Let’s explore 6 of the very best management books. Now the concept of management is often very misunderstood. Some think that being a manager means you don’t have to do the real work. Some believe that becoming a manager is simply an opportunity to increase one’s salary, move up in the organization, take on a little more responsibility, get a new title, and ultimately move their career forward and earn more money.
Of course, the truth of the matter is that great managers are highly skilled at what they do. They play a critical role in their organization because they multiply the performance of everybody else around them. So if you’re interested in becoming a manager or a new manager, or even an experienced manager, the books in this list can help you upgrade your skills and become more effective at managing other people.
Best Management Books
“The Making of a Manager” by Julie Zhou. Many people that end up becoming managers often never intended to join management. They joined a team; the team started to grow. Somebody recognized that they had some leadership potential, and they got promoted into becoming a manager.
And, of course, this presents a self-explanatory challenge, and that is they need to figure out the responsibilities of a manager. They need to develop the skills required to be a more effective manager. And that might include things like how to build trust with a team, focus on the first few months, and get better results from other people. Now, in my opinion, this is one of the very best resources for new managers. It’s very actionable.
It’s very approachable, and it covers all of the essential topics that new managers need to master if they want to be more effective at managing their team. And while it’s certainly written for new managers, it also covers many topics that I’m sure even more experienced managers would enjoy if they’re looking to upgrade their skills and become even more effective at managing people. So if you’re brand new to management or looking for a great all-around resource, I highly recommend you pick up a copy of this book.
This is the digital marketing book that I most often recommend to anybody starting a new business or launching a new product or launching a new service, anything like that because the number one reason why new ventures like this often fail is they aren’t able to attract enough customers. This book is all about making sure that you have an obvious strategy for attracting customers.
The book covers 19 different marketing channels that you can use to attract customers. So if you’re at all interested in making sure that you have enough customers, maybe you’re launching a new product or new service, something like that, I highly recommend this book.
“Leaders Eat Last” by Simon Sinek. There are two kinds of dangers that people face when they’re working inside an organization. There are outside dangers, and there are inside dangers. When it comes to outside dangers, this would include direct competition, market conditions, and even alternative solutions.
And when it comes to inside dangers, this would include personal conflict, intimidation, and even humiliation. This book explains how great managers build a strong circle of safety within their organization.
And the goal here is to eliminate, or at least greatly reduce the inside dangers so that team members can focus more of their time and energy on addressing the outside dangers as individuals in the organization and, of course, as team members, by working much more collaboratively with other members of the team.
“Measure What Matters” by John Doerr. As an organization grows in size, it can become much more difficult to establish and communicate the organization’s strategic goals. As more and more bureaucracy creeps in, progress can slow. It can be harder for teams and even individual contributors to have a clear sense of what they should be focused on to move the overall organization forward much more effectively.
So this book is about a better system for setting and executing the strategic goals of an organization. It’s called Objectives & Key Results, also known as OKR’s. And this is a proven system used by Intel, Google, and even by organizations like the Gates Foundation.
So if you’re looking for a system to improve transparency, collaboration, and communication within a business, and if you want to take a larger organization and have it operate much more like a nimble startup, where everybody understands what they should be doing to move the organization forward, then I highly recommend that you pick up a copy of this book and that you use OKR’s within your own organization.
“Multipliers” by Liz Wiseman and Greg McKeown. At a high level, there are two distinct approaches to managing a team. The first is to be the genius that everybody turns to when they’re in a bind. And the second approach is to focus on unlocking the genius in everybody else on the team and allowing them to take more control and be more capable.
This book is all about focusing on that second approach. It’s about empowering others and focusing your time and energy on making sure that they’re able to accomplish as much as possible. So you’re looking for ways to make them smarter, more capable, and more effective, both individually and as a team.
So if you’re at all struggling with empowering others, or if you want to become a multiplier, or if you’re concerned that you might be an accidental diminisher, this book can help make sure that your efforts are focused on empowering others and allowing their genius to shine through, so the entire team can be more effective.
“Your Brain at Work” by David Rock. More and more businesses today rely on their people’s focus and creativity, yet, more than ever before, we have to deal with distractions and stress and other challenges that we didn’t have to face just a few short decades ago.
And so this book is about how to help others work more effectively by understanding how the brain works. It starts with many practical tips on improving your own personal productivity and focus and creativity. Still, it goes on to explain how, as a manager, you can unlock these capabilities in everyone on your team, and at the same time, make it easier for them to collaborate so that they can work together much more effectively.
So if you’re interested in understanding how the brain operates so that you can make your team much more effective, then I highly recommend you pick up a copy of this book.