14 Best Teamwork Books to Read in 2021

Home » Books » Teamwork BooksUpdated: May 03, 2021

You found our list of good teamwork books.

Teamwork books are guides for effective collaboration. These books cover topics like communication, conflict resolution, and the common traits of team players. The purpose of these books is to help groups work more effectively together.

These books are similar to team building books, and help you develop team building skills.

This post contains:

  • books on collaboration
  • teamwork skills books
  • teamwork training books
  • books about teamwork for kids

Here we go!

List of teamwork books

From Teamwork 101 to observations from an escape room owner, here are the best books on teamwork.

1. Reimagining Collaboration: Slack, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and the Post-COVID World of Work by Phil Simon

Reimagining Collaboration

Via Amazon

While most books on teamwork focus on skills and attitudes, Reimagining Collaboration explains how to leverage technology for more effective teamwork. The book presents a framework for promoting collaboration through the smart use of remote work platforms like Zoom, Slack, and Microsoft teams. By giving advice for how to best use communication hubs, Reimagining Collaboration re-envisions teamwork for an increasingly remote or hybrid workplace.

Notable Quote: “Depending on your role, you will use plenty of different software applications. That thought might be harrowing. Fortunately, it is relatively easy to stitch these disparate tools together in a user-friendly and holistic manner– one that promotes effective collaboration.”

Buy Reimagining Collaboration.

2. The Power of a Positive Team: Proven Principles and Practices that Make Great Teams Great by Jon Gordon

The Power of a Positive Team

Via Amazon

Jon Gordon’s bestseller The Energy Bus examines how attitude impacts work life. The Power of a Positive Team also focuses on the powers of optimism. The book explores the elements that make up a positive team culture and explains how to create teams that care for, commit to, and communicate with each other. Jon Gordon analyzes the behaviors and circumstances that cause negativity and conflict among groups, and suggests actions and perspectives that foster healthier, more productive atmospheres. The Power of a Positive Team draws on case studies, research, and anecdotes from model success stories to illustrate best practices for affirmative teams.

Notable Quote: “Positive teams confront the reality of challenging situations and work together to overcome them.

Buy The Power of a Positive Team.

3. The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player: Becoming the Kind of Person Every Team Wants by John C. Maxwell

The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player

Via Amazon

John C. Maxwell is famous for writing books like Leadershift and The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. In The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player, he tackles the topic of teamwork. The book identifies characteristics that make employees good coworkers and collaborators, such as adaptability, dependability, and tenacity. John C. Maxwell prescribes methods for finding and fostering these traits within team members. The clear writing style and comprehensive exploration of the subject make The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player, one of the best books on collaboration.

Notable Quote: “Take yourself out of the picture. Get in the habit of asking what’s best for the team. For example, the next time you are at a problem-solving meeting and everyone is contributing ideas, instead of promoting yourself, ask yourself how the team would do if you were not involved in the solution. If it would do better, then propose ideas that promote and involve people other than yourself.”

Buy The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player.

4. You Are The Team: 6 Simple Ways Teammates Can Go From Good To Great by by Michael G. Rogers

You Are the Team

Via Amazon

Teamwork training books help employees develop the skills needed to collaborate efficiently. You Are The Team teaches readers how to elevate their teamwork by highlighting the essential qualities of team players. The book explores characteristics like humility, respect, and excellence, illustrating the mechanics of these traits through anecdotes and reflective questions. Every chapter ends with a self-assessment to help readers evaluate and improve their teamwork competencies. You Are The Team shows readers how to boost individual efforts and foster a teamwork culture.

Notable Quote: “Empathy is foundational to our team relationships. Empathy is trying to see the world from another’s eyes or to take a walk in someone else’s shoes. It helps us understand why someone does what they do. It also allows us to have greater patience, understanding, and compassion when we are working with others.”

Buy You Are The Team.

5. Bringing Out the Best in People: How to Enjoy Helping Others Excel by Alan Loy McGinnis

Bringing Out the Best in People

Via Amazon

Bringing Out the Best in People is one of the best teamwork skills books. Alan Loy McGinnis provides practical tips on inspiring collaborators’ full potential. The book covers topics such as motivation, failure management, and conflict resolution. Bringing Out the Best in People provides a clear roadmap to being a better teammate and more persuasive team leader. The book speaks to readers in all organizations and positions, urging the audience to practice teamwork in all settings.

Notable Quote: “You are a manipulator when you try to persuade people to do something that is not in their best interests but is in yours. You are a motivator when you find goals that will be good for both sides, then weld together a high-achieving, high-morale partnership to achieve them.”

Buy Bringing Out the Best in People.

6. The Ideal Team Player: How to Recognize and Cultivate The Three Essential Virtues by by Patrick M. Lencioni

The Ideal Team Player

Via Amazon

The first half of The Ideal Team Player tells the tale of a leader trying to save an organization by reigniting a shared commitment to collaboration. The second half takes a deeper dive into the concept of teamwork by outlining the three main virtues of model team members. The book teaches organizational leaders how to identify team players during the hiring process and foster the teamwork among staff. The Ideal Team Player is a character study in the kind of employee that embodies the true spirit of collaboration.

Notable Quote: “Great team players lack excessive ego or concerns about status. They are quick to point out the contributions of others and slow to seek attention for their own. They share credit, emphasize team over self, and define success collectively rather than individually. It is no great surprise, then, that humility is the single greatest and most indispensable attribute of being a team player.”

Buy The Ideal Team Player.

7. Who Not How: The Formula to Achieve Bigger Goals Through Accelerating Teamwork by Dan Sullivan and Benjamin Dr. Hardy

Who Not How

Via Amazon

Who Not How emphasizes the importance of teamwork by reminding dreamers they cannot accomplish their missions alone. The book argues that instead of limiting objectives to tasks you can accomplish on your own, you should seek to find the right “Who’s” to help you with the job. Who Not How demonstrates that seeking help is a path to greater achievement, not a sign of weakness. The book explains how to find the ideal “Who’s,” and how to be a good “Who,” too.

Notable Quote: “It can be easy for us to focus on How, especially for high achievers who want to control what they can control, which is themselves. It takes vulnerability and trust to expand your efforts and build a winning team.”

Buy Who Not How.

8. Teamwork 101: What Every Leader Needs to Know by John C. Maxwell

Teamwork 101

Via Amazon

Teamwork 101 covers the basics of collaboration. For examples, topics include the importance of teamwork, characteristics of good teams, and the meaning of being a team player. Beyond providing definitions and explanations, John C Maxwell also offers strategies for unlocking group creativity, promoting positivity, and building a cohesive team. Teamwork 101 is a great resource for professionals looking to understand the foundations of teamwork.

Notable Quote: “Teams that don’t bond can’t build.”

Buy Teamwork 101.

9. Help the Helper: Building a Culture of Extreme Teamwork by Kevin Pritchard and John Eliot

Help the Helper

Via Amazon

Help the Helper argues that organizations should invest time and resources into supporting staff. While many companies focus on top talent, helpers can have long-reaching and less-obvious impact. These individuals voluntarily step up and perform necessary tasks for the sake of the group rather than for a chance in the spotlight. These actions boost morale and create conditions for other team members to thrive. Help the Helper explains the significance of these team members and suggests ways that companies can support them and benefit the whole organization in the process.

Notable Quote: “Sometimes, actually, an employee’s production numbers get in the way. Sometimes high individual yields come at the price of less development of team “intangibles,” –variables that propel leading companies like toughness, confidence, energy, and combined creativity.”

Buy Help the Helper.

10. Will They Escape?: What I Learned About Teamwork Watching Over 1,500 Escape Rooms by Daniel Huiet

Will They Escape

Via Amazon

Will They Escape? is a teamwork handbook written by the owner of an escape room business. Escape rooms are popular team building activities that require groups to solve puzzles within a certain location and timeframe. By watching thousands of teams work through challenges, Daniel Huiet gained valuable insight about teamwork, particularly teamwork under pressure. Will They Escape? shares observations on how players of different genders, ages, and skill sets reacted to rooms, and how team dynamics affected the outcomes. This book is a great read for leaders who want to understand group behaviors and situational influences on teams. Not to mention, the book can help managers convince companies to invest in escape room outings for employees.

Notable Quote: “Escape rooms can be stressful situations. Before you enter an escape room you have no clue what the inside of the room looks like, how the puzzles are set up, or how much detail the room has. The puzzles and clues are a complete mystery, and nothing can prepare you for the pressure you will feel once that timer starts. Although the difficulty of the room is defined before you enter, a sense of anticipation can sometimes overwhelm you.”

Buy Will They Escape?

For more insight into these activities, check out our guides to virtual escape rooms and DIY escape rooms.

11. Powerhouse: 13 Teamwork Tactics that Build Excellence and Unrivaled Success by Kristine Lilly, Dr. John Gillis Jr. et al

Powerhouse

Via Amazon

Kristine Lilly played for the US Women’s National Soccer Team for over two decades. In Powerhouse, she teams up with an executive management consultant to apply the lessons learned on the field to the business world. Powerhouse presents tactics to strengthen teamwork and build camaraderie even in high pressure, competitive environments. The book handles topics such as generating team chemistry, aligning members towards a central goal, and working with international teammates.

Notable Quote: “Teams flourish in a competitive environment, where positive peer pressure drives each team member to improve their individual performance. IN this kind of space, individual improvement benefits overall team achievement by encouraging all team members to increase their standards and contribution to the team.”

Buy Powerhouse.

12. The Best Team Wins: The New Science of High Performance by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton

The Best Team Wins

Via Amazon

The Best Team Wins outlines the qualities and behaviors that lead to above-average performance on teams. The authors collected and analyzed thousands of employee engagement surveys and pulled patterns from the results. The findings inspired the “Five Disciplines of Team Leaders,” which include empathizing with multiple generations and creating alignment around customers. The book centers on what actions managers can take to make departments more conducive to teamwork. Using research insights and relevant anecdotes, The Best Team Wins presents a practical guide to motivating individuals towards harmony and group achievement.

Notable Quote: “The bottom line is that no matter what experiments an organization conducts with operating structure, sophisticated collaboration tools, or physical environment, there is no skirting the fact that a manager’s soft skills are vital in driving high performance and real teamwork.”

Buy The Best Team Wins.

13. Teamwork Isn’t My Thing, and I Don’t Like to Share! by Julia Cook and Kelsey De Weerd

Teamwork isn't my thing

Via Amazon

Learning the principles of teamwork at a young age enables folks to collaborate more effortlessly later in life. Teamwork Isn’t My Thing, and I Don’t Like to Share! is one of the best books about teamwork for kids. The picture book tells the story of a little boy named RJ whose parents and teachers tell him he needs to share and be a better team player. RJ thinks that because is on a soccer team, his teamwork is fine as is. However, readers and RJ will both learn that teamwork means more than just belonging to a team. This book makes the concept of collaboration accessible and appealing to grade school students.

Notable Quote: “I don’t want to be on a team,”I said to my teacher. “I just want to work by myself!” “RJ,” she said, “When you work well with others, you can get so much more done!” Besides, you need to learn to share responsibilities.”

Buy Teamwork Isn’t My Thing, and I Don’t Like to Share!

14. Together Is Better: A Little Book of Inspiration by Simon Sinek

Together is better

Via Amazon

Together Is Better is one of the rare teamwork books that both children and adults can enjoy. Written by motivational guru Simon Sinek, the book tells the tale of three school children who stand up to the “playground king,” and set off to find a better playground for themselves and their peers. Each of the three protagonists represents professionals at a different career stage.

The book emphasizes the power of relationships and the need for purpose and passion in life’s pursuits. The story contains many motivational aphorisms that resonate with adults. Children might not understand the full weight behind the words, however the prose is simple and the illustrations are sure to hold younger audiences’ attention.

Notable Quote: “Leadership is not about being in charge. Leadership is about taking care of those in your charge.”

Buy Together Is Better.

Conclusion

Teamwork is not a skill that comes naturally to all employees. If team members struggle to collaborate, then reading teamwork books can help them develop and operate more effectively. Even workers with strong soft skills can benefit from reading this genre, since they are likely to encounter colleagues with whom they do not share chemistry at some point in their careers.

Leaders can also benefit from books on teamwork, as these works help managers more constructively bond and guide their groups. While picking up a book alone might not make teams instantly meld instantly, reading is a good starting point for improving teamwork and developing company culture.

Next, check out our list of diversity and inclusion books and this list of ideas for team bonding.

FAQ: Teamwork books

Here are answers to common questions about teamwork books.

What are teamwork books?

Teamwork books are works that teach individuals the skills and mindsets needed to work well with colleagues. These books cover competencies like delegation, communication, and servant leadership.

What are the best teamwork books?

The best books on teamwork offer suggestions for how to handle specific situations that arise during collaboration. For example, how to unite siloed teammates or how to advocate for underrepresented groups.

Some good teamwork books include:

  • The Power of a Positive Team by Jon Gordon
  • The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player by John C. Maxwell
  • The Ideal Team Player by Patrick M. Lencioni
  • Help the Helper by Kevin Pritchard and John Eliot
  • The Best Team Wins by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton

As the business landscape evolves, new authors keep releasing updated advice on the concept of teamwork. Reading the genre consistently helps you to become a more knowledgeable, empathetic, and effective colleague.

Why should you read teamwork books?

Teamwork is a massive topic, and no team is completely alike. Each group has its own idiosyncrasies and unique challenges. Reading books on teamwork helps you hone essential collaboration skills, and also offers perspectives that can help foster team harmony.

What is the difference between team building books and teamwork books?

Both categories touch on similar subjects. Team building books tend to target team formation, while teamwork books focus more on the act of collaboration.

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Author: Angela Robinson

Team building content expert. Angela has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and worked as a community manager with Yelp to plan events for businesses.

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