The Best Business Books of 2022

January 9, 2023

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.

2022 Best Book Badge

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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