100 books like The Staff Engineer's Path

By Tanya Reilly,

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

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy Seals Lead and Win

Scott Greenberg Author Of Stop the Shift Show: How to Turn Your Struggling Hourly Workers Into a Top-Performing Team

From my list on managing employees and building teams.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m fascinated with the relationship between personal growth and professional performance. Why is it in the same environment, doing the same work, some people can excel while others struggle? Most chalk it up to external circumstances that can’t be controlled. Others focus on tactics. But I’ve learned top-performers are masters at the human side of their work–the way they think, lead and serve–and that’s what gives them their edge. All of my work centers around infusing hard skills with improved soft skills, and getting better results in the process. That’s the stuff I find delicious, and it’s what I speak and write about.

Scott's book list on managing employees and building teams

Scott Greenberg Why did Scott love this book?

I like tools and tactics, but when reading, I also like engaging stories. This book is loaded with them, offering a raw and authentic approach to leadership.

I liked how Willink and Babin pull valuable business takeaways from intense experiences on the battlefield. And I liked that a major takeaway is the importance of accepting absolute responsibility for what you do. No one’s going to argue with these guys.

I found the book totally empowering. 

By Jocko Willink, Leif Babin,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Extreme Ownership as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Highly decorated Navy SEALs, now successful businessmen, show readers how to lead and win in business and in life with principles learned on the battlefield. In Extreme Ownership, Jocko Willink and Leif Babin share hard-hitting, Navy SEAL combat stories that translate into lessons for business and life. With riveting first-hand accounts of making high-pressure decisions as Navy SEAL battlefield leaders, this book is equally gripping for leaders who seek to dominate other arenas. Jocko and Leif served together in SEAL Task Unit Bruiser, the most highly decorated Special Operations unit from the war in Iraq. Their efforts contributed to the…


Book cover of The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business

Nataly Kelly Author Of Take Your Company Global: The New Rules of International Expansion

From my list on books for global business leaders.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love helping companies unlock global growth. As a child, I spent my free time writing letters to pen pals in countries around the world. That passion for communicating across borders, languages, and cultures never went away. I’ve spent most of my life working to overcome those barriers in business. I frequently write about international business for Harvard Business Review, and in my latest book, in which I share lessons learned as an operator and executive at HubSpot, where I led international strategy. Today, I’m the Chief Marketing Officer at Zappi, a tech company with employees in 16 countries. 

Nataly's book list on books for global business leaders

Nataly Kelly Why did Nataly love this book?

So much of culture is unspoken and unseen. That’s why I love Erin Meyer’s classic book on doing business across borders.

As someone who oversees a global marketing team with people in various countries, I really relate to the compelling anecdotes she provides throughout. My favorite examples are ones where she showcases the misunderstandings that often go unseen and breaks down what is really happening behind the scenes when people from different cultures struggle to communicate in business settings.

Understanding high-context and low-context cultures is so important in global business. Having worked with employees in Japan, a high-context culture, I fully agree with her advice that global businesses should work toward making context more explicit so that all employees can thrive.

By Erin Meyer,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Culture Map as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Whether you work in a home office or abroad, business success in our ever more globalized and virtual world requires the skills to navigate through cultural differences and decode cultures foreign to your own. Renowned expert Erin Meyer is your guide through this subtle, sometimes treacherous terrain where people from starkly different backgrounds are expected to work harmoniously together.When you have Americans who precede anything negative with three nice comments French, Dutch, Israelis, and Germans who get straight to the point ( your presentation was simply awful") Latin Americans and Asians who are steeped in hierarchy Scandinavians who think the…


Book cover of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

Scott Greenberg Author Of Stop the Shift Show: How to Turn Your Struggling Hourly Workers Into a Top-Performing Team

From my list on managing employees and building teams.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m fascinated with the relationship between personal growth and professional performance. Why is it in the same environment, doing the same work, some people can excel while others struggle? Most chalk it up to external circumstances that can’t be controlled. Others focus on tactics. But I’ve learned top-performers are masters at the human side of their work–the way they think, lead and serve–and that’s what gives them their edge. All of my work centers around infusing hard skills with improved soft skills, and getting better results in the process. That’s the stuff I find delicious, and it’s what I speak and write about.

Scott's book list on managing employees and building teams

Scott Greenberg Why did Scott love this book?

Finally, someone has revealed the truth about what really motivates people.

Pink challenges traditional motivational techniques and sheds light on the key drivers of high performance. My clients complain a lot about their employees, and often it’s because they don’t understand them as well as they think they do. I’m grateful to have people like Daniel Pink out their sharing the insights people need to become better bosses who can lead better teams.

Really good read. 

By Daniel H. Pink,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The New York Times bestseller that gives readers a paradigm-shattering new way to think about motivation from the author of When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing

Most people believe that the best way to motivate is with rewards like money—the carrot-and-stick approach. That's a mistake, says Daniel H. Pink (author of To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Motivating Others). In this provocative and persuasive new book, he asserts that the secret to high performance and satisfaction-at work, at school, and at home—is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things,…


Book cover of High Output Management

Ronny Kohavi Author Of Trustworthy Online Controlled Experiments: A Practical Guide to A/B Testing

From my list on data-driven enthusiasts, and believers in Twyman’s Law.

Why am I passionate about this?

I had an epiphany at Amazon, when we ran A/B tests at scale and observed the low success rate: we learned to adjust our intuitions. I recall the denial at Microsoft when I proposed to evaluate features with A/B tests “because over 50% of them failed to improve key metrics at Amazon.”  The typical response? We have better program managers. When we started to evaluate ideas at Microsoft, over 2/3 of them failed to improve key metrics, and at Bing, the rate was about 80%. By 2019, most large products at Microsoft were making data-driven decisions with over 100 A/B test treatments launched every workday. I currently teach an A/B Testing class.

Ronny's book list on data-driven enthusiasts, and believers in Twyman’s Law

Ronny Kohavi Why did Ronny love this book?

This great management book was written by an engineer who clearly explains the rationale for his recommendations.

Andy Grove, former chairman and CEO of Intel, is credited with driving the growth phase of Silicon Valley, was named Time’s Man of the Year, and is credited as the “Father of OKRs.” One example that I love: a new hire does poor work. His manager says: “He has to make his own mistakes…that’s how he learns!”

Grove writes: “absolutely wrong…the tuition is paid by his customers…[instead of by the manager].” Another gem: “Review rough drafts [you delegated]; don't wait until your subordinates have spent time polishing them into final form before you find out that you have a basic problem with the contents.”

By Andrew S Grove,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The president of Silicon Valley's Intel Corporation sets forth the three basic ideas of his management philosophy and details numerous specific techniques to increase productivity in the manager's work and that of his colleagues and subordinates


Book cover of The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter

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?

Getting your dream job is only the first step. You want to start strong and deliver value to the organization as quickly as possible. That is where Michael Watkins’ book comes in handy. When I was the head of talent management for a Fortune 50 company, we gave a copy of this book to each newly hired executive.

This book outlines how to promote yourself and learn your new role faster. It helps you analyze your business situation and choose the right strategy to get things done. Finally, it shares how to build a winning team that delivers results. You want your boss, peers, and subordinates to feel good about you.  This book helps you achieve early wins, energize your team, and build your credibility.

By Michael D. Watkins,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The First 90 Days as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Named one of 100 Leadership & Success Books to Read in a Lifetime by Amazon Editors The world's most trusted guide for leaders in transition Transitions are a critical time for leaders. In fact, most agree that moving into a new role is the biggest challenge a manager will face. While transitions offer a chance to start fresh and make needed changes in an organization, they also place leaders in a position of acute vulnerability. Missteps made during the crucial first three months in a new role can jeopardize or even derail your success. In this updated and expanded version…


Book cover of Feck Perfuction: Dangerous Ideas on the Business of Life

Cat Bennett Author Of The Confident Creative: Drawing to Free the Hand and Mind

From my list on art and creativity.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been an artist all my life. In childhood, I was always drawing and after graduating from university I became an illustrator doing hundreds of drawings for major newspapers and publishers in the United States for over 25 years. It was my mission, no matter what was going on in the world, to find some humor and lightness to share through my drawings. About 15 years ago, I also began to teach drawing to adults and was amazed to discover that everyone can draw. When I saw how people seemed to become happier and bolder making art I became passionate about sharing how we can grow our creativity by developing an art practice. It makes for a beautiful life and quite possibly a more beautiful world.

Cat's book list on art and creativity

Cat Bennett Why did Cat love this book?

Artist, designer, writer James Victore urges us to be ourselves without hesitation. Artists don’t fit in, we can’t. We’re observers and makers and require a certain distance from the mainstream to refine our vision and do our work. But we can be afraid to express ourselves fully and stand out from the crowd. This book dishes out confidence like candy. It’s a great place to replenish flagging spirits when they descend as they will from time to time. It’s energizing and makes you want to open your eyes and do what you can to further the unfolding of your truth and spirit. Written in short pithy chapters, you can dip in and out of it whenever you need a boost.

By James Victore,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"James Victore is a dangerous man. His ideas on optimizing your creativity, doing wow work and building a life that inspires will devastate your limits. And show you how to win. Read this book fast."
-Robin Sharma, #1 bestselling author of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

Begin before you're ready.

Renowned designer and professional hell-raiser James Victore wants to drag you off your couch and throw you headfirst into a life of bold creativity. He'll guide you through all the twists, trials, and triumphs of starting your creative career, from finding your voice to picking the right moment to…


Book cover of Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All

Muhammad Mashhood Alam Author Of Transforming an Idea Into a Business with Design Thinking: The Structured Approach from Silicon Valley for Entrepreneurs and Leaders

From my list on design thinking, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been driving innovation in various capacities with world’s leading companies and start-ups for the last 23 years in Silicon Valley. I've been granted six US patents, won two prestigious design awards including the Red Dot award, and published a book on transforming an idea into a business using Design Thinking. What I've learnt is that at the core of any successful business lies the value to the end user who uses the solutions. As I got exposed to Design Thinking earlier on in my career, I realized its immense power in delivering human-centered innovations. I regularly speak at several industry & entrepreneurial events and various business schools around the world. 

Muhammad's book list on design thinking, innovation, and entrepreneurship

Muhammad Mashhood Alam Why did Muhammad love this book?

Creative Confidence is a book that explores the idea that everyone has the ability to be creative, and that creativity can be a powerful tool for innovation and problem-solving.

Kelley argues that many people believe that creativity is a rare and elusive talent that only a select few possess, but in reality, everyone can develop their creative abilities with practice and effort.

Kelley provides numerous examples of individuals and organizations that have successfully used creativity to solve complex problems and create innovative solutions.

He also offers practical strategies and exercises for developing creative confidence, such as embracing failure, challenging assumptions, and experimenting with new ideas.

I have personally seen the benefits of creative confidence in my work and the work of others around me.

By Tom Kelley, David Kelley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A powerful and inspiring book from the founders of IDEO, the award-winning design firm, on unleashing the creativity that lies within each and every one of us.

Too often, companies and individuals assume that creativity and innovation are the domain of the 'creative types'. But two of the foremost experts in innovation, design and creativity on the planet show us that each and every one of us is creative.

In an entertaining and inspiring narrative that draws on countless stories from their work at IDEO, and with many of the world's top companies and design firms, David and Tom Kelley…


Book cover of Body of Work: Finding the Thread That Ties Your Story Together

Emilie Wapnick Author Of How to Be Everything: A Guide for Those Who (Still) Don't Know What They Want to Be When They Grow Up

From my list on when can't figure out what to do with your life.

Why am I passionate about this?

Emilie Wapnick is an award-winning author and community builder. She is the founder and creative director at Puttylike, where she helps multipotentialites (people with many passions and creative pursuits) integrate all of their interests to create dynamic, fulfilling, and fruitful careers and lives. Her popular TED talk, Why some of us don’t have one true calling, has been viewed 7 million times and she has been featured in The New York Times, Fast Company, Forbes, New York Magazine, The Huffington Post, BBC, and Vice.

Emilie's book list on when can't figure out what to do with your life

Emilie Wapnick Why did Emilie love this book?

Pamela Slim offers a wonderful way to reimagine your life and career, build your personal brand, and share your story. Multipotentialites often struggle to describe where they’ve been and where they’re headed in an impactful way. This book argues that your career is not a linear thing—it’s a collection of different types of work that you’re proud of. Body of Work will help you see your life story from a totally new vantage point.

By Pamela Slim,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

These days it's increasingly rare to have a stable career in any field. More and more of us are blending big company jobs, startup gigs, freelance work, and volunteer side projects. We take chances to expand our knowledge, capabilities, and experience. But how do we make sense of that kind of career - and explain it? Pamela Slim, the acclaimed author of Escape from Cubicle Nation, gives us the tools to have meaningful careers in this new world of work. She shows how to find the connections among diverse accomplishments, sell your story, and continually reinvent and relaunch your brand.


Book cover of What Color Is Your Parachute? Job-Hunter's Workbook: A Companion to the Best-selling Job-Hunting Book in the World

Tory S. Thorkelson Author Of The Job Interview Workbook: A Workbook for College Students and Jobhunters

From my list on helping you land a good job after university.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an EFL Professor for over 20 years, I have evolved from a language teacher into a generalist who is constantly asked to teach skills-based courses that help my college students learn life skills like presenting or job skills. As the old saying goes, you need to become somewhat of an expert in something to teach it well so I have become a much more proficient interviewer and job skills expert through 10+ years teaching students to excel in these areas. My book is a compilation of the best worksheets and activities compiled and created for my students and I hope others find them as useful and effective as my students have. 

Tory's book list on helping you land a good job after university

Tory S. Thorkelson Why did Tory love this book?

This fill-in workbook for the career classic What Color Is Your Parachute? is a helpful tool for recent grads, workers laid off mid-career, and anyone searching for an inspiring work-life change.

Featuring new information for the pandemic era job market, the classic Flower Exercise organizing your skills and preferences in one place; the Party Exercise to help you discover who you work best with, and the Transferable Skills Grid that helps you discover your most valuable skills. 

Richard N. Bolles's helpful charts and activities allow job-hunters to dig in and discover how their unique interests, passions, and dreams will give them a picture of their dream job. 

This book is much more hands-on and, when completed by the user, but the format and exercises may not appeal to every job applicant. 

By Richard N. Bolles, Katharine Brooks,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked What Color Is Your Parachute? Job-Hunter's Workbook as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An interactive companion to the world’s most popular job-search book, updated for 2021, that helps you translate your personal interests into marketable job skills.

This fill-in workbook for the career classic What Color Is Your Parachute? is a helpful tool for recent grads, workers laid off mid-career, and anyone searching for an inspiring work-life change. Featuring

•  New information that addresses the job-market in the pandemic era
•  The Flower Exercise that gets everything about your skills and preferences in one place
•  The Party Exercise to help you discover who you work best with
•  The Transferable Skills Grid…


Book cover of Roadmap: The Get-It-Together Guide for Figuring Out What to Do with Your Life

Emilie Wapnick Author Of How to Be Everything: A Guide for Those Who (Still) Don't Know What They Want to Be When They Grow Up

From my list on when can't figure out what to do with your life.

Why am I passionate about this?

Emilie Wapnick is an award-winning author and community builder. She is the founder and creative director at Puttylike, where she helps multipotentialites (people with many passions and creative pursuits) integrate all of their interests to create dynamic, fulfilling, and fruitful careers and lives. Her popular TED talk, Why some of us don’t have one true calling, has been viewed 7 million times and she has been featured in The New York Times, Fast Company, Forbes, New York Magazine, The Huffington Post, BBC, and Vice.

Emilie's book list on when can't figure out what to do with your life

Emilie Wapnick Why did Emilie love this book?

Written by a team of documentarians, Roadmap is a great read for folks who are just starting their career—or starting over! It offers inspiring examples of people with weird, creative careers, including tons of interviews where you can learn about people’s specific paths. The exercises in the book emphasize seeking variety and blending your interests, rather than narrowing down your multi-passionate soul.

By Roadtrip Nation,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The New York Times bestseller is back! The career workbook Roadmap is better than ever.

Roadmap has been updated and expanded with tons of brand new content-including chapters on changing directions mid-career and not letting your past define your future.

Through inspirational stories and interviews, journal-like prompts, and practical career development information, this helpful resource will steer students, recent graduates, and career-changers toward an authentic, fulfilling life.

* Features fresh perspectives from people like singer-songwriter John Legend, surfing world champion Layne Beachley, and MacArthur fellow and radio host Jad Abumrad
* Full of advice for people seeking a fulfilling work…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in career, leadership, and creativity?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about career, leadership, and creativity.

Career Explore 29 books about career
Leadership Explore 371 books about leadership
Creativity Explore 139 books about creativity