Our Favorite Work-Related Reads in 2023

graphic of open book with sparkles coming from it

Below are five books recommended by the Boly:Welch team that explore what it means to be a healthy, thriving organization (or professional) in today’s workplace landscape.

Unreasonable Hospitality: The Remarkable Power of Giving People More Than They Expect by Will Guidara 

Jen Lind, Senior Office Administrative Recruiter: To be honest, I initially received my colleague Chelsea’s enthusiastic endorsement of this book with a bit of skepticism. I don’t work in the hospitality industry, so what could possibly apply to the world of recruiting? But I was curious, so I read it and now share her enthusiasm! Will Guidara extols the belief that being unreasonable about hospitality extends beyond restaurants, because America has shifted from a manufacturing economy to a service economy. Whether you operate in retail, finance, real estate, health care, computer services, or communications, there is real opportunity to be intentional about pursuing unreasonable hospitality.  

By putting your team and customers at the center of every decision, you’ll differentiate your company from the rest. We’ve all suffered from prioritizing product over people; the only way to course-correct and move forward is to listen attentively, be as intentional as possible, and go above and beyond in building a thriving culture and elevating client service. All of this will lead to fierce customer loyalty.

This book provides invaluable tools to excel in the face of adversity, boost team morale, and thrive in a dynamic and collaborative environment.

Just Work: Get Sh*t Done Fast and Fair by Kim Scott 

Abby Engers, Director of HR Consulting: Kim Scott uses storytelling to explore the impact of unjust workplaces, leaders, and organizations. With examples that can be almost too raw, she dives into such issues as bias, prejudice, and bullying to illustrate how these issues undermine all organizations. And, most importantly, she creates actionable responses to these issues — which none of us (herself included) are innocent of perpetuating.  

Radical Candor is another great read by Kim Scott!  

Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein  

Melissa Ehret, Design Manager: Range flips the script on the deeply engrained idea that in order to excel at something, you must devote yourself exclusively to that thing. Think elite athletes, musicians, scholars, etc. Backed by science and reinforced by real-life stories, Epstein shows us that broad experiences filled with experimentation and failure are what actually empower us to think more creatively, solve difficult problems, and adapt to challenges.  

This is good news for those of us who have had meandering career paths and felt we were somehow behind the curve. 😉 

DEI Deconstructed: Your No Nonsense Guide to Doing the Work and Doing it Right by Lily Zheng 

D.H. Strobel, Operations Specialist: This book demystifies the often overwhelming work of doing DEI effectively. Lily Zheng breaks down key aspects of DEI, gives historical context to the industry, and pairs each concept in the book with real world examples and practical tools for implementing in the workplace.  

In a time when DEI is broadly valued but with little consensus for how to go about the work, Zheng offers a refreshing, systems-oriented approach that can actually make a difference.  

The Real Work: On the Mystery of Mastery by Adam Gopnik 

Chelsea Slaven-Davis, Marketing Manager: We read this book in the Boly:Welch Book Club, and I found Adam Gopnik’s anecdotal (and often deeply personal – I’d never heard of paruresis before 😳) approach to be a refreshing shift from some of the more concept-driven books we’ve read together. Here, Gopnik explores what it takes to become a master of, well, just about anything: drawing, dancing, boxing, driving.  

It’s also a book about why we’re so obsessed with bettering ourselves in the first place.  


Suggested Reads

Upcoming Workshops

Get the scoop on future live job search workshops!

Exclusive Access to 2023
Job Market Trends!

You’ll also receive an email from [email protected] with a link to the report.

Exclusive Access to 2023
Job Market Trends!

You’ll also receive an email from [email protected] with a link to the report.

Thanks for your interest in our panel discussion on Paid Leave Oregon!

You’ll also receive an email from [email protected] with a link to the recording.

Let's Talk About Paid Leave Oregon (panel discussion recording)

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.