6 best business books to gift this holiday season: gift guide

by
Crystal Jepsen
Published:
December 6, 2022

Take the stress out of shopping for your business friends and colleagues with our curated top-tier list of the best business books to gift this holiday season. Our gift guide showcases the best business books to help grow a start-up into a scale-up, attract investors, and develop an enviable work culture.

At Virtual Gurus, we promote continuous learning and come together as a team to share valuable knowledge. We chatted with our staff to find their favorite books to gift business colleagues, and now we’re spreading the holiday cheer to you with our list of the best business books to give this holiday season. 

Topics in our Gift Guide: 

  • Fostering a thriving work culture
  • Land and expand with achievable start-up goals
  • Creating joyful client experiences

Fostering a thriving work culture

Business book called Humanocracy byGary Hamel and Michele Zanini 

Humanocracy - Gary Hamel and Michele Zanini 

Suggestion provided by Marci, Director of People and Culture

In Humanocracy, Gary Hamel and Michele Zanini promote the idea that less bureaucracy in an organization will unleash human autonomy, creativity, and resiliency, which in turn helps a company be as great as the people who work there. You’ll find an outline of how you can implement Gary’s ideas within your organization to foster inspired humans. 

Marci’s thoughts: “I love the notion that organizations can unleash human potential by replacing bureaucracy with passion and creativity.” 

Pinnable book quote: “The question at the core of bureaucracy is, “How do we get human beings to better serve the organization?” The question at the heart of humanocracy is, “What sort of organization elicits and merits the best that human beings can give?”

Business book called User Story Mapping: Discover the whole story, build the right product by Jeff Patton 

User Story Mapping: Discover the whole story, build the right product - Jeff Patton 

Suggestion provided by Jeremy, askBetty Product Manager

This book recommendation will guide you through the types of conversations you should have with your team, the best time to have them, and how to effectively document them. Build a story map your team can use throughout your product development process and learn useful strategies to apply before and after you release your product to customers and users.

Jeremy’s thoughts: “This book teaches you how to use stories and visual aids to promote conversation, build shared understanding in teams, innovate, and understand what we're building and why.”

Pinnable book quote: “Prioritize specific business goals, customers, and users, and then their goals, before prioritizing features.””

Land and expand with achievable start-up goals

business book called The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business by Patrick Lencioni 

The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business - Patrick Lencioni 

Suggestion provided by Margaret, COO

The Advantage questions traditional approaches such as focusing on superior strategy and innovation within a company to instead focus on individual alignment with your BHAG, or Big, Hair, Audacious, Goal. Achieve your start-up goals with a consistent and unified company purpose where your top talent wants to work. 

Margaret’s thoughts: “This book provides a roadmap for you to follow. I have read and recommended this book so many times!”

Pinnable book quote: “Most organizations exploit only a fraction of the knowledge, experience, and intellectual capital that is available to them.”

Business book called Made to Stick by Chip & Dan Heath 

Made to Stick - Chip & Dan Heath 

Suggestion provided by Mona, VP of Marketing

People are quick to leave a poor review when they are dissatisfied but it’s not so easy getting satisfied people to share their thoughts. Positivity doesn’t “stick” as well as negativity. Made to Stick explores why some ideas have "stickiness" or staying power, while others don’t. How can you make your ideas stick by eliciting emotional responses and memorable communications? Made to Stick has the answers.

Mona’s thoughts: “Reading this reinforced that telling compelling stories and creating emotional connections are the most powerful ways to persuade and be memorable.”

Pinnable book quote: “To make our communications more effective, we need to shift our thinking from "What information do I need to convey?" to "What questions do I want my audience to ask?”

Creating joyful client experiences

Business book called The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict by The Arbinger Institute 

The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict - The Arbinger Institute 

Suggestion provided by Kaley, Client Loyalty Specialist

Learn a conflict resolution approach and methodology that promotes moving away from trying to fight and win and instead shifting focus to helping things go right. Find the root cause of conflict instead of perpetuating the issue. Conflict exists with teams, clients, and our personal lives. The Anatomy of Peace provides you with tools to use at work and at home for effectively managing conflict. 

Kaley’s thoughts: “It has made me conscientious about how I approach retention issues with clients and conflicts in my own life. Rather than focus on correcting the "wrong", I try to instead step back and refocus my efforts on making things go right. Their methodology applies to so many conflicts one may face, and having a peaceful, reflective approach to conflict resolution is beneficial for all to practice.”

Pinnable book quote: “Most wars between individuals are of the 'cold' rather than the 'hot' variety---lingering resentment, for example, grudges long held, resources clutched rather than shared, help not offered. These are the acts of war that most threaten our homes and workplaces.”

business book calle The Mom Test by Rob Fitzpatrick 

The Mom Test - Rob Fitzpatrick 

Suggestion provided by Rob, VP of Technology

Your mom will always tell you you’ve created something wonderful and can do no wrong. This doesn’t serve you well when your goal is to develop a good idea and make sure you’re on the right track. You need the cold, hard truth of honest feedback. The Mom Test teaches you how to hold effective conversations with your clients which is important when validating your product or service ideas. 

Rob’s thoughts: “The quick and easy handbook about how to get more learning and more sales out of your customer conversations. Even when everyone is lying to you.”

Pinnable book quote: “It boils down to this: you aren’t allowed to tell them what their problem is, and in return, they aren’t allowed to tell you what to build. They own the problem, you own the solution.”

Where do I buy these business books?

Don’t worry about price matching these business books all over the web and ensuring they’re delivered before Christmas. Our Virtual Executive Assistants can tackle the task of researching and ordering all your gifts, so they arrive with plenty of time to wrap. While they’re at it, they can schedule an “emergency” in your calendar so you can avoid that one uncle who always has too much cider after dinner. 

Want to learn more about hiring a virtual assistant?

View our services page to see all the ways we can support your team.

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Crystal Jepsen

Crystal joined Virtual Gurus in 2019 where she worked as a virtual assistant providing digital marketing services. She moved into the management team as a Client Success Manager in late December 2020 and has now settled into her role as Content Manager of Virtual Gurus. She's passionate about writing, beautiful graphics, and putting it all together into a story worth reading.

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