14 Must-Read Business Books for 2023

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Ben Wilson
Published: Dec 20, 2022
Last Updated: Jan 22, 2023

In the crowded world of business books, it’s hard to know what stands out. And as time is precious, you need to make sure it is not wasted. To that end, we’ve compiled a list of the 14 best business books released this year, which you should put at the top of your reading list heading into 2023.  

This is by no means an exhaustive rundown of what is on the market today. However, it covers a wide range of topics that should be useful, whether you want to focus on a specific area or just improve your business acumen in general.

The books we'll cover are:

  1. Converted
  2. Emotion By Design
  3. Everybody Writes
  4. Free Time
  5. How to F*ck Up Your Startup
  6. How to Talk to Your Boss About Race
  7. Influence Is Your Superpower
  8. Leading Inclusion
  9. Level Up
  10. Making Numbers Count
  11. The Metaverse
  12. See, Solve, Scale
  13. Talent
  14. Trust Signals

1. Converted:

The Data-Driven Way to Win Customers’ Hearts

Converted

By: Neil Hoyne

Published: February 22nd, 2022

Print Length: 240 pages

It’s not too common to associate data with developing meaningful relationships, yet that’s exactly what Neil Hoyne is striving to help us achieve with ‘Converted’. As Senior Fellow at the Wharton and Chief Measurement Strategist for Google, Hoyne is about as well placed as it’s possible to be when it comes to teaching us how to harness marketing to its greatest potential. 

Rather than taking a broad approach to digital marketing strategy, Hoyne instead advocates for really drawing out the best customers your business has and solidifying your relationships with them through meaningful data-driven connections. As a result, you’ll be maximizing your returns rather than spreading yourself thin by running down dead ends. 

About Neil Hoyne

Alongside his positions as Senior Fellow at Wharton and Chief Measurement Strategist for Google, Neil Hoyne is also an acclaimed keynote speaker and contributor to multiple patents.

 

2. Emotion By Design:

Creative Leadership Lessons from a Life at Nike

Emotion by Design

By: Greg Hoffman

Published: April 5th, 2022

Print Length: 302 pages

There are few companies that can claim just as much exposure and marketing success as Nike, and former CMO Greg Hoffman played a key role in making the Swoosh logo and ‘Just Do It’ slogan as commonplace as can be. 

Within ‘Emotion By Design’ Hoffman lays out the key tenets of his approach that underpinned some of Nike’s most successfull and well-remembered campaigns, and that left a lasting impact in the culture at the world’s biggest sneaker brand. Offering inside insights into his twenty-seven yearlong career there, this book is not one to be missed if you are looking to build your brand into a lasting legacy.

About Greg Hoffman

Following his 27-year career at Nike, which included roles as both CMO and VP of Global Brand Innovation, Greg went on to found advisory firm Modern Arena. He is currently the Branding instructor at the University of Oregon’s Lundquist College of Business and the Innovation Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

3. Everybody Writes:

Your New and Improved Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content

By: Ann Handley

Published: October 25th, 2022

Print Length: 432 pages

everybody writesAnn Handley is one of the most respected names in the world of content marketing, and ‘Everybody Writes’ is her comprehensive guide to writing in all its forms. She delivers all the practical, how-to advice and insight you need for the process and strategy of content creation, production, and publishing.   

The book is a must-read for any marketer or business who wants to build their digital presence and hone their writing skillset. You’ll learn all about the value of great writing, brand voice, content production process and planning, strategies for telling original stories, and specific approaches to the different types of content.

About Ann Handley

Ann Handley is the Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs, a training company that empowers marketers internationally with the skills they need to drive success at their companies. She is the author of the Wall Street Journal best-seller on business writing, "Everybody Writes," and the co-author of the best-selling book on content marketing, “Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcast, Videos, Ebooks and More That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business."

4. Free Time:

Lose the Busywork, Love Your Business

Free TimeBy: Jenny Blake

Published: March 22nd, 2022

Print Length: 336 pages

The modern-day ‘hustle and grind’ culture has gone a long way to eroding any semblance of work/life balance for many of us. As a result, burnout and fatigue are more common than ever. 

In ‘Free Time’ Jenny Blake examines whether or not all this extra work and effort is truly bringing the results that we believe, or if it’s actually holding us back instead. Arguing for a more person-centered approach to work, Blake paints the possibility of finding an equilibrium that lets you make the most out of both your personal and professional life.

About Jenny Blake

Jenny Blake is a podcaster and author who has been publishing since 2011. Jenny co-created Google’s well-renowned Career Guru training program, and alongside keynote speaking runs Train-The-Trainer and other licensing programs that run with companies such as Microsoft, Google, and CHANEL.

 

5. How to F*ck Up Your Startup:

The Science Behind Why 90% of Companies Fail – and How You Can Avoid It

How to F_ck Up Your StartupBy: Kim Hvidkjaer

Published: February 15th, 2022

Print Length: 384 pages

It takes guts to brand your book with an expletive, but ‘How to F*ck Up Your Startup’ is a book that shoots straight from the hip. A no-nonsense guide to fixing or altogether avoiding the pitfalls of beginning your own start-up, Hvidkjaer’s book offers an alternative to the sometimes intimidatingly faultless accounts of other entrepreneurs’ experiences.

Speaking from the experience of someone who became a millionaire at 29 years old only to lose it all a few short years later, Hvidkjaer shows us that mistakes are a part of any business journey. The important thing, according to ‘How to F*ck Up Your Startup’, is how you learn from these setbacks and instead use them as learning opportunities.

About Kim Hvidkjaer

Kim Hvidkjaer has been a lifelong entrepreneur, having started his first business at 19 years old. Having made and lost millions, he brands himself as an ‘expert in failure’. He has since founded several successful startups. 

 

6. How to Talk to Your Boss About Race:

Speaking Up Without Getting Shut Down

How to Talk to Your Boss About RaceBy: Y-Vonne Hutchinson

Published: February 1st, 2022

Print Length: 320 pages

Issues of racism and discrimination have plagued workplaces and organizations for as long as they have existed. While in recent years high profile political movements have brought attention to these large-scale problems within society, not as much attention has been focused on the explicit and implicit prejudice and bias in the world of business.

Enter Y-Vonne Hutchinson, whose thought leadership and work with leading financial and political figures is helping both individuals and companies address racism in a more open and effective manner. From discussing how to center marginalized voices to explaining ways to deal with gaslighting and hostility, ‘How to Talk to Your Boss About Race’ provides vital insights into redressing workplace injustice and moving towards a more equal working environment.

About Y-Vonne Hutchinson

Y-Vonne Hutchinson is the founder of ReadySet, an Oakland-based diversity solutions firm that has been featured in leading publications such as MSNBC, The Washington Post, and The Guardian. She is a former human rights lawyer with the La Isla Foundation.

 

7. Influence Is Your Superpower:

The Science of Winning Hearts, Sparking Change, and Making Good Things Happen

Influence Is Your SuperpowerBy: Zoe Chance

Published: February 1st, 2022

Print Length: 304 pages

‘Influence Is Your Superpower’ is an analysis of the concept of influence through the lens of it being a particular skill that can be developed and harnessed to maximize your potential. Zoe Chance, a highly successful professor at the Yale School of Management, addresses what it means to be truly influential and how we can wield influence in a wide range of settings and scenarios to vastly improve the quality of our interactions.

Chance draws on a wide range of practical and illustrative examples, taking an approach that considers influence across both the personal and professional spheres. By also addressing how we are conditioned to minimize our own influence within a range of day-to-day settings (and how to undo this conditioning), ‘Influence Is Your Superpower’ allows you to apply her innovative ideas across many different walks of life.

About Zoe Chance

Dr. Zoe Chance is a lecturer at the Yale School of Management, who completed her doctorate at Harvard University. Her research in behavior change has formed the foundation for Google’s global food policy, and she is a highly engaged climate philanthropist.

 

8. Leading Inclusion:

Drive Change Your Employees Can See and Feel

Leading InclusionBy: Gena Cox

Published: October 11th, 2022

Print Length: 312 pages

No two people are exactly alike, and that is the central principle of Gena Cox’s ‘Leading Inclusion’. With a background in executive coaching and organizational psychology, Cox aims to move beyond cookie-cutter template approaches to workplace inclusion. 

Rather than focussing on how to make your workforce fit your needs, ‘Leading Inclusion’ instead offers a guide in tailoring and adapting your leadership to the needs of those within your team. Ultimately, this will bring the return of getting the very best out of each and every person who makes up your business. 

About Gena Cox

Gena Cox holds a Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology and is a certified coach through the International Coaching Federation. She is the co-chair of the Awards Committee of the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, and actively works with the University of South Florida Stavros Center for Free Enterprise & Economic Education, and the University of Tampa TECO Energy Center for Leadership.

 

9. Level Up:

Rise Above the Hidden Forces Holding Your Business Back

Level UpBy: Stacey Abrams & Lara Hodgson

Published: February 22nd, 2022

Print Length: 240 pages

Having garnered widespread renown and acclaim through her political career, Stacey Abrams is something of a household name for anyone who is at all tuned in to current affairs in the US. ‘Level Up’ is a collaboration between Abrams and current business partner Lara Hodgson, who together co-founded infrastructure consultancy Insomnia Consulting fifteen years ago.

Having gone on to establish a further string of successful businesses in the time since, Abrams and Hodgson use ‘Level Up’ to provide a field guide for both established business owners and newcomers alike in overcoming the hurdles and pitfalls that will inevitably be encountered.

About Stacey Abrams and Lara Hodgson

Stacey Abrams is a lawyer, author, and former member of the Georgia House of Representatives. She is the founder of Fair Fight Action, an organization dedicated to ending voter suppression. Lara Hodgson is Co-Founder, President, and CEO of NowCorp, a B2B payments company based in Atlanta.

 

10. Making Numbers Count:

The Art and Science of Communicating Numbers

Making Numbers CountBy: Karla Starr & Chip Heath

Published: January 11th, 2022

Print Length: 208 pages

In the age of big data, and endless facts and figures easily available at your fingertips, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by information overload. In ‘The Art and Science of Communicating Numbers’, authors Karla Starr and Chip Heath aim to teach you how to sort through the churn of numbers and statistics and find the real stories underneath them.

Starr and Heath approach concepts of scale and how we comprehend it through fields as diverse as farming and finance, to help you better understand how to get to grips with numbers and explain them effectively to others. As a result, more data-driven and quantifiable decision-making should follow.

About Karla Starr & Chip Heath

Karla Starr is an acclaimed science and business journalist, who specializes in behavioral science. She has contributed to Slate, Popular Science, and The Atlantic. Chip Heath is an NYT and WSJ Bestselling author and is a professor of business strategy and organizations at Stanford Graduate School of Business.

 

11. The Metaverse:

And How it Will Revolutionize Everything

MetaverseBy: Matthew Ball

Published: July 19th, 2022

Print Length: 352 pages

It can be hard to adapt to emergent and disruptive new technological advances, and the metaverse is no exception to that. Even if we have only just begun to glimpse the potential of this new virtual world, we already know just how significant it is going to be.

It’s understandable then why Matthew Ball has garnered such widespread acclaim with ‘The Metaverse’, which serves as a roadmap for what is likely to come. Having already become a Wall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly bestseller, ‘The Metaverse’ uses examples of already existent technologies that can give us insights into this rapidly developing medium, while also looking ahead to the ways it is likely to intersect with Web3 and the future of the internet. 

About Matthew Ball

Matthew Ball is CEO of Epyllion, a diversified holding company focussing on venture investments and advisory services in the film, television, and video game sectors. He is also the Founder and CEO of Ball Metaverse Research Partners.

 

12. See, Solve, Scale:

How Anyone Can Turn an Unsolved Problem into a Breakthrough Success

See Solve ScaleBy: Danny Warshay

Published: March 22nd, 2022

Print Length: 320 pages

The concept of ‘scaling up’ is so ubiquitous in the business world that it needs little explanation.  But within ‘See, Solve, Scale’, author Danny Warshay offers surprising new insights into how anyone can embark on the path of entrepreneurialism and expand their idea into a fully-fledged business.

Drawing inspiration from the highly acclaimed Brown University course ‘The Entrepreneurial Process’ as well as many years of professional experience, Warshay’s ‘See, Solve, Scale’ offers anyone with aspirations of starting their own business a practical toolkit of how to do so. 

About Danny Warshay

Danny Warshay is the founding Executive Director of the Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship and Professor of the Practice at Brown University. 

 

13. Talent:

How to Identify Energizers, Creatives, and Winners Around the World

TalentBy: Tyler Cowen & Daniel Gross 

Published: May 17th, 2022

Print Length: 288 pages

One of the key questions of the business world is always going to be: ‘how do you get the best people’? In ‘Talent’, Tyler Cowen and Daniel Gross synthesize the many aspects of talent acquisition and retention into a more straightforward process.

By drawing on scientific studies and research, Cowen and Gross offer quantifiable methods for identifying, attracting, and holding on to the best personnel for your business. ‘Talent’ addresses all stages of the recruitment process, to help you make sure you are always taking on the very best person for the job.

About Tyler Cowen & Daniel Gross

Tyler Cowen is a professor at George Mason University, where he holds the Holbert L. Harris chair in the economics department. He regularly contributes to Forbes, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal among other leading publications. Daniel Gross is an entrepreneur and founder of the search engine Cue and co-founder of startup accelerator Pioneer. He is also start-up investor in technology businesses such as Uber, Instacart, SpaceX, Airtable and Figma.

 

14. Trust Signals:

Brand Building in a Post-Truth World

41TpWuDdsQLBy: Scott Baradell

Published: Oct 18th, 2022

Print Length: 300 pages

Per Kirkus Reviews: "A clear, persuasive guide to creating and implementing a compelling brand communications program ... Baradell’s expertise is evident in his clear and knowledgeable explanations of all aspects of brand communications, including website user experience; getting and responding to reviews; inbound marketing; working with influencers; search engine optimization; getting and leveraging media coverage; social media; market research; reputation management; and thought leadership. The author supports each topic with plenty of facts, statistics, and graphics; provides real-life examples; and points out potential pitfalls."

About Scott Baradell

Scott Baradell is a writer and entrepreneur who grew his PR agency, Idea Grove, with business generated by its popular blog. Idea Grove is one of the top 25 tech PR agencies in the United States, a three-time Inc. 5000 company, and an Inc. Best Workplace in 2021 and 2022. In 2020, Scott started a second blog, Trust Signals, to provide news, analysis, and practical advice on what it takes to build trust with customers and the public in today’s post-truth world. The blog inspired and culminates in this book.

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