100 books like Purpose and Profit

By George Serafeim,

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

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

Luana Marques Author Of Bold Move: A 3-Step Plan to Transform Anxiety Into Power

From my list on moving through anxiety toward what matters most.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up in Brazil facing poverty and adversity, I was helped by my grandmother, who instilled in me a profound lesson: be the water, not the rock. She taught me the significance of adaptability in confronting uncertainty, stress, and discomfort. Later in life, while pursuing my PhD in clinical psychology, I discovered her teachings aligned with leading mental health practices. Today, I'm an associate professor at Harvard, a renowned global speaker, and an author, ardently committed to empowering individuals globally with evidence-based techniques to transform anxiety into power. Every book in this list resonates with my grandmother's wisdom about boldly navigating life and underscores the transformative potential of embracing discomfort. 

Luana's book list on moving through anxiety toward what matters most

Luana Marques Why did Luana love this book?

My journey with Simon Sinek's Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action began during my tenure at Massachusetts General Hospital, where I was tasked with the integration of two research labs.

As I grappled with unifying two distinct cultures, I grabbed with motivating and integrating two distinct teams. On my quest for innovative methods to articulate ideas, I chanced upon Sinek's Golden Circle—a potent formula for inspiring action. This strategy begins with 'why', segues into 'how', and culminates with 'what'.

Since immersing in Start with Why, I've employed the Golden Circle in countless presentations, workshops, and meetings, tapping into the strength of collective values and a sharp sense of purpose. If you find yourself in a leadership role and feeling cornered, my recommendation is: Start with Why.

By Simon Sinek,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Start With Why as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE MILLION-COPY GLOBAL BESTSELLER - BASED ON THE LIFE-CHANGING TED TALK!

WHAT READERS ARE SAYING ABOUT START WITH WHY:

'It's amazing how a book can change the course of your life, and this book did that' Reader Review

'Imagine the Ted Talk expanded to 2 hours long, with more depth, intrigue and examples' Reader Review

'What he does brilliantly is demonstrate his own why - to inspire others - throughout' Reader Review

'Wow. Wow. Wow. I cannot rate this book highly enough to take a different, positive approach to life and work' Reader Review

Discover your purpose with one simple…


Book cover of Net Positive: How Courageous Companies Thrive by Giving More Than They Take

Anne Bahr Thompson Author Of Do Good: Embracing Brand Citizenship to Fuel Both Purpose and Profit

From my list on shifting the role business plays in society.

Why am I passionate about this?

I pivoted into brand consulting after working in banking, because I saw a need to align organizational behaviors and actions with purpose and values. So naturally, as a strategist my work has always informally included an element of coaching brands and people to have the courage and confidence to be their best, true selves. To have a broader societal vision and positive social impact. Since the Me-to-We continuum of Brand Citizenship emerged unsolicited in research, I also have been on a larger mission to help business balance how it earns a profit with how it serves individual people, betters society, and regenerates the planet.

Anne's book list on shifting the role business plays in society

Anne Bahr Thompson Why did Anne love this book?

At a time when businesses are targeting net zero carbon emissions, Net Positive is a rallying cry for leaders to embrace a wider definition of sustainability.

As Paul Polman, former CEO of Unilever, who I’ve had the privilege of interviewing, and Andrew Winston explain net positive companies improve the lives of everyone they touch, increasing long-term shareholder returns in the process; take ownership of social and environmental impacts their business models create, viewing these as opportunities to innovate; and partner with competitors, civil society and governments to drive transformative change. 

Although some concepts presented in this book were not new to me, the authors’ examples add meaningful perspective. Net Positive affirmed my belief in purpose-led organizations and the power of business to do more.

By Paul Polman, Andrew Winston,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A Financial Times Best Business Book of the Year

Named one of 10 Best New Management Books for 2022 by Thinkers50

"An advocate of sustainable capitalism explains how it's done" - The Economist

"Polman's new book with the sustainable business expert Andrew Winston...argues that it's profitable to do business with the goal of making the world better." - The New York Times

Named as recommended reading by Fortune's CEO Daily

"...Polman has been one of the most significant chief executives of his era and that his approach to business and its role in society has been both valuable and path-breaking."…


Book cover of Connect: How Companies Succeed by Engaging Radically with Society

Anne Bahr Thompson Author Of Do Good: Embracing Brand Citizenship to Fuel Both Purpose and Profit

From my list on shifting the role business plays in society.

Why am I passionate about this?

I pivoted into brand consulting after working in banking, because I saw a need to align organizational behaviors and actions with purpose and values. So naturally, as a strategist my work has always informally included an element of coaching brands and people to have the courage and confidence to be their best, true selves. To have a broader societal vision and positive social impact. Since the Me-to-We continuum of Brand Citizenship emerged unsolicited in research, I also have been on a larger mission to help business balance how it earns a profit with how it serves individual people, betters society, and regenerates the planet.

Anne's book list on shifting the role business plays in society

Anne Bahr Thompson Why did Anne love this book?

I strongly believe business leaders and brands must engage with all stakeholders (including society and the planet) to thrive – and this is the essence of John Browne’s message in Connect.

Browne, a former CEO of BP, contrasts positive engagement with traditional corporate social responsibility, which he contends is often more about complying with laws and regulations and looking good rather than doing good. 

The first half of the book provides real world examples of how corporate success is dependent on greater engagement with society.

And the second examines Browne’s four tenets of connected leadership – map your world, define your contribution, apply world class management, engage radically – and how companies can exemplify them going forward and profitably place society at the heart of business.

By John Browne, Robin Nuttall, Tommy Stadlen

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Why being radically connected with society is not just the right thing to do, it is an imperative for a company's bottom line Based on John Browne's decades of experience as one of the world's most successful and innovative CEOs, with research by McKinsey & Company, Connect is a practical manifesto that redefines the role of business in society. Through insightful analysis and vivid storytelling--ranging from ancient China, Andrew Carnegie and the Homestead Strike of the late nineteenth century, to oil spills and privacy issues emanating from the technology of the twenty--first--Connect explores the recurring rift between business and society…


Book cover of Emotional Branding: The New Paradigm for Connecting Brands to People

Anne Bahr Thompson Author Of Do Good: Embracing Brand Citizenship to Fuel Both Purpose and Profit

From my list on shifting the role business plays in society.

Why am I passionate about this?

I pivoted into brand consulting after working in banking, because I saw a need to align organizational behaviors and actions with purpose and values. So naturally, as a strategist my work has always informally included an element of coaching brands and people to have the courage and confidence to be their best, true selves. To have a broader societal vision and positive social impact. Since the Me-to-We continuum of Brand Citizenship emerged unsolicited in research, I also have been on a larger mission to help business balance how it earns a profit with how it serves individual people, betters society, and regenerates the planet.

Anne's book list on shifting the role business plays in society

Anne Bahr Thompson Why did Anne love this book?

First published in 2001, Emotional Branding emphasized a new perspective for marketers and business leaders: the importance of human connections between corporations and people.

I believe an understanding of these connections has always been central to excellent brand strategy and now is critical for business to have positive social impact.

As Marc Gobé aptly states, emotional branding “is a culture and a way of living: a fundamental belief that people are the real force in commerce….” 

Filled with examples of the range of brand expression – from logos to packaging to experiences – Gobé, who I had the pleasure of knowing, inspires readers while also illustrating how many decisions about branding are actually about integrated business strategy and cultivating meaningful connections.

By Marc Gobe,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Emotional Branding is the best selling revolutionary business book that has created a movement in branding circles by shifting the focus from products to people. The “10 Commandments of Emotional Branding” have become a new benchmark for marketing and creative professionals, emotional branding has become a coined term by many top industry experts to express the new dynamic that exists now between brands and people. The emergence of social media, consumer empowerment and interaction were all clearly predicted in this book 10 years ago around the new concept of a consumer democracy. In this updated edition, Marc Gobé covers how…


Book cover of SoulBlazing: Transform Your Imposters into Superpowers and Live a More Purposeful, Authentic Life

G. Brian Benson Author Of Habits for Success: Inspired Ideas to Help You Soar (Habits of Successful People)

From my list on to inspire personal growth and success.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been motivated to be the best version of myself for as long as I can remember and that has included reading a ton of books, pushing my own limits on what I was capable of (Ironman triathlons and a cross-country bicycle ride), tapping into my own creativity as well as taking it to the next step and sharing what I have learned through my own books and TEDx presentation. I believe we have so much more inside of us than we realize and I love to share and see others reach their goals and dreams.  

G.'s book list on to inspire personal growth and success

G. Brian Benson Why did G. love this book?

What I really liked about this book was how it helped me become a lot more self-aware about the incorrect stories I told about myself and how they have held me back. This book does a great job of helping the reader identify their "imposters," the areas in one's lives where we hold onto false beliefs about ourselves which keep us from being the best version of who we can be and achieve our goals and dreams. 

By Lisa Haisha,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Who are you truly, deep down?

There are seven key Imposters, or archetypes, that underlie nearly every aspect of human behavior. In this groundbreaking self-help book, you’ll discover a framework for understanding these archetypes and how they impact your relationship to yourself, others, and the world at large.

SoulBlazing will help you:

Ignite meaningful change in your life Understand and release false narratives and negative self-talk that hinder you Transform your inner saboteurs into superpowers Learn to respond rather than react to life Cultivate a deeper, more life-affirming awareness of yourself and others

SoulBlazing goes right to the heart of…


Book cover of The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious

Antonio Zadra Author Of When Brains Dream: Exploring the Science and Mystery of Sleep

From my list on the science of dreams.

Why am I passionate about this?

Although I had many intriguing dreams during my childhood, including fantastic flying dreams, the idea of becoming a sleep scientist never crossed my mind. All that changed during my first year in college. It was then that I experienced an exceptionally long and vivid lucid dream that changed my life; it was because of this dream that I decided to become a dream researcher. Today, I’m a professor of psychology at the University of Montreal, director of the department’s Dream Research Laboratory, and have published over 100 scientific articles and book chapters on sleep and dreams. I don’t have as many flying dreams as I once did, but I do have a really cool job while awake. 

Antonio's book list on the science of dreams

Antonio Zadra Why did Antonio love this book?

Jung proposed many fascinating ideas about the inner workings of the mind. His concept of the archetypes and of the collective unconscious are two of his best-known contributions, and both are intimately tied to his conceptualization of dreams. The idea that dreams not only emanate from our personal unconscious, but also from our collective unconscious (a deep stratum of the unconscious common to all humankind) and contain universal patterns, images, and dispositions, has helped countless people develop a deeper understanding of their dreams.

What’s more, this book exposes Jung’s view of dreaming as a wholesome, natural process that can give rise to creative—even transcendent—experiences featuring personal challenges, unmapped potentials, and elements of one’s personality. Not always the easiest of reads, but highly rewarding. 

By C.G. Jung, Gerhard Adler (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Essays which state the fundamentals of Jung's psychological system: "On the Psychology of the Unconscious" and "The Relations Between the Ego and the Unconscious," with their original versions in an appendix.


Book cover of The Origins and History of Consciousness

Thomas T. Lawson Author Of Carl Jung, Darwin of the Mind

From my list on C.J. Jung and the evolution of culture.

Why am I passionate about this?

A certain idea kept cropping up in my reading, triggered perhaps by Richard Dawkins's conception in The Selfish Gene, of the “meme.” It seemed that the meme had a life of its own. Then I came across Richerson’s and Boyd’s Not by Genes Alone, and they laid it out: cultures evolve. And they evolve independently of the genes—free of genetic constraints in an idea or thought to contribute to its own survival. That is up to the multitude of people who happen to come across it. I now have a new book readying for publication: How Cognition, Language, Myth, and Culture Came Together To Make Us What We Are.

Thomas' book list on C.J. Jung and the evolution of culture

Thomas T. Lawson Why did Thomas love this book?

Of seminal importance to an understanding of the world is the conception of a collective unconscious grounded in inheritable archetypes. These evolve: how could it be otherwise—everything in nature evolves. And that means that our consciousness, too, evolves. Its evolution is, in a sense, teleological: from the less conscious to the more consciousness. This is to say that the evolution of the archetypes permits the increasing distillation of consciousness from the vastness of the collective unconscious. I believe that language, which is indivisible from consciousness, did not begin to materialize until about 10,000 BC. I may have been virtually alone in this view, but computerized models of evolutionary linguists today suggest that the key to language capability may have been enfolded in our make-up from our earliest beginnings.

By Erich Neumann,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Origins and History of Consciousness draws on a full range of world mythology to show how individual consciousness undergoes the same archetypal stages of development as human consciousness as a whole. Erich Neumann was one of C. G. Jung's most creative students and a renowned practitioner of analytical psychology in his own right. In this influential book, Neumann shows how the stages begin and end with the symbol of the Uroboros, the tail-eating serpent. The intermediate stages are projected in the universal myths of the World Creation, Great Mother, Separation of the World Parents, Birth of the Hero, Slaying…


Book cover of What It Is Like to Go to War

Benjamin Sledge Author Of Where Cowards Go to Die

From my list on war that leave you shattered.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipient who fought in both Afghanistan and Iraq. As I explored the ramifications of combat and struggled to reintegrate when I returned home, I often felt veterans’ memoirs teetered on the brink of “war porn” as opposed to the crushing devastation and fear men and women face on the battlefield. Seeking to rectify the misconceptions about the longest-running wars in U.S. history, I began writing about my experiences on medium.com and amassed over 40,000 followers (which turned into a book deal). This list of books below directly influenced my work and—I believe—are the gold standards for true war stories.

Benjamin's book list on war that leave you shattered

Benjamin Sledge Why did Benjamin love this book?

The sheer number of times I cried in this book is absurd. Marlantes is a Vietnam veteran and Navy Cross recipient who chronicles his journey leaving Yale University to serve as a Marine lieutenant in Vietnam. Throughout, he chronicles the struggle to readjust to civilian society and intermingles religion, philosophy, and psychology while recounting some of his most harrowing tales of combat. If you’ve ever had a loved one or friend serve who came home different and wondered why or how you can help, this is the book to read. 

By Karl Marlantes,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked What It Is Like to Go to War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Matterhorn" author Karl Marlantes' nonfiction debut is a powerful book about the experience of combat and how inadequately we prepare our young men and women for the psychological and spiritual stresses of war. One of the most important and highly-praised books of 2011, Karl Marlantes' "What It Is Like to Go to War" is set to become just as much of a classic as his epic novel "Matterhorn". In 1968, at the age of twenty-two, Karl Marlantes was dropped into the highland jungle of Vietnam, an inexperienced lieutenant in command of a platoon of forty Marines who would live or…


Book cover of Awakening the Heroes Within: Twelve Archetypes to Help Us Find Ourselves and Transform Our World

Mandy Ingber Author Of Yogalosophy: 28 Days to the Ultimate Mind-Body Makeover

From my list on activity books for mind body spirit.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in Los Angeles and attended a progressive experiential learning school. The libraries were my classroom, the parks my playgrounds, and our twice-weekly field trips developed my journalistic skills. The week began with a contract agreement between myself and my teacher. My education made me a self-starter. My home was emotionally volatile. I became curious about healing: aligning my heart, mind, body, and spirit. My path unfolded to me. I became an actress on Broadway as my parents divorced and my school fell apart. My training in my mobile school delivered me into the real world. I was hungry to feel whole. Thus began my journey. 

Mandy's book list on activity books for mind body spirit

Mandy Ingber Why did Mandy love this book?

This book is an incredible reference book. I used it as an actor in one of my favorite acting classes. During rehearsal, we used archetypes to help flesh out and explore our characters. This technique felt groundbreaking.

Since archetypes are essential to character development, and we each possess every archetype within us, this book was a staple for me in my creative development. I will go so far as to say that this book was a portal for me to access the teacher in me and expanded me out of my actor self and into my author self.

By Carol S. Pearson,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Awakening the Heroes Within as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This companion to the bestselling THE HERO WITHIN outlines twelve archetypal patterns that can aid inner development and the quest for wholeness.


Book cover of Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype

Zuza Zak Author Of Slavic Kitchen Alchemy: Nourishing Herbal Remedies, Magical Recipes & Folk Wisdom

From my list on wild foods and ancient ways.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born in Communist Poland, and when we emigrated to the UK, I craved the tastes of my childhood. More than that, I missed the culture of foraging, preserving, fermenting, and the stories that accompanied these processes–there was something deeply ingrained in my soul that I have been called to explore within my own work. I have written four books on East European cuisine. Slavic Kitchen Alchemy is rather different from the others because of its focus on herbs, healing, and mythology. The books on this list have inspired me in my own writing, and I will keep returning to them again and again.

Zuza's book list on wild foods and ancient ways

Zuza Zak Why did Zuza love this book?

I feel that this is a book that every woman should read because it delves into the deeper lessons behind the folk tales ingrained in our psyches, which have been twisted with time to fit a patriarchal narrative.

Estés is a master storyteller herself; therefore, this book stays with you and keeps giving throughout the challenges you face in your life.

By Clarissa Pinkola Estés,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked Women Who Run with the Wolves as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

First published three years before the print edition of Women Who Run With the Wolves made publishing history, this original audio edition quickly became an underground bestseller. For its insights into the inner life of women, it established Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes as one of the most important voices of our time in the fields of Jungian psychology, myth, and women's mysteries.

Drawing from her work as a psychoanalyst and cantadora ("keeper of the old stories"), Dr. Estes uses myths and folktales to illustrate how societies systematically strip away the feminine spirit. Through an exploration into the nature of the…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in archetypes, sustainability, and business?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about archetypes, sustainability, and business.

Archetypes Explore 32 books about archetypes
Sustainability Explore 46 books about sustainability
Business Explore 2,602 books about business