The most recommended books about teamwork

Who picked these books? Meet our 26 experts.

26 authors created a book list connected to teamwork, and here are their favorite teamwork books.
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Book cover of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable

Rusty Komori Author Of Superior: Creating a Superior Culture of Excellence

From my list on building excellence in leadership.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was the Head Coach of the Punahou School Boys Varsity Tennis Team for 22 years, and we were fortunate to win 22 consecutive State Championships. Since retiring as head coach in 2015, I felt compelled to become an author and share my system of coaching excellence which led to this unprecedented winning streak. I know there are distinct differences between great and superior which can be applied to everyone in business, sports, and life. I want to inspire everyone to maximize their potential and have peak performance as a parent, son or daughter, coach or player, leader or team member.

Rusty's book list on building excellence in leadership

Rusty Komori Why did Rusty love this book?

I loved how Patrick Lencioni provided clarity and simplicity in avoiding the pitfalls which cause dysfunction among team members.

It’s a great reminder for me to have awareness in the five areas which include the absence of trust, a fear of conflict, a lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability, and inattention to results.

It also reminded me about the importance of building trust, being committed to the goal, holding each other accountable, and having open communication in building a healthy culture with your team.

By Patrick M. Lencioni,

Why should I read it?

7 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 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 my list on unleashing your highest potential.

Why am I passionate about this?

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

Runa Magnus 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…


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 my list on creating successful business deals.

Why am I passionate about this?

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

Kate Vitasek 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…


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 my list on negotiating anything.

Why am I passionate about this?

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

Bill Eddy 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…


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 my list on new entrepreneurs and small business leaders.

Why am I passionate about this?

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

Dan Purvis 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 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 my list on gaining a mental edge in business, and in life.

Why am I passionate about this?

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

Liz Davidson 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?

OPEN, BALANCED DIALOGUE--THE KEY TO PEAK TEAM PERFORMANCE

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…


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

Frans Johansson

From my list on diversity creates amazing teams and societies.

Why am I passionate about this?

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

Frans Johansson 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…


Book cover of Lead Your Tribe, Love Your Work: An Entrepreneur's Guide to Creating a Culture that Matters

David Worrell Author Of The Entrepreneur's Guide to Financial Statements

From my list on building culture, teamwork, and leadership.

Why am I passionate about this?

Entrepreneurs have a tough lot in life. We dream of creating value for others, yet we are often cursed to pay a huge price in our own lives. My experience as an entrepreneur is no different – I struggled through three mediocre business startups, learning a little bit more with each one. Along the way, I have put my lessons learned into writing: textbooks, how-to guides and even cover stories for Entrepreneur magazine. Combining my own experience and the best advice from other entrepreneurs, I have systematically improved my current company… and have finally broken free of the curse! Now I love to share my experience with other business owners like you!

David's book list on building culture, teamwork, and leadership

David Worrell Why did David love this book?

What’s it like to be an employee at your company? Do people love to go to work for you? Imagine what you could accomplish if 100% of your people were dedicated, passionate, and focused on what was best for your company.

In this short book (just 186 fast-turning pages), a masterful entrepreneur explains not only why to build a great culture but also how. Page after compelling page, Patel tells you about his own failures and successes and how he changed his business (and his life!) by emphasizing the human side of work.

I personally applied Patel’s practices and was able to build a leadership team that I trust and respect – allowing me to step away from the day-to-day of the company altogether. I now travel (for fun!) and am planning to start another company.

By Piyush Patel,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In Lead Your Tribe, Love Your Work , Piyush Patel offers an insider's perspective on how to unify your team around a common purpose by uncovering your core values and transforming your culture. With over 20 years of entrepreneurial experience, Piyush has discovered that-while leaders can provide opportunities-real culture comes from the heart. Using real-life examples and practical takeaways, Lead Your Tribe, Love Your Work is the ultimate guide to creating a tribe to lead and a workplace you love. Piyush challenges readers to rethink their current paths, unveiling: ; The business-owner wake-up call: How to tell when your company…


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

Bernie J. Mullin Author Of Reimagining America's Dream: Making It Attainable for All

From my list on cutting edge talent development leadership.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an immigrant who has successfully pursued the American dream, living it now for 50 years. After 10 years as a Professor at the University of Massachusetts, I spent 40 years in the Sports and Entertainment business, capped by building my own marketing agency, The Aspire Group, which has generated $1.75B in revenues for 300 iconic sports properties globally. While I’ve been able to make the dream a reality for myself and my family, I believe it has become out of reach for too many. I want to show my appreciation for Americans adopting me by revitalizing the aspirational elements of that dream and making it attainable for all.  

Bernie's book list on cutting edge talent development leadership

Bernie J. Mullin Why did Bernie love this book?

Captain Marquette’s YouTube video inspired me to create a highly productive team using independent thinking. Then, reading his book really spoke to me because it resonated with my first working experience outside the University of Massachusetts—namely, with the Pittsburgh Pirates as SVP of Business. The Pirates were the worst team in Major League Baseball then, losing over 100 games per season, drawing only 7,000 fans per game, and losing $10M annually. The staff were deflated and defeated.

After getting direct input from the senior staff, I planned the Pirates turnaround in three stages: 1. Stop the ship sailing in the wrong direction; 2. Turn the ship around; 3. Gain speed and momentum in the right direction. I think the key statement in Marquette’s book is, “It doesn’t matter how smart the plan is if the staff can’t execute it.”

I read this landmark book well after being at the Pirates…

By L. David Marquet,

Why should I read it?

4 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…


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 my list on introducing military tactics into your leadership.

Why am I passionate about this?

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

Jeffrey Engle 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…