100 books like The First 90 Days

By Michael D. Watkins,

Here are 100 books that The First 90 Days fans have personally recommended if you like The First 90 Days. 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 What Color Is Your Parachute? 2022: Your Guide to a Lifetime of Meaningful Work and Career Success

A. Yvette Myrick Author Of Thriving in Higher Education Careers

From my list on being authentic while thriving in your career.

Why are we passionate about this?

Estelle and I created the list of books based on our over 50 years of combined expertise in helping others to thrive in their careers. Our passion is facilitating the instruction, training, coaching, and professional development to help individuals reach their career goals. We wrote the book about thriving in careers and created a podcast about thriving in careers with over 30 episodes to help others reach their personal and career goals. At the same time, we want others to be their authentic self while thriving in their careers.

Yvette's book list on being authentic while thriving in your career

A. Yvette Myrick Why did Yvette love this book?

I really love this book because it changed the trajectory of my entire career. I was a business major in high school and continued as a business major while working on my bachelor’s degree. However, I did not feel that working only in business was my true passion.

The book explored not only job-hunting tools but also provided tools for reflection on deciding what you really want to do as a career. After reading this book, I earned a master’s and doctoral degree working with adult learners, which is my true passion. I love the book because its advice and guidance were relevant for being my authentic self and thriving in a career that best fits my skills and passion. 

By Richard N. Bolles, Katharine Brooks,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked What Color Is Your Parachute? 2022 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With timeless advice, up-to-the-minute insights, and more than ten million copies sold over fifty years, the world’s most popular and best-selling career guide is fully revised and expanded for 2022.
 
“One of the first job-hunting books on the market. It is still arguably the best. And it is indisputably the most popular.”—Fast Company

What Color Is Your Parachute? is the world’s most popular job-hunting guide. This completely updated edition features the latest resources, strategies, and perspectives on today’s job market, revealing surprising advice on what works—and what doesn’t—so you can focus your efforts on tactics that yield results.
 
At its…


Book cover of Secrets to Winning at Office Politics: How to Achieve Your Goals and Increase Your Influence at Work

Genevieve Hawkins Author Of Mentally at Work: Optimising health and business performance through connection

From my list on helping you thrive not just survive as a leader.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an Executive who started life as an Occupational Therapist. As an undergrad, I had an innate curiosity around mental health, and what makes people thrive not just survive. This fascination sent me to university multiple times, and, as a self-confessed book nerd (my teams tell me one of my most common sayings is ‘There is a book you could read..’), constantly testing book theories at work. As an executive, I mentor up-and-coming leaders. This compilation of books represents the most common books I recommend to people to help them thrive at work as a leader. I hope you find them as useful as I have.  

Genevieve's book list on helping you thrive not just survive as a leader

Genevieve Hawkins Why did Genevieve love this book?

I remember vividly the moment, while researching change, when I read an article by Jeffrey Pfeffer on power in organisations. It was an ah-ha moment for me in making sense of some of the behaviours I was witnessing at work. Marie McIntyre, who studied with Pfeffer, wrote Secrets to Winning at Office Politics and writes in a much more accessible and practical way on understanding and working with these politics, while maintaining your own integrity. Many a mentee has said to me, ‘I’m not interested in the politics, I just want to do my job.' And my response to that is that if you want to be successful in your career, then you need to not just understand but work with the politics. But there are ways to do this, while still being you. And this book helps with how.

By Marie G. McIntyre,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Secrets to Winning at Office Politics as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Office politics are a fact of corporate life. From new hire to experienced executive, everyone needs to learn how to effectively play the game to win. From sizing up the political climate in the office, to building positive relationships to increasing political power, SECRETS TO WINNING AT OFFICE POLITICS is the handbook for achieving on-the-job success. Marie McIntyre, organizational psychologist and corporate coach, reveals proven strategies to: - Turn adversaries into allies - Counter colleagues' powerplays - Develop an influence strategy - Cope with quirky bosses and annoying co-workers - Achieve personal and professional goals.


Book cover of Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life

Norman Farb Author Of Better in Every Sense: How the New Science of Sensation Can Help You Reclaim Your Life

From my list on overcoming stress and getting unstuck in life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto who studies the social neuroscience of the self and human emotion, with a focus on how biases in self-representation shape emotional reactions that determine well-being. I am particularly interested in how cognitive training practices such as mindfulness meditation and yoga foster resilience against stress, reducing vulnerability to disorders such as depression. I’ve always wished we had better ways of communicating fascinating and important discoveries in neuroscience and mental health to a wider audience, so we combined our teaching experience in the fields of mindfulness, yoga, sports, and clinical psychology to write this book.

Norman's book list on overcoming stress and getting unstuck in life

Norman Farb Why did Norman love this book?

There is this myth that with a perfect system, strategy, or set of habits, you can live a stress-free life; the trouble is, we adapt to any situation and still find ways to become stressed when the world inevitably changes around us.

I love this book because it starts by acknowledging this point rather than promising that we will never find ourselves overwhelmed. The author, Susan David, does a masterful job in providing practical and engaging anecdotes and advice for learning to pivot with life’s changes, acknowledging the inevitable upsets that occur, and then being intentional about how we can channel our efforts into activity that gets positive emotions flowing once more.

It is a great read for anyone feeling overwhelmed and stuck by the everyday.

By Susan David,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Emotional Agility as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Perfect for lovers of Quiet and The Power of Now, Emotional Agility shares a new way of relating to yourself and the world around you

Every day we speak around 16,000 words - but inside minds we create tens of thousands more.

Thoughts such as 'I'm not spending enough time with my children' or 'I'm not good enough to present my work' can seem to be unshakeable facts. In reality, they're the judgemental opinions of our inner voice.

Drawing on more than twenty years of academic research and her own experiences, Susan David PhD, a psychologist and faculty member at…


Book cover of Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It

Norman Farb Author Of Better in Every Sense: How the New Science of Sensation Can Help You Reclaim Your Life

From my list on overcoming stress and getting unstuck in life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto who studies the social neuroscience of the self and human emotion, with a focus on how biases in self-representation shape emotional reactions that determine well-being. I am particularly interested in how cognitive training practices such as mindfulness meditation and yoga foster resilience against stress, reducing vulnerability to disorders such as depression. I’ve always wished we had better ways of communicating fascinating and important discoveries in neuroscience and mental health to a wider audience, so we combined our teaching experience in the fields of mindfulness, yoga, sports, and clinical psychology to write this book.

Norman's book list on overcoming stress and getting unstuck in life

Norman Farb Why did Norman love this book?

Prof. Ethan Kross already had a strong reputation in the world of academic psychology for his work on that little voice inside our head and how it both gives us a sense of purpose but also drives us to despair at times. This book is essential reading for those interested in how to better understand the connection between mental habits and one’s state of well-being.

We so often forget when the voice inside our head recites criticisms and worries; we can easily be in the driver’s seat and direct these conversations. The voice inside our head is part of us, even if it seems deeply informed by the collection of critics we have met in the past. Our challenge, then, is to be a bit more intentional about how we cultivate this inner voice, when do we give it our attention, and how do we respond to the inevitable negative…

By Ethan Kross,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • An award-winning psychologist reveals the hidden power of our inner voice and shows how to harness it to combat anxiety, improve physical and mental health, and deepen our relationships with others.

LONGLISTED FOR THE PORCHLIGHT BUSINESS BOOK AWARD • “A masterpiece.”—Angela Duckworth, bestselling author of Grit • Malcolm Gladwell, Susan Cain, Adam Grant, and Daniel H. Pink’s Next Big Idea Club Winter 2021 Winning Selection

One of the best new books of the year—The Washington Post, BBC, USA Today, CNN Underscored, Shape, Behavioral Scientist, PopSugar • Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, and Shelf Awareness starred reviews

Tell a…


Book cover of Stories for Work: The Essential Guide to Business Storytelling

Genevieve Hawkins Author Of Mentally at Work: Optimising health and business performance through connection

From my list on helping you thrive not just survive as a leader.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an Executive who started life as an Occupational Therapist. As an undergrad, I had an innate curiosity around mental health, and what makes people thrive not just survive. This fascination sent me to university multiple times, and, as a self-confessed book nerd (my teams tell me one of my most common sayings is ‘There is a book you could read..’), constantly testing book theories at work. As an executive, I mentor up-and-coming leaders. This compilation of books represents the most common books I recommend to people to help them thrive at work as a leader. I hope you find them as useful as I have.  

Genevieve's book list on helping you thrive not just survive as a leader

Genevieve Hawkins Why did Genevieve love this book?

While we would love to think we are always rational, we are hard-wired for story not the rational data (albeit key data can be a strong anchor in a story). I started my career far more in the assumption of rational data trumps all, but recognised, through bumps and bruises, how stories can overtake decision-making. When I learned how to tell a better story, I learned how to get the results I needed. Gabrielle is such a down-to-earth, energising speaker and writer, and this book provided me with such a practical, relatable framework for always having a good story or two in my back pocket.  

By Gabrielle Dolan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Learn the science and master the art of telling a great story

Stories for Work walks you through the science of storytelling, revealing the secrets behind great storytellers and showing you how to master the art of storytelling in business. Stories hold a unique place in our psyche, and the right story at the right time can be a game-changer in business; whether tragedy, triumph, tension or transition, a good story can captivate the listener and help you achieve your goals. In this book, author Gabrielle Dolan draws from a decade of training business leaders in storytelling to show you…


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 my list on managing your career.

Why am I passionate about this?

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

Ted Fleming 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,…


Book cover of Up Is Not the Only Way: Rethinking Career Mobility

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

From my list on managing your career.

Why am I passionate about this?

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

Ted Fleming Why did Ted love this book?

Beverly Kaye is a training and development icon who received the "Distinguished Contribution" award from the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) for her impact on workplace learning over the past three decades.

Most career development and mobility books focus on getting a promotion or new job. But career mobility can also mean growing, stretching, learning, and transforming, without ever changing your job title, company, or location.

Kaye, Williams, and Cowart do an expert job of helping readers analyze their current situation and make good choices by balancing money and meaning. Whether it is time for you to grow right where you are by enriching your skills, making a lateral move, or stepping back and realigning your objectives - this book will guide you through it.

By Beverly Kaye, Lindy Williams, Lynn Cowart

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Up Is Not the Only Way as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Up Was Never for Everyone!

Move up or move out. When those two options appear to be the only ones, dissatisfaction grows and engagement suffers. In decades of studying careers around the globe, Beverly Kaye, Lindy Williams, and Lynn Cowart have found that, in fact, there are more options. And rethinking career mobility can lead you to them!

The authors show how managers, coaches, and employees can partner to determine what's best and what's next. Keep the same job but discover new ways to learn and grow? Explore moving to a position that could be a better fit? Step back…


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 Radical Candor

Maryanne O'Brien Author Of The Elevated Communicator: How to Master Your Style and Strengthen Well-Being at Work

From my list on communication and building trusted relationships.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a work in progress, on my way to becoming a conscious communicator and an even better human being. I believe that intentional communication and (the) quality of our relationships determines the quality of our lives, careers, and societies. I’ve spent decades guiding people and cultures to foster open communication, cultivate self-understanding, and deepen trust, from large Fortune 500 to small businesses. Building communication skills is a practice that leads to self-transformation and finding meaning, and happiness. Each of these books will help you to better understand yourself and others, and learn to communicate at the level of trust.

Maryanne's book list on communication and building trusted relationships

Maryanne O'Brien Why did Maryanne love this book?

If you lead a team, you know that providing clear and actionable feedback is one of the trickiest conversations that you have on a regular basis.

The most effective leaders are those who are able to provide both direct feedback and caring support to their employees––and that’s the central idea of Radical Candor. It provides you with a framework for giving feedback, building strong relationships, actively listening, and building trust.

It’s loaded with practical tips and exercises for fostering open communication. 

By Kim Scott,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Radical Candor as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Featuring a new preface, afterword and Radically Candid Performance Review Bonus Chapter, the fully revised & updated edition of Radical Candor is packed with even more guidance to help you improve your relationships at work.

'Reading Radical Candor will help you build, lead, and inspire teams to do the best work of their lives.' - Sheryl Sandberg, author of Lean In.

If you don't have anything nice to say then don't say anything at all . . . right?

While this advice may work for home life, as Kim Scott has seen first hand, it is a disaster when adopted…


Book cover of The Making of a Manager: What to Do When Everyone Looks to You

Deb Cohen Author Of Developing Management Proficiency: A Self-Directed Learning Approach

From my list on managing and leading more effectively.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a college professor, I taught MBA students about management and when I became an executive with a team of 50, I learned more about how to apply and understand theory in the workplace. I’ve always focused on the practical. Theory is great but needs to be practically applied in order to learn how to become more effective. I believe that we're all in control of our own destiny and that becoming a better manager is within our power. Developing the competencies we need can be done through training and on our own through focused, practical, and structured work. Self-directed learning can be applied to every aspect of work, whether you’re a manager or not.

Deb's book list on managing and leading more effectively

Deb Cohen Why did Deb love this book?

Julie Zhuo has a Silicon Valley and technology background and writes about management in a very straightforward way that lets the reader both identify with the content and learn from it. The new manager is targeted in this book but the discussion and anecdotes are valuable for anyone. My experience is that managers, even those who have held the people manager role for many years, need to refresh their view and skills on a continuous basis. Organizations frequently don’t train managers as often or as deeply as is needed. Starting with a good foundation that talks about “people, purpose and process” as Zhuo discusses, is not only a good foundation, but a good refresher as well. 

By Julie Zhuo,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Congratulations, you're a manager! After you pop the champagne, accept the shiny new title, and step into this thrilling next chapter of your career, the truth descends like a fog: you don't really know what you're doing.

That's exactly how Julie Zhuo felt when she became a rookie manager at the age of 25. She stared at a long list of logistics--from hiring to firing, from meeting to messaging, from planning to pitching--and faced a thousand questions and uncertainties. How was she supposed to spin teamwork into value? How could she be a good steward of her reports' careers? What…


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