Yikes! I Forgot! Ideas for Last Minute Office Gifts!

Last Updated: Dec 18, 2014 | Executive Coaching

GiftWe all do it at least one per holiday season… meaning to get a gift for someone in the office (maybe the receptionist we pass every day, maybe our new counterpart in Marketing) but then it slips our mind and we’re trying to figure out if we can squeeze one last errand in at lunch.

There’s also the stress of etiquette: to whom do I give and how much? How will they take it?

But don’t fret… Amazon is your friend and Arden is here to help you navigate our favorite books from this past year:

As to etiquette, we suggest this:

  • Give from the heart, not from obligation.
  • DON’T give a gift to curry favor.
  • Give (overly) appropriate gifts — rather than risk offending someone. This includes no alcohol and probably not food. Certainly nothing religious or political.
  • The thoughtfulness of the item is more important that the item itself. Better to give a thoughtful token than an extravagant generic item.

For these reasons, and just because they’re generally fabulous, we love BOOKS! Yes, they may not be the most original of items, but they can express a lot of thought and care, be incredibly valuable to the recipient far beyond the investment to the giver, form the basis of interesting conversations to come, and are easy to purchase (and to stash in your desk for that last minute gift for the person you accidentally left off your list!)

Here are some of our favorite books for the workplace this year:

1. Death By Meeting by Patrick Lencioni: Awesome awesome awesome to kill those boring meetings!  Give to everyone on your team!portability

2. Immunity to Change by Kegan and Leahy: Makes our list every year for a reason. A dense and valuable read for anyone leading a substantial change within their organization (or themselves.) We use this work as the basis for many Leadership Offsites. Not a particularly light read – but worth it!

3. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain:  For the introverted leader on your list, this book discusses the value of the not-so-loud-and-extroverted.

4. Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done by Bossidy and Charan: It focuses on how to make best use of your attention at the top of the organization, and how to apply all that knowledge. Great for the bosses on your list.

5. The Knowing-Doing Gap: How Smart Companies Turn Knowledge into Action by Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert L. Sutton:   Herein lies the rub! The difference between a great idea and something that actually makes a difference to the organization lies in these pages. Great for those leading change or for the idea-fairy on your list (give with tact.)

6. The First 90 Days by Michael Watkins: Great for the new hire (link to post on what to do in a new role – think it was Lynn’s?) or your friend taking on (or wanting to take on!) a new role in 2015. Practical advice on making those first months count.

7. To Sell is Human by Daniel Pink: Selling is really getting someone excited about your idea, and we need to do that all the time! This is a good gift for those looking to influence others, especially if they don’t come by it naturally.

8. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by  Susan Jeffers, Ph.D.: This is truly a classic, originally published in January 1987.  Great for the person you’d like to give a loving nudge to. Courage in book form!

9. Your Brain at Work by David Rock: Practical advice about how to best use the workday and your schedule to your advantage. Brings brain science to the masses is a clear and useable way.

10. Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office by Lois P. Frankel: This has made our list before, but it’s a classic. Complete with quiz at the beginning to determine which sections to focus on, this is for the woman who wants to advance but isn’t coming across as executive material.

Remember, with any of these, the personal note you provide along with the book will be the true gift and go the farthest toward establishing the connection between you, them, and this book. If you’ve read and enjoyed it, say why. If you’ve not read it but heard it was good, tell them why you think they might enjoy it.

Give from the heart and you can’t go wrong.

Send us your recommendations! We love our ever-expanding bookshelf!

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