The holidays offer a reprieve from the daily grind. In between catching up with family and friends and binge-watching your favourite series, be sure to squeeze in some time to curl up with a good book to help you refocus for the year ahead.

From advice on leadership and motivation to treasured reads on character building, here are some books recommended by members of the financial services community:

> Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
By Carol Dweck
Random House, 2006
276 pages
(Recommended by Patti Jo Wiese, business growth strategist at PJ Wiese Group in Vancouver)

What separates those who persevere in the face of adversity? The answer, says Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck, is a difference in mindset. There are those who subscribe to the notion that talent determines success, while others believe talent only takes you so far.

People who approach life with a "growth mindset," Dweck says, cultivate success through determined effort and practice. They're more likely to treat failure as a lesson in itself, whereas those with a "fixed mindset" avoid failure at all costs.

> The Road to Character
By David Brooks
Random House, 2015
320 pages
(Recommended by Elizabeth Hoyle, chief marketing officer at Bridgehouse Asset Managers in Toronto)

In his pursuit of what defines success, David Brooks, a New York Times op-ed columnist, comes to the realization that a strong inner character is what sets great leaders and thinkers apart from the rest of the crop.

Brooks implores readers to "rethink their priorities" and to cultivate a "rich inner life."

> Your Client's Story: Know Your Clients and the Rest Will Follow
By Scott West and Mitch Anthony
Insights Press, 2005
261 pages
(Recommended by Carrie Kimberley, director of practice management at Credential Financial in Vancouver)

Take a page from the playbook of financial advisors who manage the entirety of their clients' assets. From scripts on how to hold a substantive discovery dialogue to clients' take on the financial-planning process, Scott West and Mitch Anthony make the case that understanding your client's story can make all the difference and is the key to a successful business relationship.

> Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us
by Seth Godin
Portfolio, 2008
160 pages
(Recommended by Patti Jo Wiese)

Whither the unidentifiable, undifferentiated masses? Today, thanks to the Internet, the masses have been subdivided into "tribes," which coalesce around shared interests, the exchange of ideas and common causes.

For those working with a niche, this book offers insight into how leaders hold their chosen community together.

> Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't
by Simon Sinek
Penguin, 2014
256 pages
(Recommended by Sara Gilbert, founder of Strategist Business Development in Montreal)

Those Marines may be onto something. In the U.S. Marine chow hall, hierarchy dictates that junior Marines — not seniors — get first dibs on the grub.

The lesson? Sinek argues that leaders willing to place their team's needs ahead of their own are able to foster a cohesive unit and are rewarded with deep loyalty. A must-read for financial advisors interested in team building.

Photo copyright: alexraths/123RF