We’re just about halfway through our first series of People Focus Podcast – and we’ve had some fabulous guests so far, with some inspirational and insightful stories surrounding people, culture and leadership. 

At the end of each episode (if there’s time!) we ask our guests to tell us about any books that they have read that they recommend – whether they’d inspired them as a leader, as a person, or just helped them adopt a certain mindset. 

And here they are, all together in a handy little list for you – the books that have inspired are inspirational guests!


Episode 2 – Julio Taylor

Julio Taylor is CEO of Nottingham digital agency Hallam. With a strong background and expertise in user experience, design and strategy, Julio started his career building GeoCities websites, and progressed to starting his own agency BigSpring which merged with Hallam in 2017. 

Julio’s book recommendations: 

Radical Candor: How to Get What You Want by Saying What You Mean – Kim Scott

“An incredible book on how to give feedback, and be honest without being an obnoxious a***”.


Start with Why – Simon Sinek

“A very classic book, but I urge you – if you haven’t read it – you have to read this book.”


Extreme Ownership – Jocko Willink

“Not for everybody – but a fantastic book about the collective culture and mindset of the Navy Seals around ownership and the fact that everything that surrounds you is your responsibility, and the overall success of the group is your priority.”


Episode 3 – Sally Murray

Sally Murray is co-founder (along with her husband Gav) of social enterprise Just-Ice, makers of artisanal and fair-trade ice cream. Just-Ice are dedicated to creating sustainable employment for victims of human trafficking. Sally lives by the mantra – “speak up for those who have no voice” – and is driven by this purpose everyday. 

Sally’s book recommendations:

Impossible is a Dare: Fighting for a World Free from Slavery – Ben Cooley

“This is about him starting Hope for Justice. I think ‘Impossible is a dare’ is a quote from Muhammad Ali.”


Relentless Pursuit: Fuel Your Passion and Fulfill Your Mission – Ben Cooley

“Looking at how you relentlessly pursue whatever it is that’s your goal – and he interviews loads of leaders and CEOs and asks them the same questions on this theme.”


Beyond Entrepreneurship – Jim Collins

“If you can only read one read this. This is like balm to the soul for me, because a lot of the stuff in here we are doing anyway, but he’s moved us into what we call ‘conscious competence’.”


Episode 4 – Caroline Filer

Caroline Filer is Head of People and Payroll at idverde UK, the UK’s leading provider of grounds maintenance and landscape creation services. At idverde, Caroline has lived through two buy-outs and several mergers, and has learned many valuable lessons along the way. 

Caroline’s book recommendation: 

Becoming – Michelle Obama

“I think she’s a very inspirational woman and probably is for a lot of people. Where she got to, and where she is, is pretty amazing.” 


Episode 6 – Chris Pook

Chris Pook leads the D2N2 Growth Hub – helping businesses across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire achieve their growth plans. With a career in community and economic development spanning nearly two decades, Chris is a specialist in supporting business growth, economic research, and strategy development. 

Chris’ book recommendations:

The Chimp Paradox – Steve Peters

“A fantastic book – all about awareness of mind, and bringing that awareness of what your natural instincts and trying to tame them to some extent.”


Anything by Eckhart Tolle, particularly The Power of Now

“Similar themes of awareness, self-awareness and getting you to think about what you’re capable of and your place in the world.”


Codename Tricycle – Russell Miller

“About a Serbian double agent in the second world war which is absolutely fascinating.”


Episode 7 – Fiona Duncan-Steer

Fiona Duncan-Steer is a communication and networking coach and founder of the RSViP business network. With a creative background in theatre design, Fiona encourages creative thinking, as well as prioritising this for idea generation in her own business. 

Fiona’s book recommendations:

Good Vibes, Good Life: How Self-Love Is the Key to Unlocking Your Greatness – Vex King

“An award-winner and best-seller that hones in on putting good vibes out there to get good vibes back. I recommend as a mindset book.”


Lateral Thinking – Edward de Bono

“I’m really interested in creative thinking, thinking differently, rivers of thinking and training your mind to break patterns, cycles and habits to idea generate.” 


Listen to all the episodes of People Focus Podcast so far – and don’t forget to subscribe, share and leave us a review!

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    Last Updated on 3 years by Charli Parkes

    Last Updated on 3 years by Charli Parkes