The most recommended business networking books

Who picked these books? Meet our 11 experts.

11 authors created a book list connected to business networking, and here are their favorite business networking books.
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Book cover of Dig Your Well Before You're Thirsty: The Only Networking Book You'll Ever Need

Jeff Davidson Author Of 60 Second Self-Starter: Sixty Solid Techniques to get motivated, get organized, and get going in the workplace.

From my list on to become a self-starter.

Who am I?

I'm the internationally recognized expert on work-life balance, harmony, and integrative issues, and since 2009, hold the registered trademark from the USPTO as the “Work-Life Balance Expert®." I'm the author of several popular books including Breathing Space; Everyday Project Management; Simpler Living; and 60 Second Organizer. Delivered with passion, I offer his cutting edge, hands-on strategies for a balanced career and life to audiences from Singapore to San Diego, with clients as diverse as Novo Nordisk, Worthington Steel, Lufthansa, American Law Institute, and the National Association of Realtors. I've been a guest on Late Night with Charlie Rose, CNBC, America in the Morning, the Australian Broadcasting Company, and USA Today Sky Radio.

Jeff's book list on to become a self-starter

Jeff Davidson Why did Jeff love this book?

Who doesn't like renowned author Harvey McKay? I met him once and he is the real deal. He tells his readers that regardless of when you start, you can build a network of people who will pick up the phone, ready to help, if you ever have to make a call at 2 a.m. The single characteristic shared by truly successful people, he says, is the ability to create and nurture a network of contacts.

This observation was noteworthy to me: No matter how smart you are, no matter how talented, you can't do it alone. He then explains that a network is an organized collection of your personal contacts and your personal contacts' own networks. Networking is finding fast whom you need to reach, what you need in any given situation, and helping others to do the same. A network can make you look good. A network expands…

By Harvey Mackay,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dig Your Well Before You're Thirsty as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Bestselling author Harvey Mackay reveals his techniques for the most essential tool in business--networking, the indispensable art of building contacts.

Now in paperback, Dig Your Well Before You're Thirsty is Harvey Mackay's last word on how to get what you want from the world through networking.  For everyone from the sales rep facing a career-making deal to the entrepreneur in search of capital, Dig Your Well explains how meeting these needs should be no more than a few calls away.  This shrewdly practical book distills Mackay's wisdom gleaned from years of "swimming with sharks," including:

What kinds of networks exist…


Book cover of Collaborate or Perish!: Reaching Across Boundaries in a Networked World

Wes Denham

From my list on crime and criminal justice.

Who am I?

I write books and newspaper columns on criminal justice and criminal defense. As an investigator for criminal defense attorneys, I spent years in the jails and prisons of Florida and Georgia interviewing felony defendants—murderers, child molesters, con men, robbers, drug dealers, whores, wife beaters, and shooters for hire. Some were insane; most weren’t. My interest is personal as well as professional. I live in Police Zone 1, the most dangerous area of my city. It’s a place where kids and church ladies can distinguish a Chinese AK from a Glock nine by sound alone. It’s a place where I carry an extra-large can of pepper spray and a combat knife, just to walk the dog!

Wes' book list on crime and criminal justice

Wes Denham Why did Wes love this book?

Bill Bratton had the original insight that crime is a city problem, not just a cop problem. In this book, he discusses how collaboration between city, state, and federal agencies is essential to reduce murder and violent felonies. How easy is it to get government agencies to cooperate? Like herding cats, you say? More like herding rabid lions and tigers. You’re dealing with bureaucrats who imbibed the subtleties of the double and triple cross with their mothers’ milk!

By William Bratton, Zachary Tumin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Collaborate or Perish! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Collaborate or Perish! former Los Angeles police chief and New York police commissioner William Bratton and Harvard Kennedy School’s Zachary Tumin lay out a field-tested playbook for collaborating across the boundaries of our networked world. Today, when everyone is connected, collaboration is the game changer. Agencies and firms, citizens and groups who can collaborate, Bratton and Tumin argue, will thrive in the networked world; those who can’t are doomed to perish.

No one today is better known around the world for his ability to get citizens, governments, and industries working together to improve the safety of cities than William…


Book cover of Who's in Your Room?: The Question That Will Change Your Life

Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino Author Of The Change Guidebook: How to Align Your Heart, Truths, and Energy to Find Success in All Areas of Your Life

From my list on to implement and manage change.

Who am I?

Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino is the founder of The Best Ever You Network and co-founder of Compliance4. Through these companies, she has helped individuals and organizations around the world be their best and achieve world-class excellence with gratitude-based behavior and belief systems. She is one of America's foremost personal and corporate development consultants specializing in mindset, change management, strategy, leadership, and taking action. Elizabeth is also the author of the award-winning personal development book PERCOLATE - Let Your Best Self Filter Through (Hay House) and multiple children’s books as a contributor and author. Elizabeth lives her daily life with life-threatening food allergies. Elizabeth and her husband live in Maine with their four sons and three rescued cats. 

Elizabeth's book list on to implement and manage change

Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino Why did Elizabeth love this book?

Dr. Ivan Misner is the father of modern networking. It stands to reason he knows a thing or two or three about change. When you are trying to make changes in your life or be successful, it is very important to surround yourself with the right people to foster your growth and success. This book shows you just how to do that. This is one of my favorite books to recommend to people when they feel stuck.

By Ivan Misner, Stewart Emery, Rick Sapio

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Who's in Your Room? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

People may be out of your life, but they're still in your head. Learn how to control the ongoing psychological impact of all your relationships and achieve happiness, success, and fulfillment.

Who’s in Your Room? is a metaphor and a method for understanding how our relationships, past and present, impact our lives.
 
Imagine that you live your entire life in one room. Inside are all the people with whom you have ever had a relationship. The room is infinitely large, and anyone you let in will be in your room for the rest of your life. Neurologists report that as…


Book cover of The Lost Art of Connecting: The Gather, Ask, Do Method for Building Meaningful Business Relationships

Ilise Benun Author Of The Creative Professional's Guide to Money: How to Think About It, How to Talk About it, How to Manage It

From my list on business books for creative professionals.

Who am I?

I have made it my business to teach basic business skills to creative professionals who should have learned them in school but, alas, did not because it’s not taught in school. This has for years perpetuated a “starving artist” mentality amongst creative professionals, who are naturally talented and could easily bring their creativity to the business side of their business, if only they knew how. That’s the mission I’m on with all of my work through marketing-mentor.com

Ilise's book list on business books for creative professionals

Ilise Benun Why did Ilise love this book?

Essential Skill #5 for Creatives: Connecting

Business is all about relationships and people do business with people they know, like, and trust. But if you hate networking, as many creatives do, it’s hard to build those essential relationships. That’s why this book is perfect for you. McPherson provides a simple framework for the much more useful skill of connecting with others. She makes learning it palatable and doable for introverts and makes an especially strong argument for why, in the 21st century, connecting is so essential to succeed in business.

By Susan McPherson, Jackie Ashton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Uncover a new way to network and build relationships that last!

Networking is often considered a necessary evil for all working professionals. With social media platforms like Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook at our disposal, reaching potential investors or employers is much easier. Yet, these connections often feel transactional, agenda-driven, and dehumanizing, leaving professionals feeling burnt out and stressed out.

Instead, we should connect on a human level and build authentic relationships beyond securing a new job or a new investor for your next big idea. To build real and meaningful networking contacts, we need to go back to basics,…


Book cover of Collaborative Advantage: Winning through Extended Enterprise Supplier Networks

Henrich Greve Author Of Network Advantage: How to Unlock Value From Your Alliances and Partnerships

From my list on business alliances and collaboration, and power.

Who am I?

I am a professor of entrepreneurship, entrepreneur, and manager who has spent much time thinking and doing research on why collaboration among firms and people is so valued, yet so hard to make successful. I was born in Bergen, Norway, and have spent my time studying and working worldwide – a PhD from Stanford, then working in Japan and Norway until settling in Singapore, working for INSEAD. Keeping my body and mind fit is important to me, so I train boxing and read anything from short articles to lengthy books, on any topic from business to wine. 

Henrich's book list on business alliances and collaboration, and power

Henrich Greve Why did Henrich love this book?

Our book is about alliances in any kind of industry, and our most-used examples were Sony and Samsung, which are conglomerates. What if you want to learn about assembly industries with long and complex supply chains? Look no further than to Collaborative Advantage, which draws from research on the automobile industry to produce insights that will help any assembler that depends on and seeks to draw competitive strength from organizing and improving the supply chain and its firms.

By Jeffrey H. Dyer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Why has Chrysler been twice as profitable as GM and Ford during the 1990s even though it is a much smaller company with plants that are less efficient than Ford's? Why does Toyota continue to have substantial productivity and quality advantages long after knowledge of the Toyota Production System has diffused to competitors? The answer, according to Jeff Dyer, is that Toyota and Chrysler have been the first in their industry to recognize that the fundamental unit
of competition has changed-from the individual firm to the extended enterprise.
In this book Dyer demonstrates the power of collaborative advantage, arguing that,…


Book cover of Driving Results Through Social Networks: How Top Organizations Leverage Networks for Performance and Growth

Henrich Greve Author Of Network Advantage: How to Unlock Value From Your Alliances and Partnerships

From my list on business alliances and collaboration, and power.

Who am I?

I am a professor of entrepreneurship, entrepreneur, and manager who has spent much time thinking and doing research on why collaboration among firms and people is so valued, yet so hard to make successful. I was born in Bergen, Norway, and have spent my time studying and working worldwide – a PhD from Stanford, then working in Japan and Norway until settling in Singapore, working for INSEAD. Keeping my body and mind fit is important to me, so I train boxing and read anything from short articles to lengthy books, on any topic from business to wine. 

Henrich's book list on business alliances and collaboration, and power

Henrich Greve Why did Henrich love this book?

Before even thinking about collaborations and alliances with other firms, executives should consider whether their firm is collaborative enough. Surprisingly, the answer is often “no” because the structure and processes have not been established with an eye towards building a network that spreads information and facilitates collaboration. This book provides very helpful advice on how to improve firms through internal network building.

By Robert L. Cross, Robert J. Thomas,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Driving Results Through Social Networks as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Driving Results Through Social Networks shows executives and managers how to obtain substantial performance and innovation impact by better leveraging these traditionally invisible assets. For the past decade, Rob Cross and Robert J. Thomas have worked closely with executives from over a hundred top-level companies and government agencies. In this groundbreaking book, they describe in-depth how these leaders are using network thinking to increase revenues, lower costs, and accelerate innovation.


Book cover of The Proximity Principle: The Proven Strategy That Will Lead to the Career You Love

Ted Fleming Author Of Develop: 7 Practical Tools to Take Charge of Your Career

From my list on managing your career.

Who am I?

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?

I am a huge fan of financial guru Dave Ramsey. Why mention finance in a list of career recommendations? Because an excellent job is the best wealth builder! I listen to one of Dave Ramsey’s podcasts weekly, and that is where I learned about Ken Coleman, his books and career show.  

If What Color is Your Parachute helps you understand who you are and what type of work you want, Coleman’s The Proximity Principle offers a plan for landing that job. Coleman says the best jobs are at the intersection of your talents, passions, and mission. We become who we hang around. If we hang with readers, we will read. Coleman provides advice for getting around the right people and being in the right places to land your ideal job. 

By Ken Coleman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Right now, 70% of Americans aren’t passionate about their work and are desperately longing for meaning and purpose. They’re sick of “average” and know there’s something better out there, but they just don’t know how to reach it.

One basic principle―The Proximity Principle―can change everything you thought you knew about pursuing a career you love.

In his latest book, The Proximity Principle, national radio host and career expert Ken Coleman provides a simple plan of how positioning yourself near the right people and places can help you land the job you love.

Forget the traditional career advice you’ve heard! Networking,…


Book cover of Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time

Andreas Schneider Author Of Enlightened Mobility: How we can surpass symbolic climate action & make transport carbon-free

From Andreas' 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Mobility & transportation aficionado Author & speaker Global citizen Diver Life student

Andreas' 3 favorite reads in 2023

Andreas Schneider Why did Andreas love this book?

This is an amazing guide of how to build and grow your personal and professional network.

By giving hands-on tools to approach establishing relationships, Keith Ferrazzi eliminates the mystery of networking and gives actionable advice on how to become a world-class networker. Especially for people building their own business, this is invaluable information.

By Keith Ferrazzi,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Never Eat Alone as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The bestselling business classic on the power of relationships, updated with in-depth  advice for making connections in the digital world.
 
Do you want to get ahead in life? Climb the ladder to personal success?
 
The secret, master networker Keith Ferrazzi claims, is in reaching out to other people. As Ferrazzi discovered in early life, what distinguishes highly successful people from everyone else is the way they use the power of relationships—so that everyone wins.

In Never Eat Alone, Ferrazzi lays out the specific steps—and inner mindset—he uses to reach out to connect with the thousands of colleagues, friends, and associates…


Book cover of The Introvert’s Edge to Networking: Work the Room. Leverage Social Media. Develop Powerful Connections

Joseph A. Allen Author Of Running Effective Meetings For Dummies

From my list on guidance for meeting and collaborating well.

Who am I?

I’ve always wondered why meetings are so terrible. And, why we spend so much awful time in them. So, in my graduate studies, I decided to try to figure that out. What makes meetings good and what makes meetings bad? Then, over the course of a couple decades, I wrote what constituted about 25% of all the science on the topic of workplace meetings. It may be self-proclaimed, but I am the Meeting Doctor. Just like you go to a physician for an illness, I’m who people go to when their meetings are sick and need a cure!

Joseph's book list on guidance for meeting and collaborating well

Joseph A. Allen Why did Joseph love this book?

As a follow-up to his groundbreaking book, The Introvert’s Edge, Matthew Pollard focuses in on the challenge of networking effectively, particularly for introverts. Networking requires interacting with others. That can sometimes create feelings of anxiety for introverts like me. I recommend this book because it saved me when I needed a way to improve my networking and make it a less exhausting experience. I was able to do both!

By Matthew Pollard, Derek Lewis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Introvert’s Edge to Networking as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the biggest myths that plagues the business world today is that our ability to network depends on having the "gift-of-gab." You don't have to be outgoing to be successful at networking. You don't have to become a relentless self-promoter. In fact, you don't have to act like an extrovert at all.

The truth is that when introverts are armed with a plan that lets them be their authentic selves, they make the best networkers.

Matthew Pollard, an introvert himself, draws on over a decade of research and real-world examples to provide an actionable blueprint for introverted networking. A…


Book cover of A Bigger Prize: How We Can Do Better than the Competition

Cath Bishop Author Of The Long Win: The Search for a Better Way to Succeed

From my list on reframing success to sustain high performance.

Who am I?

I’ve been fascinated by the question of ‘what does success look like’ throughout my life: from growing up, to becoming an Olympic rower, to working as a diplomat in high-pressure situations and conflict-affected environments, to becoming a parent, and now my current work as a leadership and culture coach in organisations across business, sport, and education. History and social conventions have led us to define success in ever narrower ways; I wanted to help us understand that and redefine success more meaningfully, for the long-term. I think it’s a question in all our minds - I hope you enjoy the books on this list as you reflect on what success looks like for you!

Cath's book list on reframing success to sustain high performance

Cath Bishop Why did Cath love this book?

I read this book at a time where I was seeing how competitive environments were holding people back and constraining performance but nobody seemed to be noticing.

But Margaret Heffernan, a brilliant thought leader, had noticed it.

In this book, she uses fascinating examples across business, education, and sport to challenge conventional thinking and show that collaboration and cooperation can often be so much more effective than competition.

I was privileged to speak to her as I was writing my book and receive her warm support.

By Margaret Heffernan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Co-winner of the 2015 Salon London Transmission PrizeGet into the best schools. Land your next big promotion. Dress for success. Run faster. Play tougher. Work harder. Keep score. And whatever you do,make sure you win.Competition runs through every aspect of our lives today. From the cubicle to the race track, in business and love, religion and science, what matters now is to be the biggest, fastest, meanest, toughest, richest.The upshot of all these contests? As Margaret Heffernan shows in this eye-opening book, competition regularly backfires, producing an explosion of cheating, corruption, inequality, and risk. The demolition derby of modern life…