We’ve all heard of those companies that are just amazing to work at. Or the managers that make such an impact on their teams they inspire them to go above and beyond and deliver incredible results for their company.

Often the secrets of their success aren’t exactly secret – there are countless books detailing the ways companies and managers have nailed the employee experience. Whether told by the employees they influenced or by the managers who blazed a trail with innovative approaches that have since become the gold standard, they all serve as inspiration for any manager.

Here are our 10 favorites…

1) “Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter” by Liz Wiseman

Though they wear many hats, at the end of the business day leaders have one of two effects on the employees they work with: diminishing their work or multiplying their talents. The latter amplify team efforts for greater results than they’d accomplish left to themselves and the former drains both the company’s resources and team output. It’s not tough to figure out which type for leader you want to be.

Purchase on Amazon here.

2) “Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity” by Kim Scott

Efficiency or empathy? Effectiveness or amiability? The best bosses don’t have to choose. The principle behind radical candor is a simple one: you have to Care Personally at the same time you Challenge Directly. Performance doesn’t improve unless it’s appreciated, but it won’t improve unless it’s clearly told to. For best results, apply daily.

Purchase on Amazon here.

3) “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” by Carol Dweck

A mind is a powerful tool and how it’s framed affects everything it does. In a landmark curation of research, Dr. Dweck dives into the two competing mindsets: the fixed, the growing, and the false growth. By learning to recognize room for improvement and the steps to achieve it, leaders can transform and sharpen winning mindsets to succeed in any field.

Purchase on Amazon here.

4) “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us” by Daniel Pink

What drove our ancestors isn’t what motivates us today. The stick-and-carrot model is passé and nobody knows that better than Daniel Pink. In Drive, Pink delves into the three principal motivators: autonomy, mastery, and purpose, and teaches how to harness them to their greatest potential. Supplemented with the wisdom of scientists and entrepreneurs, Drive is the kind of ride you can’t test out quickly enough.

Purchase on Amazon here.

5) “The Employee Experience: How to Attract Talent, Retain Top Performers, and Drive Results” by Tracy Maylett

Thinking of employees as customers is a surefire way to bring their welfare to the forefront of your mind. Established from over 24 million employee survey results, the patterns revealed in The Employee Experience illustrate that clear expectations and promises deliver superior results when upheld.

Purchase on Amazon here.

“Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance” by Angela Duckworth

Grit. John Wayne had it. So does neuroscientist and researcher Angela Duckworth.
Drawing from her wealth of experience as a teacher and business consultant, Duckworth formulates a recipe for success whose primary ingredients are elbow grease and fire. Tying her conclusions with vignettes from history and anecdotes from others who’ve been in shoes similar to hers, Duckworth emphasizes there’s just no substitute for hard work.

Purchase on Amazon here.

7) “The Leadership Moment: Nine True Stories of Triumph and Disaster and Their Lessons for Us All” by Michael Unseem

Few of us will ever negotiate a civil war to peace or bring a spacecraft safely home after disaster strikes. However, putting out the small fires in offices around the world requires the same cool head and keen concentration of the leaders who do so on a daily basis.

Purchase on Amazon here.

8) “Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long” by David Rock

An allegorical journey into the headspaces of a young professional couple as they go about their workday seeking to prioritize and process their daily lives, Your Brain At Work delves into how to maximize brain power, how to better collaborate with other, and why it’s hard to focus at work. For anyone looking to improve productivity, this should be your first stop.

Purchase on Amazon here.

9) “Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win” by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

From the frontlines of Iraq, the leaders of SEAL Team Three bring their experiences on the battlefield to the boardroom, proving that the same principles apply in all aspects of leadership. From the specific topics of Decentralized Command to Leading Up the Chain, Willink and Babin dive into what it is that makes a leader successful and how to turn struggle to success.

Purchase on Amazon here.

10) “The Employee Experience Advantage: How to Win the War for Talent by Giving Employees the Workspaces they Want, the Tools they Need, and a Culture They Can Celebrate” by Jacob Morgan

The premise is simple. Create an environment in which employee want to show up rather than have to. By making the office a place where employees want to be, employers get better results and have a happier workforce. Remember, experience drives engagement. Backed by over 150 studies, The Employee Experience Advantage delivers exactly what its title promises.

Purchase on Amazon here.

Bonus Essay:

“The Servant as Leader” by Robert K. Greenleaf

An idea as old as leadership itself, that a leader’s primary responsibility is to lift with everyone else. “The Servant as Leader” has proven to be an enduring influence in management around the globe. No leader’s education is complete without reading and applying it to their work. Whatever your style, you’ll find plenty of value in Greenleaf’s words.

Read here.