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Author Talks

A series of interviews with authors of books on business and beyond

Author Talks features insightful conversations with authors on crucial management topics including leading through a crisis, unleashing innovation, achieving work-life balance, fine-tuning communication skills, coping with organizational culture shifts, and more. For this month’s best-selling business books prepared exclusively for McKinsey Publishing by NPD and a collection of books by McKinsey authors, visit McKinsey on Books.

Leadership & Organization | Personal Development | Communication | Innovative Thinking | Talent, Culture, & Change Management | History | Finance & Economics



Author Talks: Indra Nooyi on leadership, life, and crafting a better future

– The trailblazing former CEO of PepsiCo discusses the events that shaped her life and offers a blueprint for work–family conundrums.
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Leadership & Organization


Author Talks: Power, for all

– Having power can lead to hubris and self-focus. But it doesn’t have to. By understanding power, we can use it constructively.

Author Talks: Michael Useem on leading with an edge

– How can leaders gain an elusive edge over competitors in a world turned upside down? Michael Useem draws lessons from ten executives to build a road map for mastering leadership.

Author Talks: Hubert Joly on unleashing human magic

– The former chairman and CEO of Best Buy describes the leadership principles required to thrive in capitalism’s next era.

Author Talks: David Fubini on hidden truths for CEOs

– In his new book, David Fubini provides a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to be a superior leader.

Author Talks: Dambisa Moyo on how boards can work better

– In her new book, Dambisa Moyo explores the role of corporate boards in the 21st century and how they need to adapt to greater demands.

Author Talks: Somebody tell a joke

– Two Stanford faculty members explain why we need more humor at work.

Personal Development


Author Talks: Kristin Neff on harnessing fierce self-compassion

– Kristin Neff discusses how women can balance tender self-acceptance with fierce action to claim their power—in the workplace and beyond.

Author Talks: Shankar Vedantam on the power and paradox of self-deception

– The host of Hidden Brain on NPR discusses the lies we all tell ourselves and the role they play in easing everyday life.

Author Talks: Nicolai Tillisch on how to frame ambition (and not let it frame you)

– Years of coaching leaders led to an ah-ha moment: ambition can undermine even the most successful people. The challenge is more complex than work–life balance.

Author Talks: Poet Maggie Smith on loss, creativity, and change

– In her latest book, Maggie Smith writes about new beginnings as opportunities for transformation.



Author Talks: Ella Bell Smith on why race and class are wedges between women

– Addressing gender alone won’t help women rise to the top.

Author Talks: Vanessa Bohns on our hidden potential to persuade

– Social psychologist Vanessa Bohns discusses why failing to recognize our ability to influence can lead us to miss opportunities or misuse power.

Author Talks: Karin M. Reed on virtual meetings

– In her new book, Karin M. Reed dives into our sudden shift to virtual meetings—and how to make the most of them.

Author Talks: Susan McPherson on building meaningful relationships—in business and in life

– In a new book, Susan McPherson offers a road map to unlocking a more meaningful life and enduring relationships.

Author Talks: Denise Woods on the power of voice

– In her new book, voice and dialect coach Denise Woods offers tools to help readers articulate clearly, become powerful public speakers, and gain confidence in any situation.

Author Talks: Fred Dust on making conversations count

– In his new book, designer Fred Dust offers a blueprint for having more productive, deliberate, and purposeful conversations.

McKinsey on Books

Explore this month’s best-selling business books prepared exclusively for McKinsey Publishing by NPD, and a collection of books by McKinsey authors on the management issues that matter, from leadership and talent to digital transformation, corporate finance, and more.

Innovative Thinking


Author Talks: Parag Khanna on the forces creating a new geography of opportunity

– Parag Khanna provides a vision of the next phase of human civilization—one that is both mobile and sustainable.

Author Talks: April Rinne on finding calm and meaning in a world of flux

– When change is the only constant, a mindset shift can keep you grounded.

Author Talks: Gillian Tett on looking at the world like an anthropologist

– Gillian Tett, the Financial Times markets and finance columnist and US managing editor, presents a radically different strategy for making sense of the business world today: anthropology.

Author Talks: Angus Fletcher on the power of literature

– In a new book, Angus Fletcher examines literary inventions through the ages to show how writers have created technical breakthroughs.

Talent, Culture, & Change Management


Author Talks: Tsedal Neeley on why remote work is here to stay—and how to get it right

– In a new book, Tsedal Neeley details how organizations can build and lead a culture of trust and inclusivity in a remote-work environment.

Author Talks: Deanna Mulligan on smart skill building

– The former chair and CEO of Guardian Insurance offers a theory of change for those hiring, retaining, and retraining the next generation of tech-savvy employees.

Author Talks: Gary Hamel and Michele Zanini on ‘humanocracy’

– Bureaucracy actually served us well in the past. But the nature of work has changed, and management needs to change too.

Author Talks: Sandra J. Sucher on the power of trust

– Trust is the most powerful force underlying the success of every business—but it can be shattered in an instant.

Author Talks: Joann S. Lublin on lessons for working mothers, their families, and their employers

– Joann S. Lublin looks at the trade-offs mothers are too often forced to make between work and family and the root causes, including the dearth of large-scale paid parental leave.



Author Talks: Jeffrey E. Garten on the meeting that transformed the global economy

– In August 1971, a secret meeting at Camp David transformed the global monetary system—and here’s what it means today and for the future.

Author Talks: Michelle Duster on the legacy of Ida B. Wells

– In a new book, Michelle Duster celebrates the life of Ida B. Wells, a journalist, suffragist, and antilynching crusader—and Duster’s great-grandmother.

Author Talks: Mia Bay on traveling Black

– In a new book, Mia Bay explores when, how, and why racial restrictions took shape and what it was like to live with them.

Author Talks: McKinsey Global Institute’s Peter Gumbel on searching for identity

– In his new book, Peter Gumbel grapples with the complexity of belonging in an increasingly global world.

Finance & Economics


Author Talks: Dorothy A. Brown on the whiteness of wealth

– In her new book, the Emory University law professor explains why US tax policy disadvantages Black Americans—and how to make the system more equitable.

Author Talks: Gottfried Leibbrandt on why cash may be a thing of the past

– The digital revolution in payments is under way. What does that mean for how we think about payments and the way that money moves?

Author Talks: Saadia Madsbjerg on making money moral

– In their new book, Judith Rodin and Saadia Madsbjerg offer a road map to making the financial market a force for good.

Author Talks: Gregory B. Fairchild on the next frontier in racial equality

– In his new book, Gregory Fairchild shows the power of treating underserved communities as emerging markets.


Business Book of the Year Award 2021

This annual award, promoted by the Financial Times and McKinsey & Company, aims to identify the book that provides the most compelling and enjoyable insight into modern business issues.

This month’s best-selling business books

Explore the latest rankings of best-selling business books in the US, prepared exclusively for McKinsey Publishing by NPD BookScan.


We would like to thank, first and foremost, the authors featured in our Author Talks series for their expert insights. And we want to acknowledge the many direct contributors who offered vital energy and expertise to the development, editing, copy editing, fact checking, design, production, and dissemination of Author Talks

Series Editor
Eleni Kostopoulos

Series Producer
Charlie Matthes

Within McKinsey Global Publishing, thanks to Julia Arnous, Mike Borruso, Elana Brown, Vanessa Burke, Heather Byer, Andrew Cha, Nancy Cohn, Victor Cuevas, Roger Draper, Nicole Esquerre, Tom Fleming, Torea Frey, Roberta Fusaro, Paromita Ghosh, Mona Hamouly, Gwyn Herbein, Lauren Holmes, Drew Holzfeind, Justine Jablonska, Steve Lackey, Simon London, Julie Macias, LaShon Malone, Philip Mathew, Janet Michaud, Pamela Norton, Kathleen O’Leary, Katrina Parker, Kanika Punwani, Lucia Rahilly, Charmaine Rice, Dana Sand, Astrid Sandoval, Katie Shearer, Myron Shurgan, Venetia Simcock, Sneha Vats, Mark Staples, Barbara Tierney, Sarah Thuerk, Nathan Wilson, and Belinda Yu.