How can we live our most deeply-felt values through our work life? What would a "grateful" economy look like? The books in this list offer ways to reimagine and recreate businesses and careers which support our vision of a more just, sustainable and enlightened world.
The Best Place to Work: The Art and Science of Creating an Extraordinary Workplace (2015)
by Ron Friedman, Ph.D.
Why do successful companies reward failure? What can casinos teach us about building a happy workplace? How do you design an office that enhances both attention to detail and creativity? In The Best Place to Work, award-winning psychologist Ron Friedman, Ph.D., uses the latest research from the fields of motivation, creativity, behavioral economics, neuroscience, and management to reveal what really makes us successful at work. Combining powerful stories with cutting-edge findings, Friedman shows leaders at every level how they can use scientifically proven techniques to promote smarter thinking, greater innovation, and stronger performance.
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The Sweet Spot: How to Find Your Groove at Home and Work (2015)
by Christine Carter, Ph.D.
Not long ago, Christine Carter, a happiness expert at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center and a speaker, writer, and mother, found herself exasperated by the busyness of modern life: too many conflicting obligations and not enough time, energy, or patience to get everything done. She tried all the standard techniques—prioritizing, multitasking, delegating, even napping—but none really worked. Determined to create a less stressful life for herself she road-tested every research-based tactic that promised to bring more ease into her life. Drawing on her vast knowledge of the latest research related to happiness, productivity, and elite performance, she followed every strategy that promised to give her more energy—or that could make her more efficient, creative, or intelligent. Her trials and errors are our reward. In The Sweet Spot, Carter shares the combination of practices that transformed her life from overwhelmed and exhausting to joyful, relaxed, and productive.
Search Inside Yourself: The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success, Happiness (and World Peace) (2014)
by Chade-Meng Tan, Daniel Goleman, Jon Kabat-Zinn
Chade-Meng Tan, one of Google’s earliest engineers and personal growth pioneer, offers a proven method for enhancing mindfulness and emotional intelligence in life and work. Meng’s job is to teach Google’s best and brightest how to apply mindfulness techniques in the office and beyond; now, readers everywhere can get insider access to one of the most sought after classes in the country, a course in health, happiness and creativity that is improving the livelihood and productivity of those responsible for one of the most successful businesses in the world. With forewords by Daniel Goleman, author of the international bestseller Emotional Intelligence, and Jon Kabat-Zinn, renowned mindfulness expert and author of Coming To Our Senses, Meng’s Search Inside Yourself is an invaluable guide to achieving your own best potential.
Real Happiness at Work: Meditations for Accomplishment, Achievement, and Peace (2013)
by Sharon Salzberg
Sharon Salzberg’s Real Happiness at Work is a practical guide to improving work life through mindfulness, compassion, and ingenuity. It’s about being committed without being consumed, competitive without being cruel, managing time and emotions to counterbalance stress and frustration. It shows readers how to be more creative, organized, and accomplished in order to do better, more productive work.
Leading from the Emerging Future: From Ego-System to Eco-System (2013)
by Otto Scharmer and Katrin Kaufer
We have entered an age of disruption. Financial collapse, climate change, resource depletion, and a growing gap between rich and poor are but a few of the signs. Otto Scharmer and Katrin Kaufer ask, why do we collectively create results nobody wants? Meeting the challenges of this century requires updating our economic logic and operating system from an obsolete “ego-system” focused entirely on the well-being of oneself to an eco-system awareness that emphasizes the well-being of the whole. Filled with real-world examples, this thought-provoking guide presents proven practices for building a new economy that is more resilient, intentional, inclusive, and aware.
Grateful Leadership: Using the Power of Acknowledgment to Engage All Your People and Achieve Superior Results (2012)
by Judith W. Umlas
Grateful Leadership shows how to create a more positive and meaningful connection between you and the people you lead. These skills are a catalyst for making immediate positive changes in your workplace that will enhance productivity, reputation, and overall performance.
The Necessary Revolution (2010)
by Peter Senge
At its heart, The Necessary Revolution contains a wealth of strategies that individuals and organizations can use — specific tools and ways of thinking — to help us build the confidence and competence to respond effectively to the greatest challenge of our time. It is an essential guidebook for all of us who recognize the need to act and work together—now—to create a sustainable world, both for ourselves and for the generations to follow.
Building Social Business (2010)
by Muhammad Yunus
Muhammad Yunus, the practical visionary who pioneered microcredit and, with his Grameen Bank, won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, has developed a visionary new dimension for capitalism which he calls “social business.” By harnessing the energy of profit-making to the objective of fulfilling human needs, social business creates self-supporting, viable commercial enterprises that generate economic growth even as they produce goods and services that make the world a better place.
Companies on a Mission: Entrepreneurial Strategies for Growing Sustainably, Responsibly, and Profitably (2010)
by Michael Russo
“Let your social and environmental conscience be your guide” can be a successful and durable strategy for a firm. This is the first book to explain how following a vision for the earth and for society can be a powerful route to profits for small and medium sized companies.
Business Revolution Through Ancestral Wisdom (2008)
by JoAnne O’Brien-Levin, Láné Saán Moonwalker, and Tu Moonwalker
The powerful forces which sustain life on earth reside in each of us and function in favor of all life continuing to thrive. Business Revolution through Ancestral Wisdom offers an ancient map, a blueprint, for aligning our gifts with those forces. This vision of marrying prosperity with sustainability is the next read for those who understand “natural capital” to be the storehouse of business and who want to test the revolutionary ideas of learning how to wisely tend the storehouse, as well as, thriving so strongly their children’s children continue doing business.
Spiritual Capital: Wealth We Can Live By (2004)
by Dana Zohar and Ian Marshall
Spiritual Capital presents a new vision of capitalist society that transcends the greed, materialism, and meaninglessness so rampant today. It offers an idea of wealth, profit, and capital that’s about more than simply money. “Profit,” under this system, would be not merely for private gain but would be used in part for public good. “Wealth” would be that which enriches the deeper aspects of our lives, gained by drawing upon our most fundamental purposes and highest motivations and finding a way to embed these in our work. “Capital” is amassed by serving – in corporate philosophy and practice – the pressing concerns of our world. The author’s dream of getting a critical mass of people and organizations to act for what’s right rather than for self-serving reasons.
Crossing the Unknown Sea: Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity (2002)
by David Whyte
Crossing the Unknown Sea is about reuniting the imagination with our day to day lives. It shows how poetry and practicality, far from being mutually exclusive, reinforce each other to give every aspect of our lives meaning and direction. For anyone who wants to deepen their connection to their life’s work—or find out what their life’s work is—this book can help navigate the way.
Awakening Corporate Soul (1998)
by John B. Izzo and Eric Klein
This compelling book shows individuals how to renew their work-life and workplace with the wisdom of the spiritual traditions. The authors provide a blueprint for readers to find more meaning and fulfillment in their work while being an active participant in creating a better workplace for themselves and others. Filled with modern case studies, ancient teaching stories, exercises and personal examples, Awakening Corporate Soul is for anyone who wants a greater sense of meaning, spirit, creativity, and fulfillment at work and to their life.
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