100 books like The First, the Few, the Only

By Deepa Purushothaman,

Here are 100 books that The First, the Few, the Only fans have personally recommended if you like The First, the Few, the Only. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Long Game: How to Be a Long-Term Thinker in a Short-Term World

Jenny Foss Author Of Do This, Not That: Career

From my list on taking charge of your career.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a kid, I dreamed of becoming a California beach lifeguard. Considering I grew up in Michigan, this was a rather aspirational choice. To my parents’ relief, my career goals shifted over time, as I realized my gift for writing. I became a journalist then went into marketing. But after years of cranking out corporate content, I (sadly) burned out on it, dropped everything, and became a recruiter. Within months, I missed writing – so much so that I started a career-related blog, which became a thriving business dedicated to helping people move their careers forward. Gratefully, this work led to an amazing assignment, writing Do This, Not That: Career

Jenny's book list on taking charge of your career

Jenny Foss Why did Jenny love this book?

It’s hard to not want instant gratification, especially in our “get what you want, and now” culture. We see the shiny objects and opportunities for a quick win, and we chase them. Unfortunately, as Dorie Clark maps out in The Long Game, this frenetic behavior isn’t helpful if you want to achieve big goals. 

I discovered this book when life was starting to feel like a giant game of Whac-a-mole. Sure, I was achieving success, but I could never seem to find the time to get to a couple of long-range projects that really matter to me. 

The Long Game gave me several tangible tips for staying focused on my long-term goals in a world that pushes me, and all of us, to grab for those immediate, more shallow victories.

By Dorie Clark,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A Wall Street Journal Bestseller

Your personal goals need a long-term strategy.

It's no secret that we're pushed to the limit. Today's professionals feel rushed, overwhelmed, and perennially behind. So we keep our heads down, focused on the next thing, and the next, without a moment to breathe.

How can we break out of this endless cycle and create the kind of interesting, meaningful lives we all seek?

Just as CEOs who optimize for quarterly profits often fail to make the strategic investments necessary for long-term growth, the same is true in our own personal and professional lives. We need…


Book cover of The Glass Ledge: How to Break Through Self-Sabotage, Embrace Your Power, and Create Your Success

Fran Hauser Author Of Embrace the Work, Love Your Career: A Guided Workbook for Realizing Your Career Goals with Clarity, Intention, and Confidence

From my list on helping women find fulfillment in their career.

Why am I passionate about this?

Throughout my career, I’ve always been passionate about leveling the playing field for women. I do this through my writing, speaking, and investing. Much of my current work is informed by the 20 years I spent in corporate as both an executive and a mentor to hundreds of women. ​The books I’ve chosen for this list are written by women I admire and who espouse similar approaches to the way I lead and show up at work. I hope you enjoy these books as much as I have!

Fran's book list on helping women find fulfillment in their career

Fran Hauser Why did Fran love this book?

The glass ledge is a metaphor that represents women’s tendencies to get in their own way. As a mentor, I have witnessed this time and time again. Oubou’s book explores the ten themes that are most likely to derail us when we least expect it. By sharing her own personal struggles, along with the strategies and tools that she has used to overcome them, Oubou provides a playbook for women to stop the self-sabotage and own their power.

By Iman Oubou,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An Empowering Guide for Curing Self-Sabotage and Finding Success by Showing Up as Your Authentic, Vulnerable, and Powerful Self
 
We’ve all heard of the “glass ceiling”—referencing the external oppression women still experience in the workplace. Yet even for those of us who break through the societal barriers to success, there’s another, bigger danger: internalized oppression or, metaphorically speaking, the glass ledge. “When the very qualities that help us achieve greatness turn into self-defeating behaviors, that’s when we trip over the glass ledge,” teaches Iman Oubou. “Yet we don’t need to lose ourselves to become an ideal image of a hardworking,…


Book cover of Pay Up: The Future of Women and Work

Keisha Blair Author Of Holistic Wealth Expanded and Updated: 36 Life Lessons to Help You Recover from Disruption, Find Your Life Purpose, and Achieve Financial Freedom

From my list on building a wealth mindset.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a trained Economist and Harvard Trained Policy Expert. I was part of the Prime Minister's supporting delegation to the World Economic Forum, ASEAN and APEC Summits in Singapore. I'm the Founder of the Institute on Holistic Wealth and I am the host of the Holistic Wealth podcast. I wrote a viral article entitled "My Husband Died At Age 34. Here Are 40 Life Lessons I Learned From It". The article was viewed by more than 50 million people globally and led to the publication of my first book on Holistic Wealth, where I coined the term "Holistic Wealth". I have now written three books on Holistic Wealth that have been published globally.

Keisha's book list on building a wealth mindset

Keisha Blair Why did Keisha love this book?

I also interviewed Reshma Saujani on the Holistic Wealth podcast – also one of our most popular episodes.

She’s the founder of Girls Who Code, Marshall Plan for Moms and is working to close the gender gap in the tech sector and more recently advocating for moms during the global pandemic. I’m a big fan of immigrant stories and her parents’ story of how they came to the United States as refugees in 1973 from India is inspiring.

In her book Pay Up, she outlines how society has sold women an unsustainable narrative - that to break glass ceiling and succeed in their careers, all they needed to do is “dream big, raise their hands, and lean in”. However, fifty-one percent of women say that their mental health has declined, while anxiety and depression rates have skyrocketed.

In the book, Reshma dismantles the myth of “having it all” and lifts…

By Reshma Saujani,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

INSTANT NATIONAL BESTSELLER

The founder of Girls Who Code and bestselling author of Brave, Not Perfect confronts the “big lie” of corporate feminism and presents a bold plan to address the burnout and inequity harming America’s working women today.

We told women that to break glass ceilings and succeed in their careers, all they needed to do is dream big, raise their hands, and lean in. But data tells a different story. Historic numbers of women left their jobs in 2021, resulting in their lowest workforce participation since 1988. Women’s unemployment rose to nearly fifteen percent, and globally women lost…


Book cover of We're Speaking: The Life Lessons of Kamala Harris: How to Use Your Voice, Be Assertive, and Own Your Story

Fran Hauser Author Of Embrace the Work, Love Your Career: A Guided Workbook for Realizing Your Career Goals with Clarity, Intention, and Confidence

From my list on helping women find fulfillment in their career.

Why am I passionate about this?

Throughout my career, I’ve always been passionate about leveling the playing field for women. I do this through my writing, speaking, and investing. Much of my current work is informed by the 20 years I spent in corporate as both an executive and a mentor to hundreds of women. ​The books I’ve chosen for this list are written by women I admire and who espouse similar approaches to the way I lead and show up at work. I hope you enjoy these books as much as I have!

Fran's book list on helping women find fulfillment in their career

Fran Hauser Why did Fran love this book?

Have you ever had someone mentor you that you’ve never met? The brilliant Hitha Palepu - author, CEO, and investor - certainly has. Throughout Hitha's career and life, she has captured quotes and “Kamala-isms” in a notebook that served as strength and motivation when she needed it most. We're Speaking weaves together wonderful lessons from Kamala's groundbreaking accomplishments along with Hitha's insights from actualizing these lessons herself.

While there is so much to learn from Kamala, Hitha is a star in her own right. She’s the ultimate multi-hyphenate. She’s the CEO of a pharmaceutical company, author, speaker, investor, social media influencer, and more. Just as Kamala has been a mentor from afar to many women around the globe, I suspect that there is a long list of women who would say the same about Hitha. 

This is the perfct book for anyone who is looking to step into their power,…

By Hitha Palepu,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked We're Speaking as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Kamala Harris is one of our country's most awe-inspiring political figures, dawning on a new age as the first-but not last-Black and Asian-American female Vice President. Having spent her entire career smashing glass ceilings and influencing the next generation of young women, Harris has completely redefined what it means to be a woman in politics.
In We're Speaking, Palepu connects illuminating stories from Harris' unique biography with tactical advice that will teach you to :
* Own the power of your multitudes
* Act on and embrace your ambition
* Develop your unique voice and style
* Find your North…


Book cover of Personal History

Fran Hauser Author Of Embrace the Work, Love Your Career: A Guided Workbook for Realizing Your Career Goals with Clarity, Intention, and Confidence

From my list on helping women find fulfillment in their career.

Why am I passionate about this?

Throughout my career, I’ve always been passionate about leveling the playing field for women. I do this through my writing, speaking, and investing. Much of my current work is informed by the 20 years I spent in corporate as both an executive and a mentor to hundreds of women. ​The books I’ve chosen for this list are written by women I admire and who espouse similar approaches to the way I lead and show up at work. I hope you enjoy these books as much as I have!

Fran's book list on helping women find fulfillment in their career

Fran Hauser Why did Fran love this book?

Personal History is Katharine Graham’s memoir. She became the first female Fortune 500 CEO when she took over at The Washington Post. From having Warren Buffet as a mentor to presiding over The Washington Post during Watergate, her life was absolutely fascinating. There is so much to learn about leading, women’s empowerment, and how we show up at work through Graham’s journey. What makes this book unique, though, is that in addition to being a classic in the women’s leadership genre, it’s as juicy and riveting as your best suspense novel.

By Katharine Graham,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

As seen in the new movie The Post, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Meryl Streep, here is the captivating, inside story of the woman who piloted the Washington Post during one of the most turbulent periods in the history of American media.

In this bestselling and widely acclaimed memoir, Katharine Graham, the woman who piloted the Washington Post through the scandals of the Pentagon Papers and Watergate, tells her story - one that is extraordinary both for the events it encompasses and for the courage, candour and dignity of its telling.

Here is the awkward child who grew up…


Book cover of Leadership Reckoning: Can Higher Education Develop the Leaders We Need?

Gena Cox Author Of Leading Inclusion: Drive Change Your Employees Can See and Feel

From my list on the need for DEI and workplace inclusion.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been an organizational psychologist and executive coach for more than two decades, advising high-level executives, including Fortune 500 leaders, to build workplace cultures in which all employees can flourish. Yet, for many employees of color, the workplace is so challenging that many feel professionally stifled. I realized many years ago that to accomplish my own goals; I needed to take control of my career and not depend upon the vagaries of individual leaders. I needed to set goals, take a long game view, be honest with myself and my leaders, and help leaders understand how changing some habits could help them and me succeed in a disrupted world. 

Gena's book list on the need for DEI and workplace inclusion

Gena Cox Why did Gena love this book?

The message of Leadership Reckoning is that we need do a better job of developing human-centered business leaders who can meet the challenges of a disrupted world. I believe the approach in this book will also achieve the goal of building more inclusive organizational cultures in which all employees can thrive, regardless of their variations.

By Thomas Kolditz, Libby Gill, Ryan P. Brown

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Since its inception, higher education in the U.S. has claimed to develop leaders. This bold claim appears in college mission statements and mottos, and it is reinforced in recruiting materials and ad campaigns. But is this claim justified? Leadership Reckoning takes to task American colleges and universities for their haphazard, incoherent, evidence-free approaches to developing students as leaders and offers a principle-driven, outcome-oriented blueprint for how effective leader development can occur. Higher education has both the opportunity and the responsibility to take leader development seriously and create the leaders we need. It's high time that happens, and Leadership Reckoning points…


Book cover of Think Big: Take Small Steps and Build the Future You Want

Gena Cox Author Of Leading Inclusion: Drive Change Your Employees Can See and Feel

From my list on the need for DEI and workplace inclusion.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been an organizational psychologist and executive coach for more than two decades, advising high-level executives, including Fortune 500 leaders, to build workplace cultures in which all employees can flourish. Yet, for many employees of color, the workplace is so challenging that many feel professionally stifled. I realized many years ago that to accomplish my own goals; I needed to take control of my career and not depend upon the vagaries of individual leaders. I needed to set goals, take a long game view, be honest with myself and my leaders, and help leaders understand how changing some habits could help them and me succeed in a disrupted world. 

Gena's book list on the need for DEI and workplace inclusion

Gena Cox Why did Gena love this book?

Think Big is a science-based roadmap to help a reader achieve their wildest dreams, by taking small and big steps that move you incrementally toward the goal. Sometimes the steps require doing things you have not done before but sometimes they require stopping or reducing or changing your current patterns of dealing with the realities of life.

By Grace Lordan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

What are you doing today to make your dream future come true?

'A rare self-help book that's actually informed by evidence. A host of perceptive, practical tips for getting out of your own way and making progress toward your career goals.' Adam Grant, bestselling author of Think Again and Originals

'A practical and accessible guide to using behavioural science in your career.' Caroline Criado Perez, author of Invisible Women
________________

We all have big ambitions for the future but those dreams only become reality if we do something towards them regularly. To achieve audacious goals, we need to take action…


Book cover of Unapologetically Ambitious: Take Risks, Break Barriers, and Create Success on Your Own Terms

Gena Cox Author Of Leading Inclusion: Drive Change Your Employees Can See and Feel

From my list on the need for DEI and workplace inclusion.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been an organizational psychologist and executive coach for more than two decades, advising high-level executives, including Fortune 500 leaders, to build workplace cultures in which all employees can flourish. Yet, for many employees of color, the workplace is so challenging that many feel professionally stifled. I realized many years ago that to accomplish my own goals; I needed to take control of my career and not depend upon the vagaries of individual leaders. I needed to set goals, take a long game view, be honest with myself and my leaders, and help leaders understand how changing some habits could help them and me succeed in a disrupted world. 

Gena's book list on the need for DEI and workplace inclusion

Gena Cox Why did Gena love this book?

Shellye Archambeau is one of the most successful tech business leaders in America. And this book shows you how she did it and how you can, too. The secrets include clearly defining the goal as early in life as possible; don’t wait. This book will let you know when to say “yes,” and which enticing offers deserve a hard “no.”

By Shellye Archambeau,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Full of empowering wisdom from one of high tech's first female African American CEOs, this inspiring leadership book for readers of Dare to Lead and Start with Why offers a blueprint for how to achieve your personal and professional goals, drawn from the author's own compelling story of how she weathered life's difficulties to build massive success.

Shellye Archambeau recounts how she overcame the challenges she faced as a young black woman, wife, and mother, managing her personal and professional responsibilities while climbing the ranks at IBM and subsequently in her roles as CEO. Through the busts and booms of…


Book cover of DEI Deconstructed: Your No-Nonsense Guide to Doing the Work and Doing It Right

Frances Frei and Anne Morriss Author Of Move Fast and Fix Things: The Trusted Leader's Guide to Solving Hard Problems

From my list on fixing more (and breaking less) at work.

Why are we passionate about this?

We are scholars and writers, coaches and company builders, optimists, and (on our best days) accelerators of action. It’s been the privilege of our lives to work as change agents at some of the world’s most influential companies—and with some of the world’s most inspiring business leaders. But at the core of our identities, we are educators, which is why we write books about leadership. We believe that what we’ve learned in the process of changing things can be useful to anyone who seeks to lead, particularly now, when the scale and complexity of our shared challenges can seem overwhelming. 

Frances and Anne's book list on fixing more (and breaking less) at work

Frances Frei and Anne Morriss Why did Frances and Anne love this book?

We love to win. In all the flux and churn of the DEI debate, one thing that’s getting lost is that DEI done right helps organizations to win.

But well-intentioned DEI efforts can still sometimes do the opposite, causing more harm than good. How could this happen? The simplest answer is that there are still some managers out there who haven’t read this excellent book.

It’s highly practical, deeply insightful, and a must-read for anyone looking to get more out their workforce with dignity and excellence. 

By Lily Zheng,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The definitive comprehensive and foundational text for critically analyzing and applying actionable DEI techniques and strategies, written by one of LinkedIn’s most popular experts on DEI.

The importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace cannot be understated. But when half-baked and under-developed strategies are implemented, they often do more harm than good, leading the very constituents they aim to support to dismiss DEI entirely.

DEI Deconstructed analyzes how current methods and “best practices” leave marginalized people feeling frustrated and unconvinced of their leaders’ sincerity, and offers a roadmap that bridges the neatness of theory with the messiness of…


Book cover of Embrace the Power of You: Owning Your Identity at Work

Daina Middleton Author Of Grace Meets Grit

From my list on ambitious women embracing their authentic selves.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been passionate about personally and professionally lifting women up throughout my career. Today, it is how I spend my time and energy – in a way that makes a difference to those individuals and the greater world. Books have always filled my insatiable desire to continuously learn and explore mysterious, unknown worlds. As a writer, I read books to expand my understanding and push my comfort zones. I also read them so that I can share with others what I have learned in the hopes they will have a positive impact on them – a pay-it-forward of sorts. I hope you enjoy the books on this list as much as I have!

Daina's book list on ambitious women embracing their authentic selves

Daina Middleton Why did Daina love this book?

Authenticity is the key to success in the workplace.

I love how Tricia tackles head on how she overcame her fear and shame to embrace her authentic self in the workplace resulting in personal and professional success.

Her book provides a step-by-step approach that enables embracing authenticity achievable for everyone, even those who feel workplace stereotypes prevent them from doing so and understand fear is inhibiting them from doing so.

By Tricia Montalvo Timm,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Embrace the Power of You

In the competitive world of Silicon Valley, corporate lawyer Tricia Montalvo Timm knew that talent and drive weren't enough to succeed. She had to belong. Timm took a cue from her days as a child actor, when she had to change her name to get auditions. As an adult, she downplayed her Latino heritage and her life as a mother to fit in. And it worked: at the height of her success, she sold software company Looker to Google for $2.6 billion. But when a LinkedIn post about her roots went viral, she knew she…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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