92 books like CEO of Me

By Ellen Ernst Kossek, Brenda A. Lautsch,

Here are 92 books that CEO of Me fans have personally recommended if you like CEO of Me. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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You Just Don't Understand

By Deborah Tannen,

Book cover of You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation

Carol T. Kulik Author Of Human Resources for the Non-HR Manager

From the list on making work a better place to be.

Who am I?

The average person spends over 90,000 hours at work over a lifetime – that’s roughly one quarter to one third of a person’s life. I’m an academic researcher who studies work. I know how to design workplaces that are good for organizations (high productivity) and the people who work in them (high employee well-being). But if we leave it all up to senior management, we won’t generate positive changes fast enough. There’s a robust body of evidence that we can all use to make our local workplaces more supportive, inclusive, and fulfilling. I’m on a mission to make the world a better place, one workplace at a time. 

Carol's book list on making work a better place to be

Why did Carol love this book?

Deborah Tannen has a unique ear for the different ways that men and women communicate.

The book resonated with my personal experiences, and helped me to understand why I was having different kinds of conversations with men than with women – particularly around work issues. Professor Tannen emphasizes that these communication styles are taught to us when we are very young (and they are reflected in the different games men and women play as children).

But that means we can change our communication styles too – we can communicate more clearly about our work-related needs, and adapt our communication patterns to better align with the listener. Professor Tannen inspired me to bring research evidence to the attention of people who can use it in their daily lives.  

By Deborah Tannen,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked You Just Don't Understand as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This guide highlights problems of communication between men and women, who can interpret the same conversation completely differently, even when there is no apparent misunderstanding. It examines how the sexes can work through communication barriers and get to the heart of the matter.


Toxic Emotions at Work

By Peter J. Frost,

Book cover of Toxic Emotions at Work: How Compassionate Managers Handle Pain and Conflict

Carol T. Kulik Author Of Human Resources for the Non-HR Manager

From the list on making work a better place to be.

Who am I?

The average person spends over 90,000 hours at work over a lifetime – that’s roughly one quarter to one third of a person’s life. I’m an academic researcher who studies work. I know how to design workplaces that are good for organizations (high productivity) and the people who work in them (high employee well-being). But if we leave it all up to senior management, we won’t generate positive changes fast enough. There’s a robust body of evidence that we can all use to make our local workplaces more supportive, inclusive, and fulfilling. I’m on a mission to make the world a better place, one workplace at a time. 

Carol's book list on making work a better place to be

Why did Carol love this book?

This book moved me at a very deep level, because Professor Frost makes the content very personal.

He wrote it when he was suffering (physically and emotionally), and his own pain made him acutely aware of ways that other people can alleviate pain (or conversely, make emotional pain become toxic). Many day-to-day workplace activities create emotional pain (e.g., a negative performance review, a downsizing decision) but people’s responses make all the difference.

Professor Frost’s focus is on managers who operate as “toxin handlers” in their workplaces, but any of us can be toxin handlers for our coworkers. The book helped me to be more mindful of workplace pain points and be more proactive in supporting my colleagues. 

By Peter J. Frost,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Toxic Emotions at Work as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Human interaction is never flawless. Even the best relationships produce tension and at times, unpleasant emotions. Since organizations are comprised of people, all organizations generate emotional pain as part of the process of doing business: producing new products on tight deadlines, setting benchmarks for performance, creating budgets, crafting company policies, and so on. Getting the job done is rarely painless. But when emotional pain goes unmanaged or is poorly handled, it can negatively affect both employees and the bottom line - in essence, it becomes toxic. In "Toxic Emotions at Work and What to Do About Them", Peter J. Frost…


I-deals

By Denise Rousseau,

Book cover of I-deals: Idiosyncratic Deals Employees Bargain for Themselves

Carol T. Kulik Author Of Human Resources for the Non-HR Manager

From the list on making work a better place to be.

Who am I?

The average person spends over 90,000 hours at work over a lifetime – that’s roughly one quarter to one third of a person’s life. I’m an academic researcher who studies work. I know how to design workplaces that are good for organizations (high productivity) and the people who work in them (high employee well-being). But if we leave it all up to senior management, we won’t generate positive changes fast enough. There’s a robust body of evidence that we can all use to make our local workplaces more supportive, inclusive, and fulfilling. I’m on a mission to make the world a better place, one workplace at a time. 

Carol's book list on making work a better place to be

Why did Carol love this book?

When I read this book for the first time, my reaction was “wow.”

Professor Rousseau helped me to appreciate that everything (really, everything!) related to work was malleable and negotiable. We can all be more proactive in co-designing our own work arrangements, so that we can be happier people and deliver better value to our families, employers, and communities.

I say “negotiable” but the book is not motivated by self-interest. The book focuses on idiosyncratic deals that help employees to leverage their unique strengths, so that everyone (including managers and coworkers) benefit from employee i-deals.

Professor Rousseau’s recommendations are firmly anchored in empirical evidence, so her advice to employees is spot-on.  

By Denise Rousseau,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Employees with valuable skills and a sense of their own worth can make their jobs, pay, perks, and career opportunities different from those of their coworkers in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. Work at home arrangements, flexible hours, special projects - personally negotiated arrangements like these can be a valuable source of flexibility and personal satisfaction, but at the risk of creating inequality and resentment by other employees. This book shows how such individual arrangements can be made fair and acceptable to coworkers, and beneficial to both the employee and the employer. Written by the world's leading expert on the subject,…


Rocking the Boat

By Debra E. Meyerson,

Book cover of Rocking the Boat: How Tempered Radicals Effect Change Without Making Trouble

Carol T. Kulik Author Of Human Resources for the Non-HR Manager

From the list on making work a better place to be.

Who am I?

The average person spends over 90,000 hours at work over a lifetime – that’s roughly one quarter to one third of a person’s life. I’m an academic researcher who studies work. I know how to design workplaces that are good for organizations (high productivity) and the people who work in them (high employee well-being). But if we leave it all up to senior management, we won’t generate positive changes fast enough. There’s a robust body of evidence that we can all use to make our local workplaces more supportive, inclusive, and fulfilling. I’m on a mission to make the world a better place, one workplace at a time. 

Carol's book list on making work a better place to be

Why did Carol love this book?

This book explains how any employee – not matter their role – can take action to make their workplaces better (without burning career bridges behind them).

I am inspired by Professor Meyerson’s insistence that any employee (not just managers, not just the CEO) can be an agent for positive change. What I particularly love about this book is her focus on small wins. Positive change in work environments is about accumulating small changes, not about huge transformational restructures.

I also love the fact that the book’s recommendations can be applied to any social issue. You can follow your passion to make your workplace more inclusive, more environmentally sustainable, or more socially responsible.

By Debra E. Meyerson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Most people feel at odds with their organizations at one time or another: Managers with families struggle to balance professional and personal responsibilities in often unsympathetic firms. Members of minority groups strive to make their organizations better for others like themselves without limiting their career paths. Socially or environmentally conscious workers seek to act on their values at firms more concerned with profits than global poverty or pollution. Yet many firms leave little room for differences, and people who don't "fit in" conclude that their only option is to assimilate or leave. In Rocking the Boat, Debra E. Meyerson presents…


Getting Things Done

By David Allen,

Book cover of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

Nick Sonnenberg Author Of Come Up for Air: How Teams Can Leverage Systems and Tools to Stop Drowning in Work

From the list on growing your business without all the headaches.

Who am I?

I’ve always been obsessed with efficiency. Before becoming an entrepreneur, I spent eight years working on Wall Street as a high-frequency trader where I traded billions of dollars in stocks at microsecond speeds. That job showed me the true value of efficiency, which I embraced with my own company, Leverage—an operational efficiency consulting firm that has helped thousands of organizations improve the way they work. My book, Come Up for Air is the culmination of everything I’ve learned and the books in this list have played a huge part in my business education along the way. I’m also a columnist for inc.com and guest lecturer at Columbia University.

Nick's book list on growing your business without all the headaches

Why did Nick love this book?

This book is the bible of productivity and time management.

David's whole philosophy of "your brain is for having ideas not holding them" has been instrumental in how I approach work and the content of my own book.

The GTD methodology is a powerful tool for getting things out of your head and into a trusted system that you can rely on.

It’s a must-read for anyone who wants to increase their productivity and reduce stress in their lives.

By David Allen,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Getting Things Done as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The book Lifehack calls "The Bible of business and personal productivity."

"A completely revised and updated edition of the blockbuster bestseller from 'the personal productivity guru'"-Fast Company

Since it was first published almost fifteen years ago, David Allen's Getting Things Done has become one of the most influential business books of its era, and the ultimate book on personal organization. "GTD" is now shorthand for an entire way of approaching professional and personal tasks, and has spawned an entire culture of websites, organizational tools, seminars, and offshoots.

Allen has rewritten the book from start to finish, tweaking his classic text…


Reinventing Your Life

By Jeffrey E. Young, Janet S. Klosko,

Book cover of Reinventing Your Life: How to Break Free from Negative Life Patterns and Feel Good Again

Yong Kang Chan Author Of The Disbelief Habit

From the list on calm the inner critic and make peace with thoughts.

Who am I?

I grew up with low self-esteem. As an introvert, I found it difficult to make friends in school and I feel I wasn’t good enough for others. Even when I had my first job, I found myself tearing up in the restroom cubicle one day, feeling defective and unable to fit in. That set me off on a journey to improve my self-esteem. I began reading a lot and taking courses on this topic. For years, I felt more confident and worthy. However, it wasn’t until I had a depression that I was truly transformed. After I recovered, I become committed to living peacefully.

Yong's book list on calm the inner critic and make peace with thoughts

Why did Yong love this book?

Even though many of us have an inner critic, the triggering event could be different. What I love about this book is it tells you what the triggers are, so you can stop the negative cycle.

This book has a questionnaire that helps you identify your most faulty patterns of thinking, also known as “life traps” in the book. There are a total of 11 life traps. 

After completing the quiz, I found out that social exclusion, emotional deprivation, and subjugation are most likely to set my inner critic off. With this knowledge, I am more aware of my negative beliefs and how they got developed in the past. I am then able to change the narrative.

By Jeffrey E. Young, Janet S. Klosko,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Learn how to end the self-destructive behaviours that stop you from living your best life with this breakthrough programme.

Do you ...

Put the needs of others above your own? Start to panic when someone you love leaves - or threatens to? Often feel anxious about natural disasters, losing all your money, or getting seriously ill? Find that no matter how successful you are, you still feel unhappy, unfulfilled, or undeserving?

Unsatisfactory relationships, an irrational lack of self-esteem, feelings of being unfulfilled - these are all problems that can be solved by changing the types of messages that people internalise.…


Book cover of The Proximity Principle: The Proven Strategy That Will Lead to the Career You Love

Ted Fleming Author Of Develop: 7 Practical Tools to Take Charge of Your Career

From the list on managing your career.

Who am I?

I am a strategist, human resources executive, and business consultant who is passionate about helping people reach their potential, find enjoyable work, and perform their best. Born in Chicago, I grew up in New England and call Connecticut home with my wife Kathryn. I love learning and have found books to be the gateway to exploring innovative ideas, gaining insights, and achieving success. I am an avid tennis and squash player, and reader. I am part of an international book club that meets several times per year to explore diverse topics.

Ted's book list on managing your career

Why did Ted love this book?

I am a huge fan of financial guru Dave Ramsey. Why mention finance in a list of career recommendations? Because an excellent job is the best wealth builder! I listen to one of Dave Ramsey’s podcasts weekly, and that is where I learned about Ken Coleman, his books and career show.  

If What Color is Your Parachute helps you understand who you are and what type of work you want, Coleman’s The Proximity Principle offers a plan for landing that job. Coleman says the best jobs are at the intersection of your talents, passions, and mission. We become who we hang around. If we hang with readers, we will read. Coleman provides advice for getting around the right people and being in the right places to land your ideal job. 

By Ken Coleman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Right now, 70% of Americans aren’t passionate about their work and are desperately longing for meaning and purpose. They’re sick of “average” and know there’s something better out there, but they just don’t know how to reach it.

One basic principle―The Proximity Principle―can change everything you thought you knew about pursuing a career you love.

In his latest book, The Proximity Principle, national radio host and career expert Ken Coleman provides a simple plan of how positioning yourself near the right people and places can help you land the job you love.

Forget the traditional career advice you’ve heard! Networking,…


The Time Cleanse

By Steven Griffith,

Book cover of The Time Cleanse: A Proven System to Eliminate Wasted Time, Realize Your Full Potential, and Reinvest in What Matters Most

Alana Stott Author Of She Who Dares

From the list on helping you escape victimhood and keep you winning.

Who am I?

In life my motto has always been “The buck stops with me.” There is no room in life for excuses, blame, and victimhood. You need to build your own strength and resilience and not rely on others when it comes to your own successes. I have spent my life putting this mindset into practice and have surrounded myself with people, and books that keep me winning. 

Alana's book list on helping you escape victimhood and keep you winning

Why did Alana love this book?

The Time Cleanse is a fantastic book for kick-starting your life into action.

It will help you realize exactly where you are spending and wasting your time and where to apply your focus. Time precious, it is limited and it cannot be replaced. Mastering time is the key to lasting happiness and success.  

His book contains his proven system that shows you how to do more, get more, be more by changing your relationship with time, and get back wasted time every week! I personally discovered 28 hours of wasted time, no more excuses! 

By Steven Griffith,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

MASTER YOUR TIME PERFORMANCE IN ORDER TO ADD HOURS BACK TO YOUR DAY Most people blame time for not being able to accomplish their goals. The Time Cleanse provides a proven program that helps you realize that time isn't the problem, it's your relationship with time. The Time Cleanse provides a proven program you can use to achieve your goals, begin focusing on tasks that matter most, and gain back a minimum of 7-10 hours a week. The author takes you through a systematic program to rescue your time and reallocate it in ways that bring a more fulfilled life…


Start Finishing

By Charlie Gilkey,

Book cover of Start Finishing: How to Go from Idea to Done

Jones Loflin Author Of Juggling Elephants: An Easier Way to Get Your Most Important Things Done—Now!

From the list on when you are struggling with too much to do.

Who am I?

Way back in 1994 I decided to build my career on the mission of helping people make better choices with their time. And my goal has always been to keep the solutions simple. I believe we have way too much in our lives that is complex and hard. While my primary work is as a keynote speaker, I have chosen to devote a significant amount of my professional hours to being a coach. I love helping people develop a plan for improvement that is aligned with their values and goals, and then walking with them through their season of change.

Jones' book list on when you are struggling with too much to do

Why did Jones love this book?

This book came to me at a perfect time. I had at least 12 projects (which are anything to which you will give energy to) rolling around in my head and none of them were being moved forward. Gilkey’s process of helping me narrow down my choices and then prioritize my projects helped me get the clarity I needed and I was able to get two done in just two weeks!!!

By Charlie Gilkey,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Start Finishing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How much of your time and attention gets focused on what truly matters to you? Most people's honest answer is: not enough. For anyone who feels buried by busywork, responsibility, distraction, and fatigue, productivity expert Charlie Gilkey presents Start Finishing-a systematic, root-cause approach for overcoming the pitfalls to productivity and turning your ideas and dreams into finished projects.

The critically acclaimed, award-winning Start Finishing presents a nine-step method for converting an idea into a doable project by addressing the challenges you'll face and helping you create a reality-based plan for seeing it through. Learn how to identify your genius, build…


The 5AM Club

By Robin Sharma,

Book cover of The 5AM Club: Own Your Morning. Elevate Your Life.

Jodie Cook Author Of Ten Year Career: Reimagine Business, Design Your Life, Fast Track Your Freedom

From the list on ambitious entrepreneurs.

Who am I?

I am a post-exit entrepreneur who writes books and articles about entrepreneur psychology and how to run a business without it running you. At 22, I started an agency that I ran for ten years before selling it in 2021. During that time I made countless mistakes, learned from them, and figured out how to run a successful business while living an extraordinary life. I write about how other entrepreneurs can do the same. I refuse to believe you have to compromise between work and life. I think you can do work that you love while traveling the world, prioritizing health, and having a great time. 

Jodie's book list on ambitious entrepreneurs

Why did Jodie love this book?

Your morning matters and wasting it is criminal. This book is an invaluable resource for anyone looking to create the best version of themselves, with actionables on how to spend your first waking hours and develop the habits you need to become an effective leader and reach your goals. After reading this book, I become more productive, achieving far more with my working hours. The format is a relatable story, so the messages are clear without it being preachy. Whether or not you choose to wake up at 5AM after reading this book, you will see the benefit for the rest of your day.

By Robin Sharma,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The 5AM Club as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Legendary leadership and elite performance expert Robin Sharma introduced The 5am Club concept over twenty years ago, based on a revolutionary morning routine that has helped his clients maximize their productivity, activate their best health and bulletproof their serenity in this age of overwhelming complexity.

      Now, in this life-changing book, handcrafted by the author over a rigorous four-year period, you will discover the early-rising habit that has helped so many accomplish epic results while upgrading their happiness, helpfulness and feelings of aliveness.

      Through an enchanting—and often amusing—story about two struggling strangers who meet an eccentric tycoon who becomes their secret…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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