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Books on Leadership & Management

Books on Leadership & Management

Books on leadership and management are a dime a dozen.  The 10 best leadership books list below, however, is meant to provide you with a list of books which have withstood the test of time and have been utilized over multiple generations.  The best books on leadership and management are the ones that have withstood the test of time and are relevant today as much as they were the year they were published.

With the proliferation of internet access and the availability of advice on leadership and management, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of information.  While not all information and advice is equal, it still holds true that written and published works by renown publishers generally have a higher level of authority and quality to them.

As-such, when researching effective tactics and practices on leadership and management, you should look towards the sources with the highest quality.  The books below offer guidance, advice, and real-world solutions to your management and leadership questions.

Leaders Eat Last – Simon Sinek

Simon Sinek, a bestselling author of Start With Why and Together is Better offers an in-depth look into how successful organizations and great leaders create an environment where individuals work together to accomplish extraordinary things.

Sinek discusses how great organizations create and foster an environment of trust and collaboration and how this environment is fostered from the top-down.

The One Minute Manager – Kenneth Blanchard & Spencer Johnson

The One Minute Manager sets forth three simple, yet effective techniques towards managing.  One-minute goal setting, one-minute praising, and one-minute reprimands.  A short and quick read, this book is essential for anyone looking to take their management skills to the next level.

The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done – Peter Drucker

Peter Drucker reminds us that the measure of an executive is in their ability to “get the right things done.”  This usually involves doing what has been overlooked as well as avoiding what is unnecessary.

Drucker also lists five practices essential to business effectiveness:

  • Managing time
  • Choosing what to contribute to the organization
  • Knowing where and how to mobilize strength for best effect
  • Setting the right priorities
  • Knitting all of them together with effective decision-making

First, Break All The Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently – Jim Harter

From a revolutionary study of more than 80,000 managers, Jim Harter reveals what exactly the greatest managers do differently from the rest.  This is definitely a must read for anyone in a management or leadership position.

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You – John Maxwell

John Maxwell provides 21 easy to follow and understand principles on leadership, that if taken correctly can help you to be a more effective leader.

The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t – Robert Sutton

Unfortunately, assholes can be found in just about every company.  Sutton’s book describes in detail on how to eliminate those negative influences, how to ensure that your own “inner jerk” is contained, and how to create and foster an environment of inclusivity.

Focus on Them: Become the Manager Your People Need You to Be

Management strategies have evolved and in recent years a renewed focus on people managers has come to light.  In Focus on Them, we see why employees leave managers and what steps those managers can take to improve morale and retention.

Through accountability, communication, collaboration, engagement, and listening, you can invest in your own development and boost the careers of your direct reports.

Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity – Kim Scott

Kim Scott, an executive at both Google and Apple, worked with a team to develop a class on how to be a good boss.  In Radical Candor, she espouses a simple concept, to be a good boss you have to both Care Personally and Challenge Directly.

This simple concept can help you to create a culture of praise and criticism, build a cohesive team, and achieve results you’re proud of.

Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World – Adam Grant

While focusing on both corporate and non-corporate environments, Adam Grant explores how originality can spark innovation.  Originals looks to how allowing and fostering dissent within any organization can be beneficial for all those involved.

The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels – Michael Watkins

An essential read for all managers and leaders, but especially so for newer managers.  Michael Watkins offers proven strategies for moving successfully into a new role and how to ensure success. 

Reading these books will definitely help you become a great leader and manager.  No-one is a perfect manager, but we should all be striving to get better day-in and day-out.  

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