100 books like Creative Confidence

By Tom Kelley, David Kelley,

Here are 100 books that Creative Confidence fans have personally recommended if you like Creative Confidence. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most

Bret Lyon Author Of Embracing Shame: How to Stop Resisting Shame and Turn It into a Powerful Ally

From my list on healing shame and trauma.

Why am I passionate about this?

I spent many years deeply angry at my parents and not really understanding why. When I found out about shame, and how it was passed down from generation to generation, I was finally able to crack the code. Their “permissiveness” was actually neglect. Without meaning to, they had put their shame on me and I was still suffering from not really being seen. I made it my mission to help others heal their shame so they can be better people and better parents, and live fuller lives. I am the co-director of the Center for Healing Shame and co-author of Embracing Shame.

Bret's book list on healing shame and trauma

Bret Lyon Why did Bret love this book?

I love this book because it says that all conversations take place on 3 different levels. 

There is the content level, the most obvious; the emotional level, how important the subject is and the emotions around it; and the internal level of “what does this conversation say about me,” which is the shame level. This level may be the most important and the most hidden.

By Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Difficult Conversations as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The 10th-anniversary edition of the New York Times business bestseller-now updated with "Answers to Ten Questions People Ask"

We attempt or avoid difficult conversations every day-whether dealing with an underperforming employee, disagreeing with a spouse, or negotiating with a client. From the Harvard Negotiation Project, the organization that brought you Getting to Yes, Difficult Conversations provides a step-by-step approach to having those tough conversations with less stress and more success. you'll learn how to:

· Decipher the underlying structure of every difficult conversation 
· Start a conversation without defensiveness 
· Listen for the meaning of what is not said 

Book cover of Thinking, Fast and Slow

Scott Galloway Author Of The Algebra of Wealth: A Simple Formula for Financial Security

From my list on helping you be your best self.

Why am I passionate about this?

I try to use my platform to  help people consider how to live a more meaningful life. I've made mistakes, learned from them, and want to pass on those lessons. There are many definitions of success and fulfillment and many paths to achieve it. I hope by telling my story others can avoid some of the mistakes I made.

Scott's book list on helping you be your best self

Scott Galloway Why did Scott love this book?

Professor Kahneman’s ideologies on decision-making have helped me in business and my personal life.

His insights have enhanced my decision-making process and helped me navigate the strait between instinct and decision. His insights have encouraged me to delegate routine decisions, allowing me to reserve my mental energy for the most critical choices.

By Daniel Kahneman,

Why should I read it?

42 authors picked Thinking, Fast and Slow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The phenomenal international bestseller - 2 million copies sold - that will change the way you make decisions

'A lifetime's worth of wisdom' Steven D. Levitt, co-author of Freakonomics
'There have been many good books on human rationality and irrationality, but only one masterpiece. That masterpiece is Thinking, Fast and Slow' Financial Times

Why is there more chance we'll believe something if it's in a bold type face? Why are judges more likely to deny parole before lunch? Why do we assume a good-looking person will be more competent? The answer lies in the two ways we make choices: fast,…

Book cover of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott Author Of Every Shot Must Have a Purpose: How GOLF54 Can Make You a Better Player

From my list on improving performance and growth.

Why we are passionate about this?

We have been coaching and learning about peak performance for four decades. To learn from playing golf ourselves, coaching others to play better, and continuously staying curious and learning from others is a mix that we want to keep alive. It’s not only to perform well that matters to us, but that we also grow as a human being. It’s about excellence and wellbeing. What skills, what culture, and what foundation can make that a possibility? Our deepest wish is for all of us to access our own unique possibilities to be good and happy. 

Pia and Lynn's book list on improving performance and growth

Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott Why did Pia and Lynn love this book?

This book both confirmed and encouraged the best mindset to optimize growth. It’s about learning to create a growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset. Studies have shown that it’s a better way to be successful and happy in life.

“Qualities can be nurtured; our potential is unknown, and failure does not define you. Deal with it, learn, and praise the process."

The main keys are that it’s all about learning, learning, learning…no matter what happens to you. “Yet” is a key word, and hard work is required to succeed. Setbacks are opportunities for growth.

By Carol S. Dweck,

Why should I read it?

15 authors picked Mindset as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the renowned psychologist who introduced the world to “growth mindset” comes this updated edition of the million-copy bestseller—featuring transformative insights into redefining success, building lifelong resilience, and supercharging self-improvement.

“Through clever research studies and engaging writing, Dweck illuminates how our beliefs about our capabilities exert tremendous influence on how we learn and which paths we take in life.”—Bill Gates, GatesNotes

“It’s not always the people who start out the smartest who end up the smartest.”

After decades of research, world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., discovered a simple but groundbreaking idea: the power of mindset. In this…

Book cover of Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions

Emily Guy Birken Author Of Making Social Security Work for You: Advice, Strategies, and Timelines That Can Maximize Your Benefits

From my list on changing the way you look at money.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was about 8, I remember taking all the money out of my piggy bank, counting it, and carefully putting it back in again. My sister called me Ms. Moneybags. But I wasn’t worried about accumulating money. I was fascinated by money’s pure potential. I could do anything with it! From that early interest in the potential of money, I grew to be an avid reader of financial books–and that led to a surprise career as a money writer. I still love to think about money’s potential and the best ways to allocate that potential, and I love to bring my readers with me on the fascinating journey.

Emily's book list on changing the way you look at money

Emily Guy Birken Why did Emily love this book?

As of 2023, behavioral economics is no longer a surprising new look at old economics principles–but that doesn’t change just how entertaining, surprising, and challenging you will find the experiments detailed in Predictably Irrational. 

In one notable experiment, Dr. Ariely placed six-packs of soft drinks next to plates of cash inside of communal dorm fridges–to prove we tend to be honest about cash but feel no compunction about swiping someone else’s Coke. In another memorable experiment, male volunteers were asked moral questions when they were in a state of arousal–which helped prove that morals are flexible depending on the circumstances. 

Reading this book will make you realize just how often you make decisions–especially financial decisions–that are weird, illogical, and irrational.

By Dan Ariely,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked Predictably Irrational as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Why do smart people make irrational decisions every day? The answers will surprise you. Predictably Irrational is an intriguing, witty and utterly original look at why we all make illogical decisions.

Why can a 50p aspirin do what a 5p aspirin can't? If an item is "free" it must be a bargain, right? Why is everything relative, even when it shouldn't be? How do our expectations influence our actual opinions and decisions?

In this astounding book, behavioural economist Dan Ariely cuts to the heart of our strange behaviour, demonstrating how irrationality often supplants rational thought and that the reason for…

Book cover of The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

Shelle Rose Charvet Author Of Words That Change Minds: The 14 Patterns for Mastering the Language of Influence

From my list on books for nice people to be more persuasive.

Why am I passionate about this?

Not many people know that I was so timid as a child; I used to burst into tears if I had to ask for something in a store. Now, I am known for my “out there” presentation style and mastery of words. Since 1982, I have been working with individuals and groups to help them get better at persuading, solving conflicts, and having inspiring relationships. So, how can you be a nice, caring person and still be persuasive, even with the most skeptical of people? These books helped me do this.

Shelle's book list on books for nice people to be more persuasive

Shelle Rose Charvet Why did Shelle love this book?

It’s weird to recommend this book to get better at persuading. But if I had read it before presenting new ideas, I would have saved thousands of dollars in development costs and shortened the time it took to persuade others to back me. His main idea is “The minimum viable product.”

So, instead of spending too much time and money developing my idea before talking to anyone, trying to make it perfect, I showed a 2-slide mockup of the idea to a friend, who said “I would NEVER use this. It takes up too much time. I just want something quick and dirty to help me write a persuasive email.” Wow! Her comment blew my mind and prevented me from spending a fortune on an impractical tool.

By Eric Ries,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Lean Startup as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


'The Lean Startup changes everything.' - Harvard Business Review


Most new businesses fail. But most of those failures are preventable.

The Lean Startup is a new approach to business that's being adopted around the world. It is changing the way companies are built and new products are launched.

Essential reading for any ambitious entrepreneur, The Lean Startup will teach you to identify what your customers really want. You'll learn how to test your vision continuously, adapting and adjusting before it's too late.

With over a million copies sold across the globe, now is your time…

Book cover of Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works

Jennifer Riel Author Of Creating Great Choices: A Leader's Guide to Integrative Thinking

From my list on to think differently on creative problem solving.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a writer, teacher, and partner at IDEO, the global design and innovation firm. Before IDEO, I spent more than a decade teaching university undergrads and MBAs to create better choices, in their work and their lives. Now, I work with business leaders to help them do the same thing, at the intersection of design and strategy. I believe that one key to getting to those better choices is the ability to understand, reflect on and, yes, even improve our own way of thinking and engaging with the world. The books on this list have shifted my own understanding of the world and how I think. I hope they inspire and challenge you as well. 

Jennifer's book list on to think differently on creative problem solving

Jennifer Riel Why did Jennifer love this book?

My own early experiences with strategy were pretty uninspiring – slow, incremental, and almost entirely analytical. But the framework that Roger and AG lay out in Playing to Win changed it all for me. It’s practical. It’s understandable. And it is aimed at not just understanding the world as it is, but at imaging a world that might be different… and forging a real strategy to bring that new world to life. The book is based on the approach to strategy Roger honed in his career as a management disclosure and that AG practiced as CEO at Procter & Gamble. Full disclosure, I helped them as they were writing the book – and honestly think it is the best book on strategy of the past 30 years.

By A.G. Lafley, Roger L. Martin,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Playing to Win as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Are you just playing--or playing to win? Strategy is not complex. But it is hard. It's hard because it forces people and organizations to make specific choices about their future--something that doesn't happen in most companies. Now two of today's best-known business thinkers get to the heart of strategy--explaining what it's for, how to think about it, why you need it, and how to get it done. And they use one of the most successful corporate turnarounds of the past century, which they achieved together, to prove their point. A.G. Lafley, former CEO of Procter & Gamble, in close partnership…

Book cover of Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation

Muhammad Mashhood Alam Author Of Transforming an Idea Into a Business with Design Thinking: The Structured Approach from Silicon Valley for Entrepreneurs and Leaders

From my list on design thinking, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been driving innovation in various capacities with world’s leading companies and start-ups for the last 23 years in Silicon Valley. I've been granted six US patents, won two prestigious design awards including the Red Dot award, and published a book on transforming an idea into a business using Design Thinking. What I've learnt is that at the core of any successful business lies the value to the end user who uses the solutions. As I got exposed to Design Thinking earlier on in my career, I realized its immense power in delivering human-centered innovations. I regularly speak at several industry & entrepreneurial events and various business schools around the world. 

Muhammad's book list on design thinking, innovation, and entrepreneurship

Muhammad Mashhood Alam Why did Muhammad love this book?

This is a book that describes why design thinking can be a powerful tool for innovation and problem-solving.

Brown argues that traditional approaches to problem-solving often rely on linear and analytical thinking, which can be limiting when it comes to addressing complex and multifaceted challenges.

Brown presents a framework for design thinking that emphasizes empathy, experimentation, and collaboration.

I found numerous examples of individuals and organizations in the book that have successfully used design thinking to create innovative solutions to a wide range of problems, from improving healthcare to redesigning public spaces.

I found practical strategies of applying design thinking in life and work.

By Tim Brown,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The subject of "design thinking" is the rage at business schools, throughout corporations, and increasingly in the popular press-due in large part to the work of IDEO, a leading design firm, and its celebrated CEO, Tim Brown, who uses this book to show how the techniques and strategies of design belong at every level of business.

The myth of innovation is that brilliant ideas leap fully formed from the minds of geniuses. The reality is that most innovations come from a process of rigorous examination through which great ideas are identified and developed before being realized as new offerings and…

Book cover of A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life

Karen Eber Author Of The Perfect Story: How to Tell Stories that Inform, Influence, and Inspire

From my list on unleashing your storytelling and creativity.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have told stories since the age of five when I shared one about my different colored eyes. Tired of being pointed at and ridiculed for the thing I loved most about myself, I learned that stories can shift energy and create connection, even in the most artificial of settings. I’ve spent my career working in and with the Fortune 500 building leaders, teams, and culture, one story at a time. I’ve used storytelling to persuade people when one had the authority to say yes but 99 others could say no. Stories not only slowed their “No,” but they also helped me recruit them to persuade the decision makers.

Karen's book list on unleashing your storytelling and creativity

Karen Eber Why did Karen love this book?

Brian Grazer is the silent figure behind so many popular, award-winning movies. He’s worked on films like Splash, A Beautiful Mind, and Apollo 13 and his films have been nominated for more than 47 Academy Awards.

In this book, he lets you peek behind the curtain at his creative process. Which is essentially that he embraces curiosity in all aspects of his life. When someone intrigues him, he spends time asking them questions to learn more. While the book is focused on his approach, it’s easy to take inspiration from his mindset and seek your own curiosity daily. 

By Brian Grazer, Charles Fishman,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Curious Mind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For decades, film and TV producer Brian Grazer has scheduled a weekly "curiosity conversation" with an accomplished stranger. From scientists to spies, and adventurers to business leaders, Grazer has met with anyonewilling to answer his questions for a few hours. These informal discussions sparked the creative inspiration behind many of Grazer's movies and TV shows, including Splash, 24, A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13, Arrested Development, 8 Mile, J. Edgar, and many others.

A Curious Mindis a brilliantly entertaining, fascinating, and inspiring homage to the power of inquisitiveness and the ways in which it deepens and improves us. Whether you're looking…

Book cover of Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life

Christina Wallace Author Of The Portfolio Life: How to Future-Proof Your Career, Avoid Burnout, and Build a Life Bigger Than Your Business Card

From my list on helping you get unstuck in your career…and life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a human Venn diagram who has built a career at the intersection of business, technology, and the arts. A classically-trained musician and theater director, I pivoted from the arts into the world of entrepreneurship and technology after earning my MBA from Harvard and worked as a serial entrepreneur. I’m now on the faculty of Harvard Business School where I'm the course head for the first-year MBA entrepreneurship course, oversee HBS Startup Bootcamp, and coach and mentor students as they figure out what brings them joy. An author and frequent public speaker, my latest book offers a new model for work and life that upends the notion they should have ever been at odds.

Christina's book list on helping you get unstuck in your career…and life

Christina Wallace Why did Christina love this book?

“Design thinking” is a phrase that’s become more common over the last ten years but it’s still mostly the domain of innovation and the startup world.

So when designers Bill Burnett and Dave Evans brought this way of thinking to tackle the question of designing a life of fulfillment and joy, it offered a truly fresh perspective. Experimentation, prototyping, constant iteration. These are the tools that allow you to learn and tinker and adjust as you go, ensuring the only true failure is settling for unhappiness. 

By Bill Burnett, Dave Evans,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Designing Your Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • At last, a book that shows you how to build—design—a life you can thrive in, at any age or stage • “Life has questions. They have answers.” —The New York Times

Designers create worlds and solve problems using design thinking. Look around your office or home—at the tablet or smartphone you may be holding or the chair you are sitting in. Everything in our lives was designed by someone. And every design starts with a problem that a designer or team of designers seeks to solve.

In this book, Bill Burnett and Dave…

Book cover of Designing Your New Work Life: How to Thrive and Change and Find Happiness--and a New Freedom--at Work

Tessa White Author Of The Unspoken Truths for Career Success: Navigating Pay, Promotions, and Power at Work

From my list on curating a well rounded life.

Why am I passionate about this?

My own rise through the workplace didn’t come without roadblocks. I was a divorced single mom with 3 children and no education. Yet I found myself taking a career journey where I made a lot of the same mistakes so many individuals make. I realized after about 20 years leading human resources for fast-growth companies, that I had a unique view to help others shortcut their own mistakes. I finally left my corporate desk to work the other side of the desk–helping the individual. The Job Doctor was born in late 2020, and one million followers later, I feel like I’ve found my own career calling in helping individuals navigate their own career journeys. 

Tessa's book list on curating a well rounded life

Tessa White Why did Tessa love this book?

I love this book because not only does it give great advice, but it shares numerous practical tools and reframes on how to build a work life that is meaningful and joyful for you!

In addition, the book has stayed very current—includes how to handle life disruptions (such as the pandemic) and how to thrive despite the circumstances. As a career navigation coach myself, I’ve recommended this book hundreds of times to my clients.

It’s practical. It’s easy to read. And I find the exercises extraordinarily useful in setting boundaries at work that help one thrive.

By Bill Burnett, Dave Evans,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Designing Your New Work Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the authors of the #1 New York Times bestseller Designing Your Life comes a revised, fully up-to-date edition of Designing Your New Work Life,a timely, urgently needed book that shows us how to transform our new uncharted work life into a meaningful dream job or company. With practical, useful tools, tips, and design ideas that show us how to navigate disruption (global, regional, or personal) and create new possibilities for our post-COVID work world and beyond.

Bill Burnett and Dave Evans successfully taught graduate and undergraduate students at Stanford University and readers of their best-selling book, Designing Your Life…

5 book lists we think you will like!

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