What Are Meet's Leaders Reading? (Part III)

8-9 Minutes

Are you feeling stagnant in your role? Looking for a new book recommendation? Or simply wan...

By Emily Davies

Senior Content Writer

Are you feeling stagnant in your role? Looking for a new book recommendation? Or simply want to perfect your leadership skills? Well, you’ve come to the right place!


It’s that time of the month when I introduce you to three brilliant members of Meet’s leadership team and chat all things books!


Luckily for us, our leaders are readers, and our senior leadership team has kindly agreed to reveal what books they’ve read that have stayed with them and the ways in which they’ve completely reshaped how they approach their roles and lead their teams here at Meet.


*If you’ve missed earlier pieces in this series, you can find part one here and part two here!


Now, without further ado, on to this month’s top picks…




Lucy Barry, Board Advisor on How To Be A Productivity Ninja by Graham Allcott



A Bit About Lucy:


Lucy is a woman who’s always on the go, but despite her hectic schedule, she never fails to have time for everyone around her. 


She joined forces with our leadership team earlier this year as Board Advisor, but her bustling HR career began over 18 years ago – starting in recruitment, moving to an RPO, then consulting talent, and eventually becoming CPO for a group of international language schools. 


Throughout her career, Lucy’s helped scale businesses by creating engaging strategies, attracting and retaining staff, refining processes to accelerate high performance, and positively facilitating, growing, and evolving people-first cultures – something we pride ourselves on here at Meet.


As Anton admits, we don’t ‘know it all,’ so Lucy joined our team to challenge our current approaches and ensure we’re supporting and growing the very best bunch of people in every department. 


Speaking of returning to recruitment and supporting the Life Sciences industry, Lucy says, 


“I’m thrilled to be returning to an industry I’m so passionate about and to be working with so many bright and talented people. On top of that, having a role that supports Life Sciences is truly fulfilling. We’re lucky in that we’re able to have an inside look at what’s currently happening in the sector, which, in the grand scheme of things, affects each and every one of us”. 



A Synopsis of Lucy’s Chosen Book:


In today’s world, we’re accessible 24/7, and the pressure to react and respond to everything at once can sometimes get the better of us. But the truth is, we only have a finite amount of time and attention to get things done.


Author of How To Be A Productivity Ninja, Graham Allcott, is a productivity expert. In this read, he moves away from traditional time management techniques to combine his own teachings and unconventional practices. By distilling the wisdom of hundreds of business seminars into this one book, Allcott helps us declutter our minds (and desks!), become more productive, and beat procrastination.


Drawing on well-researched productivity models, Allcott injects his own experiences and thoughts with humour and fun to present practical ways that we can remain agile, mindful and organised to swiftly deal with even the most daunting to-do lists.


From running an effective meeting to clearing your inbox, How To Be A Productivity Ninja is an entertaining, accessible, and practical guide to remaining cool, calm, and collected in today’s working world, so you can get more done and fall in love with your work all over again.


If you ever find yourself feeling overwhelmed with your workload or are simply hoping to master the art of productivity, this book is a must-read! Digging deep into the core of the challenge, How To Be A Productivity Ninja provides ideas you can immediately incorporate into your life.



Lucy’s Thoughts on How To Be A Productivity Ninja:


“I’m sure I’m not alone in finding the modern world of work overwhelming at times, and being overwhelmed often leads to procrastination and reduced productivity and, therefore, performance. How To Be A Productivity Ninja offers some really sensible methods to help you organise how you operate and work smarter. 


Overall, this book challenges you to think differently about how you and your team works. You’ll question if your current process is the best for the output you need or if you just use it because you always have done. 


Enabling your team to think differently about how they operate and prioritise will free up their time to focus on what is most important in their jobs, ultimately improving both their individual and team performance.” 




Claire Macleod, VP of Learning & Development on Black Box Thinking: Why Most People Never Learn From Their Mistakes – But Some Do by Matthew Syed



A Bit About Claire:


Claire is a person who thrives on creativity, projects kindness, and is incredibly intuitive – all skills that have helped her become super successful in her role as Vice President of Learning and Development here at Meet.


Initially, Claire worked with Meet on a freelance basis, but just over a year ago, in January 2022, she decided to join us permanently, and we couldn’t be more thrilled.


During her time as a consultant, the business was going through a major growth stage, and Claire, all eagle-eyed and enthusiastic, spotted the opportunity to build out Meet’s global Learning and Development function to better support all our people throughout their careers.


So, once a permanent fixture, Claire jumped straight into building a new DNA programme – a 12-week onboarding course for new starters – to reflect Meet’s expanding teams and services. Since then, she’s created programmes for our more advanced team members and senior leaders to support their ongoing development.


Today, under Claire’s guidance, our brilliant L&D team has grown to a strong six, with a number of them building their own teams and specialising in their own areas.


Claire frequently speaks about her passion for helping others achieve their goals. In fact, as you’re reading this, she’s currently in the midst of building a more engaging, interactive, and user-friendly LMS system for our five global offices.


Want to learn more about Meet’s L&D function? Head over to our Q&A with Claire. Alternatively, if you want to learn more about Claire’s journey into L&D, pop over to her bio.



A Synopsis of Claire’s Chosen Book:


Author, Matthew Syed, has written six bestselling books on mindset and performance, and in this one, he examines Black Box Thinking – a term derived from the airline industry, where failure is taken most seriously.


In fact, each aircraft is fitted with an almost indestructible black box. Whenever an accident occurs, the box is opened, the data analysed, and the reason for the accident unearthed. Doing so makes sure procedures are adapted so that the same mistake doesn’t happen again – a method that has resulted in the industry holding a remarkable safety record.


Of course, for pilots, failures can have deadly consequences. For most of us, failure impedes our progress, halts our innovation, and can have a lasting impact on our lives. So even though many of us think we acknowledge and learn from our mistakes, we very often don’t.


Throughout the pages of Black Box Thinking, Syed takes examples from various industries, juxtaposing interviews, stories, and sharp-edged science to explore the profound relationship between failure and success, ultimately demonstrating the need to acknowledge and engage with the ‘black box’ in our own lives.


With an interesting concept, Black Box Thinking reveals the framework for utilising our mistakes as learning tools so we can transform our short-term failures into long-term successes. Peppered with engrossing narratives and interesting anecdotes, the reader learns how the human psyche deals with failure in various ways. So, if you want to become more successful in life, becoming a ‘black box thinker’ might just be the key!


Claire's Thoughts on Black Box Thinking:


"Throughout this book, Syed identifies that one of the greatest obstacles to progress is failing to learn from our mistakes and that if organisations and individuals can investigate the lessons we learn from failure, it will significantly impact performance, resilience, and creative thinking. 

Reading this book reminded me that we need to continue challenging our responses to failure and continue creating a culture where failure is acknowledged and perceived as a learning opportunity. By doing so, we can utilise it as a springboard to future progress"



Anton Round, Chief Commercial Officer on So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo



A Bit About Anton:


Our CCO, Anton, was the very first Meet member to feature in our version of Book Club, but just in case you missed it, here’s a little refresh on his background…


If you ask anyone here at Meet, the first thing they’ll say you notice about Anton is his huge smile. Secondly, his zest for life and connecting with people. But what led Anton here?


It was actually a friend who recommended Anton shift his focus to the recruitment space after he was preparing for a career in the British Armed Forces. 


Throughout his career, Anton’s drawn on skills he learnt from his time in the TA – discipline, problem-solving, and the ability to create his own path. Still, that didn’t mean recruiting all came naturally… 


Anton found his first six months in the business to be particularly challenging. Then, like magic, something shifted, and he was able to refocus by listening to his clients and candidates and understanding what their motivations were – something he continues to do for all of us at Meet.


Since then, Anton’s worked all over the globe, building and developing teams both within other organisations and his own business. After selling his shares in the company he created, he became a certified coach and advised businesses to ensure their targets were achieved.


It was then that he was introduced to Meet. Initially a consultant, Anton permanently joined the Meet family in 2020. His key focuses are driving business growth and performance throughout our five global offices and developing and supporting our senior leadership team.


He says, “I want every single person at Meet to have access to opportunity. We bring brilliant people together to create life-improving medicines, technology, and education – it’s extremely gratifying, and I feel tremendously lucky to work alongside such bright individuals and to support an industry as brilliant as Life Sciences.”


Head to his bio to learn more about Anton’s incredible career and mindset.



A Synopsis of Anton’s Chosen Book:


So You Want To Talk About Race explores the complex reality of today’s racial landscape, addressing issues head-on, such as white privilege, police brutality, systemic discrimination, micro-aggressions, intersectionality, and the Black Lives Matter movement. 


Beginning each chapter with a different question, Ijeoma Oluo’s words are straightforward, passionate, and effective, with the rare ability to inject wit into the coverage of sensitive, hyper-charged issues. Altogether, this book is full of valuable ideas, tips, and strategies – particularly for white people who want to better understand how racism reveals itself in society and better support racialised groups. 

Whether you’re familiar with or a newcomer to these issues, this book is accessible and guaranteed to teach you something new. Oleo is candid and confrontational in her writing, yet she utilises plain language to be understood by everyone, with a tone that illustrates her frustration and intense empathy for humanity. 


If you want to engage on matters of race in an enlightening and productive way and learn more about how you can contribute to the dismantling of the current racial divide, add So You Want To Talk About Race to your bookshelf! 



Anton’s Thoughts on So You Want To Talk About Race:


“This book is enormously grounding, challenging, and insightful. It dares us to look inward at our own privilege, introduces entirely new ways of looking at the world, opens our eyes to how others often think and feel, and helps us understand the weight we hold to confront power imbalances within our society. 


While we pride ourselves on being a people-focused and inclusive business, this book has encouraged me to look deeper at how we can listen, support, and best understand each other’s experiences – even when they are so very different from our own. 


Listening, appreciating, and asking questions to those around us really is the key to success. As a leader, I only hope to continue learning how I can help each member of our team understand their value, not just in the workplace but in the world at large.”




Is this your first time getting involved in our version of Book Club? Catch up on part one here and part two here.


If you’re up to date, don’t forget to pop back to the blog next month when three more from our leadership team offer up their best book recommendations!

Book in a call with one of the team about your hiring needs.

Meet Recruitment 2022. Meet Recruitment Ltd., Meet Recruitment Inc. and Meet Personalberatung GmbH are all subsidiaries of Meet Group (No. 13556131) a company registered in England and Wales at Irongate House, 22-30 Dukes Place, London, EC3A 7LP.
Site by Venn