10 Must-Read DEIB and Leadership Books

Looking to learn more about DEIB and becoming a great leader? Here are our 10 must-read books to guide you along your journey.

Whether you’re an emerging leader or a senior executive, a DEIB leader or an ally looking to learn, a commitment to continuous learning and expanding your knowledge is an essential part of becoming an equitable, inclusive and self-aware leader.

A good way to do that is by reading widely and learning from the best so that you can adopt new perspectives, and gain valuable insights and implementable strategies to help improve your organisation’s approach, and your own. But where should you start?

To help, we’ve gathered some of the most impactful books we’ve read in 2022 that explore topics related to Leadership and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging, and are written by authors who combine lived experience with subject matter expertise.

Of course, this could be a huge list, so we’ve only included the top 10 recommended books that our team has read in 2022, written by global thought leaders and researchers whose work has inspired us and has helped to shape our thinking. No matter where you are on your journey, there is a book out there for you. Happy reading!

1. "Insight" by Tasha Eurich

Pages: 337

Why it’s a must-read:

Research shows that self-awareness – knowing who we are and how others see us – is the foundation for high performance, smart choices, and lasting relationships.  There’s just one problem: most people don’t see themselves quite as clearly as they could.

Fortunately, reveals organisational psychologist Tasha Eurich, self-awareness is a surprisingly developable skill. Integrating hundreds of studies with her own research and work in the Fortune 500 world, she shows us what it really takes to better understand ourselves on the inside – and how to get others to tell us the honest truth about how we come across.

Through stories of people who’ve made dramatic gains in self-awareness, she offers surprising secrets, techniques and strategies to help readers do the same – and how to use this insight to be more fulfilled, confident, and successful in life and in work.

2. "Stolen Focus" by Johan Hari

Pages: 352

Why it’s a must-read:

Stolen Focus is a beautifully researched and argued exploration of the breakdown of humankind’s ability to pay attention. To write it, internationally bestselling author Johann Hari went on a three-year journey to uncover the reasons behind our shortening attention spans. He interviewed the leading experts in the world on attention and learned that everything we think about this subject is wrong.

We think our inability to focus is a personal failing – a flaw in each one of us. It is not. This has been done to all of us by powerful external forces. Our focus has been stolen. Johann discovered there are twelve deep causes of this crisis, all of which have robbed some of our attention.

Crucially, in researching and writing the book, he learned how – as individuals, and as a society – we can get our focus back, if we are determined to fight for it.

3. "Inclusion on Purpose" by Ruchika Tulshyan

Pages: 248

Why it’s a must-read:

Inclusion doesn’t just happen; we have to work at it. Author Ruchika Tulshyan presents inclusion best practices in her recently released book Inclusion on Purpose, showing how leaders and organisations can meaningfully promote inclusion and diversity.

Tulshyan centers on the workplace experience of women of colour, who are subject to both gender and racial bias. It is at the intersection of gender and race, she shows, that we discover the kind of inclusion policies that benefit all.

Tulshyan debunks the idea of the “level playing field” and explains how leaders and organisations can use their privilege for good by identifying and exposing bias, knowing that they typically have less to lose in speaking up than a woman of colour does. She explains why “leaning in” doesn’t work–and dismantling structural bias does; warns against hiring for “culture fit,” arguing for “culture add” instead; and emphasizes the importance of psychological safety in the workplace–you need to know that your organisation has your back. With this important book, Tulshyan shows us how we can make greater progress toward inclusion and diversity.

4. "Redesigning Work" by Lynda Gratton

Pages: 224

Why it’s a must-read:

Professor Lynda Gratton is a global thought-leader on the future of work. Drawing on thirty years of research into the technological, demographic, cultural, and societal trends that are shaping work and building on what we learned through our experiences of the pandemic, Gratton presents her innovative four-step framework for redesigning work that will help you understand your people and what drives performance, reimagine creative new ways to work, model and test these approaches within your organization, and act and create to ensure your redesign has lasting benefits.

Whether you’re working in a small team or running a multinational, Redesigning Work is the definitive book on how to transform your organisation, make hybrid working work for you., and equip your organisation for the future.

5. "The Values Compass" by Mandeep Rai

Pages: 368

Why it’s a must-read:

Every day, whether we acknowledge it or not, we make decisions based on what we believe in. The choices, challenges, or opportunities facing us – and how we engage with them – in politics, family, relationships, work, and play reveal something important about our character, desires, and personality to ourselves and to others. When those values align and are shared by a single population, they have the power to transform a nation and teach the world valuable lessons about success.

In The Values Compass, Mandeep Rai explores this concept by taking 101 distinct countries and identifying a single key value in each that is represented throughout its history, geography, and culture in the hope that we may find a way to incorporate those values into our own lives.

This is an insightful and readable collection of profiles that open our eyes to the world around us, and in turn help us reflect on which values matter, last, and have the power to create change.

6. "Allies and Advocates" by Amber Cabral

Pages: 208

Why it’s a must-read:

Amber Cabral, a celebrated inclusion strategist, speaker, and writer, delivers a powerful and accessible message about inclusion and diversity in everyday life in this. Through real-world examples highlighting inclusion best practices, Amber shows readers how to move away from discriminatory and unjust behaviors to supporting and building meaningful connections with people across our diverse backgrounds and identities.

For those committed to cultivating cultures where everyone can thrive and who want to learn how to use their privilege to be a better ally, Allies and Advocates is packed full of implementable tactics to assist individuals in seeing how they can help create an inclusive environment.

7. "The Art Of Gathering" by Priya Parker

Pages: 320

Why it’s a must-read:

At a time when coming together is more important than ever, Priya Parker sets forth a human-centered approach to gathering that will help everyone create meaningful, memorable experiences, large and small, for work and for play.

Through concrete and practical advice, The Art Of Gathering shows you how to bring people together to create transformative, breakthrough meetings and experiences. The book is a timely reminder: It’s our human-to-human links that make the most meaningful moments of our lives.

8. "DEI Deconstructed" by Lily Zheng

Pages: 192

Why it’s a must-read:

In DEI Deconstructed, Zheng shares insight into how many widely known “DEI best practices” can leave marginalised people feeling frustrated and unconvinced of their leaders’ sincerity, offering a roadmap that bridges the neatness of theory with the messiness of practice.

Through embracing a pragmatic DEI approach drawing from cutting-edge research on organisational change, evidence-based practices, and incisive insights from a DEI strategist with experience working from the top-down and bottom-up alike, individuals at every level of an organisation can become effective DEI changemakers.

9. "Belonging" by Geoffrey L. Cohen

Pages: 432

Why it’s a must-read:

Stanford University psychology professor Geoffrey L. Cohen has used science to show that when people don’t have a sense of belonging, negative consequences often follow: diminished performance at school and work, poorer health, increased levels of hostility, and more divisive politics. This book offers concrete steps that we can all take to foster belonging.

With Cohen’s insights, we can all learn “situation-crafting” to reverse the myriad ways in which people are excluded because of race, class, gender and other differences. This essential book empowers managers, parents, educators, caregivers and everyone who wants those around them to thrive.

10. "Tripowerment" by Alison Earl

Pages: 252

Why it’s a must-read:

If you want to empower yourself or others to create breakthrough change – in health, career or life – this book is for you. Author Alison Early explores the three essential ingredients that separate those who thrive from those who don’t.

Supported by the latest research in Positive Psychology and Behavioural Economics, proven interventions are brought to life with inspirational real-world stories of both people and brands.