All the Best Business Books to Add to Your Summer Reading List
Looking to build out your reading list? Check out the best business books recommended by the Whereby team here.
Summertime is in full swing, and it’s time to dive into your to-be-read pile. The time-honored tradition of summer reading lists takes many of us back to childhood afternoons spent with stacks of library books. For others, it’s all about the great beach read – the trashier the better. And some find the hot-and-steamy months the perfect time to launch a book club complete with frosty libations.
Whatever your summer reading vibe, remember that there’s no rule about sticking to purely frivolous book picks. In fact, summer can be a great time to immerse yourself in some inspiring non-fiction. After all, before we know it, fall will be here, and everyone will be kicking back into high gear. So why not give yourself a jump start by reading something that will help you learn some new skills and strategies or give you a new perspective on an old situation?
To start you off on the right foot, we’ve collected some of our team’s favorite business books. This specially curated list has a little something for everyone. So, pick something and get reading. You never know when a book might change your life!
To help you get started with your summer reading, we're giving 10 people the chance to win one of our favourite business books! Click here to enter the competition.
Be Your Best You
1. Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones
If you’re having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn’t you. It’s your system. That’s what James Clear, one of the world’s leading experts on habit formations, explains in Atomic Habits. Illustrated with true stories about Olympic gold medalists, award-winning artists, business leaders, life-saving physicians, and start comedians, the proven plan James lays out in Atomic Habits distills the complex science of habits into an easy-to-understand – and implement – set of tools and strategies to help you create tiny changes that bring about remarkable results.
2. Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions
We like to think that we’re making smart, rational choices; but that’s an illusion. In fact, research shows that expectations, emotions, social norms, and other seemingly illogical focus skew our reasoning abilities on the regular. In fact, not only do we make a lot of mistakes, we repeat the same kinds of mistakes over and over. But there is a method to the madness. In Predictably Irrational, Dan Ariely reveals why we splurge on a lavish meal but cut coupons to save twenty-five cents on a can of soup. And then he breaks down the systematic patterns of thought that lead to these irrational choices so we can understand what’s happening, and change it.
3. Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person
Could one small, three-letter word change your life? Yes. Yes, it could. In Year of Yes, critically acclaimed and award-winning creator and executive producer Shonda Rhimes (Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder, and more) shares her journey through a year of saying yes to every unexpected invitation that came her way. It was an experiment that transformed every aspect of her life. This poignant, intimate, and often hilarious memoir explores Shonda’s extremely introverted life before her Year of Yes and then chronicles what happened after she started saying yes, stepped out of the shadows, and learned to empower, applaud, and love her truest self.
4. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
“In your face,” “hilarious,” “vulgar,” and “immensely thought-provoking” – these are just a few of the accolades reviewers have heaped on this unique, no-BS self-help book for people who hate self-help books. Penned by superstar blogger Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck starts with a simple premise: Everything we’ve been told about how to improve our lives is wrong. Mark says that instead of trying to turn lemons into lemonade, we should learn to stomach lemons. In other words, he suggests we recalibrate our values and our definition of “happy” so we can actually flourish in this crazy world. If you need help coming to terms with all of life’s unavoidable imperfections, this might be the book for you.
5. Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers
In Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers, renowned primatologist Robert M. Sapolsky explains how the constant activation of our stress response literally makes us sick. With a combination of fascinating research and down-to-earth humor, Robert explains how prolonged stress can either cause or exacerbate a wide range of physical and mental afflictions ranging from depression to colitis, heart disease, and more. Thankfully, he also provides helpful insights about how to control our stress response. The new third edition includes new chapters on sleep and addiction.
6. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
Why do habits exist? Can you change them? What exactly is human nature? Named one of the best books of the year by both The Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times, The Power of Habit includes illuminating narratives that trace the influence of changed habits from the board rooms at Procter & Gamble to the NFL locker rooms to the front lines of the civil rights movement. Award-winning business reporter Charles Duhigg helps readers understand how to transform businesses, communities, and lives by harnessing the power of science to tap into the full potential of human nature. The good news: habits aren’t destiny. And with Charles’ guidance, you can change your habits and your destiny.
Build and Manage Teams Like a (Great) Boss
7. Radical Candor
With a subtitle like “Be a Kick-ass Boss without Losing Your Humanity,” it’s no wonder this book has already been translated into 20 languages and made the NYT and WSJ bestseller lists. The concept is simple: You don’t have to choose between having people walk all over you or ruling with an iron fist. In this book, author Kim Scott walks you through her approach to effective leadership based on caring personally and challenging directly, soliciting criticism to improve your leadership, and providing guidance that helps others grow. The outcome is a culture of Compassionate Candor, a more cohesive team, and the ability to achieve results collaboratively.
8. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable
Following his first two best-selling books, The Five Temptations of a CEO and The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive, Patrick Lencioni delivers a leadership fable that is at once keenly engaging and profoundly instructive. Considered one of the most definitive sources on team building, The Five Dysfunctions tells the story of Kathryn Petersen, Decision Tech’s CEO, as she faces a leadership challenge of uniting a team that is in such disarray it might bring the entire company down around her ears. Patrick weaves the story around the five dysfunctions that reveal why even the best teams struggle, and he outlines a model and actionable steps to help leaders build more cohesive and effective teams. Deceptively simple, this fable provides valuable insight for anyone working to become an exceptional team leader.
9. The Making of a Manager: What to Do When Everyone Looks to You
According to Julie Zhuo, good managers are made, not born. That’s great news for managers who feel like they have no idea what they are doing. It’s tough when you’re the manager and everyone expects you to have all the answers. That was Julie’s experience when she landed her first managerial position at the age of twenty-five. The Making of a Manager is the book she wishes she had as a first-time manager. It’s full of shortcuts to help newly minted managers navigate difficult situations, build their confidence, and find success more quickly. Covering real-world topics like giving feedback, hiring, running amazing meetings, and nurturing culture, this book is an invaluable resource that has earned blurbs from dozens of leading CEOs and fellow business writers.
10. Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High
Crucial conversations are often a pivot point in our careers, relationships, and future plans. Sometimes, they can be more stressful than public speaking. It can be hard to keep your cool when the stakes and your emotions are high, which then makes it hard to focus and create the outcome you want. In Crucial Conversations, authors Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler provide the tools you need to handle life’s most difficult and meaningful conversations with grace and conviction. They deliver guidance on how to prepare for high-impact situations, make it safe to tackle almost any topic, be persuasive, and generally turn crucial conversations into the action and results you want.
11. Resilient Management
If you’re a new manager or team lead who feels like fake-it-til-you-make-it is a risky strategy, you’re not alone. More to the point, you don’t have to go it alone. In Resilient Management, Lara Hogan shares her insightful and digestible advice for supporting and leading a tech team. Key topics include how to develop your mentoring and coaching skills, how to get comfortable with difficult conversations, how to increase trust among teammates, and so much more. Lara’s whole career is dedicated to coaching managers and leaders in the tech industry, so she has a lot of inside experience about how things work (and what to do when they don’t). Reviewers rave about the way Lara combines empathy and thoughtfulness with effectiveness so managers of all levels can deliver great results while remaining personally grounded.
Get in Touch with your Softer Side
12. The Power of Vulnerability
“In our culture,” teaches Dr. Brené Brown, “we associate vulnerability with emotions we want to avoid such as fear, shame, and uncertainty. Yet we too often lose sight of the fact that vulnerability is also the birthplace of joy, belonging, creativity, authenticity, and love.” Over twelve years, Brené interviewed hundreds of people for an in-depth study of vulnerability. As a result, she collected many insights and identified the life-changing concept of “being wholehearted.” In The Power of Vulnerability, Brené shares the 10 guideposts of wholehearted living. By learning these essential skills for becoming fully engaged in life, readers can learn to lean into the full spectrum of emotions, show up, be seen, and be truly all in. It’s a powerful shift that can change how you see the world, and how you move through it.
13. The Power of Now – A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment
One of Eckhart Tolle’s foundational works, The Power of Now is all about how to achieve happiness and enlightenment by living in the moment. Sound like something you’ve heard before? Perhaps, but Tolle’s clear and enthusiastic presentation sheds new and inspiring light on the topic. Renowned for his ability to open people’s eyes and shift their perceptions of the world, Tolle packs a lot of valuable information and ideas into The Power of Now. Translated into more than 50 languages, this true classic has helped countless people journey into the Now, find inner peace, and increase their joy.
Unlock the Secrets of Success
14. Grit – the Power of Passion and Perseverance
Why do some people succeed while others fail? That’s the question pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth set out to answer with her landmark research into what creates success in parenting, athletics, business, and more. The bottom line: Success is less about innate talent and more about what she calls “grit” – a combination of passion and perseverance for a singularly important goal. In her book, Angela shares insights from dozens of high achievers including Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase, and Coach Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks. And when Malcolm Gladwell calls a book “... persuasive and fascinating…” you know it’s worth your time.
15. Good to Great – Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t
How can good companies, mediocre companies, even bad companies achieve enduring greatness? That’s the question that plagued Jim Collins (also the author of Built to Last). To get answers, Jim embarked on a five-year research project analyzing the histories of 28 companies to uncover exactly why some achieved truly great performance while others remained merely meh. Good to Great shares key strategies leaders can use to jump ahead, including the concept of Level 5 Leaders, The Hedgehog Concept, the importance of a Culture of Discipline, and The Flywheel and Doom Loop.
16. Measure What Matters
When business titans like Larry Page, Bill Gates, and Sheryl Sandberg are lining up to sing a book’s praises, you know it’s got to be good. And it doesn’t hurt that the author is responsible for introducing Google’s founders to the concept of OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) back in the early days. In Measure What Matters, legendary investor John Doerr makes the case for ambitious goal setting and meticulous execution. He shares a broad range of first-person, behind-the-scenes case studies that demonstrate exactly how OKRs have contributed to the success of some of the most successful and well-known organizations of our time.
Accept the Mantle of Leadership
17. The Hard Thing About Hard Things – Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers
This is a book for aspiring and veteran entrepreneurs who have moved past setting big, hairy, audacious goals and dreaming big. Author Ben Horowitz is the co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of Silicon Valley’s most respected and experienced startup builders. The Hard Thing About Hard Things offers honest, practical wisdom about how to overcome the challenges that confront leaders every day. Delivered with his trademark humor and straight talk (along with lyrics from his favorite rap songs), the insights in this book address everything from hiring and training to minimizing politics to firing friends and poaching competitors. It also provides great advice on how to manage your own psychology when the whole company is relying on you.
18. The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done
Long considered “the dean of this country’s business and management philosophers” (Wall Street Journal), Peter Drucker’s work has been influencing business leaders since 1942. This timeless classic, with a foreword by Jim Collins, focuses on the executive’s ability to “get the right things done.” There are two parts to getting the right things done: doing what other people have overlooked and avoiding unproductive work. The Effective Executive outlines five essential practices: managing time, choosing what to contribute, knowing how to mobilize strength, setting priorities, and knitting all that together with effective decision making.
19. The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business
True leaders aren’t made at business school. In fact, many people will tell you that MBA programs – even the ones at elite schools – are a waste of time and money. Instead of following some cookie-cutter formula, the best leaders proactively seek out the knowledge, skills, and experiences they need to succeed. In The Personal MBA, Josh Kaufman offers a world-class business education that covers the fundamentals of modern business practice: how to make good business decisions, how to maximize your personal productivity, how to manage uncertainty and ambiguity, and how to conduct intelligent experiments to improve your results. So, avoid the eye-popping tuition and student loans, and read up to learn how businesses actually work and how to use business-related skills to accomplish your personal goals.
20. Principles: Life and Work
Sometimes called “the Steve Jobs of investing,” Ray Dalio is one of the world’s most successful investors and entrepreneurs. From modest beginnings in 1975, he built the investment firm Bridgewater Associates, which has made more money for its clients than any other hedge fund in history. In Principles, Ray shares hundreds of practical lessons built on his cornerstones of “radical truth” and “radical transparency.” Based on his vast experience, he presents the most effective methods for making decisions, approaching challenges, and building strong teams. Ray’s unconventional principles have influenced leaders like Bill Gates, Mike Bloombert, Arianna Huffington, and many more.
21. Rise: 3 Practical Steps for Advancing Your Career, Standing Out as a Leader, and Liking Your Life
At age thirty-three, Patty Azzarello became the youngest general manager at Hewlett-Packard. At thirty-five, she ran a $1 billion software business. And at thirty-eight, she became a CEO. Perhaps most surprising, she accomplished all this without turning into a self-centered, miserable jerk. In Rise, Patty shares her insider secrets to balancing career advancement with having a life: Do Better, Look Better, and Connect Better. For people just starting up the corporate ladder to folks who are only a step away from the corner office, Rise clarifies the difference between actually getting ahead and just working hard.
22. The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels
Change is hard. Are you starting a new job? Did you just accept a promotion? Have you been assigned to take on an overseas project or step up as CEO? Moving into a new role is exciting, but it’s also one of the biggest challenges a manager can face. It can feel extremely risky and vulnerable. Those first three months are critical to ensuring initial and ongoing success. Published by Harvard Business Review Press, The First 90 Days was named one of 100 Leadership & Success Books to Read in a Lifetime by Amazon Editors. In the updated and expanded version, author Michael D. Watkins – a noted expert in leadership transitions – walks readers through every aspect of the transition scenario, including the most common pitfalls and the tools and strategies that will help you avoid them.
Forge Ahead Into New Territory
23. HYPERGROWTH: How the Customer-Driven Model Is Revolutionizing the Way Businesses Build Products, Teams, & Brands
The age of Waterfall and Agile is over. So says David Cancel, serial entrepreneur and Drift Founder and CEO. In HYPERGROWTH, David shares a modern approach for building SaaS products people love. The secret to success: making customer communication a central priority. To achieve this, David shares practical advice and frameworks for becoming truly customer driven in a way that will help you grow your business. Topics covered include Responsive Development (RD), The Burndown Framework (to make you faster and more flexible than Agile), the Three-Person Team, and more. Written for entrepreneurs, startup founders, product managers, and anyone who wants to help build the next great product, HYPERGROWTH has earned rave reviews and a strong following.
24. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
According to authors Peter Thiel and Blake Masters, tomorrow’s champions will not win by competing ruthlessly in today’s marketplace. They will rise above the competition by launching wholly unique businesses that innovate in unanticipated ways and forge ahead into uncharted territory. A balm for anyone who worries that everything has already been done, Zero to One makes the case that while technology has taken the spotlight, progress can be achieved in any industry or area of business. And to achieve this progress, leaders must master one core skill: thinking for themselves. Peter and Blake offer an optimistic view of the future and an invitation to ask the questions that lead you to find value in unexpected places.
25. The Signals Are Talking: Why Today’s Fringe Is Tomorrow’s Mainstream
You might not be able to get your hands on a crystal ball, but futurist Amy Webb is the next best thing. In The Signals Are Talking, Amy combines her trademark curiosity and skepticism with fascinating stories and in-depth real-world analysis to help readers learn to identify the next big trends and innovations. Clear and insightful, this guide is both delightful to read and practical. Far from being a collection of vague predictions, The Signals Are Talking reveals a systemic way of evaluating new ideas so that you can make the distinction between real trends and what is merely trendy. Learn how technologies like AI, machine learning, self-driving cars, bots, and more will affect our lives, businesses, and even the way we think.
26. Alchemy: The Surprising Power of Ideas That Don't Make Sense
Sometimes, brilliance is surprisingly irrational. For instance, why is Red Bull so popular despite the fact that it tastes awful? In Alchemy, TED Talk superstar and Ogilvy advertising legend Rory Sutherland encourages leaders to approach problem solving by abandoning logic. Blending cutting-edge behavioral science with jaw-dropping stories and a pinch of branding magic, Rory shows how traditional economists, businesses, and governments are wrong about humans being rational creatures who make decisions based on evidence. And then, he shows how to tap into that irrationality to create surprising success with ideas that don’t make sense.
27. Good Strategy/Bad Strategy: The difference and why it matters
Tired of buzzwords, shallow motivational slogans, and business books that turn out to contain only a single idea stretched out to book length? If so, Good Strategy/Bad Strategy offers a refreshing and deep dive on business strategy. Each chapter explores a different aspect of strategy, highlighting a wide range of fundamental issues that are often overlooked and undervalued. Author Richard Rumelt writes about the intrinsic value of a coherent strategy, how good strategy has a basic underlying logic, and why the most common path to success is not raw innovation, but the ability to ride the waves of change with skill.
28. Rebel Ideas: The Power of Diverse Thinking
Some of the best ideas come from rebels and outsiders. In Rebel Ideas, author Matthew Syed offers a radical blueprint for creative problem solving that challenges traditional hierarchies and encourages constructive dissent. Taking readers on a fascinating journey through the science of team performance, this book taps into psychology, economics, anthropology, and genetics to show your individual intelligence is no longer adequate to solve today’s problems. To successfully solve complex modern problems, we need to harness the power of our “cognitive diversity.” Filled with case studies ranging from the intelligence failings of the CIA prior to 9/11 to a moving tale of deradicalization in America’s deep South, Rebel Ideas helps thinkers break free of the proverbial echo chamber to develop a powerful “outsider mindset.”
Find Your Company’s Sweet Spot
29. Start With Why - How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
Based on the most-watched TED Talk of all time, Start With Why is Simon Sinek’s inspiring exploration of how the most influential leaders of our time all think, act, and communicate in the same way … and it’s the opposite of what everyone else does. Simon’s Golden Circle framework illustrates how starting with WHY is the best way to build strong organizations and movements. Considered required reading by pretty much everyone, Start With Why will help you be more inspired at work.
30. The Discipline of Market Leaders – Choose Your Customers, Narrow Your Focus, Dominate Your Market
Success isn’t about being first to market. It’s about being first to product/market fit. There’s a big difference. In this classic bestseller for any business striving to achieve market dominance, authors Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema outline the tactics that can help you identify what your company does better than anyone else, what unique value you provide to customers, and how you can increase that value. Their extensive research with top CEOs across the country revealed that the most successful companies avoid wasting their time trying to be everything to everyone. Instead, category leaders win market share by mastering one of three “value disciplines”: the highest quality products, the lowest prices, or the best customer experiences. Citing examples from FedEx to Walmart, The Discipline of Market Leaders spells out in plain language how leaders become leaders.
31. The Mom Test – How to talk to customers and learn if your business is a good idea when everyone is lying to you
Billed as a quick, practical guide that will save you time, money, and heartbreak, The Mom Test by Rob Fitzpatrick explains why talking to customers is one of the foundational skills of both customer development and the lean startup. The fact is that asking your mom whether your business is a good idea won’t help you get to the truth because she loves you and will lie to you. In fact, pretty much anyone you ask will lie to you at least a little, so you need to take matters into your own hands if you want straight answers. With this handbook, you’ll learn how to get more learning and more sales out of your customer conversations every time.
Build a Better Mousetrap
32. Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products
With Hooked, author Nir Eyal wrote the book he wished he’d had as a startup founder. Side stepping abstract theory to get right to the practical how-to advice, Hook explores why some products capture widespread attention while others flop. Nir’s “Hook Model” – a four-step process based on Nir’s years of research, consulting, and practical experience - explains what makes us engage with certain products out of sheer habit and looks under the hood to reveal the way underlying technologies hook us. Including fascinating examples from the iPhone to Twitter and Pinterest to the Bible App, Hooked helps product managers, designers, marketers, and startup founders build better products that keep users coming back without relying on costly advertising or overly aggressive messaging.
33. Just Enough Research
Done right, design research is an extremely valuable exercise that saves time and money by reducing unknowns and creating a solid foundation on which to build effectively and efficiently. Just Enough Research distills author Erika Hall’s expansive research into a clear and concise overview of research methods that will help you improve your process, expedite your research, and achieve more helpful insights. At its core, good research is about asking not only more questions, but asking better questions. With Erika’s help, you will quickly learn how to discover your competitive advantages, spot your own blind spots and biases, and understand and harness your findings. She’ll also explain why you should never, ever hold a focus group. From organizational research to evaluative research, analysis and models, surveys, analytics, and more, Just Enough Research will quickly put you on the path to success.
34. Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy
Named a best book of the year by everyone from the New York Times to Wired to Nature, Weapons of Math Destruction exposes the dark side of Big Data – the black box that shapes our future, both as individuals and as a society. Author Cathy O’Neil, who received her PhD in mathematics from Harvard, explains how, in the age of the algorithm, the decisions that direct and change our lives are being made by machines rather than humans. In theory, the use of data and mathematical models should lead to greater fairness, but – unfortunately – the very opposite is true. As Cathy points out, the models in use today are unregulated and lack transparency; and they are perpetuating a vicious cycle that benefits the lucky while keeping the downtrodden down. The result is a “toxic cocktail for democracy.” The Financial Times sums it up, “A manual for the twenty-first-century citizen … relevant and urgent.”
35. Better Onboarding
Whether you’re working through a redesign, launching new features, rolling out service updates, or welcoming back returning users, onboarding plays a critical role in helping users find their way and find success with your product. To help you help your users, UX design lead and author Krystal Higgins has written an entire book about how to design better user onboarding experiences. The book is structured to reflect all the various stages teams go through as they define, design, and maintain user onboarding, so it’s a useful resource whether you’re just getting buy-in on the concept of better onboarding, navigating how to implement it, or looking to figure out how onboarding can fit into a longer-term strategy that goes beyond onboarding new users.
Create a Corporate Culture that Works
36. An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization
Organizations prosper best when they are more deeply aligned with people’s strongest motive: to grow. The simple but radical concept authors Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey present in An Everyone Culture is that organizations benefit greatly when they don’t limit “people development” to high-potential programs, executive coaching, or once-a-year offsites. Instead, their research of three leading companies indicates that the best model is to create an organizational culture that weaves support for development into the daily fabric of working life. More to the point, this support needs to support everyone, not just select “high potentials.” The authors then show readers how to build this developmental culture using specific design principles and concrete practices.
37. Diversity in the Workplace: Eye-Opening Interviews to Jumpstart Conversations about Identity, Privilege, and Bias
Most organizations strive toward creating a more fair and bias-free, inclusive work environment. But good intentions aren’t enough to make that a reality. In Diversity in the Workplace, author Bärí A. Williams provides leaders with an intimate and informative tour of what it’s like to be a minority in today’s labor force. Using twenty-five interviews with trailblazers who are fighting inequality on all fronts, Bärí provides an illuminating look into the real-world issues that are invisible to many managers. She explores intersectionality, including Race, Gender, LGBTQ+, Age & Ability, and Religion & Culture. And she provides helpful key takeaways and deep dives on how to have progressive and productive conversations about challenging topics like “unconscious bias.”
38. Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose
In this fast-paced and down-to-earth book, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh shares the lessons he learned in business and life from his early days of starting worm farms and a pizza business (totally unrelated!) to building Zappos into a company that was acquired by Amazon in a deal valued at more than $1.2 billion. Delivering Happiness explains how to achieve success by combining people and profits, science and culture. The basic premise: When employees are happier at work, your business thrives. Tony’s book outlines his proven cultural frameworks to create a powerful corporate culture that delivers sustainable success.
39. Just Work – Get Sh*t Done, Fast & Fair
As a follow-up to her bestseller Radical Candor, Kim Scott wrote Just Work – a book to help everyone recognize, attack, and eliminate workplace injustice (and transform careers and organizations for the better in the process). Kim was inspired after getting feedback from underrepresented professionals who pointed out that not everyone is able to use the Radical Candor strategies equitably and equally. Just Work presents a practical framework that organization leaders and teammates can start using immediately to improve respect for everyone’s individuality and collaborate more effectively. The framework gets to the root causes of workplace injustice by distinguishing between bias, prejudice, and bullying – three very different ways that injustice manifests in work environments, each of which needs to be addressed differently. Kim also provides actionable responses for everyone: people who have been harmed, upstanders, people who cause harm, and organizational leaders.
Take a Journey Off the Beaten Track
40. Into The Woods: How Stories Work and Why We Tell Them
Required reading on all university writing degrees, Into the Woods is considered the foremost UK text on narrative structure. Written by John Yorke, creator of the BBC Writers’ Academy, this book gets to the heart of storytelling – why we love stories, how storytelling is hardwired into human perception, and what the story blueprint looks like. Based on decades of experience studying story structure and making film and TV drama watched by millions of people around the world, John crafts a guide that provides invaluable insight to anyone in the creative sector, from software developers to screenwriters.
41. Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds
The world is in a constant state of flux. Writer adrienne maree brown suggests that instead of steeling ourselves against inevitable change, we try to feel, map, assess, and learn from the patterns around us. Inspired by Octavia Butler’s work exploring the human relationship to change, Emergent Strategy is described as “radical self-help, society-help, and planet-help designed to shape the futures we want to live.” Based equally on science and science fiction, this visionary work has the power to transform in powerful and passionate ways.
42. A Primate's Memoir: Love, Death and Baboons
At the age of twenty-one, Brooklyn-born Robert M. Sapolsky realized his dream of traveling to remote Kenya to live with a troop of Savannah baboons. Today, Robert is a foremost science writer and recipient of a MacArthur Genius Grant. But for twenty-one years, he lived alone in the middle of the Serengeti with no electricity, running water, or phone service. His adventures include surviving countless scams, culinary atrocities, and a surreal kidnapping. But despite the hardships, Robert returns summer after summer to spend time with his adopted baboon troop. A coming-of-age story in the tradition of Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey, A Primate’s Memoir is at once exciting, hilarious, and poignant. It is one of the most engrossing and irreverent books on Africa and its wildlife.