100 books like The Essential Wooden

By John Wooden, Steve Jamison,

Here are 100 books that The Essential Wooden fans have personally recommended if you like The Essential Wooden. 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 Maverick: The Success Story Behind the World's Most Unusual Workplace

Isaac Getz Author Of Freedom Inc.: How Corporate Liberation Unleashes Employee Potential and Business Performance

From my list on transformational leadership books that will help you to practice it.

Why am I passionate about this?

One remarkable leader I've studied, Bob Davids, said that the greatest scarcity in the world is not oil or food but leadership. For two decades, I've been on a quest to uncover the essence of a transformational leader, someone who cultivates an environment where employees' needs are so well-addressed that they are eager to show up and give their best every day. This journey led me to study hundreds of leaders and books, all serving as the foundation for my thoughts and writings. I trust that these books will kickstart your own journey. Mine has guided me to play a pivotal role in the corporate liberation movement, involving hundreds of leaders who have transformed their organizations.

Isaac's book list on transformational leadership books that will help you to practice it

Isaac Getz Why did Isaac love this book?

This is the freshest account I’ve read by a leader of his company’s transformational journey: Ricardo Semler became CEO of his father’s company, SEMCO, at the age of 21, and wrote the book in his early thirties, not to forget the transformative journey he just led.

But even more than the narrative itself, I loved Semler’s philosophical reflections, densely packed throughout the book. Example: “We simply don’t believe our employees have an interest in coming in late and doing as little as possible. After all, the same people raise children and elect mayors and presidents. They are adults. In SEMCO, we treat them as adults.”

Semler, twice chosen as Brazil’s businessperson of the year, proves how a leader, driven by authentic beliefs, can lead a transformation that makes people and—consequently—the company thrive.

By Ricardo Semler,

Why should I read it?

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


Book cover of Tao Te Ching

Isaac Getz Author Of Freedom Inc.: How Corporate Liberation Unleashes Employee Potential and Business Performance

From my list on transformational leadership books that will help you to practice it.

Why am I passionate about this?

One remarkable leader I've studied, Bob Davids, said that the greatest scarcity in the world is not oil or food but leadership. For two decades, I've been on a quest to uncover the essence of a transformational leader, someone who cultivates an environment where employees' needs are so well-addressed that they are eager to show up and give their best every day. This journey led me to study hundreds of leaders and books, all serving as the foundation for my thoughts and writings. I trust that these books will kickstart your own journey. Mine has guided me to play a pivotal role in the corporate liberation movement, involving hundreds of leaders who have transformed their organizations.

Isaac's book list on transformational leadership books that will help you to practice it

Isaac Getz Why did Isaac love this book?

I admire this first-ever book stating the principles of authentic leadership. Written by the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu in the 6th century BCE, it comprises a collection of paradoxical, enigmatic, and profound teachings that laid the foundation of Taoism.

I love all of them, but here is one regarding leadership: “Why do the hundred rivers turn and rush toward the sea? / Because it naturally stays below them / He who wishes to rule over the people must speak as if below them.”

While delving into this book, I find myself astounded by the universality and timelessness of the truths it unveils about authentic servant leadership. This modest volume—which adorns my bedroom as a wooden scroll—has proven to be a revelation, offering continuous inspiration to me.

By Lao Tzu, Sam Torode (translator), Dwight Goddard (translator)

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Tao Te Ching as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Path to Peace

The Tao Te Ching is a series of meditations on the mysterious nature of the Tao—the Way, the Light, the very Source of all existence. According to Lao Tzu (a name meaning "the old master"), the Tao is found where we would least expect it—not in the strong but in the weak; not in speech but in silence; not in doing but in "not-doing."

Compiled in China around 2,500 years ago, the Tao Te Ching is beloved by seekers all the world over. This edition is rendered in poetic language by Sam Torode, based on the…


Book cover of Up the Organization: How to Stop the Corporation from Stifling People and Strangling Profits

Isaac Getz Author Of Freedom Inc.: How Corporate Liberation Unleashes Employee Potential and Business Performance

From my list on transformational leadership books that will help you to practice it.

Why am I passionate about this?

One remarkable leader I've studied, Bob Davids, said that the greatest scarcity in the world is not oil or food but leadership. For two decades, I've been on a quest to uncover the essence of a transformational leader, someone who cultivates an environment where employees' needs are so well-addressed that they are eager to show up and give their best every day. This journey led me to study hundreds of leaders and books, all serving as the foundation for my thoughts and writings. I trust that these books will kickstart your own journey. Mine has guided me to play a pivotal role in the corporate liberation movement, involving hundreds of leaders who have transformed their organizations.

Isaac's book list on transformational leadership books that will help you to practice it

Isaac Getz Why did Isaac love this book?

This is the most impertinent yet constructive book on leadership I’ve ever read (and I've read many with one of these qualities, but none with both).

It’s written by the former CEO of AVIS, who led a radical transformation of its organizational culture, resulting in unmatched performance. First published in 1970, it quickly became the NY Times N°1 bestseller. Its commemorative 2007 edition is adorned with even more gems, including a nine-page segment that earns you a PhD in Leadership.

It starts with, “To hell with centralized strategic planning. If you don’t have a good leader, it’s all nothing; just a bunch of papers flying around.” Enjoy!

By Robert C. Townsend, Warren Bennis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Although it was first published more than thirty-five years ago, Up the Organization continues to top the lists of best business books by groups as diverse as the American Management Association, Strategy + Business (Booz Allen Hamilton), and The Wharton Center for Leadership and Change Management. 1-800-CEO-READ ranks Townsend's bestseller first among eighty books that "every manager must read."

This commemorative edition offers a new generation the benefit of Robert Townsend's timeless wisdom as well as reflections on his work and life by those who knew and worked with him. This groundbreaking book continues to remind us not to get…


Book cover of Servant Leadership: A Journey into the Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness

Isaac Getz Author Of Freedom Inc.: How Corporate Liberation Unleashes Employee Potential and Business Performance

From my list on transformational leadership books that will help you to practice it.

Why am I passionate about this?

One remarkable leader I've studied, Bob Davids, said that the greatest scarcity in the world is not oil or food but leadership. For two decades, I've been on a quest to uncover the essence of a transformational leader, someone who cultivates an environment where employees' needs are so well-addressed that they are eager to show up and give their best every day. This journey led me to study hundreds of leaders and books, all serving as the foundation for my thoughts and writings. I trust that these books will kickstart your own journey. Mine has guided me to play a pivotal role in the corporate liberation movement, involving hundreds of leaders who have transformed their organizations.

Isaac's book list on transformational leadership books that will help you to practice it

Isaac Getz Why did Isaac love this book?

I instinctively resonate with Robert Greenleaf’s servant leadership philosophy, as do numerous business writers and, more importantly, leaders.

Greenleaf had a dream job at AT&T: read, think, and write about management. I admire how his book draws not only from management authors but also from philosophers, political thinkers, poets, and novelists. I fully agree with his diagnosis that organizations "have the resources to do so much better than the [current] mediocre level because so much leadership is poor." He also devised a solution to this challenge: leaders who serve others by tending to their needs and aspirations.

I appreciate Greenleaf's benevolence but also expectation towards those in charge. He observes that "many guilty people are walking around with an air of innocence" because they have not embraced servant leadership when they had the freedom to do so.

By Robert K. Greenleaf,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Revolution Has Only Just Begun

Twenty-five years ago Robert Greenleaf published these prophetic essays on what he coined servant leadership, a practical philosophy that replaces traditional autocratic leadership with a holistic, ethical approach. This highly influential book has been embraced by cutting edge management everywhere. Yet in these days of Enron and what VISA CEO Dee Hock calls our "era of massive institutional failure," Greenleaf's seminal work must reach the mainstream now more than ever.
Servant Leadership-
* helps leaders find their true power and moral authority to lead.
* helps those served become healthier, wiser, freer, and more…


Book cover of The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company

Joe Pardavila Author Of Good Listen: Creating Memorable Conversations in Business and Life

From my list on that made me write a book about my life.

Why am I passionate about this?

Joe Pardavila has produced over ten thousand hours of audio content over the course of his career in podcasting and terrestrial radio. Joe was a radio personality and producer on the legendary New York City radio station, 95.5 PLJ, where he was part of the iconic Scott & Todd in the Morning. He studied sketch and improv comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade and was a founding member and actor in the New York-based sketch comedy group, Clip Show. He is the codirector, writer, and producer of the award-winning horror satire, The Witches of Bushwick. Currently, he serves as the director of podcasts for Advantage Media Group | Forbes Books.

Joe's book list on that made me write a book about my life

Joe Pardavila Why did Joe love this book?

Business books tend to be stuffy and over technical, but Iger’s book was the model I was going after when writing my own book. Iger shares the hits and misses (but mostly hits) of his time running one of the most prestigious brands the world has ever seen. But even though they’re mostly showbiz and Disney-focused, any human can relate and learn from his stories.

By Robert Iger,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Ride of a Lifetime as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'One of the best business books I've read in years.' BILL GATES
THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A SUNDAY TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR 2019
_____________________________

The CEO of Disney, one of Time's most influential people of 2019, shares the ideas and values he embraced to reinvent one of the most beloved companies in the world and inspire the people who bring the magic to life.

Robert Iger became CEO of The Walt Disney Company in 2005, during a difficult time. Morale had deteriorated, competition was intense, and technology was changing faster than at any time in the company's…


Book cover of Leadership Secrets of Rogue Warrior: A Commando's Guide to Success

Nicolas A. Valcik Author Of Strategic Planning and Decision-Making for Public and Non-Profit Organizations

From my list on showing leadership through someone's own story.

Why am I passionate about this?

Leadership is always the key to success in strategic planning for any organization. Great leaders can drive their organizations to success, while poor leadership can crater the organization and take generations for it to rebuild. A good leader is essential in the aspect of providing good morale for the employees of the organization. Good leadership factors cause the organization to be seen as cutting edge and as an organization that others want to go work for in an effort to be better themselves. An organization with a superior strategic planning process, will have great leaders and employees to not only formulate the plan, but also execute the plan successfully.  

Nicolas' book list on showing leadership through someone's own story

Nicolas A. Valcik Why did Nicolas love this book?

History is full of military men and commanders who have had to possess leadership qualities and decision-making abilities to be successful in the field and in life.

This book has a number of great qualities described throughout the book that public managers should take note of in order to be successful. I love the 10 commandments format for the book. The case studies throughout the book for both warfare and business are very insightful, and I feel beneficial for leaders to understand how the principles described are applied in real-life situations. 

By Richard Marcinko,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Leadership Secrets of Rogue Warrior as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Richard Marcinko's explosive #1 New York Times bestselling autobiography, Rogue Warrior, chronicled the wild, death-defying adventures of his thirty controversial years as a Navy commando and creator of the legendary SEAL TEAM SIX. Three blockbuster Rogue Warrior novels transformed classified information he could never reveal in nonfiction into blistering tales of international warfare and counterterrorism. Now, writing in the tradition of A Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi, Japan's greatest samurai, Marcinko blasts other self-help guides out of the water. In LEADERSHIP SECRETS OF THE ROGUE WARRIOR, he shows how anyone can apply the skills he has honed throughout…


Book cover of My Life in Leadership: The Journey and Lessons Learned Along the Way

Sarah McArthur Author Of The AMA Handbook of Leadership

From my list on working together towards a bright future.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a lifelong student of philosophy, leadership, and principled living. Having worked with great leaders of today and being an editor-in-chief of a leadership journal (Leader to Leader), I experience how their leadership continues the principles set forth in days long past, and I publish works by authors who are keeping these principles alive in their writing. I am grateful for the opportunity to recommend books that might help others as we grapple with how to be in the world today to create value for all.

Sarah's book list on working together towards a bright future

Sarah McArthur Why did Sarah love this book?

There are many of us who believe Frances Hesselbein was one of the greatest leaders of our time, including myself, Peter F. Drucker, Alan Mulally, Marshall Goldsmith, and millions more.

A leader whose focus was on humility, love, and service, Frances spent her entire 107 years serving humanity in the area of leadership. She showed us by example that who we are will have everything to do with our performance and results. For instance, if we have respect for all people, our goals will include everyone in the results.

This book is essential for anyone learning about this great leader because it is in her words, what she believed to be important to who we are and how we lead.

By Frances Hesselbein,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In a clear and compelling voice, Frances Hesselbein delivers key leadership lessons. Tracing her own development as a leader, she narrates the critical moments that shaped her personally and professionally: from her childhood in Pennsylvania, to moving up from Girl Scout troop leader to Girl Scout CEO, to founding and leading the Leader to Leader Institute, to her friendships and experiences with some of the greatest leaders and thinkers of our time. Each chapter includes an inspirational story, a key lesson and how to apply it to daily life.


Book cover of Managing Oneself: The Key to Success

Christian Mayer Author Of Leaving the Rat Race with Python: An Insider's Guide to Freelance Developing

From my list on freelancers in the digital age.

Why am I passionate about this?

No one in my family has ever owned a business, so I always believed that the best way forward was to find employment. I followed the "expected path" in life until I obtained my Ph.D. in computer science. However, I always wondered if there was a way for me to "break free" from the corporate world. After reading hundreds of business books and watching countless hours of YouTube videos about creating a business, I finally managed to achieve my goal. I began working as a self-employed freelance developer and gradually moved towards a more scalable education business, which aligns with my purpose of helping people thrive in an exponential world.

Christian's book list on freelancers in the digital age

Christian Mayer Why did Christian love this book?

Perform from your strengths! There can hardly be a more effective success principle than this one.

The book is very tiny – you can read it in 1-2 hours. But it has had a profound impact on my life. After reading it, I decided to quit my job and focus 100% on business because I discovered that I didn’t need a corporate environment to reach success and I didn’t need a boss either.

Only after reading Druckers' “Perform from your strengths” principle I gave myself permission to do just that – and it changed things quickly for me.

By Peter F. Drucker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Peter Drucker is widely regarded as the father of modern management, offering penetrating insights into business that still resonate today. But Drucker also offers deep wisdom on how to manage our personal lives and how to become more effective leaders. In these two classic articles from Harvard Business Review, Drucker reveals the keys to becoming your own chief executive officer as well as a better leader of others. "Managing Oneself" identifies the probing questions you need to ask to gain the insights essential for taking charge of your career, while "What Makes an Effective Executive" outlines the key behaviors you…


Book cover of Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family

Sean Lemson Author Of One Drop of Poison: How One Bad Leader Can Slowly Kill Your Company

From my list on avoid being the leader everyone wants to leave.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have worked for some really toxic leaders in my lifetime. Over the decades, I’ve figured out that even well-intentioned people can be toxic leaders without knowing it. As a team and leadership performance coach for the past 15 years, my job has been to help leaders show up as people others want to follow; to help employees feel cared for, and as a result, be intrinsically motivated to care about their company’s mission. These books represent the figurative fuel in my tank for this work, and I hope you find them useful.

Sean's book list on avoid being the leader everyone wants to leave

Sean Lemson Why did Sean love this book?

I love this book because it soundly silences leaders who act as if caring about the people who work for them isn’t compatible with profits. Bob Chapman, the CEO of Barry-Wehmiller, proves that you can care about employees and also be a successful $1.7 billion company.

This is an important part of my belief structure as a leadership and team performance coach. This book also introduced me to the connection between the health of our work cultures and the health of society in general. We make our marks as leaders when we leave the world a better place, not just when we increase our company’s share price. Chapman shows us how it’s done.

By Bob Chapman, Raj Sisodia,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'If you're ready for a new way of doing business, this is the book for you' Daniel H. Pink, author of To Sell Is Human and Drive

'Bob Chapman is on a mission to change the way businesses treat their employees' Inc.magazine

Do you want to boost the morale, loyalty, creativity and performance of your employees?

In Everybody Matters, CEO Bob Chapman and bestselling author Raj Sisodia challenge traditional thinking about how to run a business and show you how to lead your company so that everyone feels valued.

As CEO of Barry-Wehmiller, Bob Chapman has pioneered a dramatically different…


Book cover of Legacy

Geoff Hudson-Searle Author Of The Trust Paradigm

From my list on why ethical leadership creates amazing outcomes.

Why am I passionate about this?

Geoff has over 30 years of experience in the business and management arena, he is the author of 6 books Freedom after the Sharks, Meaningful Conversations, Journeys to Success Volume 9, GOD in Business, Purposeful Discussions, and his latest book The Trust Paradigm. He lectures at business forums, conferences, and universities and has been the focus of London Live TV, Talk TV, TEDx, and RT Europe’s business documentary across various thought leadership topics and his authorisms and has been a regular lead judge at the UK’s business premier awards event, The Lloyds Bank British Business Excellence Awards which is the UK’s most prestigious awards program celebrating the innovation, success, and resilience of British business.

Geoff's book list on why ethical leadership creates amazing outcomes

Geoff Hudson-Searle Why did Geoff love this book?

James Kerr, in his book Legacy reveals the simple secrets of success behind some of the world's elite business, sports, and military organizations. He explores ethical leadership, trust, and individual initiative and what drives the best teams to extraordinary results; a relentless focus on trust, ethical behavior, and leadership styles, excellence, a collective commitment to an 'uncommon cause,' a high degree of autonomy, with clear, candid and compelling communication, an emphasis on individual accountability, integrity, and genuine humility, underpinned by a climate in which 'leaders create leaders'.

The book is extremely insightful. It is about leadership, decision-making, and self-mastery. The lessons of this book can be perfectly applied to personal life and business environment.

Trust-based leadership — know thyself, keep to the truth. If you succumb to peer pressure and do things because others want you, you will be cut off. Be genuine, stay true to yourself, and be honest…

By James Kerr,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Champions do extra. They sweep the sheds. They follow the spearhead. They keep a blue head. They are good ancestors. In Legacy, best-selling author James Kerr goes deep into the heart of the world's most successful sporting team, the legendary All Blacks of New Zealand, to reveal 15 powerful and practical lessons for leadership and business. Legacy is a unique, inspiring handbook for leaders in all fields, and asks: What are the secrets of success - sustained success? How do you achieve world-class standards, day after day, week after week, year after year? How do you handle pressure? How do…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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