book series - Mapping Motivation.


THE GENERATION GAP: Motivation & What Employees Want - Part 3 - Millennials


Welcome back to our motivational analysis of the Generation Gap. In the previous article (2 of 4) we covered Generation X. Today, we’re looking at Millennials.

Millennials: ‘80 – ‘95 


Millennials are an unusual generation, perhaps one might even say unique, because they grew up at the intersection of an analog (aka, a pre-digital) world, and the digital one. Millennials remember cassette tapes, VHS, and the floppy disc. They witnessed the birth of the internet in the same way as the previous two generations. But, they were young enough that they also grew up with this digital revolution. This means that Millennials are for the most part very tech-savvy. Navigating interfaces and software comes naturally to them, as does adopting new hardware. This is correlated with the Expert motivator—something they share with the Boomer generation, although perhaps it expresses itself in different mediums and forms.

Millennials are also all about friendship and collaboration. It’s significant that Millennials are often criticised for their expensive social lives—particularly by the Boomer generation—and we can see from the broad strokes of this motivational analysis why that would be. Relationship motivators are largely antithetical to the whole modus operandi of the Boomer, who is all about work, work, work. But Millennials like strong social ties. Not to digress too much into the personal, but I am a Boomer and my son is a Millennial. I have many close, intense friendships, but they tend to be one-to-one. My son, on the other hand, is part of several large (they seem almost unwieldy to me) social groups. This might be to do with personality, of course, but I think it’s interesting that he and his friends (who we must bear in mind are virtually all Millennials themselves) have stuck together for decades. Clearly, it’s a big priority in their lives. But what might this mean from a work perspective? In short, Millennials play well with others. They like to collaborate. They like to get a second opinion. And they embody the acronym for TEAM: Together Each Achieves More.

The final thing to observe about Millennials is they are often focused on the “greater good”, aka, ethical causes such as the environmental crisis, fair wages, and justice. This correlates to the Searcher motivator, which is characterised by the desire to make a difference.


In exchange for expertise, a collaborative outlook, and strong values, Millennials on the whole desire an empathetic employer. Again, this is a subtle shift from Generation X, who above all wanted trust. Trust is important, but tends to be more logical or “left brain”. Empathy of course is more emotional and right brain. To me this suggests they want not just a Friend motivator in their employer, but also someone who cares about them as a person and who identifies with the same causes that they do, hence the Searcher motivator—an employer who is looking to make a difference on both a macro and micro scale. This is also reflected in their day-to-day activities. Millennials dislike drudgery (unlike the Boomer, who might be okay with drudgery if it brings home cash), and want work that is meaningful and aligned with their ethical values. The best thing one can do for Millennials—if we’re speaking in broad terms—is to show them the outcome of their hard work. Show them the house they built, the client they made a difference too, the impact their project had on those in need.

As we have seen, Millennials have grown up with an ever-changing technological landscape, therefore they like to keep up-to-date, and hence training and development is critically important. Expert motivators don’t just like to remain static, relying on previous learning, but to continually acquire new learning in an effort of self-improvement.

So now we understand a little bit more about Millennials. In the next and final article, we’ll be looking at the youngest generation, Generation Z. As we shall see, their motivational trends look very different. Stay tuned for more information on closing the generation gap!