Professional Development Book Club


Membership is currently closed. I’m not taking any new members right now as this program is under review.

If you want an in-house book club professionally curated and facilitated and totally customised for your team, please contact me, I’d be delighted to make this happen for you.

The Professional Development Book Club – PDBC™ – has five objectives:

1. professional, personal and leadership development

2. no hustle, gentle accountability

3. read more books (not emails!)

4. better thinking through diverse reading and discussion

5. networking and connection with other professionals

Do you want a book club for your team or company? Try with a 3 book program!


Do you want to focus developing a specific skill in your team?

“Personal development is a major time-saver. The better you become, the less time it takes you to achieve your goals.”

―Brian Tracy–

Reading Connects and Develops

When a group of diverse professionals come together to discuss the same book the opportunity to take away rich and varied perspectives; new learning; ideas for action; and a stronger network… it’s a no-brainer!

Making, taking or finding time to read professional and personal development books can be a massive challenge for many busy professionals. Reading for development usually falls into the “I wish” category. There are many reasons why managers don’t read or read as much as they’d like. Reasons include:

I keep buying books but never seem to find the time to read them. I now have an overwhelming stack of books I doubt I’ll ever get to.

So many books, so little time.

I simply just don’t know what to read. 

I buy books, I start them but never seem to finish them.

These are common comments intelligent managers share. It’s no secret that reading expands your worldview, book clubs are renowned for helping people stay accountable to reading, gaining deeper insights into the book topic and boost individual development.

The Professional Development Book Club is designed to be do-able: one book per quarter and then make the reading even more meaningful through a facilitated discussion with the other managers. 

? Benefits of the Professional Development Book Club™ ?

? Realistic pace: one book per quarter and share your insights!

? Read books not emails: As a busy leader making time to read for your professional development is critical so you won’t have your precious time cluttered with extraneous emails between club meetings!

? Facilitated discussion: semi-structured conversation to maximise discussion to gain and share insights!

? No travel time: online book club meetings! (Face to face networking events are planned for the future)!

? Minimal impact to your day: meetings scheduled at the edge of your day!

?Affordable professional and personal development: Low annual fee and your choice of quarterly fee!

To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting.

Edmund Burke

Irish Philosopher

The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.

Mark Twain

The Professional Development Book Club™ will:

  • Help you read more.
  • Improve reading.
  • Boost your confidence and improve your communication skills through contributing to discussions, including discussing topics that you may disagree with.
  • Widen your world view while expanding your professional network.
  • Increase your competitive advantage in your industry and within your organisation.
  • Improve your productivity.

PDBC™ Format:


4 books read over the course of a year!


Quarterly Book Voting:

Three book titles will be presented for voting each quarter. Members are encouraged to give suggestions for the book voting. As the objective is personal and professional development the books will pre-dominantly be non-fiction, from a diverse range of topic areas. Best sellers will no doubt be popular but PDBC™ will ensure you read to expand your comfort zone! 

Read and reflect!

Enough time to read and digest the book, and reflect on how that book impacted you: what you gained from it, agreed with it and disagreed with it. Reflection questions will be provided as a guide (not a rule).

Quarterly Book Club Meetings:

Book club will meet online, and run to a facilitated session designed to draw out discussion. Meetings will run for 90min’s. Recordings and the transcript of the meeting supplied to all members. One book, multiple perspectives! The meetings will be at the ‘edge of the day’ so there’s no disruption. Dates and more details are below: Monday 4pm – 5:30pm AEST.

Private LinkedIn Group:

All PDBC™ Members will be invited into a private LinkedIn Group. This is a community of managers who have undertaken to read the books and participate in the online club meetings. It’s designed to provide added support, network, ask questions, celebrate wins, and provide announcements. 

Extra Resources:

Each quarter you’ll receive a resource that will help motivate you to keep reading and support your reading and participation in PDBC™ Meetings. 


No Email Clutter:

You’re busy, you get enough emails already. You will recive emails intermittantly: some general interest regarding professional development reading; and voting and important announcements. You will not be spammed with unnecessary emails. This is to help avoid overwhelm in your day. 


In an ever increasingly disconnected world, PDBC™ connects humans!


A private, internal book club fully facilitated for your team is a cost effective and efficient format for delivering professional development of your team. 

  • Book topics selected based on development needs.
  • Facilitated book discussions.
  • Team coaching and community of practice session. 
  • Grab the brochure: click here.

Email or phone to discuss:  


+61 401 442 464

Save the Dates: 

Date claimers for your calendar: while you will receive reminders and online meeting requests, be sure to add these dates into your calendar now so you never miss a meeting:


18th READING QUARTER: 1st November to 29th February 2024  

BOOK CLUB MEETING: Monday 26th February 2024, 4:00pm to 5:30pm AEST


The world belongs to those who read.

Rick Holland

Membership T&C’s: the nitty-gritty:


Non-fiction Books: The aim of PDBC™ is personal and professional development which means the books suggested and voted for reading will mostly be non-fiction books. That being said books that are fiction but provide a development opportunity may be put up for consideration by members. For example, Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson is a classic book that is written as a story yet is a metaphor for what you want in life. Areas for development can be varied. This is deliberate: the intention is to widen and strengthen your reading comfort zone and therefore your self-leadership.

Books could be:

  • Biographies / Memoirs – Leaders & Notable People, Professionals & Academics, Special Groups 
  • Business & Economics – Accounting, Biography & History, Communication & Psychology, Economics, Education & Reference, Finance/Taxation, Human Resources, Industries, Insurance, International, Investing, Job Hunting & Careers, Management & Leadership, Marketing & Sales, Personal Finance
  • Processes, Entrepreneurship, Intrapreneurship, Women & Business
  • Philosophy, Social Sciences, Women’s Studies
  • Best Sellers of Thought Leaders
  • And this is just the beginning … 

Can I Opt-Out Of A Quarter If I Don’t Like The Book?: It is highly recommended that you challenge yourself to read the voted book. The learning is in the debrief, that is, the club meeting discussion, and this gives you the opportunity to share why the book didn’t resonate with you and you can learn about other’s insights gained from the book. Alternatively, you can simply skip reading the book, participate as much as you wish in the meeting, to focus on maintaining your network, or not attend the meeting. Opting out of your membership, even periodically, will mean having to re-join and pay the membership joining fee again. 

What If I Already Have The Book?: If you opted for receiving books via the post and you already have the book, then gift it forward to a colleague or customer who you know will get value from reading the book. You could donate it to your organisation’s library or sell it. It’s your’s to do as you wish.

Why Four Books?: Australian’s spend 6 hours per week reading, but reading what? CEO’s and educated women are the most prolific readers. PDBC™ covers four books annually. When you add reading and reflection, discussion and active participation in the online membership group it is more than manageable given busy lifestyles. Even if you are an avid reader, this provides you with an additional four books: books you might not have considered reading otherwise. PDBC™ strengthens your reading habit and helps you reach your reading goals. 

Who Decides The Books?: In short, the membership. Every quarter you vote on three books and the book with the most votes is the book to read. All members are encouraged to suggest books to be put up for voting. What this does is help you read beyond your comfort zone. Should, for some reason, the book voted to be read is not be in supply the next most voted book will be the nominated book to read.

Why 90 Minute Meetings?: The online meeting will be scheduled for 90 minutes however if the discussion feels complete – as determined by all attendees – then it can end earlier. Same for if the discussion is going strong, the time can be extended. 

Why Monday Afternoon Meetings?: Picking the right day and time will always be a challenge. Monday afternoon meetings gives you the weekend before to finish reading and reflecting and be ready for the meeting. Monday afternoon does not interfere with morning rituals and does not intrude on your evenings. 

What About School and Public Holidays?: Meetings are scheduled a year in advance and all Australian public holidays have been, as best possible, taken into account. You’ll notice the quarters are not a clean division of a calendar year into four quarters. This is deliberate to avoid, again as best possible, holding meetings during Australian school holidays. Every effort has been made to make every meeting accessible, you will however might experience some clashes. This is why you have full access to meeting recordings. The reading quarters and meeting dates are listed on this website so you can plan your own calendar accordingly. You will receive online meeting invites closer to the meeting date to ensure the meetings are in your calendar and you can plan accordingly. 

How is the Discussion Facilitated?: The questions for discussion are designed to guide reflection and be a form of agenda for the meeting. This is not intended to be so structured that the discussion and thinking are stifled, it’s intended to provide a comfortable balance of structure and guidance so that the time spent in the meeting is valuable, rich in thought, discussion and learning, and respectful of everyone’s insights and learnings. Everyone is encouraged to contribute their views, learnings and insights. Every effort is made to ensure everyone participates at a level that suits them.  

Why Online Meetings?: Meeting online serves three main purposes: 

  1. No travel time required
  2. Reduces costs in venue hire and catering
  3. You can be almost anywhere and participate 

Networking functions are planned for the future. 

What is Zoom?: To conduct the online PDBC™ meeting we will use an online meeting platform called Zoom. You can learn more about it here. We will use both the video and audio and every meeting will be recorded and then transcribed. As part of your membership fee, you will have access to the video, audio and transcript to refer back to, or if you can’t make the meeting you can catch up. 

Why LinkedIn and not Facebook?: As part of your membership you will be invited to join the private LinkedIn Group. While groups are far more prolific on Facebook and are incredibly diverse. Using LinkedIn is intended to encourage you to be a strategic networker for your career / professional life.

Membership Fees: There are two types of membership: 

1. Purchase Your Own Book: B.Y.O.: You take total responsibility for purchasing your own book (hard copy, kindle, ereader, audio) to suit your preferred reading style. Be mindful to purchase your book giving yourself plenty of time to do the reading and be able to actively participate in the meetings. Your postal address will be required as you will receive extra resources throughout the year. 

2. Book Supplied: “Ooh. I love getting parcels in the post” …. That’s right, once the book vote is completed, your book will be ordered and sent to you. Naturally your postal address will be required, and you will also receive extra resources throughout the year. 

What If I Want to Cancel My Membership?: You will be missed and it would be great to know why – feedback is essential for improving. To cancel or opt out of your PDBC™ membership, simply send an email to sally@sallyfoleylewis.com and all future automatic payment schedules will be stopped. You will have full access to all resources up to the end of the current quarter.

Can You Do This For My Team?: Absolutely. I’d be delighted to work with you to create an internal facilitated book club for your team. Here’s a brochure for the in-house book club program. Complete the form here and I’ll be touch to get started. 

I Still Have A Question: You can send through your questions to sally@sallyfoleylewis.com and I’ll answer anything you want to know, we can jump on a quick call if that suits you.  

What the Professional Development Book Club™ members have read so far…

Below are the books we’ve read. Members can suggest books to read and every quarter the members vote from three book options.

Members have club lifetime access to the recordings of club meetings.

Book 17:

Ikigai by Hector Garci and Francesc Miralles

Icon for reading and reflecting for Book club for Professional Development

Book 18:

Read more

Icon for reading and reflecting for Book club for Professional Development


Currently under review

Icon for reading and reflecting for Book club for Professional Development


Atlas of the Heart by Brene Brown

Icon for reading and reflecting for Book club for Professional Development

Book 14:

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni

Icon for reading and reflecting for Book club for Professional Development

Book 15:

 Swtich by Chip and Dan Heath

Icon for reading and reflecting for Book club for Professional Development

1st Mar 2023 – 31st May 2023

Book 16:

Head & Heart by Kirsten Ferguson

Icon for reading and reflecting for Book club for Professional Development

1st June 2023 – 31st Aug 2023

Book 9:

The Art of Quiet Influence by Jocelyn Davis

Icon for reading and reflecting for Book club for Professional Development

Book 10:

FLAWSOME: The Journey to Being Whole is Learning to be Holey by Georgia Murch

Book 11:

More Time To think: A Way of Being in the World

by Nancy Kline

Icon for reading and reflecting for Book club for Professional Development

Book 12:

Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals

By Oliver Burkeman

Icon for reading and reflecting for Book club for Professional Development

Book 5:

When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel H. Pink

Book 6:

The Alter Ego Effect by Todd Herman

Icon for reading and reflecting for Book club for Professional Development

Book 7:

Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss with Tahl Raz

Sally Foley Lewis Book Club

Book 8:

Radical Candor: How to get what you want by saying what you mean by Kim Scott

Icon for reading and reflecting for Book club for Professional Development

Book 1:

Atomic Habits by James Clear

Book 2:

Great Communication Secrets of Great Leaders by John Baldoni

Book 3:

The Courage To Be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga

Book 4:

It’s Who You Know by Janine Garner


Think before you speak. Read before you think.

Fran Lebowitz

If you are going to get anywhere in life you have to read a lot of books.

Roald Dahl

Great books help you understand, and they help you feel understood

John Green