Management is no joke. Great managers know that in order to excel, they must exhibit above par communication skills, demonstrate a thorough understanding of business concepts, and also know how to effectively manage people. Management isn’t for everyone, that’s for sure. Thankfully, there are plentiful resources that exist for the sole purpose of helping managers go from good to great. Today, we’re covering the top 10 books on management, plus a few bonus titles. These are essential reads for any current or future manager.
No time to waste – let’s dive into the top books on management! Books are not listed in any particular order.
Top Books on Management
How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie
This is a classic that continues to withstand the test of time. Published in the 1930s, How to Win Friends and Influence People is all about working with people, an art that anyone in management must learn. Given the title, you may consider passing over this one. Our advice: don’t. It’s chock full of principles that will influence the way you manage and lead your teams to success.
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High Output Management – Andrew S. Grove
Andy Grove was Intel’s CEO during its hay-day. Needless to say, he knows a thing or two about successful management. High Output Management is known for taking an engineering-esque approach to management, looking at “management” as a hard skill with measurable objectives, results, and outcomes. One of the key tenets of the book is that managers don’t solely exist to manage people, but to maximize output from their teams. The book goes into the practical details of what great management can (and should) look like. If you are looking to move from low output management into high output management, this is the book for you.
The Effective Executive – Peter F. Drucker
Peter Drucker is often known as the founder of modern management, so it’s no surprise that one of his books landed on the list of top books on management. The premise of The Effective Executive is that every leader/manager/executive needs to be effective, and that effectiveness can be learned. The book contains a roadmap of sorts for how to do just that. Quite a bit of the content within the covers deals with the concept of focus: the importance of focusing on the right things, and how to maximize effectiveness on those key areas of focus.
The New One Minute Manager – Kenneth Blanchard, Spencer Johnson
Simple is the name of the game with management legend Ken Blanchard. The book is written in parable or story form, making it easy to digest. The New One Minute Manager focuses on teaching managers how to both achieve remarkable results while building teams that are fulfilled in their work. It is not the comprehensive book on management by any means, but rather, a run-through of the basic principles. The book is a valuable guide to be able to refer to over the course of your journey in management.
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion – Robert B. Cialdini
Every manager needs to be able to influence his or her team – otherwise, not much would get done. In Influence, Robert Cialdini details the psychology behind why people say “yes.” The book contains 6 principles to help managers become effective at the art of persuasion. The book will increase your ability to motivate action and change behavior in your team.
The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups – Daniel Coyle
The Culture Code is a case study in understanding how great teams work. The secret (or “code”) as detailed in the book is all about team culture. Culture is the difference between teams that thrive and those that merely survive. In the book, Coyle goes into why it is essential to create a culture of safety and trust within your team. Teams with a healthy culture will be more productive and, ultimately, more successful.
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team – Patrick Lencioni
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team is a classic management book that reveals the 5 key elements that must be in place in order for teams to work well together. Without each of the elements, dysfunctional teams emerge. If you want to build high-functioning teams, this book is a must-read.
The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership – John C. Maxwell
While not strictly a book on management, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership is chock full of principles that will prove invaluable in your management journey. Teams rise and fall on good managers, and Maxwell shares 21 laws that will help you become a better manager and leader.
First, Break All the Rules – Marcus Buckingham
First, Break All the Rules is about getting world-class performance from your people. In the book, Buckingham offers that the best managers often need to break the rules of management in order to create an environment where employees can thrive and perform at a high level. His advice is often counter-intuitive to standard management techniques, but his methods have been proven to get results.
Leadership: The Power of Emotional Intelligence – Daniel Goleman
Daniel Goleman is a leading psychologist that writes about emotional intelligence as a distinguishing factor in determining excellent leaders and managers. The book acts as a guide to help managers effectively lead and motivate people.
Bonus Management Books!
These are 3 books that don’t neatly fit into the category of management books, but we had to include them because they will help you become a better manager and leader.
Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others – Jim Collins
Good to Great is all about going from good to great, whether a company, team, or leader/manager. The principles in the book are based on thorough and comprehensive research by the author. If you remember anything from the book, remember this: good is the enemy of great.
Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. – Brené Brown
Brené Brown is world-renowned for her work in psychology, and in Dare to Lead, brings her groundbreaking research into the leadership space. The book is all about leading with courage and vulnerability, and how that creates an environment of trust within organizations.
The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization – Peter M. Senge
The hypothesis put forth in The Fifth Discipline is that an organization’s only source of competitive edge is its ability to continually learn and transform itself AKA the ‘learning organization.’ This practice carries over into management and leadership.
We hope these top books on management can help transform the way you manage, and as a byproduct, increase the strength and efficiency of your team(s). If you know a book that you think deserves to be on this list of top books on management, write us a note! In addition, we offer manager training to help transform the way you think, operate, and manage. Get in touch to start the conversation!