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55 Incredible Books by Incredible Women!

For over a decade I’ve been coaching fascinating clients who have been at the top of their field – or on their way. And over this entire time, around 70% of my clients have been powerful women.

So, I’ve long been fascinated by what it takes for women to succeed in business and life.

My female clients include a world-famous martial artist, a coach to leaders at Microsoft, several military veterans, a former Royal Canadian Mounted Police Officer and a former surveillance operative. They include a former teacher of negotiation at Stanford, one of the first women leaders in the oil industry and the former director at an international investment bank, with a PhD from Cambridge University. They also include the founder of a non-profit that has provided clean, safe drinking water to over 100,000 people in Africa, the former Vice President of a billion dollar company and a leader at one of the world’s top futurism conferences.

I’m constantly recommending great books to my clients. A few years ago, I created a reading list of my 104 favorite books on Coaching. More recently, I created an updated list of my 52 favorite books on Exponential Success.

Today, I’d like to share a list of 55 incredible books by incredible women. These are the books I have discussed most often with my clients – and gifted most often, too.


Mindset and Behavior

  • On Becoming Fearless…in Love, Work, and Life by Arianna Huffington – Arianna Huffington is a fascinating woman. She became president of the famed Cambridge University debating society at 21. And she’s been named by Forbes as one of the Most Influential Women in Media and the 52nd Most Powerful Woman in the World. She wrote this book when she noticed that that her teenage daughters were beginning to experience some of the same fears and doubts that had once held her back the most: How attractive am I? Do people like me? Do I dare speak up?

(1) How often do you get to do things you really like to do?

(2) How often do you find yourself actively looking forward to the day ahead?

(3) How often do you get so involved in what you’re doing you lose track of time?

(4) How often do you feel invigorated at the end of a long, busy day?

(5) How often do you feel an emotional high in your life?

  • Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes – one day her older sister commented on all of the amazing invitations Shonda was getting, with the words, “Who cares? You’re just going to say ‘no,’ anyway.” The words stung because they were true. Her ‘amazing’ life – with successful TV shows and a loving family – was also making her miserable. So, she committed to saying “yes” to everything for a whole year…

(1) The Gifts of Imperfection – summary: Be you
(2) Daring Greatly – summary: Be all in
(3) Rising Strong – summary: Fall. Get up. Try again.

Sales and Marketing

  • Women Don’t Ask: The High Cost of Avoiding Negotiation–and Positive Strategies for Change by Linda Babcock – the title says it all. Research shows that men are four times as likely to ask for higher pay than women with the same qualifications. This means a woman can sacrifice over half a million dollars in earnings by the end of her career. If you need to ask for money – for anything – this is a book worth reading.


  • Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott – Anne Lamott is a novelist and non-fiction writer, whose great book Bird by Bird teaches that to become a better writer, you have to write more. The problem, she says – having taught writing to hundreds of students – is that everyone wants to be published, but many don’t want to write. ​This little book will teach you how to write.


  • Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family by Condoleezza Rice – Condoleezza Ricewas the first female African-American Secretary of State and the first woman National Security Advisor to the President. She’s also a political scientist and a concert pianist. Both of her great, great grandmothers were slaves. And she didn’t learn to swim until she was 25 because when she was a child in Birmingham, Alabama, the public pools were closed by the ‘Commissioner of Public Safety,’ rather than give black people access.
  • Becoming by Michelle Obama – the first African American First Lady of the United States of America, she was a powerful advocate for women and girls in the US and around the world. She was also great at Carpool Karaoke! and

Can’t wait to read next…

  • Leadership: In Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin – Doris Kearns Goodwin has been studying the history of the Presidents of the United States for over 50 years. I’m fascinated by leadership, so when this book was published it immediately jumped to the top of my list.
  • Creating Money: Keys to Abundance by Sanaya Roman – I read a Forbes article where SARK highly recommended this book. She wrote: “Creating Money is about the energy of money, which is not addressed in other business books at all. I learned to generate significant, consistent revenue by reading and practicing with what’s in this book. I recommend this book in most of my 16 books, and highly recommend it to other women in business.”
  • Danielle: Chronicles of a Superheroine by Ray Kurzweil – what do you get when you cross the world’s foremost futurist with his wife, one of the top cartoonists? This is the story of a young girl who uses her intelligence and accelerating technology to solve humanity’s grandest challenges. I’m looking forward to reading this to my boys.

Love. Rich

Here’s a flavor of some the most amazing women I know who are my current clients, 4PC members and alumni:

  • ​Hayley Carr is the winner of 9 Karate world titles as a martial artist. She broke two world records and achieved her third dan black belt in record time.
  • Pam Dibbs coaches leaders at Microsoft and other Fortune 50 companies. She founded and has run the world’s best aviation consulting firm for over 25 years She’s has a very personal mission to help the elderly and terminally ill die with dignity.
  • Bay Quiney coaches leaders at the top US TV networks. She’s a former Royal Canadian Mounted Police Officer.
  • Karen Baker coaches NFL players and teaches the NFL. In her former career as a fundraiser she raised over half a billion dollars for good causes.
  • Giovanna Capozza is a former surveillance operative who later ran a business as a holistic health practitioner by word of mouth alone, for over a decade. She’s the lead Associate Coach at The Litvin Group.
  • Jeanine Becker was a teacher of negotiation at Stanford for over a decade. Within months of joining 4PC, she became a coach to leaders at The World Bank.
  • Allison Garner is a former engineer who was one of the first women leaders in the oil industry.
  • Kelly Childress is a former chaplain in the healthcare field. She’s a mediator who is called in to do some of most high impact and demanding coaching in the healthcare world – when there’s been a tragedy in a hospital.
  • Mandy Lehto is a former director at an international investment bank, with a PhD from Cambridge University.
  • Danielle Macleod is the former customer service director at Europe’s leading media company, where she was responsible for over 10,000 people.
  • Jen Gresham is raising $100 million dollars to retrain people in careers that will be obsolete in less than a decade. She’s a former Assistant Chief Scientist to the High Performance Wing of the Air Force. And a published poet. And a coach. And a mum.
  • Helen Appleby is teaching women executives the “Unwritten Rules” that will transform their careers. She’s a former Vice President of a billion dollar company. And she’s a professional coach. She went from making $20K a year to making $500K a year in her two years as a member of 4PC.
  • Kendra Cunov consults for leading companies such as Genentech. She pioneered cutting edge relation practices now taught by hundreds of practitioners across the globe.
  • Jenelle  runs a multi-million dollar consulting firm in the tech field. But her real mission is to make a radical difference to the future of health. She’s a high-performing athlete as well as a high impact coach.
  • Monique is an award-winning singer songwriter, whose third album debuted at #2 on the iTunes Jazz charts. Her one woman show won an award at The Hollywood Fringe Festival.
  • Evelyne was Europe’s premier Madonna impersonator and took her one woman show to the prestigious Edinburgh Festival. She now coaches executives in one of Britain’s top TV networks.
  • Christina is a leader at one of the world’s top futurism conferences. Her clients include executives at NASA.
  • One of my clients who wants to remain anonymous built a $30 million dollar company by the time she was 33.
  • Another client who wants to remain anonymous is a military veteran with a background in aerospace, who has had her exponential technology company valued at a billion dollars.


The artwork for this article is from a book by Lucy Beevor called “Amazing Women: 101 Lives to Inspire You.”

I love sharing resources and books that I love. Please note that the links in this article are my affiliate links. If you prefer not to use my affiliate links you can search for any of these titles directly where ever you purchase your books.

PS. Whenever you’re ready – here are 3 ways you can drastically increase your income and impact as a world-class coach… 

  1. Rich Litvin’s 1:1 Coaching Playbook: Learn my top 10 proven tools for coaching elite clients in this live training. Over 100 people joined me for our first live call – and all calls are recorded, so it’s not too late to join me…
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