The books that resonated with me in 2023

Michal Vallo
3 min readJan 16, 2024


One of my routines is to read the books. I read multiple times those interesting or related to my work. I include new ones, too. Around 25 per year. I will share those 10+1, which resonated with me the most than others and perhaps why. Grouped thematically, and with no order in particular.

1. Good Leaders Ask Great Questions — John C. Maxwell
It is not easy to get inside of situations and problems and intervene while not micromanaging. Many good ideas here.

2. The Motive — Patrick M. Lencioni
A missing stone in a puzzle when I work with managerial teams. Why did you become a leader?

3. Thinking in Systems — Donella H. Harnish
Our team and organizations are part of the greater system. Know the whole picture firsthand.

4. Elon Musk — Walter Isaacson
Dream, think big, learn fanatically, and act accordingly. Challenge the status quo — anytime and in everything.

5. AI 2041 — Kai-Fu Lee, Chen Quifan
Great view into the possibilities and possible challenges AI development brings to us, for individuals, for work, and for societies. Many examples are destructive, being on high alert is good for a reason.

6. A New Way to Think — Roger L. Martin
Instead of applying miraculous frameworks, think holistically about strategy, customers, and systems. Ask good questions. The world is dynamic, static plans usually do not work.

7. Sebedestrukce západu 2.0 (The Self-destruction of the West 2.0), Václav Klaus at alumni
A collection of essays highlighting how the virus of woke and so-called “liberal democracy” poisoned our Western society. Ideation of what might be done.

8. Boss Babiš — Jaroslav Kmenta
In reflection of the Czech presidential election, there couldn’t be more dirt on one candidate. In an attempt to paint him black, educated readers will see the problem is rather the author and the forces behind him. Good insight into some aspects of big business and connection with politics.

9. The House on Mango Street — Sandra Cisneros
A powerful story similar to Exupéry’s Little Prince. Banned from US school libraries due to Woke. I read through to understand what might be the cause, to find a masterpiece about life. This book is for early teenagers.

10. The Book of Hope — Jane Goodall, Douglas Abrams
Human interaction with nature or endangered species deteriorated dramatically, as lived by famous naturalist. Including examples of positive formation of youth attitude to deliver good change.

Special Bonus
11. Beer, Weapons, and Curd Cheese: Entrepreneurs of Interwar Czechoslovakia in the Whirlwind of Conjunctures and Crises (in Czech) — Drahomír Jančík, Barbora Štollerová

In addition to the famous Tomáš Bata, many other equally elite businessmen worked here. The book offers a fascinating insight into how managers of the time approached business, international expansion, the company’s culture, and how they looked after their people. And how they engaged in politics or the public good as they faced the difficulties of political transitions, inflation, crises, shortages, and wars.

Let me know your top picks.

About the author: Michal Vallo dedicates to building human learning organizations as a precondition for Agile adoption. He shares his experience with HR departments and managers who are in desperate need of radical innovation. He has experience from both sides, which led him to create better recruitment practices and the course Agile Recruiter. Michal helps managers to understand agile techniques, benefit from their adoption and consequently radically improve organizational performance. Feel free to contact him if you need help with your HR department or agilization of your organization.



Michal Vallo

Building human organizations ( Chair in Agilia Conference / Agile Management Congress - inspiring people w/ new ideas to grow their business.