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25 of the best leadership and success books to read in your lifetime, according to Amazon


man reading

This week, Amazon's editors selected their 100 favorite books on leadership and success.

We've highlighted 25 below, including books by psychologists, economists, and competitive athletes. Each one offers a unique look at what it means to be truly successful and how you can achieve your full potential.

Read on and start stocking your shelves with inspiration.

SEE ALSO: 33 business books every professional should read before turning 30

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'Getting to Yes' by Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton

Based on the work of the Harvard Negotiation Project, this 1981 best-selling business book — the second edition was released in 1991 — offers strategies for dealing with personal and professional conflicts. Those include separating the people from the problem and focusing on interests, not positions.

Find it here »

'Getting Things Done' by David Allen

Thirteen years after its first publication, productivity guru Allen released the second edition of "Getting Things Done."

The book teaches readers the basics of time management at work and at home. The idea is to come up with an organizing system for daily to-dos so you free up mental space for focusing on big-picture goals.

Case in point: the "two-minute rule" to keep an overflowing inbox under control.

Find it here »

'Getting More' by Stuart Diamond

In this best-seller, Diamond turns traditional negotiation strategies on their head, instead suggesting that it's important to value your partner's emotions and perceptions.

As Diamond wrote on Business Insider:

The more important the negotiation is, the more emotional people tend to be — whether diplomacy, a billion-dollar deal or my kid wants an ice cream cone. Pay attention to this! The world is not rational.

The book is based on Diamond's course at Wharton Business School, and Google has even used it in its employee training.

Find it here »

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Why supermodels choose Pilates as an essential workout


Supermodels undergo rigorous diet and fitness regimens to sculpt their bodies. However, they prefer to maintain long and lean figures and make a point to avoid certain exercises that aim to build bulk.

A popular approach to maintaining a lean model figure is Pilates, which was developed in the early 20th century by gymnast and circus performer Joseph Pilates. Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Hannah Ferguson invited us to a private Pilates class at Elev8NYC

Produced by Graham Flanagan. Additional camera by Justin Gmoser.

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Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and 500 of his employees use this simple technique to reduce stress (CRM)


Mark Benioff

Work is stressful. That's true for everyone, even if you love your job.

At Salesforce, CEO Marc Benioff runs a company that employs 22,000 people and will do $8.3 billion in revenue this year. Business Insider's Matt Rosoff asked him what he does to deal with the stress of his job, and the answer was surprisingly simple: "mindfulness."

"I have a mindfulness practice, and I try to practice mindfulness formally a few times a week. Like yesterday I did attend a mindfulness seminar that we had at Salesforce with 500 employees, where we had a mindfulness teacher come in," he said.

Mindfulness is a form of meditation, or, as Benioff describes it: It's "a meditation type practice, just being able to sit quietly and spend time trying to let go of the stress that I collect during the week running a big business."

You can try mindfulness now; it only takes a few minutes. Plant both feet on the ground and feel the floor under them. Then go through your body, head to toe, relaxing any tense muscles: eyebrows, eyelids, jaw, tongue, shoulders, upper back and shoulder blades, tummy, thighs, feet. 

Now just sit there a few minutes, breathing naturally, noticing your body, noticing any thoughts. Don't react. Don't fix things. Don't fidget (as best as you can). Don't make lists. Don't do anything, just watch yourself for a few minutes and notice yourself, body and mind, allow yourself to relax. If you can't relax, just notice how your stress feels in your body.

Benioff is such a strong believer in the power of mindfulness that the company put a meditation room on every floor of its massive new building at his San Francisco headquarters.

He also dedicated an entire keynote session at the company's huge Dreamforce tech conference to mindfulness training, bringing in tech/meditation experts like Google's Chade-Meng Tan and others to lead the crowd.

There's plenty of research that indicates that this kind of mindful meditation lowers stress and helps us make better decisions.

SEE ALSO: Activist Marc Benioff on Salesforce's radical 1-1-1 pledge

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There's only one way to get a burger at Chick-fil-A

Go inside NYC's giant jazz party where people pay up to $5000 to relive the 1920s


Jazz party, 1920s, vintage, jazz age

For two days, Governor's Island was transformed into a 1920s scene full of singing, dancing, and elegant 1920s fashion — all thanks to the Jazz Age Lawn Party

The 11th annual Jazz Age Lawn Party took place on June 11 and 12 and attracted thousands of people, most of which were dressed up in beautiful 1920s attire. The event is hosted by musician Michael Arenella, who is very passionate about the 1920s era.

Business Insider had the chance to attend one day of the event as a VIP guest. Below, see the photos from the Jazz Age Lawn Party.

SEE ALSO: Inside the most champagne-soaked event of the summer

The 1920s era is rekindled every year on Governor's Island. This year, despite the wind, it was a beautiful day.

Tickets to the event range from $35 to $5,000. General admission tickets are $45 each.

Source: Jazz Age Lawn Party

The event is very family-friendly and children under the age of 12 get in for free.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

13 totally absurd celebrity diets, and 3 you might actually consider


Gwyneth Paltrow

Eat baby food. Go gluten-free. Reserve Mondays for yellow food and Thursdays for purple food.

These are just a few of the utterly insane eating plans that various celebrities have publicly admitted to trying.

Thankfully, there are better ways to change what you eat and feel healthier. (Spoiler alert: Many of them involve longterm lifestyle changes instead of jumping into a rigid eating plan for a few days).

Here's a list of some of the craziest and inadvisable things celebrities have done to look and feel better, along with a few suggestions that could be healthily incorporated into your life:

SEE ALSO: 17 'healthy habits' you're better off giving up

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Beyoncé reportedly used the "Master Cleanse" to lose weight before "Dreamgirls."

The scoop: Beyoncé reportedly did the Master Cleanse, which involves subsisting on nothing but lemon juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper, before staring in the movie "Dreamgirls" — the idea being that it detoxes your system and accelerates weight loss.

Should you do it? You never need to do a detox. Our bodies do it for us. While our kidneys filter our blood and remove waste from our diet, our liver processes medications and detoxifies any chemicals we ingest. Paired together, these organs make our bodies natural cleansing powerhouses. So stop eyeing that lemon squeezer. It's not worth it.

Reese Witherspoon did the "Baby Food Diet."

The scoop: The Baby Food Diet has been traced to celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson, who's since denied supporting it. It involves eating 14 jars of baby food, with the option of adding in one actual low-calorie meal, each day.

Should you do it? Nope. The jars of baby food are 80 calories. Eat 14 and you end up with roughly 1,000 calories each day plus one real meal. So long as the meal you allow yourself is about 400 calories — think a small piece of grilled fish or lean meat and some sautéed veggies — you'll definitely lose weight. But it'll be because you're not eating food, not because mushed-up fruit is a miracle diet product.

Snooki went on the "Cookie Diet."

The scoop: Snooki reportedly lost weight in 2010 with a diet of cookies. For three weeks, she ate six of the 90-calorie treats a day and one small meal. Alarmingly, the Cookie Diet is not Snooki's creation: Now-retired Dr. Sanford "The Cookie Doctor" Siegal trademarked the plan.

Should you do it? Probably not. Cookie Diet cookies are no Girl Scout Samoas. The recipe's first three ingredients are glycerin (used to add sweetness and moisture), whole-wheat powder (for fiber), and beef protein. They've also got rice crisps (ostensibly for crunch), egg whites (for more protein), wheat bran (for fiber), and a smattering of B vitamins.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

More sleep may not be making you as productive as you think


man and dog sleepingIt has long been thought that the amount of time spent in different stages of sleep was responsible for how well people were able to remember things.

But a new study done by researchers at the University of California and University of Padua shows that we may have been missing something.  

The autonomic nervous system (ANS) appears to be a key player in the brain’s ability to perform memory consolidation during sleep.

ANS is made of three parts. The sympathetic system is responsible for the body’s “fight or flight” reaction, the parasympathetic system controls the body during rest with functions like heart rate and temperature, and the enteric system controls how your gut works.

This new study, the first of its kind, suggests that the central nervous system and ANS communicate with each other. They also think that dynamics of REM (rapid eye movement sleep, when most dreams occur) combined with increased parasympathetic activity promote creative associative memory processing.

The researchers used heart rate variation during REM to predict memory performance and found that no enhancement of memory while awake meant that the specific effects of ANS were associated with sleep-related consolidation of memory.

ANS was found to be an important predictor of associative processing in the brain. It showed a dissociation between time spent in REM sleep and brain activity, leading researchers to believe that REM may be dose-dependent and that too much of it can disrupt memory performance.

REM BrainCounterintuitively, they actually found that subjects with higher levels of REM sleep had a higher rate of forgetfulness.   

But REM sleep still proves to be an important factor in memory consolidation and creativity. REM facilitates schema disintegration, meaning that subjects were able to break up associations of words they previously thought of and come up with new combinations.

REM was found to allow individuals to make connections between disparate ideas, which is the definition of creativity. This, combined with vagal activity (from stimulation of a cranial nerve) may lead to optimal brain state and enhance plasticity (adaptability of the brain), which was measured by heart rate variation. They also found a constant dialogue between cardiac and central brain structures via vagal stimulation were responsible for cognitive and emotional processing. 

Increases in overall ANS activity and REM sleep proved to be the two main components of memory consolidation during sleep. As it's starting to turn out, like most functions of the body, memory is a lot more complicated than anyone originally expected. 



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How Sara Blakely went from door-to-door saleswoman to billionaire philanthropist


Sara Blakely, founder and owner of the intimate-apparel company SPANX, is an artist. She has devoted the bulk of her professional life to crafting the perfect silhouette for women.

In 1998, Sara's wonderfully innocent aha moment happened when she cut the feet of her pantyhose to give her the smooth line she was looking for with her creme-colored pants.

She then took that simple idea, while maintaining her day job selling fax machines, and built a line of body-shaping products that are now indispensable to women around the world.

Here, entrepreneur and mother of four Sara Blakely (No. 61 on the BI 100: The Creators) tells us about her incredible rise and how she uses her company and her personal wealth to pay it forward.

Read more stories about the 100 business visionaries who are creating value for the world.

Produced by Alana Kakoyiannis.

Executive produced by Diane Galligan.

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Saying this three-letter word could be ruining your chances for true happiness

This lingerie company started a movement by nixing Photoshop — hear its president say why

Help! My ex-girlfriend's company won't hire me


ashley lutz ask the insider

Ask the Insider columnist Ashley Lutz answers all your work-related questions, including the awkward, sensitive, and real-world ones. Have a question? Email asktheinsider@businessinsider.com.

Dear Insider,

I recently got a job through a temp agency after being unemployed. A few days before I was due to start, I got an email from the company telling me they were terminating the offer because I didn't disclose that my ex-girlfriend has a full-time job at the company, a violation of company policy.

I kept pushing for more information, and the representative eventually said my ex told them she wouldn't be comfortable with me working there and would feel her safety was compromised. They believe I present a danger to this person, but there is no evidence to support that claim.

I feel upset that someone could assassinate my character, damage my reputation, and deprive me of a financial opportunity with no proof.

Is there a way for me to clear my reputation and get the job back?


My Ex Cost Me The Job


Dear Ex:

Your first mistake was accepting a job at your ex-girlfriend's company with zero disclosure. How could you not see this was a bad idea? Did you really not think the past would catch up to you when she realized you would be working there?

No matter what your intentions, it looks sketchy when the employers uncover information like this. They might question if you were trying to use the job to get close to your ex. Because your she is already working at the company, her opinion is going to trump yours.

It sounds like the company has a policy on disclosing personal relationships. You could take another look at the policy and make sure you agreed to it when they terminated your contract. If you see any discrepancies, consult with a lawyer about your options.

Assuming you did agree to the policy, it's time to move on. Sure, it's disappointing to miss out on an opportunity. But dwelling on what your ex-girlfriend may have told her employer about why she doesn't want you to work there won't do any good. They have decided not to hire you, and it's final.

You didn't get this job because of a very specific circumstance, however, your relationship with your ex likely won't hurt your career elsewhere. Accept this with grace and apply at other companies.


Ashley Lutz is a senior editor at Business Insider answering all your questions about the workplace. Send your queries to asktheinsider@businessinsider.com for publication on Business Insider. Requests for anonymity will be granted, and questions may be edited.

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The ugly truth about the electoral college


Not all votes are equal when it comes to electing the president of the United States. Because of the electoral college system, votes cast in smaller states weigh more heavily than those cast in larger states. The difference is so significant that it's possible to win the election with a surprisingly low percentage of the popular vote.

Produced by Alex Kuzoian

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We asked a dietitian what anyone who wants to start eating healthier should do — here are his 3 best tips


woman eating at beach

I've tried all kinds of eating plans. From giving up gluten (yes, I'll admit it) to going vegan for a year, chances are there isn't a wacky diet I haven't at least attempted.

And while I'm well aware of the limitations of one-person studies, I've always been slightly satisfied — in my own smug way — to find that not one of these diets has had long-lasting results. Sometimes they even seem to do the opposite of what they promised.

With that in mind, I recently chatted with registered dietitian and nutritionist Andy Bellatti to find out how to start eating healthier without falling for a silly diet plan.

Here are his top three pointers:

1. Eat real food.

Writer Michael Pollan said it best: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."

Be sure to incorporate fresh vegetables like broccoli, bell peppers, and Brussels sprouts into any eating plan. These crunchy, colorful foods — which the CDC actually calls "powerhouse foods"— are a great source of key vitamins and nutrients. They're also high in fiber, which helps keep you feeling full and satisfied until your next meal.

That means things that are not real food are warning signs. "Powders and pills are red flag number one," Bellatti says.

artisanal toast avocado Milk barThe problem with these concoctions, he says, is that they've taken part of something that was once a whole food, like a fruit or a vegetable, then separated and processed it for one ingredient. That's OK for things like cocoa powder, which has nutrients, but it shouldn't make up the bulk of your eating regimen.

"When something is a powder, you're probably using what, a teaspoon or tablespoon at most? And you have to wonder how much that can really do versus a cup of broccoli or a quarter cup of cashews. That’s something significant," says Bellatti.

2. Look for ingredients with measurable benefits.

Most health guidelines are based on specific, measurable benefits — from drinking a certain amount of water each day (end goal: stay hydrated) to eating a specified amount of protein (end goal: maintain and build muscles).

Most of these rules are specific to you, however, because they depend on other lifestyle factors like your height, weight, gender, and the amount of exercise you get each day. Other guidelines are more applicable to everyone, like eating enough fiber to keep your digestive system running smoothly and getting enough calcium to protect your bones.

salad healthy food hummus vegetables eating mealOn the other hand, if you see a label that promises to do things like "harmonize your aura," chances are it won't do much of anything.

One problem with putting slogans like these on health products, says Bellatti, is that they're "completely subjective. They can't be tested." In other words, there's no way of knowing whether a product that claims to "bring you in line with your true self" is really doing so.

And, as Bellatti points out, "the person whose word you're taking is the person who's profiting from this."

3. Find a lifestyle mentor.

You don't necessarily need to subscribe to a specific meal plan or banish certain foods from your diet to start feeling and looking better. For starters, Bellatti suggests simply reaching out to people close to you who are living the lifestyle you want.

"What I would do if I wanted to get healthier is I would look at my friends and family members who are living the life I want to have and I'd say, 'what are they doing?'" says Bellatti.

"The people in your life who are the healthiest are probably doing practical things: not drinking much soda, eating very little fast food, getting enough fiber in their diet."

That said, you can probably ignore diet plans that simply don't align with common sense. Does "cleaning out your system" with a lemon juice and maple syrup "detox" sound too easy to be true? It probably is. Similarly, any diet plan that claims it can "give you glowing skin in 24 hours" or "make you feel like a new person" is probably being a bit overzealous.

SEE ALSO: What the author of 'Eat Fat, Get Thin' eats — and avoids — every day

DON'T MISS: 13 totally absurd celebrity diets, and 3 you might actually consider

Join the conversation about this story »

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26 grooming and style hacks every guy should know



There are certain things every guy should know about his appearance.

From how to match your dress shoes to your suit and how often you should get your hair cut to even how to shave, these tips will make every guy's life a whole lot easier.

There's bound to be at least one thing you didn't know.

Megan Willett contributed to an earlier version of this post.

SEE ALSO: 17 clothing essentials every guy needs for summer

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1. Roll your shirt sleeves the right way.

Instead of rolling the cuff slowly up your sleeve, flip the cuff back and pull it to just below your elbow. Then take the bottom — inside-out portion — and fold it up so it traps and covers the bottom cuff. Your shirt sleeves won't unroll again.

Read more.

2. Pack a suit without getting it wrinkled.

Read more.

3. Learn the "sometimes, always, never" rule of jacket buttons.

The top button should sometimes be buttoned (stylistic decision), the middle button should always be buttoned (it pulls the jacket together and is flattering), and the last button should never be buttoned (it messes up the tailoring and flare of the jacket).

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

9 intense arm workouts you can do virtually anywhere without any equipment


BI_Graphic_Side Plank_Anchor

Making time for a solid arm workout isn't always easy, especially if you're in need of weights and other equipment.

But when you're on the road or have a few minutes to spare between events, it can be nice to have some quick, virtually equipment-free arm workouts up your sleeve.

To help us out, we asked New York University physical-therapy professor Marilyn Moffat, who also wrote the book "Age Defying Fitness," for some of her favorite arm workouts that don't require weights.

Here are the nine she gave us, including modifications to help you personalize your workout. Feel free to mix and match, or just do one exercise on its own. Repeat or hold each exercise until it gets to be too much, building up at your own pace. And remember: If you have any unusual pain or problems with the exercises, stop doing them and consult a physical therapist.

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Exercise #1: The dreaded plank. Keeping your arms directly under your shoulders, hold this pose for at least 30 seconds, until it gets to be too much.

Something to keep in mind while in these poses: To better distribute your weight, spread your fingers as wide as possible. You should be able to feel the difference along your arms.

BI Graphics Finger Posture

For a modification, try putting your forearms on the ground. You'll still feel the stretch along your arms (not to mention torso and legs).

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

We went to a lavish New York City party celebrating the most popular beverage of summer



La Nuit en Rosé, dubbed the world's first festival dedicated to rosé returned for its third year in New York City this past weekend.

The festival was launched by Pierrick Bouquet in 2014, dedicated to showing the versatility, diversity, and lifestyle of rosé wine beyond the glass, and has gained popularity especially in the Big Apple. 

"I wanted to be the first one creating a festival on it, " Bouquet told Business Insider. "I also saw the potential with rosé because we could create something more fun and create a lifestyle experience."

A total of 5,000 people attended the three-day event featuring 40 exhibitors, 160 varities of rosé and 30 food exhibitors from popular restaurants in New York City including Fig & Olive, Risotteria Melotti, and Kesté. The event is also hosted in Miami and Los Angeles.

Business Insider checked out the festival, where rosé-inspired activities, foods, and drinks took over all four levels of the yacht. Tickets started at $75 per session

Take a look at the weekend's spectacle below.

We arrived at Pier 40 in New York City's Hudson River Park where the Hornblower Infinity yacht was docked.

A closer look at the Hornblower Infinity.

A glamorous pink carpet was in place for the event. At the end of it was a "flower wall" decorated with many roses.

The flower wall was created by FlowerBox Wall Gardens.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The 7 best bourbons in America


iStock_56501528_MEDIUMIf you’re going to drink bourbon, you want it to be good quality.

The International Wine and Spirits Competition recognizes and rewards the best in the industry, testing and judging selections in a rigorous process to reach a decision.

At last year’s competition, several great bottles of bourbon took the “Gold” title, which is awarded to superior examples that set the standard. The very best took home a “Gold Outstanding” award, which is given to selections that display "quality of the highest order."

The liquors were subjected to both professional blind tasting and chemical and microbiological analysis, with the best of the bunch coming out on top.

In honor of National Bourbon Day, here are the seven best bourbons to indulge in.

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Jim Beam Bonded

Comment: "Nose is full of inviting aromas of orange, grain, honey, and spice. Great entry into the mouth with immediate spread of flavors across the palate. Following what the nose promised with addition of licorice, hints of rye, candy, vanilla, and cinnamon. Floral backing where lavender is prominent. Slow flow and firm texture gives time to absorb all there is to offer. Similar long finish." 

Award: Gold 

Source: IWSC

Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve 9YO

Comment: "Spice filled nose along with peaches and honey with an underlay of fine oak. Big delivery into the mouth where a massive range of flavors burst across the palate. Orange skin, orange marmalade, vanilla, toffee, and coffee. Great balance and fine texture. Elegant and poised.  Long, slow, fruit and spice filled finish." 

Award: Gold Outstanding 

Source: IWSC 


Jim Beam Signature Craft Soft Red Wheat

Comment: "Super attractive nose filled with floral and spicy notes with a great wave of grain and oak pushing all before it. Tumbles in to the mouth with the full flow of flavor flooding across the palate. Mouth watering display of flavors with attractive, slightly malty note. Lots of brown sugar and licorice. Lots of mature character adds to the complexity of a thoroughly delightful whiskey." 

Award: Gold Outstanding 



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Here’s the best and worst months to rent an apartment in major US cities

Rare photos from inside North Korea's mysterious buildings


North Korea interiors

For 10 days, architect, photographer, and architecture and design critic for The Guardian,Oliver Wainwright, traveled to Pyongyang, North Korea where he got tours inside buildings, with permission to photograph. 

"Having been told that photography would be strictly monitored by the official guides, I was pleasantly surprised by the freedom we were given to shoot pretty much anything we wanted," Wainwright told Business Insider. "The only restrictions were on building sites — they like everything to look finished it's photographed — as well as anything connected to the military, and people at work."

He visited hotels, health and recreation centers, study houses, and more. Ahead, see rare photos inside North Korea's buildings.

SEE ALSO: 13 rare color photos that show a side of the Vietnam War you don't usually see

Wainwright was on an official guided tour organized by a Beijing-based company, Koryo tours, that has been taking foreigners into North Korea for over 20 years.

Wainwright said it took months of negotiation before North Korea allowed him to join the tour because "journalists aren't given the same freedom as tourists," he said.

"I have never been anywhere where a national ideology is so totally embodied in the architectural fabric of the city," Wainwright said. "To see the urban fabric, from the layout of streets to the specific design of interiors, expressing the values and ambitions of such an ideologically-driven regime was a fascinating thing to behold."

See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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