Top 10 Reads 2020!

Looking for a new read?

At the start of 2020, my friend and I had a goal of reading 20 books in 2020. I ended the year reading 22 books (lockdown assisted).

These books range from new & old and differ in topics, all can be related to coaching and self-improvement.

I have chosen my top 10 and put them in reverse chronological order.


Leading: Lessons in leadership from the legendary Manchester United manager

By Alex Ferguson & Michael Moritz

Fascinating read from arguably the greatest football manager in modern times. Mainly discusses the ways in which he gained long term success, and the lessons that he learned in managing the pressure and stresses of leading.

Rating: 3 out of 5.


Never Split the Difference

By Chris Voss

A great read from a former FBI Hostage Negotiator. Chris Voss talks about the art of negotiation, persuasion and enhancing relationships. You can see a more in-depth review here , in which coaching applications are discussed.

Rating: 3 out of 5.


Socrates: A Man for Our Times

By Paul Johnson

Biography of one of the greatest teachers and philosophers of all time. Socrates’ unique technique of teaching through questions is still widely used today.

Rating: 3 out of 5.


Rebel Ideas: The Power of Diverse Thinking

By Matthew Syed

Im a big fan of Matthew Syed’s writing, and his latest book didn’t disappoint. In a world that seems to have a continued rise of polarised views, Syed makes you think in a different way and shows the benefits of avoiding cognitive bias and developing an ‘outsider mindset’.

Rating: 3 out of 5.


Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

By Daniel Pink

A book that I had wanted to read for a long time. Daniel Pink observes the differences of old school external rewards to motivate in comparison to the power of internal motivation.

Rating: 4 out of 5.


Brave New World: Inside Pochettino’s Spurs

By Guillem Balague

A diary account from Mauricio Pochettino. Pochettino discusses the daily challenges of being a Premier League manager, and the difficulties he had in transforming the culture at Tottenham to turn them from underachievers to Champions League finalists and Premier League title chasers.

Rating: 4 out of 5.


Mans Search for Meaning: The Classic Tribute to Hope from the Holocaust

By Viktor E Frankl

One of the deepest, most powerful books I have ever read. Frankl was a psychologists who was put into a Nazi concentration camp. He gives an in-depth account of what it was like to be in this deadly environment and he used his observational skills to see what broke these poor men, and what common attribute the survivors had.

Rating: 4 out of 5.


The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way Your Lead Forever

By Michael Bungay Stainer

A thoroughly enjoyable read for leaders. How to ask effective thought provoking questions. Includes how to start a conversation (kickstart question), how to save time (the lazy & strategic question), and questions aimed towards learning.

Rating: 4 out of 5.


The Happiness Handbook for High Achievers: Stoics, Circles & Sheepdogs

By Fergus Connolly

If you’ve ever found yourself going from loving what you do to getting burned out and not understanding why and how to get back to normality then this book is for you. An honest account from Fergus Connolly who speaks from his own experience, and tools you can use to find balance in your life.

Rating: 4 out of 5.


Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams

By Matthew Walker

I have rarely read a book where I have been so surprised about what I have read. Walker goes in depth on the importance of sleep in relation to extending life expectancies, learning, mood, mental & physical health, and also decreasing injuries in sports. You can read more here .

Rating: 5 out of 5.

“Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings, so that you shall gain easily what others have laboured hard for.”


Author: coachphilp

Masters Degree in Fútbol with Real Madrid Universidad Europea (Voted #1 Football Masters Degree in the World) 16 years coaching over 3 nations. “Employ your time in improving yourself by other men's writings, so that you shall gain easily what others have laboured hard for.” - Socrates

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