100 books like Think Big

By Grace Lordan,

Here are 100 books that Think Big fans have personally recommended if you like Think Big. 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 First, the Few, the Only: How Women of Color Can Redefine Power in Corporate America

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 First, The Few, The Only is the first book I have read that accurately captures the angst of my day-to-day experience as a high-achieving woman of color in corporate America. I love that the book also proposes empowering systemic and individual actions to enhance those experiences.

By Deepa Purushothaman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A deeply personal call to action for women of color to find power from within and to join together in community, advocating for a new corporate environment where we all belong-and are accepted-on our own terms.

Women of color comprise one of the fastest-growing segments in the corporate workforce, yet often we are underrepresented-among the first, few, or only ones in a department or company. For too long, corporate structures, social zeitgeist, and cultural conditioning have left us feeling exhausted and downtrodden, believing that in order to "fit in" and be successful, we must hide or change who we are.…


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 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 The Unspoken Rules: Secrets to Starting Your Career Off Right

Joy Batra Author Of The Freelance Mindset: Unleashing Your Side Hustles for Better Work, Play, and Life

From my list on freelancers, side hustlers, and portfolio careerists.

Why am I passionate about this?

I fell into freelancing when I unexpectedly got the opportunity to act in Bollywood after graduating from law school and business school. With six figure student loans, I needed to make money and still have time for auditions. Enter freelancing! A decade later, I’ve helped other people expand beyond their day jobs, change careers, or tap into a different skillset, and I’ve collected stories of over fifty freelancers who are doing the same. I hope these books inspire and support you as you venture off the beaten path to create a career that’s just right for you!

Joy's book list on freelancers, side hustlers, and portfolio careerists

Joy Batra Why did Joy love this book?

A couple years ago, I accepted a full-time job on top of my freelancing so I could be part of a bigger team.

I thought landing the job would be the hard part, but on my first day of work I found out I was wrong. It had been years since I’d worked at a company and I had no idea how to navigate office politics. This book totally saved me.

It helped me transition from freelance to full-time, but it also made me a better freelancer because I understood my clients and what they valued more deeply, so I could communicate in a way that resonated with them. Whether you’re freelance or full-time, this book is a must.

By Gorick Ng,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Named one of 10 Best New Management Books for 2022 by Thinkers50

A Wall Street Journal Bestseller

"...this guide provides readers with much more than just early careers advice; it can help everyone from interns to CEOs." - a Financial Times top title

You've landed a job. Now what?

No one tells you how to navigate your first day in a new role. No one tells you how to take ownership, manage expectations, or handle workplace politics. No one tells you how to get promoted.

The answers to these professional unknowns lie in the unspoken rules-the certain ways of doing…


Book cover of I Shouldn't Be Telling You This: How to Ask for the Money, Snag the Promotion, and Create the Career You Deserve

PeggySue Wells Author Of The 10 Best Decisions a Single Mom Can Make: A Biblical Guide for Navigating Family Life on Your Own

From my list on being a single mom and staying sane.

Why am I passionate about this?

“Eminently quotable, PeggySue Wells is a tonic — warm like your favorite blanket, bracing like a stiff drink.”

History buff and tropical island votary, PeggySue parasails, skydives, scuba dives, and has taken (but not passed) pilot training. The bestselling author of 30 books including the What To Do series, The Slave Across the Street, Bonding With Your Child Through Boundaries, Homeless for the Holidays, Chasing Sunrise, and The Ten Best Decisions A Single Mom Can Make, PeggySue’s most challenging and rewarding adventure was solo parenting seven children. With one in four homes single mom-led, PeggySue teamed with Pam Farrel to offer practical help and tangible tips to moms navigating parenting solo.

PeggySue's book list on being a single mom and staying sane

PeggySue Wells Why did PeggySue love this book?

A spunky and accomplished businesswoman and author, Kate White carved her own highly successful career and provides a practical and proven how-to for women to follow. Women wear many hats simultaneously (Think Seuss’ Ten Apples Up On Top) and Kate gives witty, wise, straight-talk for moms on how to balance parenting and craft a career you enjoy. You have talents and potential, I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This is step-by-step guidance to hone your abilities and navigate challenges. These are essential tips from the gutsy innovator who helped increase Cosmopolitan Magazine's circulation by half a million copies per month.

By Kate White,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Shouldn't Be Telling You This as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Whether you've just settled into your first work cubicle, getting back to work after taking some time off for kids, or are looking to get that corner office, I Shouldn't Be Telling You This gives you all the secrets you need to become a success, go big with it, and savor every second. Here, Kate White shares the five essential secrets every woman needs to know, as well as the crucial lesson you need to achieve your dreams: go big or go home-do what's unexpected and always keep your career trajectory in mind. Jam-packed with insider strategies, interviews with women…


Book cover of Get Your Career in Shape: A Five-Step Guide to Achieve the Success You Need, Want, and Deserve

Zakiya Akerele Author Of Dump Your Degree: How to Repurpose Your Education, Control Your Career, and Gain Financial Freedom

From my list on managing your career and finances after college.

Why am I passionate about this?

Many degree holders experience career and financial challenges they aren't prepared to handle. I know this first hand because after completing my Ph.D., I faced joblessness and massive student loan debt, and after becoming a professor, I saw my students encounter similar situations. This prompted me to write, Dump Your Degree: How to Repurpose Your Education, Control Your Career, and Gain Financial Freedom. My mission is to provide tangible solutions to students and early career professionals so that they stop solely relying on their degrees but instead learn how to use the sum of their knowledge, skills, and talents in unique ways to create meaningful, viable careers.

Zakiya's book list on managing your career and finances after college

Zakiya Akerele Why did Zakiya love this book?

This insightful guide gives readers relatable, practical advice on developing their careers. Its message is empowering and rooted in proven methods that lead to success. Dr. Steele Flippin's SHAPE framework presents the importance of having solid finances, the true meaning of hard work, how to be your own advocate in the workplace, perseverance, and continued learning. Get Your Career in Shape is an invaluable resource for career success. 

By Candace Steele Flippin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Get Your Career in Shape as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Instead of holding our careers down or back, women can rise―on our terms. Are you ready to own your power and take the next step in your career?

With groundbreaking research on women's leadership, Dr. Candace Steele Flippin's guidebook empowers women to "challenge the glass ceiling system within their own minds" (Tyree C. Daniels, executive chairman at Memphis College Preparatory).

Women's careers are held back by cultural norms, gender bias, sexism, and self-policing.

And too often, their self-efficacy―the belief in their ability to be successful―is at risk.

TEDx speaker Dr. Candace Steele Flippin has been recognized as one of the…


Book cover of Show Your Work! 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered

Koyaki Author Of You Are Ketchup: And Other Fly Music Industry Tales

From my list on helping parents feel better about you being a musician.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Grammy-nominated musician and creative who actually loves music, not as a vocation but as a cathartic practice and art form. Because I love music and the process of creating I also understood that no matter how much I love music that the love of it had nothing to do with the business of selling music. If I wanted to maintain the love I had to learn the business and find a way to continue to cherish the art while familiarizing myself with the business of art. I found peace and a deeper understanding of where I stood in the business and understanding that helps to keep the artist sane.

Koyaki's book list on helping parents feel better about you being a musician

Koyaki Why did Koyaki love this book?

I wish I could add the trilogy of Austin Kleon books; with Steal Like an Artist and Keep Going completing the trilogy. Show Your Work was the first book that I read that spoke to me about letting your supporters in on the creating. The sharing of exclusive content has become a staple for independent and major-label artists, Instagram, Tik Tok, and social platforms all rely on the need to share. For me this book was the progenitor of this line of thinking, encouraging the creative to share and disperse with the secrecy of process and move toward converting investors in one's product to investing in the person. 

By Austin Kleon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Show Your Work! 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In his New York Times bestseller Steal Like an Artist, Austin Kleon showed readers how to unlock their creativity by stealing from the community of other movers and shakers. Now, in an even more forward-thinking and necessary book, he shows how to take that critical next step on a creative journey getting known. Show Your Work! is about why generosity trumps genius. It s about getting findable, about using the network instead of wasting time networking. It s not self-promotion, it s self-discovery let others into your process, then let them steal from you. Filled with illustrations, quotes, stories, and…


Book cover of Crazy Is a Compliment: The Power of Zigging When Everyone Else Zags

Kusi Hornberger Author Of Scaling Impact: Finance and Investment for a Better World

From my list on investing for impact.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a Partner at Dalberg Global Development Advisors, where I lead a lot of our finance and investment advisory work with development finance institutions, family offices, and impact investors. I also serve on several impact investment and field-building organization advisory boards and regularly contribute to the ecosystem through thought leadership and speaking engagements at leading conferences. Over the course of my 20+ year career, I have played the role of advisor, investor, and technical assistance provider on more than 200 individual projects across the globe.   

Kusi's book list on investing for impact

Kusi Hornberger Why did Kusi love this book?

I love the title of this book–it is thought-provoking in the right kind of way.

The book, which is more about Linda’s story of founding and building Endeavor, a community of entrepreneurs in emerging markets, and less about finance, is on my list because of the lessons it offers about what it takes to be successful in doing something difficult.

In the book, Linda encourages readers to embrace risk and unconventional thinking to achieve success. Not to be afraid if others think what you are doing doesn’t make sense if you believe in your purpose, have a strong network of support, and are willing to adapt and learn along the way. It's a great read for any impact finance leader. 

By Linda Rottenberg,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Crazy Is a Compliment as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Some books on entrepreneurship are of little practical use. Rottenberg's new book is different. Sober, convincing and offers the best ways to build new business ventures' Financial Times

'Linda has tapped into something important - that we all need to be more entrepreneurial these days. With her impressive track record and inspiring story, she shows us all how to overcome our fears and take smart, achievable steps to improve our organisations' Sheryl Sandberg

'Buy it. Read it. Live it' Seth Godin

These days everybody needs to think and act like an entrepreneur. We all need to be nimble, adaptive, daring…


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.


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