14 books every coworking space operator should read


Last week I asked in The Lab and the CJ Co Weekly what one book you think every coworking space operator should read.

The far and away winner was Unreasonable Hospitality by Will Guidara. So put that one on your to-read list today. 

The other books we collectively gathered constitute a masterclass in entrepreneurship, business psychology, coworking, community and purpose.

Buying your books through these links to Amazon is an easy way to support the work we do at no cost to you. You can also find an indie bookstore near you (in North America), a choice we wholeheartedly support.

Here are 14 books every coworking space operator should read:

1. Unreasonable Hospitality

by Will Guidara

“Today, every business can choose to be a hospitality business—and we can all transform ordinary transactions into extraordinary experiences. Featuring sparkling stories of his journey through restaurants, with the industry’s most famous players like Daniel Boulud and Danny Meyer, Guidara urges us all to find the magic in what we do—for ourselves, the people we work with, and the people we serve.”

🛒 Book | Audiobook

2. Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business

by Gino Wickman

“All entrepreneurs and business leaders face similar frustrations: personnel conflict, profit woes, and inadequate growth. Decisions never seem to get made, or once made, fail to be properly implemented. But there is a solution. It’s not complicated or theoretical. The Entrepreneurial Operating System is a practical method for achieving the business success you have always envisioned.”

🛒 Book | Audiobook

3. What the Heck is EOS? A Complete Guide for Employees in Companies Running on EOS

by Gino Wickman and Tom Bauwer

“What the Heck is EOS? is for the millions of employees in companies running their businesses on EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System). An easy and fast read, this book answers the questions many employees have about EOS and their company.”

🛒 Book | Audiobook

4. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

by Carol S. Dweck

“After decades of research, world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol S. Dweck, PhD, discovered a simple but groundbreaking idea: the power of mindset. In this brilliant book, she shows how success in school, work, sports, the arts, and almost every area of human endeavor can be dramatically influenced by how we think about our talents and abilities. People with a fixed mindset – those who believe that abilities are fixed – are less likely to flourish than those with a growth mindset – those who believe that abilities can be developed.”

🛒 Book | Audiobook

5. Around the World in 250 Coworking Spaces

by Pauline Roussel and Dimitar Inchev, co-founders of Coworkies

Around the World in 250 Coworking Spaces is a book with “carefully curated stories of people, spaces and products that are actively transforming the workspaces of today. It offers a comprehensive understanding of the diverse coworking world and serves as a guide to how people build new work environments through collaboration, interior design and community activities.”

🛒 Book

6. DEI Deconstructed: Your No-Nonsense Guide to Doing the Work and Doing It Right

by Lily Zheng

“The importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace cannot be understated. But when half-baked and underdeveloped strategies are implemented, they often do more harm than good, leading the very constituents they aim to support to dismiss DEI entirely.

DEI Deconstructed analyzes how current methods and “best practices” leave marginalized people feeling frustrated and unconvinced of their leaders’ sincerity, and offers a road map that bridges the neatness of theory with the messiness of practice.”

🛒 Book | Audiobook

7. Make Space: How to Set the Stage for Creative Collaboration

by Scott Doorley and Scott Witthoft 

“Based on the work at the Stanford University d.school and its Environments Collaborative Initiative, Make Space is a tool that shows how space can be intentionally manipulated to ignite creativity. Appropriate for designers charged with creating new spaces or anyone interested in revamping an existing space, this guide offers novel and non-obvious strategies for changing surroundings specifically to enhance the ways in which teams and individuals communicate, work, play–and innovate.”

🛒 Book

8. Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us

by Seth Godin

“If you think leadership is for other people, think again – leaders come in surprising packages. Consider Joel Spolsky and his international tribe of scary-smart software engineers. Or Gary Vaynerhuck, a wine expert with a devoted following of enthusiasts. Chris Sharma leads a tribe of rock climbers up impossible cliff faces, while Mich Mathews, a VP at Microsoft, runs her internal tribe of marketers from her cube in Seattle. All they have in common is the desire to change things, the ability to connect a tribe, and the willingness to lead.”

🛒 Book | Audiobook

9. Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach To Customer Service

by Ken Blanchard 

“Written in the parable style of The One Minute Manager, Raving Fans uses a brilliantly simple and charming story to teach how to define a vision, learn what a customer really wants, institute effective systems, and make Raving Fan Service a constant feature—not just another program of the month.”

🛒 Book

10. The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why it Matters

by Priya Parker

“In The Art of Gathering, Priya Parker argues that the gatherings in our lives are lackluster and unproductive–which they don’t have to be. We rely too much on routine and the conventions of gatherings when we should focus on distinctiveness and the people involved. At a time when coming together is more important than ever, 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.”

🛒 Book | Audiobook

11. The Rise of the Naked Economy

by Ryan Coonerty and Jeremy Neuner

“What happens when work is no longer a place but a state of mind: when the trappings that have defined the economy as we knew it are stripped away and we start from the bare essence of what it means to make a living? From corner coffee shops to Fortune 500 companies, workers from all different backgrounds are creating a new reality and prosperity. The Rise of the Naked Economy shows readers how to achieve both personal and professional success in an economy that does not guarantee lifetime employment.”

🛒 Book

12. The Good Life: Lessons from the World’s Longest Scientific Study of Happiness

by Robert Waldinger M.D. and Marc Schulz Ph.D 

“What makes a life fulfilling and meaningful? The simple but surprising answer is: relationships. The stronger our relationships, the more likely we are to live happy, satisfying, and overall healthier lives. In fact, the Harvard Study of Adult Development reveals that the strength of our connections with others can predict the health of both our bodies and our brains as we go through life.

The invaluable insights in this book emerge from the revealing personal stories of hundreds of participants in the Harvard Study as they were followed year after year for their entire adult lives, and this wisdom is bolstered by research findings from this and many other studies. Relationships in all their forms—friendships, romantic partnerships, families, coworkers, tennis partners, book club members, Bible study groups—all contribute to a happier, healthier life. And as The Good Life shows us, it’s never too late to strengthen the relationships you have, and never too late to build new ones.”

🛒 Book | Audiobook

13. Atomic Habits: an Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones

by James Clear

“Atomic Habits is a comprehensive, practical guide on how to change your habits and get 1% better every day. Using a framework called the Four Laws of Behavior Change, Atomic Habits teaches readers a simple set of rules for creating good habits and breaking bad ones.”

🛒 Book | Audiobook

14. The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives

by Leonard Mlodinow

“In this irreverent and illuminating book, acclaimed writer and scientist Leonard Mlodinow shows us how randomness, chance, and probability reveal a tremendous amount about our daily lives, and how we misunderstand the significance of everything from a casual conversation to a major financial setback. As a result, successes and failures in life are often attributed to clear and obvious causes, when in actuality they are more profoundly influenced by chance.”

🛒 Book | Audiobook

Your turn:

What would you add to the list? Message me on LinkedIn and let me know. I’d love to hear your recommendations.

Elevate your indie coworking space and brand in The Lab.

Get the education, support and community you neeD