100 books like Big Potential

By Shawn Achor,

Here are 100 books that Big Potential fans have personally recommended if you like Big Potential. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation, and Growth

Karen Meager Author Of Rest. Practise. Perform.: What elite sport can teach leaders about sustainable wellbeing and performance

From my list on helping you banish burnout forever.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I worked in clinical practice as a psychotherapist, I worked with many burnt-out clients and always found it frustrating that the conventional wisdom was to take time off or stop working, which is just not practical (or desirable) for many people. I was always looking for alternative things people could do to help themselves. Then I experienced burnout myself, and whilst it was dreadful, I learnt first hand how to put all of this into practice, hence my research on the topic. I now work with people and organisations in high pressured, innovative environments where the focus is on preventing burnout rather than recovering.

Karen's book list on helping you banish burnout forever

Karen Meager Why did Karen love this book?

In organisations, culture can drive or protect people against burnout, and I love Amy’s work because she addresses a wide range of organisational issues through the topic of psychological safety.

I find the ideas and concrete strategies described in this book can flex to almost any type of business and she provides just enough science to convince the more academically minded whilst remaining practical and realistic.

By Amy C. Edmondson,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Fearless Organization as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Conquer the most essential adaptation to the knowledge economy

The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation, and Growth offers practical guidance for teams and organizations who are serious about success in the modern economy. With so much riding on innovation, creativity, and spark, it is essential to attract and retain quality talent-but what good does this talent do if no one is able to speak their mind? The traditional culture of "fitting in" and "going along" spells doom in the knowledge economy. Success requires a continuous influx of new ideas, new challenges, and critical thought,…


Book cover of Tomorrowmind: Thriving at Work with Resilience, Creativity, and Connection—Now and in an Uncertain Future

Anne Jacoby Author Of Born to Create: How Creativity Sparks Connection, Innovation, and Belonging in Our New World of Work

From my list on organizational culture to spark creativity and connection.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m on a mission to cultivate creativity at work! After starting my career in the performing arts, I made a pivot to corporate life over 20 years ago and haven’t looked back. What I’ve discovered is how essential creativity is in any workplace, and how its impact on organizational culture is underrated. Effective leaders prioritize connection, creativity, and make culture a strategic priority. After learning from hundreds of artists, entrepreneurs, and business leaders, I wrote this book to highlight their stories—unpacking how they bring creativity to life in their work. My hope is readers leave with tools to spark more meaningful connection and creative work experiences.

Anne's book list on organizational culture to spark creativity and connection

Anne Jacoby Why did Anne love this book?

I’m a longtime fan of the work BetterUp Labs has done in the research field of human performance, and this book, co-written by BetterUp’s Chief Innovation Officer Gabriella Rosen Kellerman, is a delightful collection of its insights.

With additional guidance from co-author Marty Seligman, commonly known as the father of positive psychology, Tomorrowmind offers an anthropological perspective on the evolution of our work experience and how our cultural expectations have shifted.

By shining a light on helpful case studies throughout, it demonstrates how we’ll need to change our individual mindsets and behaviors to operate effectively in the future of work. If you care about creativity and connection in your workplace, this will be an important addition for your bookshelf.

By Gabriella Rosen Kellerman, Martin E. P. Seligman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tomorrowmind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Thrive in your career with this radical, future-proofed approach to work in a world where automation, globalization, and downsizing are an urgent and threatening reality—from experts in workplace mental health, Gabriella Kellerman, CPO of BetterUp, and world-renowned psychologist Martin Seligman.

In recent years, workplace toxicity, industry volatility, and technology-driven turnover have threatened the psychological well-being of employees. When we can’t flourish at work, both personal success and corporate productivity suffer. As we sit on the cusp of some of the most turbulent economic changes in history, many of us wonder how we can not only survive but flourish in our…


Book cover of Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool's Guide to Surviving with Grace

Anne Jacoby Author Of Born to Create: How Creativity Sparks Connection, Innovation, and Belonging in Our New World of Work

From my list on organizational culture to spark creativity and connection.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m on a mission to cultivate creativity at work! After starting my career in the performing arts, I made a pivot to corporate life over 20 years ago and haven’t looked back. What I’ve discovered is how essential creativity is in any workplace, and how its impact on organizational culture is underrated. Effective leaders prioritize connection, creativity, and make culture a strategic priority. After learning from hundreds of artists, entrepreneurs, and business leaders, I wrote this book to highlight their stories—unpacking how they bring creativity to life in their work. My hope is readers leave with tools to spark more meaningful connection and creative work experiences.

Anne's book list on organizational culture to spark creativity and connection

Anne Jacoby Why did Anne love this book?

A refreshingly unconventional business book read, Orbiting the Giant Hairball reveals Gordon MacKenzie’s long-tenured career at Hallmark and distills his reflections on what it means to be a creative human in a traditional corporate environment.

Illustrated with playful art throughout, this book invites deeper meditation on how our creative spirit shows up in our work—and life. For the non-linear thinkers among us, it’s a thoroughly enjoyable escape.

By Gordon MacKenzie,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Orbiting the Giant Hairball as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Creativity is crucial to business success. But too often, even the most innovative organization quickly becomes a "giant hairball"--a tangled, impenetrable mass of rules, traditions, and systems, all based on what worked in the past--that exercises an inexorable pull into mediocrity. Gordon McKenzie worked at Hallmark Cards for thirty years, many of which he spent inspiring his colleagues to slip the bonds of Corporate Normalcy and rise to orbit--to a mode of dreaming, daring and doing above and beyond the rubber-stamp confines of the administrative mind-set. In his deeply funny book, exuberantly illustrated in full color, he shares the story…


Book cover of ReCulturing: Design Your Company Culture to Connect with Strategy and Purpose for Lasting Success

Anne Jacoby Author Of Born to Create: How Creativity Sparks Connection, Innovation, and Belonging in Our New World of Work

From my list on organizational culture to spark creativity and connection.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m on a mission to cultivate creativity at work! After starting my career in the performing arts, I made a pivot to corporate life over 20 years ago and haven’t looked back. What I’ve discovered is how essential creativity is in any workplace, and how its impact on organizational culture is underrated. Effective leaders prioritize connection, creativity, and make culture a strategic priority. After learning from hundreds of artists, entrepreneurs, and business leaders, I wrote this book to highlight their stories—unpacking how they bring creativity to life in their work. My hope is readers leave with tools to spark more meaningful connection and creative work experiences.

Anne's book list on organizational culture to spark creativity and connection

Anne Jacoby Why did Anne love this book?

Ever wonder how some of the world’s biggest company leaders think about culture? Curious how talent was developed at Adobe, Twitter, and WeWork?

Filled with successes and hard lessons learned, ReCulturing artfully summarizes how culture shows up across the workplace and what you can do to shape it. Through her in-the-trenches stories and helpful prompts, Melissa demystifies the process of connecting culture to your company’s North Star.

I found myself enthusiastically head-nodding throughout and will generously refer to her helpful frameworks as I partner with clients on culture initiatives.

By Melissa Daimler,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked ReCulturing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Drive business sustainability, growth, and profits by taking a systematic approach to culture transformation

It's no secret that culture is the key to attracting and engaging top talent and seizing the competitive edge. But the vast majority of culture efforts fail as quickly as they started. Why? Because leaders are missing the big picture. They're creating and communicating values but failing to ensure the values are tied to the purpose and the strategy of the company while also being integrated into processes, operations, and behaviors.

In ReCulturing, Melissa Daimler solves this persistent problem by helping you develop a "systems" perspective…


Book cover of Yes to the Mess: Surprising Leadership Lessons from Jazz

Marianne Broadbent Author Of The Agile Executive: Embracing Career Risks and Rewards

From my list on aspiring women leaders.

Why am I passionate about this?

My passion for leadership and aspiring women leaders comes from my own leadership experiences and working with women and men executives and aspiring executives, every day. I had to make some difficult work choices in my 20s and 30s (with four young children) and was wonderfully supported by some wise women. Many of my choices were different from my peers and we continue to have to make more difficult choices than our male colleagues. We need to help each other, every day. I lead a blended life co-leading an executive search and leadership advisory firm, while also being a mother, grandmother, wife, mentor, friend, and lover of good music, theatre, food, wine, and curious people. 

Marianne's book list on aspiring women leaders

Marianne Broadbent Why did Marianne love this book?

Early in my varied career I had musical training in piano and sang in choirs, including with orchestras.

The notion of a leader as an orchestra conductor, never appealed, as orchestras usually play set music. Leadership is usually not like that: situations are unpredictable, crises occur, and we take people in new directions.

Having observed one of my jazz-playing sons, I started using jazz groups and improvisation as a better analogy: a group of people who have a common goal, each have their own talents and want to explore musical journeys differently. They allow each other to ‘shine’ in a supportive and trusted environment.

The journey is greater than the individual parts. Barrett’s book then validated my messy thinking, and articulated these leadership lessons very well.  

By Frank J. Barrett,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Yes to the Mess as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What Duke Ellington and Miles Davis teach us about leadership How do you cope when faced with complexity and constant change at work? Here's what the world's best leaders and teams do: they improvise. They invent novel responses and take calculated risks without a scripted plan or a safety net that guarantees specific outcomes. They negotiate with each other as they proceed, and they don't dwell on mistakes or stifle each other's ideas. In short, they say "yes to the mess" that is today's hurried, harried, yet enormously innovative and fertile world of work. This is exactly what great jazz…


Book cover of The Staff Engineer's Path: A Guide For Individual Contributors Navigating Growth and Change

James Stanier Author Of Become an Effective Software Engineering Manager: How to Be the Leader Your Development Team Needs

From my list on engineers that want to become fantastic managers.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since my teenage self stumbled into the world of computer programming, I’ve been fascinated by how technology is built. This isn’t limited to just how the software or hardware is architected; I’m just as fascinated by how teams and companies work together in order to get the job done. I’m currently Director of Engineering at Shopify, and previously I helped grow Brandwatch from start-up to scale up to successful acquisition. Along the way I’ve blogged what I’ve learned and have published two books: one being the subject of this list, and the other being Effective Remote Work. I live in Cumbria, UK.

James' book list on engineers that want to become fantastic managers

James Stanier Why did James love this book?

It heartens me to see that more and more excellent material is being produced about how to be an effective senior individual contributor, and Tanya’s book is a fantastic guide for growth-minded engineers that want to become technical leaders in their organization.

More importantly, as a manager, you get a blueprint of how to turn your senior engineers into true leaders and partners.

I almost see this book as a sibling of my own that I wrote for managers: it skillfully dances between making yourself better, making your team better, and making your company better. Essential reading for any senior engineer to understand what lies ahead.

By Tanya Reilly,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Staff Engineer's Path as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For years, companies have rewarded their most effective engineers by suggesting they move to a management position. But treating management as the default (or only) path for an engineer with leadership ability doesn't serve the industry well. The staff engineer path allows you to contribute at a high level, with more free time to drive big projects, determine tech strategy, and raise everyone's skills.

With this in-depth book, author Tanya Reilly shows you ways to master strategic thinking, manage difficult projects, and set the standard for technical work. You'll learn how to be a leader without direct authority, how to…


Book cover of The Desire Factor: How to Embrace Your Materialistic Nature to Reclaim Your Full Spiritual Power

Kelly Weaver Author Of Living Your Own Aloha: 5 Steps to Manifesting Your Dreams

From my list on manifesting and attracting your dreams and desires.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am and always will be a teacher. For the past 25 years, I dedicated my life to inspiring students to achieve their goals and manifest their dreams. I finally decided to take my own advice and listen to the calling that has been ringing louder and louder over the years. I used my gifts to become a certified Law of Attraction coach, reiki practitioner, and Tarot reader. While I may have left the academic classroom, I was called to the world classroom. As an author, speaker, coach, and healer, I awaken the manifestation superpower that exists in all of us.

Kelly's book list on manifesting and attracting your dreams and desires

Kelly Weaver Why did Kelly love this book?

Finally, an author who gives me permission to have anything materialistically that I desire and not feel guilty about wanting it! Growing up in a religious household, I was taught that it was selfish to want anything that exceeded my physical needs. In fact, desire is part of human nature, and it is a necessary step in the manifestation process. This book explores 7 Universal Principles to manifest any desire one has. The key is to become a master of your own energy.  

By Christy Whitman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Desire Factor as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How to Master Your Energy so You Can Have What You Desire

Christy Whitman, transformational leader, founder of the Quantum Success Coaching Academy, and channel for The Divine Council unfolds the precise steps for bringing about the manifestation of any desire. 

The book is built around 7 Universal Principles for tapping into the divine energy stream that is the source of all things so that you can have more peace, prosperity, and joy.

The Desire Factor shows you how to master your energy so you can create a life that you love despite what’s going on around you.

When you…


Book cover of An Audience of One: Reclaiming Creativity for Its Own Sake

Mary Potter Kenyon Author Of Called to Be Creative: A Guide to Reigniting Your Creativity

From my list on to jumpstart your creativity.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began exploring the topic of creativity after my mother’s death in 2010. Mom was an extremely creative woman. The mother of ten children, living in poverty, she was a self-taught artist who managed to beautify her simple home with her art, building a home business selling paintings, woodcarvings, wall hangings, and quilts she created. When I began speaking to groups of women about creativity, I was shocked to discover just how few of them saw themselves as creative. Thus began my odyssey into creativity research and therapeutic art, and the resulting book and workshops that inspire and encourage others to discover their creative self.

Mary's book list on to jumpstart your creativity

Mary Potter Kenyon Why did Mary love this book?

I was introduced to Srini through his first book, when I realized that "Unmistakables" are my people. Rao, host of the podcast The Unmistakable Creative, argues that we should stop worrying about creating art for money or fame, but focus on creating for an audience of one, ourselves. Rao’s words speak to the inner spark that may have been doused in our childhood, that deep restlessness we carry within. This book includes fascinating true stories of creatives who took this path, along with research from creativity experts.

By Srinivas Rao,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked An Audience of One as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The creator of the Unmistakable Creative podcast makes a counterintuitive argument: By focusing your creative work on pleasing yourself, you can increase your productivity, happiness, and (eventually, paradoxically) the size of your audience.

Creating for your own pleasure--whether you're writing a novel, composing songs, or painting a landscape--can seem pointless. It's tempting to focus on pursuing money and fame, rather than the process itself. But as Srini Rao warns, creating then turns into a chore that can harm your self-esteem and suck the pleasure out of life, rather than being a source of joy.

Rao, host of the podcast The…


Book cover of Show Your Work! 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered

Koyaki Author Of You Are Ketchup: And Other Fly Music Industry Tales

From my list on helping parents feel better about you being a musician.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Grammy-nominated musician and creative who actually loves music, not as a vocation but as a cathartic practice and art form. Because I love music and the process of creating I also understood that no matter how much I love music that the love of it had nothing to do with the business of selling music. If I wanted to maintain the love I had to learn the business and find a way to continue to cherish the art while familiarizing myself with the business of art. I found peace and a deeper understanding of where I stood in the business and understanding that helps to keep the artist sane.

Koyaki's book list on helping parents feel better about you being a musician

Koyaki Why did Koyaki love this book?

I wish I could add the trilogy of Austin Kleon books; with Steal Like an Artist and Keep Going completing the trilogy. Show Your Work was the first book that I read that spoke to me about letting your supporters in on the creating. The sharing of exclusive content has become a staple for independent and major-label artists, Instagram, Tik Tok, and social platforms all rely on the need to share. For me this book was the progenitor of this line of thinking, encouraging the creative to share and disperse with the secrecy of process and move toward converting investors in one's product to investing in the person. 

By Austin Kleon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Show Your Work! 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In his New York Times bestseller Steal Like an Artist, Austin Kleon showed readers how to unlock their creativity by stealing from the community of other movers and shakers. Now, in an even more forward-thinking and necessary book, he shows how to take that critical next step on a creative journey getting known. Show Your Work! is about why generosity trumps genius. It s about getting findable, about using the network instead of wasting time networking. It s not self-promotion, it s self-discovery let others into your process, then let them steal from you. Filled with illustrations, quotes, stories, and…


Book cover of Feck Perfuction: Dangerous Ideas on the Business of Life

Cat Bennett Author Of The Confident Creative: Drawing to Free the Hand and Mind

From my list on art and creativity.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been an artist all my life. In childhood, I was always drawing and after graduating from university I became an illustrator doing hundreds of drawings for major newspapers and publishers in the United States for over 25 years. It was my mission, no matter what was going on in the world, to find some humor and lightness to share through my drawings. About 15 years ago, I also began to teach drawing to adults and was amazed to discover that everyone can draw. When I saw how people seemed to become happier and bolder making art I became passionate about sharing how we can grow our creativity by developing an art practice. It makes for a beautiful life and quite possibly a more beautiful world.

Cat's book list on art and creativity

Cat Bennett Why did Cat love this book?

Artist, designer, writer James Victore urges us to be ourselves without hesitation. Artists don’t fit in, we can’t. We’re observers and makers and require a certain distance from the mainstream to refine our vision and do our work. But we can be afraid to express ourselves fully and stand out from the crowd. This book dishes out confidence like candy. It’s a great place to replenish flagging spirits when they descend as they will from time to time. It’s energizing and makes you want to open your eyes and do what you can to further the unfolding of your truth and spirit. Written in short pithy chapters, you can dip in and out of it whenever you need a boost.

By James Victore,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Feck Perfuction as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"James Victore is a dangerous man. His ideas on optimizing your creativity, doing wow work and building a life that inspires will devastate your limits. And show you how to win. Read this book fast."
-Robin Sharma, #1 bestselling author of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

Begin before you're ready.

Renowned designer and professional hell-raiser James Victore wants to drag you off your couch and throw you headfirst into a life of bold creativity. He'll guide you through all the twists, trials, and triumphs of starting your creative career, from finding your voice to picking the right moment to…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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