36 books like The Goal

By Eliyahu M. Goldratt, Jeffrey Cox,

Here are 36 books that The Goal fans have personally recommended if you like The Goal. 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 Small Is Beautiful: Economics as If People Mattered

Ray Cunningham Author Of The Post-Growth Project: How the End of Economic Growth Could Bring a Fairer and Happier Society

From my list on our fatal addiction to economic growth.

Why am I passionate about this?

In my career, I managed research into how the problems of modern industrial society are tackled in different countries. This reflected my own comparative instinct, which arose out of growing up bilingual and at home in two cultures. My journey into politics, sociology, and economics made me increasingly aware of the blindness of our social arrangements to the growing ecological crisis – and of how this blindness is perpetuated by the narrow silos of our political and academic systems. Our only hope now lies with thinkers who can escape those silos and integrate different perspectives into a holistic understanding. We don’t need more specialists, but generalists. Fewer economists, more moral philosophers. 

Ray's book list on our fatal addiction to economic growth

Ray Cunningham Why did Ray love this book?

The book that gave birth to the slogan... This is an iconoclastic look at the capitalist economy from a man who trained as an academic economist and worked for the National Coal Board. Schumacher thought creatively and wrote and spoke in a lively and engaging way and the book is an accessible introduction to a different way of thinking about what the purpose of an economy, or economics, is.

Also, Schumacher was invited to become the first Director of the Anglo-German Foundation for the Study of Industrial Society, but felt that he was already too old for the job. Many years later, I became the Foundation’s last Director.

By E.F. Schumacher,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Small Is Beautiful as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This New York Times bestselling “Eco Bible” (Time magazine) teaches us that economic growth must be responsibly balanced with the needs of communities and the environment.

“Embracing what Schumacher stood for--above all the idea of sensible scale--is the task for our time. Small is Beautiful could not be more relevant. It was first published in 1973, but it was written for our time.” — Bill McKibben, from the Foreword

Small Is Beautiful is Oxford-trained economist E. F. Schumacher’s classic call for the end of excessive consumption. Schumacher inspired such movements as “Buy Locally” and “Fair Trade,” while voicing strong opposition…


Book cover of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable

Ken Wilcox Author Of Leading Through Culture: How Real Leaders Create Cultures That Motivate People to Achieve Great Things

From my list on leadership showing the art of motivating people.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ken began his career as an Assistant Professor of German Studies at the University of North Carolina. After ten years in academe, he went to the Harvard Business School, following which he embarked on a 36-year career banking. Ken worked at Shawmut Bank, Bank of New England, and from 1990 through 2019 at Silicon Valley Bank. Mr. Wilcox earned a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard Business School, as well as a PhD in German studies Ohio State University. He published Leading Through Culture: How Real Leaders Create Cultures that Motivate People to Achieve Great Things and soon he'll be publishing a second book One Bed Two Dreams: When Western Companies Fail in China.

Ken's book list on leadership showing the art of motivating people

Ken Wilcox Why did Ken love this book?

This book was so helpful that reading it inspired our company to actually hire Lencioni to coach us for the first couple of years of my tenure.

The book analyzes why teams fail and what can be done to prevent it. The causes Lencioni identifies are almost universal and his suggestions for avoiding these pitfalls are both practical and effective.

This book can help any leadership team improve.

By Patrick M. Lencioni,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Five Dysfunctions of a Team as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In The Five Dysfunctions of a Team Patrick Lencioni once again offers a leadership fable that is as enthralling and instructive as his first two best-selling books, The Five Temptations of a CEO and The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive. This time, he turns his keen intellect and storytelling power to the fascinating, complex world of teams. Kathryn Petersen, Decision Tech's CEO, faces the ultimate leadership crisis: Uniting a team in such disarray that it threatens to bring down the entire company. Will she succeed? Will she be fired? Will the company fail? Lencioni's utterly gripping tale serves as…


Book cover of Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike

James Espey Author Of 365 Quotes to Accelerate your Career and Find Balance in Life

From my list on dynamic personal and business tips to build long-term successful brands.

Why am I passionate about this?

Well, all my life, I have been passionately involved in Marketing. I was an intrapreneur in the organisation, challenging the system and trying to build brands for the future. I always took an extremely long-term view, and when I was fired for launching Chivas Regal 18, which is now No. 1 in the world in its category, I became an entrepreneur. I backed start-ups, including my own company. The most successful brand I was ever involved with was called Mimecast, which is an anti-virus company, that sold not too long ago for $5.6 billion.

James' book list on dynamic personal and business tips to build long-term successful brands

James Espey Why did James love this book?

I am a firm believer that you never stop learning, and you learn from everybody.

I was very impressed by Nike. As a young athlete in the 60s, I sometimes had to run barefoot because I could not afford shoes, and I was a keen athlete. Phil Knight’s remarkable book was first published in 2016. I thought it was fascinating because he talked all about the tenacity, determination and commitment and the fact that you have to stand up to people because 99% of people will tell you you will never get there. He got there brilliantly, and, of course, Nike is a phenomenal success.

I was inspired by Phil Knight’s vision, courage, tenacity, and determination to overcome many enormous obstacles to build a great global brand. I sincerely believe this book will be very helpful to any entrepreneur.

By Phil Knight,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Shoe Dog as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A refreshingly honest reminder of what the path to business success really looks like ... It's an amazing tale' Bill Gates

'The best book I read last year was Shoe Dog, by Nike's Phil Knight. Phil is a very wise, intelligent and competitive fellow who is also a gifted storyteller' Warren Buffett

In 1962, fresh out of business school, Phil Knight borrowed $50 from his father and created a company with a simple mission: import high-quality, low-cost athletic shoes from Japan. Selling the shoes from the boot of his Plymouth, Knight grossed $8000 in his first year. Today, Nike's annual…


Book cover of The Servant as Leader

Kate Vitasek Author Of Vested Outsourcing: Five Rules That Will Transform Outsourcing

From my list on how to get outsourcing right.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an international authority for my award-winning research on the Vested® business model for highly collaborative relationships. I began my research in 2003 by studying what makes the difference in successful strategic business deals. My day job is the lead faculty and researcher for the University of Tennessee’s Certified Deal Architect program; my passion is helping organizations and individuals learn the art, science, and practice of crafting highly collaborative win-win strategic business relationships. My work has led to seven books and three Harvard Business Review articles and I’ve shared my advice on CNN International, Bloomberg, NPR, and Fox Business News.

Kate's book list on how to get outsourcing right

Kate Vitasek Why did Kate love this book?

The Servant as Leader may be one of the most influential business books ever published! But how does it apply to outsourcing? Creating a servant/leader mindset is essential to prevent what I call the outsourcing paradox—where you outsource the expert and then tell them how to do the work. It also prevents another common outsourcing ailment I call the Junkyard Dog Factor where a company outsourcing keeps a shadow organization that creates redundancies and limits the cost saving a company can get through outsourcing. Greenleaf’s basic message is simple: manage the business with the supplier as opposed to managing the supplier. Organizations that follow Greenleaf’s advice will most certainly benefit with healthier outsourcing relationships. 

By Robert K. Greenleaf,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This is the essay that started it all. Powerful, poetic and practical. The Servant as Leader describes some of the characteristics and activities of servant-leaders, providing examples which show that individual efforts, inspired by vision and a servant ethic, can make a substantial difference in the quality of society. Greenleaf discusses the skills necessary to be a servant-leader; the importance of awareness, foresight and listening; and the contrasts between coercive, manipulative, and persuasive power. A must-read.


Book cover of The New Economics for Industry, Government, Education

Jardena London Author Of Cultivating Transformations: A Leader's Guide to Connecting the Soulful and the Practical

From my list on business without tasting like medicine.

Why am I passionate about this?

My mission in life is to create soulful workplaces because I believe that we spend so much time at work that it impacts society at large. To feed this passion I read. A lot. Too much. I have devoured many hundreds of books on improving organizations. I haven’t found one book that has all the answers, but there are several that capture a lot. I also find that if a book is fun and easy to consume, it’s stickier; I can hand out copies and enroll people in the vision and start to implement the ideas in their organization.  Fun books lead to action.

Jardena's book list on business without tasting like medicine

Jardena London Why did Jardena love this book?

Deming’s work is classic. He understood how messed up the corporate world was getting way back in the 1960s. But we Americans wouldn’t listen, so he went and helped Japan, and most notably, Toyota. It’s fascinating to read his work that was way ahead of its time and notice the things we are just starting to implement today. It’s also a great prophecy of what’s to come.

By W. Edwards Deming,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The New Economics for Industry, Government, Education as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A new edition of a book that details the system of transformation underlying the 14 Points for Management presented in Deming's Out of the Crisis.

It would be better if everyone would work together as a system, with the aim for everybody to win. What we need is cooperation and transformation to a new style of management.”
—from The New Economics for Industry, Government, Education

In this book, W. Edwards Deming details the system of transformation that underlies the 14 Points for Management presented in Out of the Crisis. The Deming System of Profound Knowledge, as it is called, consists…


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 Breakthrough Thinking: The Seven Principles of Creative Problem Solving

Dr. Gerhard Plenert Author Of The XLs

From my list on developing innovative and creative thinkers.

Why am I passionate about this?

Dr. Gerhard Plenert has a PhD in Resource Economics and Operations Management, which are fancy words for “a whole lot of math.” He spent 12 years as a university professor and the remainder of his life living and working all over the world in places like Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and of course North America. He has 8 children, and his grandchildren are just starting to get numbered, the last count was 15. He has successfully published over 30 books and close to 200 articles on various business and academic topics. But his loves include Sci-Fi movies like Avatar, Star Trek, and Star Wars, and mysteries like Jason Bourne and James Bond.

Dr.'s book list on developing innovative and creative thinkers

Dr. Gerhard Plenert Why did Dr. love this book?

This book describes a methodology of thinking that is used in Japan by Toyota for innovation and creativity. It describes a series of principles that are used to discover new ideas and gives examples and stories that demonstrate how these principles have been applied in industries throughout Japan. The “Breakthrough Thinking” methodology has been applied in businesses of all types throughout the world.

By Gerald Nadler, Shozo Hibino,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Anatomy of Successful Problem Solving
How do great leaders solve problems differently from the rest of us? In Breakthrough Thinking you will learn the seven steps consistently used by those who solve problems most creatively. By taking an analytical approach, Nadler and Hibino discovered that there is a specific method used to successfully make decisions that is both teachable and duplicable. This program is now presented to you in this volume.
"Finally, we have a beautifully lucid book which tells you how to get from here to there—how to get to 'excellence.'"
—Warren Bennis, co-author of Leaders
"I've used…


Book cover of Today and Tomorrow

Dr. Gerhard Plenert Author Of The XLs

From my list on developing innovative and creative thinkers.

Why am I passionate about this?

Dr. Gerhard Plenert has a PhD in Resource Economics and Operations Management, which are fancy words for “a whole lot of math.” He spent 12 years as a university professor and the remainder of his life living and working all over the world in places like Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and of course North America. He has 8 children, and his grandchildren are just starting to get numbered, the last count was 15. He has successfully published over 30 books and close to 200 articles on various business and academic topics. But his loves include Sci-Fi movies like Avatar, Star Trek, and Star Wars, and mysteries like Jason Bourne and James Bond.

Dr.'s book list on developing innovative and creative thinkers

Dr. Gerhard Plenert Why did Dr. love this book?

This book first came out in 1926 but it’s interesting how much of what he teaches in this book is still relevant and lacking in today’s workplace. He is falsely remembered for his operations concepts as if they were more important than the employee, but he stresses over and over again the importance of focusing on the needs of the employee. This is also reflected in his objective of creating a vehicle for the average man, making his life easier and happier. If we would have listened and learned from him long ago we may not be rehearing these same messages again coming from Japanese automakers.

By Henry Ford,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Henry Ford is the man who doubled wages, cut the price of a car in half, and produced over 2 million units a year. Time has not diminished the progressiveness of his business philosophy, or his profound influence on worldwide industry. The modern printing of Today and Tomorrow features an introduction by James J. Padilla, Group Vice President, Ford North America. It also includes an enhanced selection of photos illustrating the processes and facilities Ford covers in the text. Taiichi Ohno acknowledged that a key stimulus to JIT was his close reading of this book. Today, these same ideas are…


Book cover of Out of the Crisis

Steve Fenton Author Of Web Operations Dashboards, Monitoring, & Alerting

From my list on DevOps from before DevOps was invented.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a programmer and technical author at Octopus Deploy and I'm deeply interested in DevOps. Since the 1950s, people have been studying software delivery in search of better ways of working. We’ve seen many revolutions since Lincoln Labs first introduced us to phased delivery, with lightweight methods transforming how we wrote software at the turn of the century. My interest in DevOps goes beyond my enthusiasm for methods in general, because we now have a great body of research that adds to our empirical observations on the ways we work.

Steve's book list on DevOps from before DevOps was invented

Steve Fenton Why did Steve love this book?

Before Agile and Lean had rocked the software development industry, William Deming was busy forging this new world of work.

Out of the Crisis is predominantly a management book, but it’s really the spark that started the lightweight movement in software delivery. A key concept in the book is how to identify the work system's performance, separate from the performance of individuals.

By W. Edwards Deming,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Essential reading for managers and leaders, this is the classic work on management, problem solving, quality control, and more—based on the famous theory, 14 Points for Management

In his classic Out of the Crisis, W. Edwards Deming describes the foundations for a completely new and transformational way to lead and manage people, processes, and resources. Translated into twelve languages and continuously in print since its original publication, it has proved highly influential. Research shows that Deming’s approach has high levels of success and sustainability. Readers today will find Deming’s insights relevant, significant, and effective in business thinking and practice. This…


Book cover of Please Understand Me II: Temperament, Character, Intelligence

Andrea Nelson Trice Author Of Strong Together: Building Partnerships Across Cultures in an Age of Distrust

From my list on people who want to change the world.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a faculty member and program evaluator, I’ve spent over two decades exploring questions around cross-cultural dynamics, empowerment, and human flourishing. I care deeply about vulnerable people and the misuse of power, and I find joy in conducting research that can improve people’s lives. I recognize that my early work as a counselor brings a unique perspective to my work, as does my childhood, which was partially spent in the Peruvian rainforest. 

Andrea's book list on people who want to change the world

Andrea Nelson Trice Why did Andrea love this book?

Using the Myers Briggs Type Indicator as the framework, this book offers deep insights into why we think, feel, and function the way we do.

I first read this book years ago and still find myself referring back to it on a regular basis when new issues come up in my life, such as a potential career change. This book truly does help me to understand myself better as well as to understand significant others in my life.

How I’m wired affects how I work, the work I’m drawn to, and how I interact with others. This insight, I have found, is crucial if I am to help make the world a better place. 

By David Keirsey,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Please Understand Me II as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Rev. ed. of: Please understand me. 3rd ed. c1978.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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