The best books on finding your purpose and success within that purpose

Who am I?

Robert Quinn is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Michigan School of Business. His research and writing focus on purpose, leadership, culture, and change. He has published 18 books on these subjects. He is passionate about speaking and teaching and his recent talk to Google on finding your purpose was viewed by over 18 million people.


I wrote...

Deep Change: Discovering the Leader Within

By Robert Quinn,

Book cover of Deep Change: Discovering the Leader Within

What is my book about?

Open this book at your own risk. It contains ideas that may lead to a profound self-awakening. An introspective journey for those in the trenches of today's modern organizations, Deep Change is a survival manual for finding our own internal leadership power. By helping us learn new ways of thinking and behaving, it shows how we can transform ourselves from victims to powerful agents of change. And for anyone who yearns to be an internally driven leader, to motivate the people around them, and return to a satisfying work life, Deep Change holds the key.

The books I picked & why

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Path of Least Resistance: Learning to Become the Creative Force in Your Own Life

By Robert Fritz,

Book cover of Path of Least Resistance: Learning to Become the Creative Force in Your Own Life

Why this book?

This is a classic and has been foundational to my thinking and work. Fritz explains that we all live on the path of least resistance. Our lives change when we learn to ask one question; “What result do I want to create?” We all think we ask this question, but we do not. We ask; “How do I get what I want?” The difference is critical in the impact it can have on our lives. This book is filled with practical insight and wisdom.


Life on Purpose: How Living for What Matters Most Changes Everything

By Victor J. Strecher,

Book cover of Life on Purpose: How Living for What Matters Most Changes Everything

Why this book?

Stecher is a scientist who can also communicate ideas effectively. He does a tour of the literature on purpose and translates it into concepts of practical significance. The data suggests that you and I are designed by nature to be people of higher purpose. Until this happens, we are literally throwing our life away.


Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

By Angela Duckworth,

Book cover of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

Why this book?

This is a very readable book in which Duckworth translates her research on success. The message is that “grit,” or the ability to press on in the face of adversity, is the major predictor of success in life. She explains how each of us can obtain the attribute and find greater success.


Outliers: The Story of Success

By Malcolm Gladwell,

Book cover of Outliers: The Story of Success

Why this book?

This is Gladwell’s best book. He tries to explain why and how people move to the far-right side of the excellence curve. The book is filled with examples that make the ideas accessible. He invites the reader to see patterns that are contrary to conventional thinking.


Influencer: The Power to Change Anything

By Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler

Book cover of Influencer: The Power to Change Anything

Why this book?

In this book, the authors travel the world to interview people who are doing things that border on the impossible. In the book, they share and integrate the examples. They provide inspiring insights on how to make a positive difference in the world.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in success in life, life satisfaction, and influence?

5,888 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about success in life, life satisfaction, and influence.

Success In Life Explore 131 books about success in life
Life Satisfaction Explore 120 books about life satisfaction
Influence Explore 9 books about influence

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Breathing Space, America the Ingenious, and The War of Art if you like this list.