Each year (since 1979) the editors at Soundview review hundreds of business books in search of the handful that can really have a positive impact on the professional development of busy business professionals. For each book we select, we create a quick-read/quick-listen summary that highlights the most important takeaways.
The 30 books below represent the best we read in 2022. These books cover classic business topics like leadership, teamwork, and business strategy. And, as is the case in most years, there are also those that address recent business trends like remote work, technology in the workplace, and empathy.
The 30 Best Business Books of 2022
WORK FROM ANYWHERE
The Essential Guide to Becoming a World-Class Hybrid Team
by Darren Hill & Alison Hill
The global pandemic ushered in a new reality of remote work – a trend that’s likely here to stay. Work From Anywhere delivers practical strategies on developing a high-performing team and business in a remote, distributed environment. Behavioral experts and business leaders Alison and Darren Hill show you how to create these strategies to bring out the best in your hybrid and remote team members, by focusing on both performance and people.
TRUST & INSPIRE
How Truly Great Leaders Unleash Greatness in Others
by Stephen M.R. Covey
When it comes to the way we lead in the workplace, in the classroom or at home, we’ve been repeating the same style of leadership for a long time. In Trust & Inspire, NY Times bestselling author Stephen M.R. Covey suggests a simple term, and complete framework, for the change we need: Trust & Inspire. At its core, a Trust & Inspire paradigm flows from a fundamental belief in the potential and greatness inside each of us. Its goal is to unleash people’s talent and potential–to truly empower and inspire them–rather than try to contain and control them. Trust & Inspire is the new way to lead.
THE HUMAN ELEMENT
Overcoming the Resistance that Awaits New Ideas
by Loran Nordgren & David Schonthal
Have you ever tried to introduce a new idea, innovation, or product to your customers or to the world, only to find that you hit roadblock after roadblock in getting people to adopt it? The problem isn’t lack of fuel — it’s that you haven’t reduced the friction. The Human Element is all about recognizing that no amount of pushing an idea or innovation forward is going to lead to adoption and acceptance. You have to reduce the four major types of friction — inertia, effort, emotion, and reactance. Whether you’re a business leader, entrepreneur, product or project manager, adopting a Friction-based mindset will transform the way you think about innovation.
TAKING CHARGE OF CHANGE
How Rebuilders Solve Hard Problems
by Paul Shoemaker
Paul Shoemaker wrote Taking Charge of Change: How Rebuilders Solve Hard Problems for socially conscious and civically active leaders who are starting to redefine the leader they need to be and are hungry for clarity, stories, and direction. The leadership traits of Rebuilders give you, your team, and your organization an indispensable checklist for effective leadership for the 2020s. They are directly aligned to address the megachallenges America is facing in the decade ahead.
AMPLIFY YOUR INFLUENCE
Transform How You Communicate and Lead
by René Rodriguez
In Amplify Your Influence, author René Rodriguez uncovers the hidden drivers that shape our decisions and behaviors. He shows readers how susceptible we are to the influence of others. He teaches how people make purchases and decisions subconsciously as a result of the stories they share and how sequence – the order of things – matters more than substance. Learning to harness the power of influence – to AMPLIFII™ it – can transform our lives, increase our happiness, and help us find new levels of success.
HOW THE FUTURE WORKS
Leading Flexible Teams To Do the Best Work of Their Lives
by Brian Elliott, Sheela Subramanian & Helen Kupp
Flexible work offers a real opportunity, not just to attract and retain talent, but to transform the way people work and unlock their potential. In How the Future Works: Leading Flexible Teams To Do The Best Work of Their Lives, authors and members of Slack’s Future Forum consortium Brian Elliott, Sheela Subramanian, and Helen Kupp embrace the notion that 9-5 is a concept that just doesn’t resonate with most knowledge workers today. They lay out a seven-step process for getting to how the new future works.
MEETINGS THAT GET RESULTS
A Facilitator’s Guide to Building Better Meetings
by Terrence Metz
Meetings that are profitable and productive ultimately lead to fewer meetings. Meetings That Get Results offers a significant edge by empowering readers to help their groups create, innovate, and break through the barriers of miscommunication, politics, and intolerance. It shows how to help others forge consensus and shared understanding and offers proven agenda steps, tools, and detailed procedures. In a world of back-to-back meetings, this book explains the how-to details behind game-changing tools and techniques. Ultimately readers will be able to resolve or manage common problems, inspire creativity, and transfer ownership to their meeting participants.
EMPATHY IN ACTION
How to Deliver Great Customer Experiences at Scale
by Tony Bates & Natalie Petouhoff
Empathy is a conscious act. It’s a commitment you make to understand a person in the context of their own life and experiences and then treat them accordingly. After several decades of experience as a leader and entrepreneur, author Tony Bates arrived at a core question that inspired Empathy in Action. In it, he and Dr. Natalie Petouhoff attempt to answer: What if empathy became as important a design factor in new products and services as functionality, efficiency, and profit? Bates and Petouhoff believe empathy is the next frontier in technology and the aim of the book is to spark a broad, industry-spanning conversation about how technology can create and enable a more empathetic world.
THE LEADER’S MIND
How Great Leaders Prepare, Perform, and Prevail
by Jim Afremow
In The Leaders Mind: How Great Leaders Prepare, Perform, and Prevail, author Jim Afremow presents a contemporary collection of interviews and accounts of outstanding leaders that reflect a common thread: The leaders have a clear awareness of how their actions and words impact others, one person at a time. And they each use potent mental skills that help them navigate highs and lows, push through setbacks, and squeeze every last ounce of potential from themselves and the people they serve. In short, they have developed a Leader’s Mind. And so can you.
SELLING THE PRICE INCREASE
The Ultimate B2B Field Guide for Raising Prices Without Losing Customers
by Jeb Blount
In Selling the Price Increase, sales expert Jeb Blount shares the repeatable system that reduces anxiety, builds confidence, and is easy to learn, coach, and deploy in the field. This tactical field guide is for frontline sales professionals, account managers, and sales leaders who want strategies, tactics, and techniques for approaching customers confidently and gaining price increase acceptance without damaging long-term relationships.
Lost the Busywork, Love Your Business
by Jenny Blake
As business owners, we’ve all been there. You have a long list of must-do items but you find yourself stressed, avoiding, and distracted. During these times, the strong temptation is to just throw in the towel and pivot into something else entirely. Entrepreneur and author Jenny Blake calls this state “burn-it-all-down” mode and whenever it strikes, it is a signal communicating that you are not working sustainably. The good news is that “something” could be your next big business breakthrough. Free Time is not about working as little as possible. It’s about applying a framework that creates a business that energizes every person who is involved. By repeatedly applying the principles and systems throughout this book, you will be able to happily, and strategically, work less.
12 Non-Obvious Ways to Build a More Inclusive World
by Rohit Bhargava & Jennifer Brown
What if we could go beyond the conversation about diversity and take real action? In early 2021, more than 200 widely respected experts gathered virtually for the world’s most ambitious conversation about diversity. The aim was to do more than spotlight injustice. They challenged themselves to imagine how to fix it. Now for the first time, these solutions are compiled into one groundbreaking volume, Beyond Diversity, organized into 12 powerful themes. Each chapter paints a revealing picture of the world, how it is, how it could be, and what needs to happen for us to get there. For newcomers to the topic of diversity, and DEI experts alike, Beyond Diversity offers a much-needed, actionable blueprint for creating a more inclusive world for us all.
How Leaders Shape the Future by Overcoming Fatal Human Flaws
by Steven Goldbach & Geoff Tuff
There’s a new and effective method for seizing opportunity in the face of uncertainty. In Provoke, renowned strategy consultants and best-selling authors Geoff Tuff and Steven Goldbach insightfully explore how people act tentatively in the context of uncertainty, and the authors provide the tools we need to do things differently. Perfect for leaders or aspiring leaders in all walks of life where uncertainty abounds – which is to say, almost everywhere – Provoke will become your go-to guide to overcoming the natural human instincts that keep us frozen in place and prevent us from seizing our opportunities.
AMP IT UP
Leading for Hypergrowth by Raising Expectations, Increasing Urgency, and Elevating Intensity
by Frank Slootman
Author and Snowflake CEO, Frank Slootman wrote Amp It Up: Leading for Hypergrowth by Raising Expectations, Increasing Urgency, and Elevating Intensity in order to summarize his convictions, observations, and beliefs about how to lead a mission-driven high-performance company and share them in an efficient, scalable way. Whether you are the CEO or a leader at any level, either at a startup, a big company, or a nonprofit, you can engulf your organization with energy, step up the tempo, and Amp It Up!
The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Navigating Uncertainty, Avoiding Disaster, and Building a Successful Business
by Lak Ananth
Building a business based on innovation is a perilous endeavor, and failures big and small are always around the corner. In Anticipate Failure, Lak Ananth – CEO of global venture capital firm Next47 – describes the most common patterns of failure in innovation. He analyzes organizational failures, helping readers to understand root causes, and provides insights and coaching that will enable readers not just to avoid failure but to anticipate and work through it in order to achieve success. Based on interviews with some of today’s most successful founders and executives, Anticipate Failure also contains riveting stories of high-profile failures in innovation.
Discover Your Unique Imprint for Work that Makes You Come Alive
by Jonathan Fields
We’re all born with a certain “imprint” for work that makes us come alive. This is your Sparketype®, your DNA-level driver of work that lets you know, deep down, you’re doing what you’re here to do. Sparked takes you deep into the world of the Sparketypes, revealing an entirely new depth of insights about what makes you come alive in work life, along with what empties you out and trips you up, so you can avoid those life-drains. It’s a comprehensive guide to help you discover what you are meant to do and how to get started.
A MIND FOR SALES
Daily Habits and Practical Strategies for Sales Success
by Mark Hunter
Mark Hunter’s own start in sales was inauspicious, to say the least. He was fired from his first two stints before he began to learn the lessons that he covers in A Mind for Sales. He discovered that sales can be incredibly rewarding, such as when your customers call you for advice, thanking you for improving their business, and letting you know they just referred you to colleagues. The difference is simply developing mindset and momentum habits. The good news is that you can learn how to grow a mind for sales like Hunter’s. Let this summary inspire and prepare you to form the new thoughts and habits you need to succeed.
HIRING FOR DIVERSITY
The Guide to Building an Inclusive and Equitable Organization
by Arthur Woods & Susanna Tharakan
Hiring for Diversity: The Guide to Building an Inclusive and Equitable Organization brings together the most cutting-edge practices for implementing a diversity hiring strategy that leaves your organization with a comprehensive view and an actionable plan. Using the authors’ research-backed Equal Hiring Index® and work with hundreds of leading employers, the book offers readers the most actionable examples of the policies and practices that inclusive hiring leaders employ today.
THE EIGHT PARADOXES OF GREAT LEADERSHIP
Embracing the Conflicting Demands of Today’s Workplace
by Tim Elmore
The Eight Paradoxes of Great Leadership unpacks the fresh strategies and new mindset required of a next-generation leader today. Author Tim Elmore helps leaders of all kinds navigate increasingly complex, rapidly changing environments, as well as manage teams that bring a range of new demands and expectations to the workplace that haven’t been seen even one generation prior. This summary can equip leaders to inspire team members in a way a paycheck never could. Become a next-generation leader by mastering the eight status quo-shattering paradoxes.
WHAT CUSTOMERS HATE
Drive Fast and Scalable Growth by Eliminating the Things that Drive Away Business
by Nicholas Webb
In a time of massive and continuous disruption, too many organizations are trying to optimize obsolete systems, policies, and training programs. What they really need to do is press the reset button and look at the world with fresh eyes. In What Customers Hate: Drive Fast and Scalable Growth by Eliminating the Things that Drive Away Business, author Nicholas Webb shares how innovative companies and their disruptive leaders reap the rewards of customer promotion, customer satisfaction, significantly lower marketing costs, and scalable growth and profitability.
THE PROMISES OF GIANTS
How YOU Can Fill the Leadership Void
by John Amaechi
The Promises of Giants: How YOU Can Fill the Leadership Void requires you to recognize that you, too, are a giant. And forgetting you’re a giant–even for a moment–can have dire consequences. Giants can’t do anything in the same way as everyone else. And when it comes to your interactions with others; neither can you. The promises of giants guarantee a certain type of lived experience under the umbrella of that leader. It is a collection of promises made to the people you work with most intimately, to your workplace as a whole, and to yourself alone.
Dare to Do What Scares You in Business and Life
by Kim Perell
There comes a moment in our lives when we know we need to make a move. Whether we are unsatisfied or feel hungry to pursue a radically different professional path, we know that this isn’t going to be a mere step into something else. It’s going to be a jump! Feeling fearful is extremely common and natural, but author Kim Perell knows that something bigger and better is waiting for you. If your instinct is telling you that it’s time to make a change in your life, Jump was written for you. In it, Perell guides readers through life-changing decisions with actionable advice to make that change, overcome your doubts, and find the courage to take calculated risks that pay off.
How to Change Course When Things are Going South
by Lisa Gable
Is your once-thriving organization stuck? Is your team on life support, unable to deliver on its potential? Is your initiative or campaign limping along instead of sprinting ahead? In Turnaround, Lisa Gable, turnaround mastermind, offers a clear-headed, straightforward method for getting you back on track. At a time when dizzying innovation cycles, hyper-competition, and a global pandemic have made survival more challenging than ever, Gable’s time-tested and industry-proof method will give you the tools to turn your ship around and chart a course to success.
THE CONVERSION CODE
Stop Chasing Leads and Start Attracting Clients
by Chris Smith
The Conversion Code is a step-by-step guide to marketing and sales that will grow your business faster. The outcome for those who follow it is the highest conversion rate possible. Doing what is outlined in this book will get you better website traffic, a larger email list, higher-quality leads, and more social media followers. Most importantly, you will close more sales and make more money.
REMOTE NOT DISTANT
Design a Company Culture that Will Help You Thrive in a Hybrid Workplace
by Gustavo Razzetti
CEOs still believe that company culture is only achieved when people are together. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can work remotely and still be connected. You don’t need an office to feel like you’re part of a team. As companies are once again postponing returning to the office, there is a unique opportunity to reset the culture and leverage the best of both worlds: in-person and remote. Now more than ever, a strong culture is crucial for driving positive results. In Remote Not Distant, author Gustavo Razzetti will help you build an anywhere/anytime culture to adapt and succeed in a hybrid workplace.
THE EARNED LIFE
Lose Regret, Choose Fulfillment
by Marshall Goldsmith & Mark Reiter
Any decent advice book aims to help readers overcome a perennial challenge. The challenge Marshall Goldsmith and Mark Reiter are tackling in The Earned Life is regret. Not just any regret…the supersized existential regret that reroutes destinies and persecutes our memories for decades. Readers will learn to accept that regret is inevitable, but its frequency can be reduced. The primary theme presented is how to achieve a life of fulfillment – what the authors call an earned life – is when the choices, risks, and effort we make in each moment align with an overarching purpose in our lives, regardless of the eventual outcome.
THE TECH THAT COMES NEXT
How Changemakers, Philanthropists, and Technologists Can Build an Equitable World
by Amy Sample Ward & Afua Bruce
In The Tech that Comes Next, authors Amy Sample Ward and Afua Bruce focus on five key groups identified as social impact organizations, technologists, funders, policymakers, and communities. Belief systems about where resources are accumulated and how they are distributed, who has access to training and decision making, and what work is worthy of investment are core to what will be changed so that we can organize and collaborate in new ways. This book is an exercise in imagining a world that does technology differently. It is intended to invite us to dream of the tech that comes next.
Leveraging the Power of Visual Thinking in Leadership and in Life
by Todd Cherches
Author Todd Cherches relies on a single phrase as the foundation to all of his thinking. Visual thinking and visual communication have the power “to communicate, to innovate, to manage, and to lead.” When we communicate in this way, we increase the attention, comprehension, and retention we get from others. In VisuaLeadership, Cherches teaches tools and techniques meant to “equip, enable, and empower” leaders to improve their efficiency and effectiveness, to maximize “performance, productivity, and potential,” and to “open your eyes to a world of new possibilities and new approaches” in becoming the visionary leader you need and desire to be.
TAKE CHARGE OF YOU
How Self-Coaching Can Transform Your Life and Career
by David Novak & Jason Goldsmith
There are a lot of people out there that don’t like their jobs, are launching their own businesses, opting for freelance and gig work more often, and working remotely. All of this means many are without a manager or mentor on hand to act as their coach. In Take Charge of You: How Self-Coaching Can Transform Your Life and Career, David Novak and Jason Goldsmith show you how to take the responsibility for coaching into your own hands and give yourself what you need to succeed, grow, and lead a more fulfilling life. It’s time to take charge of you and learn how to self-coach.
Build and Lead a Company Customers Can’t Live Without
by James Kerr
James Kerr wrote Indispensable for one type of reader: a business professional who wants to make a difference in their organization. Its intent is to provide you with a framework that you need to help your business become so outstanding that it befits holding indispensable moniker. Leadership is vital to helping businesses become indispensable. Regardless of your rank or position, you must be able to provide a captivating vision, active direction-setting, enlightened coaching, and a collaborative environment to the people you work with and serve. This book teaches you how to do just that.
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