100 books like The Heart of Business

By Hubert Joly,

Here are 100 books that The Heart of Business fans have personally recommended if you like The Heart of Business. 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 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 Breaking Ice and Breaking Glass: Leading in Uncharted Waters

Sally Helgesen Author Of How Women Rise: Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back from Your Next Raise, Promotion, or Job

From my list on actually being a leader.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have spent the last 32 years of my life working with women leaders and aspiring women leaders all over the world and helping organizations to create more inclusive cultures. As a result, I’ve been exposed to extraordinary leaders and to terrible leaders and have seen up close the impact they have on people’s lives. This has inspired me to write 7 books and thousands of articles exploring different aspects of the leader’s journey and to deliver leadership workshops in 32 countries. What do I love? Sharing the stories that inspire me.

Sally's book list on actually being a leader

Sally Helgesen Why did Sally love this book?

Vice Admiral Stosz’s extraordinary career as a US Coast Guard leader culminated in her being the first (and so far only) woman to head a major service academy. I came away from her memoir hugely inspired by her honesty and courage. I also loved her vivid descriptions of long stints on the icebreakers that ply Arctic and Antarctic waters in order to prepare the way for scientific teams, often as the only woman. Her grace and goodwill in those adventure-filled situations come shining through– and sea narratives by women are very rare.

By Vice Admiral Sandra Stosz,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"A prime resource for any leader's library."

-James Mattis, General, US Marines (ret), and 26th Secretary of Defense


Today, our nation is like a ship being tossed in tumultuous seas. The winds and waves of change have divided and distanced our society, threatening to wash away the very principles our nation was founded upon. Now more than ever, our nation needs leaders with the moral courage to stand strong and steady-leaders capable of uniting people in support of a shared purpose by building the trust and respect necessary for organizations and their people to thrive.

In Breaking Ice and Breaking…


Book cover of The Captain Class: A New Theory of Leadership

Sally Helgesen Author Of How Women Rise: Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back from Your Next Raise, Promotion, or Job

From my list on actually being a leader.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have spent the last 32 years of my life working with women leaders and aspiring women leaders all over the world and helping organizations to create more inclusive cultures. As a result, I’ve been exposed to extraordinary leaders and to terrible leaders and have seen up close the impact they have on people’s lives. This has inspired me to write 7 books and thousands of articles exploring different aspects of the leader’s journey and to deliver leadership workshops in 32 countries. What do I love? Sharing the stories that inspire me.

Sally's book list on actually being a leader

Sally Helgesen Why did Sally love this book?

The Captain Class examines what it takes to build a dominant and dynastic sports team: the 1949-1953 New York Yankees; the 1956-1969 Boston Celtics; the 2011-2015 New Zealand All Blacks, the Cuban Women’s volleyball team 1991-2000, Barcelona’s professional soccer team 2008-2011, Australian Women’s Field Hockey in the 1990s, The San Antonio Spurs 1997-2016. The answer may surprise those who believe the presence of an undeniable GOAT (greatest of all time, or superstar) is the key ingredient of superb and sustained success– or those who attribute sustained success to great management, overwhelming talent, or unlimited money. Rather, Walker examines the impact of exceptional player-leaders who carry the team’s culture in their bones and inspire teammates to make outsized effort through their fierce dedication and strategic intelligence.

By Sam Walker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The secret to winning is not what you think it is.
It's not the coach. It's not the star.
It's not money. It's not a strategy.
It's something else entirely.

The founding editor of The Wall Street Journal's sports section profiles the greatest teams in history and identifies the counterintuitive leadership qualities of the unconventional men and women who drove them to succeed. Fuelled by a lifetime of sports spectating, twenty years of reporting, and a decade of painstaking research, The Captain Class is not just a book on sports; it is the key to how successful teams are built…


Book cover of True North: A Memoir

Sally Helgesen Author Of How Women Rise: Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back from Your Next Raise, Promotion, or Job

From my list on actually being a leader.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have spent the last 32 years of my life working with women leaders and aspiring women leaders all over the world and helping organizations to create more inclusive cultures. As a result, I’ve been exposed to extraordinary leaders and to terrible leaders and have seen up close the impact they have on people’s lives. This has inspired me to write 7 books and thousands of articles exploring different aspects of the leader’s journey and to deliver leadership workshops in 32 countries. What do I love? Sharing the stories that inspire me.

Sally's book list on actually being a leader

Sally Helgesen Why did Sally love this book?

Conway’s journey from a childhood spent on a remote Australian sheep ranch to the first female president of Smith College is remarkable and searingly honest written memoir is more than a chronicle of success. With humor and insight, Conway renders the loneliness of being the only woman in the room, the costs (in her case, early struggles with depression and substance abuse), and the sources of support and resilience that kept her going. So many leadership books identify desirable leadership traits without describing the actual experiences that go into developing as a leader. This beautifully written book vividly shows what leading looks and feels like.

By Jill Ker Conway,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Conway's The Road from Coorain presents a vivid memoir of coming of age in Australia. In 1960, however, she had reached the limits of that provincial--and irredeemably sexist--society and set off for America. True North--the testament of an extraordinary woman living in an extraordinary time--te lls the profound story of the challenges that confronted Conway, as she sought to establish her public self.


Book cover of Ways of Seeing

Tyler Fisher Author Of The Artist's Drawing Book: Learn How to Draw, Sketch, Shade, and More with Easy Lessons and Practice Pages

From my list on unleashing your creative potential.

Why am I passionate about this?

For me, art is a journey of relentless questioning, exploring, and introspection. As an artist, author, and educator, I have relied on each book in this collection to further my creative journey. The titles that I've selected offer unique perspectives on the transformative power of art and have had the biggest effect on my students, my peers, and my own artistic growth. I believe that art is a language that is and should be for everyone, providing a conduit for individual expression, problem-solving, and innovation. Each of these titles has offered pivotal "aha" moments while igniting my passion, and I hope they allow you to unlock your creative potential.

Tyler's book list on unleashing your creative potential

Tyler Fisher Why did Tyler love this book?

This book was introduced on the first day of art school. Then, it was reintroduced and repeated by each professor for the duration of my education. As such, it's fair to say that it's an enduring force within academic circles. 

The book touches on major points essential for any informed artist and the need for modern artists to subvert our viewers' hidden biases. It eloquently teaches artists to dive beneath the surface of a work to understand the unseen, the context, and the subtext. Ways of Seeing skillfully inspires a new lens through which to view the world and urges its readers to peel back the layers of meaning from even the most minimal artworks.

For me and so many other artists, this book was an awakening and is one that I turn back to often and am doomed to cite for eternity. It's a transformative journey that challenges and…

By John Berger,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Ways of Seeing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognizes before it can speak.""But there is also another sense in which seeing comes before words. It is seeing which establishes our place in the surrounding world; we explain that world with words, but word can never undo the fact that we are surrounded by it. The relation between what we see and what we know is never settled."John Berger's "Ways of Seeing" is one of the most stimulating and the most influential books on art in any language. First published in 1972, it was based on the BBC television series about…


Book cover of Predisposed: Liberals, Conservatives, and the Biology of Political Differences

James Blachowicz Author Of The Bilateral Mind as the Mirror of Nature: A Metaphilosophy

From my list on the nature and capacities of our bilateral minds.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always had equally balanced interests in the arts/humanities and the natural sciences. I like to think that I inherited much of this from my analytical “algebraic” mother, who was a nurse and tended to our family finances, and my holistic “geometrical” father, who was a carpenter. It’s probably no accident that my double major in college was in physics and philosophy...and, down the line, that I should develop a focused interest in human brain laterality, where the division between analysis and holism is so prominent.

James' book list on the nature and capacities of our bilateral minds

James Blachowicz Why did James love this book?

One could almost have predicted that the concept of brain laterality would provide material for explaining the division between the political left and right.

Do political conservatives and liberals have brain differences that may, in part, determine their politics? This volume is valuable as a rare source of material for addressing this question. Political conservatives apparently have larger amygdalas (which register reactions to threat), while liberals may have a reverse valuation. These two brain features may contribute to determining hemispheric preferences.

By John R. Hibbing, Kevin B. Smith, John R. Alford

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Buried in many people and operating largely outside the realm of conscious thought are forces inclining us toward liberal or conservative political convictions. Our biology predisposes us to see and understand the world in different ways, not always reason and the careful consideration of facts. These predispositions are in turn responsible for a significant portion of the political and ideological conflict that marks human history.

With verve and wit, renowned social scientists John Hibbing, Kevin Smith, and John Alford-pioneers in the field of biopolitics-present overwhelming evidence that people differ politically not just because they grew up in different cultures or…


Book cover of Emotional: How Feelings Shape Our Thinking

Dan Hill Author Of Two Cheers for Democracy: How Emotions Drive Leadership Style

From my list on the heart of leaders when democracy is at risk.

Why am I passionate about this?

My family moved to Italy when I was six, and I attended Italian first grade in a fishing village where I had to rely on reading body language as I didn’t grasp the language for a bit. Fortunately for me, Italians have lots of body language to read so I could navigate the inevitable cliques and power dynamics evident even at the elementary school level. From that experience to being taken to view the Dachau concentration camp a year later, I’ve always been sensitive to how “the other” gets treated—often unfairly—and the role leaders can play for good or evil.

Dan's book list on the heart of leaders when democracy is at risk

Dan Hill Why did Dan love this book?

Armed with the latest findings in neurobiology, the author explores how profoundly emotions drive our behavior and “thinking.” Why the air quotes around the word, thinking? The answer is that fMRI brain scan data reveals that most decision-making is basically emotionally driven, intuitive, and super quick, i.e. under a second.

By Leonard Mlodinow,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

You make hundreds of decisions every day, from what to eat for breakfast to how to influence people, and not one of them could be made without the essential component of emotion. It has long been held that thinking and feeling are separate and opposing forces in our behaviour. But as best-selling author Leonard Mlodinow tells us, extraordinary advances in psychology and neuroscience have proven that emotions are as critical to our well being as thinking.

How can you connect better with others? How can you improve your relationship to frustration, fear, and anxiety? What can you do to live…


Book cover of I Love It Here: How Great Leaders Create Organizations Their People Never Want to Leave

Dan Hill Author Of Two Cheers for Democracy: How Emotions Drive Leadership Style

From my list on the heart of leaders when democracy is at risk.

Why am I passionate about this?

My family moved to Italy when I was six, and I attended Italian first grade in a fishing village where I had to rely on reading body language as I didn’t grasp the language for a bit. Fortunately for me, Italians have lots of body language to read so I could navigate the inevitable cliques and power dynamics evident even at the elementary school level. From that experience to being taken to view the Dachau concentration camp a year later, I’ve always been sensitive to how “the other” gets treated—often unfairly—and the role leaders can play for good or evil.

Dan's book list on the heart of leaders when democracy is at risk

Dan Hill Why did Dan love this book?

Trust is, indeed, the emotion of business but it’s also just a starting point. The endpoint is by contrast to be delayed as long as possible, as retaining workers is best achieved by making them feel appreciated and given respect and a fair degree of autonomy. Great leaders can follow this recipe whether in business, the non-profit sector, or beyond.

By Clint Pulver,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Love It Here as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Give your employees something good to talk about.

Emmy Award-winning speaker Clint Pulver-aka the Undercover Millennial-shares insights gleaned from more than ten thousand undercover interviews with employees across the country, revealing the best methods for identifying talent, building a sense of ownership, and developing a successful workplace culture that employees will love. You'll also learn the number one driver of employee turnover (spoiler: it has everything to do with you!), what you can do to stop an exodus, and how to build a team that really works. Soon, you'll be recognizing possibilities where others see problems, and capturing the power…


Book cover of The First-Time Manager

Daniel Rusteen Author Of Profitable Properties: Airbnb Insider Secrets to Find, Optimize, Price, & Book Direct any Short-Term Rental Investment for Year-Round Occupancy

From my list on managing short-term rentals by a former Airbnb employee.

Why am I passionate about this?

Hi! I’m Danny Rusteen, and I live and breathe STRs. I’ve been hosting, co-hosting, and managing property since 2013. In 2017, I started living full-time in Airbnbs, that’s more than just a fun fact, it gives me a unique perspective that no other expert has. Maybe it’s why my calendar is full all year round. I see Airbnb as a tool for peace. I'm going to get philosophical for a moment. Airbnb creates connections that never otherwise would have existed. Instead of letting the TV tell you what country X thinks of country Y, it's better to find out from real people: hosts and the locals you interact with.

Daniel's book list on managing short-term rentals by a former Airbnb employee

Daniel Rusteen Why did Daniel love this book?

While this one is not about short term rentals or Airbnb, it does teach you a lot about managing, which you WILL have to, whether you like it or not.

This is a manual on how to be effective in your first management position and navigate the corporate environment, including politics.

By Jim McCormick,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

MORE THAN 500,000 COPIES SOLD!

The trusted management classic and go-to guide for anyone facing new responsibilities as a first-time manager.

Learn to conquer every challenge like a seasoned pro with the clear, candid advice in The First-Time Manager. For nearly four decades, this expert guide has brought newcomers up to speed on the realities of managing people.

The updated seventh edition delivers new information that helps you manage across generations, use online performance appraisal tools, persuade with stories, oversee remote employees, build a team dynamic, match a boss's style, and more.

The jump from star employee to new manager…


Book cover of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You

Paul Gavoni Author Of Quick Wins! Using Behavior Science to Accelerate and Sustain School Improvement

From my list on improve organizational performance in any industry.

Why am I passionate about this?

Navigating through schools with profound behavioral challenges firsthand, I've felt the pressing need for a shift. An undeniable call. Enter Organizational Behavior Management (OBM), leadership, and systems thinking. Remember that school everyone had given up on? With the precision of OBM, and the right dose of leadership, I've seen it transform from chaos to cohesion. My role? Think of me as a coach, steering schools towards structured strategies, turning behavioral disruptions into harmonious learning ecosystems. In the intricate dance between behavioral science and leadership, I stand firm, unwavering in my commitment to reshape schools, ensuring they rise from their challenges to become paragons of growth and transformation.

Paul's book list on improve organizational performance in any industry

Paul Gavoni Why did Paul love this book?

In diving into this book, I couldn't help but draw parallels between Maxwell's teachings and our foundational principles of Organizational Behavior Management (OBM). Although Maxwell isn't exactly a card-carrying behavior scientist, his wisdom on topics like vision, influence, and commitment resonates deeply with OBM practices I've come to advocate for.

He's revamped the book with modern examples, making it all the more relevant in today's business world. Yet, the core truths—those unshakeable leadership tenets—remain. Through my lens, blending Maxwell's insights with OBM's evidence-based strategies can empower anyone navigating the complex world of leadership.

This isn't just another leadership book; it's a bridge between traditional leadership wisdom and the pragmatic, results-driven approach of OBM. Highly recommended for those with a passion for melding theory with real-world solutions.

By John C. Maxwell,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What would happen if a leadership expert were willing to distill everything he's learned in his 30+ years of experience into a handful of life-changing principles just for you? It would change your life.

Internationally-recognized leadership expert and bestselling author John C. Maxwell wrote his million-seller The 21 Laws of Leadership over ten years ago. Now, this expanded and updated edition of one of the most trusted and referenced leadership books features revised content that is fundamental to any leader.

Maxwell provides new learnings that makes his original bestseller bigger and better including:

Sharpening and updating every Law of Leadership…


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