The best books about teamwork

Who picked these books? Meet our 20 experts.

20 authors created a book list connected to teamwork, and here are their favorite teamwork books.
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What type of teamwork book?


Book cover of The Making of a Manager: What to Do When Everyone Looks to You

Deb Cohen Author Of Developing Management Proficiency: A Self-Directed Learning Approach

From the list on managing and leading more effectively.

Who am I?

As a college professor, I taught MBA students about management and when I became an executive with a team of 50, I learned more about how to apply and understand theory in the workplace. I’ve always focused on the practical. Theory is great but needs to be practically applied in order to learn how to become more effective. I believe that we're all in control of our own destiny and that becoming a better manager is within our power. Developing the competencies we need can be done through training and on our own through focused, practical, and structured work. Self-directed learning can be applied to every aspect of work, whether you’re a manager or not.

Deb's book list on managing and leading more effectively

Discover why each book is one of Deb's favorite books.

Why did Deb love this book?

Julie Zhuo has a Silicon Valley and technology background and writes about management in a very straightforward way that lets the reader both identify with the content and learn from it. The new manager is targeted in this book but the discussion and anecdotes are valuable for anyone. My experience is that managers, even those who have held the people manager role for many years, need to refresh their view and skills on a continuous basis. Organizations frequently don’t train managers as often or as deeply as is needed. Starting with a good foundation that talks about “people, purpose and process” as Zhuo discusses, is not only a good foundation, but a good refresher as well. 

By Julie Zhuo,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Congratulations, you're a manager! After you pop the champagne, accept the shiny new title, and step into this thrilling next chapter of your career, the truth descends like a fog: you don't really know what you're doing.

That's exactly how Julie Zhuo felt when she became a rookie manager at the age of 25. She stared at a long list of logistics--from hiring to firing, from meeting to messaging, from planning to pitching--and faced a thousand questions and uncertainties. How was she supposed to spin teamwork into value? How could she be a good steward of her reports' careers? What…

The Culture Code

By Daniel Coyle,

Book cover of The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups

Brad Federman Author Of Cultivating Culture: 101 Ways to Foster Engagement in 15 Minutes or Less

From the list on improving workplace culture.

Who am I?

I see it every day. People wake up and trudge to work, resentfully working at a company that falls short of its promises and values. This is a problem that I've dedicated my career to resolving. My job is to ‘help organizations discover and live their possible’. This mission has guided me throughout my career as an international author, speaker, coach, and consultant with more than 25 years of corporate experience. Your brand promise doesn't determine your customer’s experience, your culture does. The problem is that we see culture as a means to an end leading us to a “set it and forget it mentality.” Culture is a living, breathing thing that must be nurtured.  

Brad's book list on improving workplace culture

Discover why each book is one of Brad's favorite books.

Why did Brad love this book?

This book uses real-life examples to weave together a compelling approach. 

Some of the examples include stories related to Google, the Spurs, and Navy Seals. He presents a clear view of what culture is and how to achieve a better one. I love his definition of culture, “Culture is a set of living relationships working toward a shared goal. It’s not something you are, it’s something you do.”

By Daniel Coyle,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


'A marvel of insight and practicality' Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit

How do you build and sustain a great team?

The Culture Code reveals the secrets of some of the best teams in the world - from Pixar to Google to US Navy SEALs - explaining the three skills such groups have mastered in order to generate trust and a willingness to collaborate. Combining cutting-edge science, on-the-ground insight and practical ideas for action, it offers a roadmap for creating an environment where innovation flourishes, problems get solved, and expectations are exceeded.…

The 6 Types of Working Genius

By Patrick M. Lencioni,

Book cover of The 6 Types of Working Genius: A Better Way to Understand Your Gifts, Your Frustrations, and Your Team

Dan Purvis Author Of 28 Days to Save the World: Crafting Your Culture to Be Ready for Anything

From the list on new entrepreneurs and small business leaders.

Who am I?

When I went back to school for my MBA, I was looking for a way to apply the passion I’d found for changing lives for a better world. Studying business started my journey toward founding Velentium, a medtech engineering firm, in 2012. The pandemic was a make-or-break season for every industry, medtech included. We were determined to do our part, but were faced with an unprecedented challenge: boost the world’s emergency ventilator production from hundreds per month to thousands per week—in just 28 days. We succeeded—and it was a spiritually moving experience. I wrote 28 Days to Save the World in hopes of inspiring other organizations to punch above their weight class like we did.

Dan's book list on new entrepreneurs and small business leaders

Discover why each book is one of Dan's favorite books.

Why did Dan love this book?

Lencioni’s latest work gave words to inner frustrations that I’ve felt my entire life. Six Types of Working Genius finally gave me permission to admit that I’m not tenacious! As a leader, I need to lean into the geniuses I have and build a leadership team that complements me and shores up my weaker areas. And, I need to do the same at every level of my organization.

This book will be key to leaders for years to come, giving them the tools they need to build and grow teams that will be more enthusiastic, more energetic, and more effective than ever before. 

By Patrick M. Lencioni,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The 6 Types of Working Genius as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

New York Times best-selling author Patrick Lencioni unveils a truly groundbreaking new model that will change the way we think about work and teams forever.

The 6 Types of Working Genius is the fastest way to help people identify the type of work that brings them joy and energy, and avoid work that leads to frustration and burnout.

Beyond the personal discovery and instant relief that Working Genius provides, the model also gives teams a remarkably simple and practical framework for tapping into one another’s natural gifts, which increases productivity and reduces unnecessary judgment.
In classic Lencioni fashion, Pat brings…

Book cover of Turn the Ship Around! A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders

Jeffery D. Smith Author Of Operations Anti-Patterns, DevOps Solutions

From the list on dysfunctional organizations from a former leader.

Who am I?

I’ve always been interested in finding new ways for organizations to operate. When I was early in my career, I always had a habit of questioning the conventional wisdom of policies and procedures. I always want to know if the actions that we’re doing are delivering the results that we’re expecting. This led me on a journey to understand how teams function and to go beyond the easy answers.

Jeffery's book list on dysfunctional organizations from a former leader

Discover why each book is one of Jeffery's favorite books.

Why did Jeffery love this book?

Technology is rarely the problem in most organizations. It’s people, processes, and how the two come together to create a web of dysfunction.

I loved Turn the Ship Around because it takes you on a journey from start to finish and sprinkles the lessons for change throughout that journey. The book taught the importance of empowering leadership throughout an organization.

As leaders we can do more harm than good by accidentally hording the power of decision making. This book will teach you to undo that mistake.

By L. David Marquet,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Turn the Ship Around! A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Leadership should mean giving control rather than taking control and creating leaders rather than forging followers."

David Marquet, an experienced Navy officer, was used to giving orders. As newly appointed captain of the USS Santa Fe, a nuclear-powered submarine, he was responsible for more than a hundred sailors, deep in the sea. In this high-stress environment, where there is no margin for error, it was crucial his men did their job and did it well. But the ship was dogged by poor morale, poor performance, and the worst retention in the fleet.

Marquet acted like any other captain until, one…

Coaching for Performance

By Sir John Whitmore,

Book cover of Coaching for Performance: The Principles and Practice of Coaching and Leadership

Runa Magnus Author Of Branding Your X-Factor: How the Secret to Success is Already In Front of Your...

From the list on unleashing your highest potential.

Who am I?

I was born, raised, and living in Iceland, the country that has been number 1 in the world for gender equality for decades. I am a leadership & personal branding coach, mentor, and Ambassador for the New Paradigm for Gender Equality. My mission is to empower people to become better, bolder, and brighter as the leading light in their industry by branding their x-factor, that gift what they were born to be.

Runa's book list on unleashing your highest potential

Discover why each book is one of Runa's favorite books.

Why did Runa love this book?

When I read Coaching for Performance, I was in the early days of my coaching career.  The book opened my eyes to the power of coaching. Not only as a tool for professional coaches but, more importantly, a tool that can help the average Joe and Jane to become the leader in their own lives. Make a difference by using proven tools and techniques to better understand themselves and others around them. 

By Sir John Whitmore,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Coaching for Performance is the #1 book for coaches, leaders, talent managers and professionals around the world. This is the definitive, updated and expanded edition.

"The proven resource for all coaches and pioneers of the future of coaching." Magdalena N. Mook, CEO, International Coach Federation (ICF)

An international bestseller, featuring the powerful GROW model, this book is the founding text of the coaching profession. It explains why enabling people to bring the best out of themselves is the key to driving productivity, growth, and engagement. A meaningful coaching culture has the potential to transform the relationship between organizations and employees…

Team of Teams

By Stanley McChrystal, Tantum Collins, David Silverman

Book cover of Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World

Jeffrey Engle Author Of All the War They Want: Special Operations Techniques for Winning in Cyber Warfare, Business, and Life

From the list on introducing military tactics into your leadership.

Who am I?

As a veteran of the United States Army Special Operations Command, my time in the army will always guide my actions. When I began my career in cybersecurity and later took on the role of President and Chair of Conquest Cyber, I looked to my military experience for guidance. The lessons I learned from leaders were much like those I’ve learned through these books, and they are lessons that will benefit any leader, business owner, or founder. 

Jeffrey's book list on introducing military tactics into your leadership

Discover why each book is one of Jeffrey's favorite books.

Why did Jeffrey love this book?

I’m a proud fighter against the conventional. Bigger is not necessarily better; Compliance is not enough. General McChrystal spends much of his book sharing in this mindset. His experience leading the Joint Special Operation Task Force in their efforts to take down Al Qaeda is inspiring, but for those less military-minded leaders, he shares other examples of where small and agile teams have found success in a hospital ER to NASA. It’s bold, fun to read, and fast-paced. Team of Teams is worth the read for leaders at any stage of their career. 

By Stanley McChrystal, Tantum Collins, David Silverman

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

As commander of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), General Stanley McChrystal discarded a century of management wisdom and pivoted from a pursuit of mechanical efficiency to organic adaptability.

In this book, he shows how any organization can make the same transition to act like a team of teams - where small groups combine the freedom to experiment with a relentless drive to share their experience.

Drawing on a wealth of evidence from his military career and sources as diverse as hospital emergency rooms and NASA's space program, McChrystal frames the existential challenge facing today's organizations, and presents a compelling, effective…

Radical Collaboration

By James Tamm, Ronald Luyet,

Book cover of Radical Collaboration: Five Essential Skills to Overcome Defensiveness and Build Successful Relationships

Kate Vitasek Author Of Vested: How P&G, McDonald's, and Microsoft are Redefining Winning in Business Relationships

From the list on creating successful business deals.

Who am I?

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

Kate's book list on creating successful business deals

Discover why each book is one of Kate's favorite books.

Why did Kate love this book?

I recommend this book because Tamm and Luyet provide useful, common-sense ideas that will help you put collaboration into practice. Their approach includes themes such as truthfulness, intent to collaborate, self-awareness and awareness of others, accountability, and negotiation. Collaboration begins with people and their attitudes individually and within the organization. I often say, “Change the people or change the people,” and this book reflects that approach to instilling true organizational collaboration.

By James Tamm, Ronald Luyet,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The second edition of the essential guide, updated with new research and observations to help twenty-first century organizations create models for effective collaboration.

Collaborative skills have never been more important to a company's success and these skills are essential for every worker today. Radical Collaboration is a how-to-manual for creating trusting, cooperative environments, and transforming groups into motivated and empowered teams. James W. Tamm and Ronald J. Luyet provide tools that will help you increase your ability to work successfully with others, learn to be more aware of colleagues, and better problem-solve and negotiate.

Radical Collaboration is an eye-opener for…

Team Topologies

By Matthew Skelton, Manuel Pais,

Book cover of Team Topologies: Organizing Business and Technology Teams for Fast Flow

João Rosa Author Of Software Architecture Metrics: Case Studies to Improve the Quality of Your Architecture

From the list on a people first approach to technology.

Who am I?

I’m puzzled by how people and technology evolve—as humankind we created all of these wonders to make our life easier. At the same time, I feel that we are more focus on the technology and processes, rather than people. It drew me to the topic of sociotechnical systems, which fascinates me. I’ve formal education in IT, and everything is binary; however, during my career I was drawn to the intersection of technology and people. My mission in life is to support a new generation of leaders that want to create an organisational environment that puts people in the center! 

João's book list on a people first approach to technology

Discover why each book is one of João's favorite books.

Why did João love this book?

I love pattern languages. And Team Topologies brings patterns for team types and their interactions. Most importantly, they address fundamental problems of the software industry: how teams organise for fast flow, and how teams cope with cognitive load. The book steams from the author's experience in the DevOps community, and it is widely used across the world. Last but not least, Team Topologies give us a language that support organisation evolution.

By Matthew Skelton, Manuel Pais,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Companion book Remote Team Interactions Workbook now available!

Effective software teams are essential for any organization to deliver value continuously and sustainably. But how do you build the best team organization for your specific goals, culture, and needs?

Team Topologies is a practical, step-by-step, adaptive model for organizational design and team interaction based on four fundamental team types and three team interaction patterns. It is a model that treats teams as the fundamental means of delivery, where team structures and communication pathways are able to evolve with technological and organizational maturity.

In Team Topologies, IT consultants Matthew Skelton and Manuel…


By Cass R. Sunstein, Reid Hastie,

Book cover of Wiser: Getting Beyond Groupthink to Make Groups Smarter

Bill Eddy Author Of So, What's Your Proposal? Shifting High-Conflict People from Blaming to Problem-Solving in 30 Seconds!

From the list on negotiating anything.

Who am I?

When I got out of college, I fell in love with mediation—resolving other people’s conflicts in all kinds of settings. In developing my mediation career, I got deep into psychology as a therapist, and then deep into law, as a family lawyer. Putting these professions together, I developed a niche in handling high conflict personalities in family, workplace, and legal disputes. Now I teach how to mediate and negotiate with high conflict people around the world. I am excited to share how to negotiate in high conflict situations to bring peace to relationships everywhere. 

Bill's book list on negotiating anything

Discover why each book is one of Bill's favorite books.

Why did Bill love this book?

This is honestly one of the smartest books I have ever read about group thinking, negotiating in groups, and avoiding massive group mistakes—which happen around the world every day! The authors give examples from negotiating the names of new household products to understanding group polarization and how to negotiate around it. They break down numerous conflict situations involving groups and give very detailed insights into what is going wrong and what can be done to make things go well. This is a great little book for negotiators, business managers, politicians, and everyday people who want to know how to get what they want in any group negotiations. 

By Cass R. Sunstein, Reid Hastie,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Why are group decisions so hard? Since the beginning of human history, people have made decisions in groups--first in families and villages, and now as part of companies, governments, school boards, religious organizations, or any one of countless other groups. And having more than one person to help decide is good because the group benefits from the collective knowledge of all of its members, and this results in better decisions. Right? Back to reality. We've all been involved in group decisions--and they're hard. And they often turn out badly. Why? Many blame bad decisions on "groupthink" without a clear idea…

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

By Patrick M. Lencioni,

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

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

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

Who am I?

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

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

Discover why each book is one of Ken's favorite books.

Why did Ken love this book?

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

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

This book can help any leadership team improve.

By Patrick M. Lencioni,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

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

Book cover of Conversational Capacity: The Secret to Building Successful Teams That Perform When the Pressure Is On

Liz Davidson Author Of Money Strong: Your Guide to a Life Free of Financial Worries

From the list on gaining a mental edge in business, and in life.

Who am I?

I love books that shift my perspective, expand my thinking, and ultimately, change the way I work, lead, parent, and live for the better. That said, I am not usually drawn to self-help books because they can be very prescriptive in a “one size fits all” kind of way, and not necessarily backed up by a lot of research or evidence. In running a financial coaching company, I’ve seen what happens when you change a person’s perspective—almost inevitably, they end up following suit by proactively doing the work necessary to improve their lives. These books all have the power to do that for readers who are open to it.

Liz's book list on gaining a mental edge in business, and in life

Discover why each book is one of Liz's favorite books.

Why did Liz love this book?

This book gave me such a huge epiphany that it changed how I communicate. I think about it every single day and consciously try to apply it in all areas of my life.

The author reveals that people tend to have one of two communication styles: candor, where they are very opinionated and generally dominate conversations, doing more talking than listening, and curiosity, where they tend to step back, question themselves, and become easily swayed by the more dominant personalities in a meeting or on a team.

Both have their strengths and weaknesses, and the key is finding balance, both within yourself and within your teams. When you figure that part out, you can achieve things you never thought possible.

By Craig Weber,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


In a world of rapid-fire change, it's more important than ever to build teams that work well when the pressure is on-and quality communication can mean the difference between success and failure.

Conversational Capacity provides the communication tools you need to ensure that your team remains on track even when dealing with its most troublesome issues, that it responds to tough challenges with agility and skill, and performs brilliantly in circumstances that would incapacitate less disciplined teams.

Praise for Conversational Capacity:

"This book blows the lid off everything you have learned about…

Emily's Quills

By Tamiko Pettee,

Book cover of Emily's Quills

J. L. Hunt Author Of Beautiful Boy

From the list on motivational stories for young children.

Who am I?

Growing up in a household with a large family, I recall times when it was difficult to find my voice, having to compete with multiple family members to be heard. Over the years, I developed a special compassion for children who may feel overlooked, or unseen, which also prompted my decision to become a children’s book author, catering to write empowering stories. So, I am especially passionate about this list of children’s stories that also helps to shape the trajectory of every child, by instilling in them early on their true value & infinite capabilities

J. L.'s book list on motivational stories for young children

Discover why each book is one of J. L.'s favorite books.

Why did J. L. love this book?

This book was a very inspiring read. I adored the connections of friendship and teamwork, also the encouragement to step up and step out, when necessary to be brave. 

I loved the fact that it encourages you to discover your own true uniqueness, to go beyond your comfort zone, and to embrace the skin your in.

By Tamiko Pettee,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Emily's Quills as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Inspire your children to find their strength and grow their self-confidence!

While playing with her friends one day, Emily Hedgehog realizes that all of the other animals have such amazing talents. She feels like all she has is her prickly quills which are always getting in the way and hurting her friends.

When all of the animals find their friend Squirrel in a dangerous situation, they work together and use their strengths to save her, including Emily who quickly gains self-esteem when she discovers that her quills are actually her strength instead of her weakness.

Filled with vibrant illustrations and…


By Stefanie K. Johnson,

Book cover of Inclusify: The Power of Uniqueness and Belonging to Build Innovative Teams

Frans Johansson

From the list on diversity creates amazing teams and societies.

Who am I?

Frans Johansson is the Co-Founder and CEO at The Medici Group, an enterprise solutions firm that helps organizations build and sustain high-performing teams through our revolutionary team coaching platform: Renaissance. Our firm's ethos--diversity and inclusion drive innovation--is informed by our work with over 4,000 teams in virtually every sector and by his two books The Medici Effect and The Click Moment.

Frans' book list on diversity creates amazing teams and societies

Discover why each book is one of Frans' favorite books.

Why did Frans love this book?

This is the most complete take on how to bring diversity, inclusion, and belonging into your team. This is a very practical guide that shows you how to implement this process step by step. Not only does she explain how to respond to the negative tropes, but she also lays out detailed approaches to make sure your allies and angels do maximum good. A must-read if you want to avoid the common mistakes that bog down this process.

By Stefanie K. Johnson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Wall Street Journal Bestseller

In this groundbreaking guide, a management expert outlines the transformative leadership skill of tomorrow-one that can make it possible to build truly diverse and inclusive teams which value employees' need to belong while being themselves.

Humans have two basic desires: to stand out and to fit in. Companies respond by creating groups that tend to the extreme-where everyone fits in and no one stands out, or where everyone stands out and no one fits in. How do we find that happy medium where workers can demonstrate their individuality while also feeling they belong?

The answer, according…