Books about management are one of the best sources of knowledge and inspiration. While nothing can replace work experience in managing other people and being a leader, books can give you new ideas, help to solve problems, and give a new perspective on old concepts.
As American children’s author, Dr. Seuss wrote in one of his books, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Books help to discover new things, empower, and inspire to do things you’re too afraid to do.
And it’s the same with books about management. If written by experts from the field of project management and leadership, they can be your guide on how to do your job right, and gain new skills.
To help you grow, we’ve created a list of the best books about management. They are all timeless titles, highly-rated by readers, and are filled with wisdom. Read, learn, and get inspired!
1. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t by Jim Collins
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This book addresses a single question: can a good company become a great company, and if so, how? Based on a five-year research project comparing companies that made the leap to those that did not, Good to Great shows that greatness is not primarily a function of circumstance but largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline. This book discusses concepts like Level 5 Leadership; First Who, Then What (first get the right people on the bus, then figure out where to drive it); the Hedgehog Concept, and the Flywheel.
The book is filled with research examples and stories serving as case studies.
Best for: those who want to transform their business, become better leaders
2. Winning by Jack Welch with Suzie Welch
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John Francis “Jack” Welch Jr. was an American business executive, author, and chemical engineer. He was chairman and CEO of General Electric between 1981 and 2001. His book is a must-read for every manager.
Inspired by his audiences and their hunger for straightforward guidance, Welch has written both a philosophical and pragmatic book. It clearly lays out the answers to the most difficult questions people face both on and off the job.
Winning is a biography and a teaching manual focused on managing people within a corporate setting. It teaches how to define realistic goals, mission and values, and how to manage a big company. Based on his real experience, Welch guides readers in a practical way on how to lead and manage with real-life experience. It’s a great insight into the corporate world of the giant – GE. Make sure to read it if you’re looking for a guide that would help you guide your career and career of other people.
Best for: current and wannabe managers no matter the level of experience
3. The New One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson
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This book is a new version of The One Minute Manager. While the principles it lays out are timeless, our world has changed drastically since the book’s publication. The rise of technology, global flattening of markets, instant communication, and pressures on corporate workforces to do more with less resources, funding, and staff, have all revolutionized the world in which we live and work.
Now, Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson have written The New One Minute Manager to introduce the book’s powerful, important lessons to a new generation. In their concise, easy-to-read story, they teach readers three very practical secrets about leading others—and explain why these techniques continue to work so well.
Best for: managers who want to learn how to solve problems and improve team management skills
4. Hard Things About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
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#1 Best Seller in Starting a Business on Amazon
Ben Horowitz, cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of Silicon Valley’s most respected and experienced entrepreneurs, offers essential advice on building and running a startup—practical wisdom for managing the toughest problems business school doesn’t cover, based on his popular ben’s blog.
Filled with his trademark humor and straight talk, The Hard Thing About Hard Things is invaluable for veteran entrepreneurs as well as those aspiring to their own new ventures, drawing from Horowitz’s personal and often humbling experiences.
It’s one of the best books about management as it’s an honest account of what it really means to be a business owner, what are the problems, obstacles, and challenges.
Best for: people stepping into the management world, people wanting to find out about the real aspects of business management
5. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen
Getting Things Done is one of the best books about management and productivity every leader should read. David Allen shows how to organize your work and personal life in a practical and comprehensive way. His system of GTD is one of the most popular productivity methods used by millions of people in the entire world.
The book was first published in 2001 and now, David Allen has rewritten the book from start to finish, tweaking his classic text with important perspectives on the new workplace, and adding material that will make the book fresh and relevant for years to come. This new edition of Getting Things Done can help leaders enhance time management skills and show how to organize work.
Best for: all managers and leaders who want to improve productivity and become better at time management
🎧 Listen to our interview with David Allen on Stay on Top of Your Work Podcast!
6. Only the Paranoid Survive: How to Exploit the Crisis Points That Challenge Every Company by Andre S. Grove
Lessons from the CEO of INTEL Corporation
Under Andy Grove’s leadership, Intel became the world’s largest chip maker and one of the most admired companies in the world. In Only the Paranoid Survive, Grove reveals his strategy for measuring the nightmare moment every leader dreads – when massive change occurs and a company must, virtually overnight, adapt or fall by the wayside in a new way.
In his book, Grove described the struggles that he faced while working at Intel. It’s a great book on strategic leadership with practical advice, written with a realistic approach. You can learn from it how to assess the potential of upcoming innovations and how to use them to your advantage.
Best for: managers and leaders working in the technology business
7. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
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The book is an international bestseller. It is one of the most popular and highly-rated books on self-development. Why is it good for managers and leaders? Because it shows how to live with fairness, integrity, service, and human dignity – principles that give us the security to adapt to change and the wisdom and power to take advantage of the opportunities that change creates.
👉 You can also get a Personal Notebook as complementary to the book.
Best for: managers and leaders who want to work on their self-awareness
8. Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio
#1 Bestseller in Organizational Learning on Amazon
Ray Dalio is one of the world’s most successful investors and entrepreneurs. In the book, he shares the unconventional principles that he’s developed, refined, and used over the past forty years to create unique results in both life and business — and which any person or organization can adopt to help achieve their goals.
In Principles, Dalio shares what he’s learned over the course of his remarkable career. He argues that life, management, economics, and investing can all be systemized into rules and understood like machines. The book’s hundreds of practical lessons, which are built around his cornerstones of “radical truth” and “radical transparency,” include Dalio laying out the most effective ways for individuals and organizations to make decisions, approach challenges, and build strong teams. He also describes the innovative tools the firm uses to bring an idea meritocracy to life
Best for: managers and leaders who want to learn how to successfully achieve goals
9. Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance
Journalist Ashlee Vance provides the first inside look into the extraordinary life and times of Silicon Valley’s most audacious entrepreneur. Written with exclusive access to Musk, his family and friends, the book traces the entrepreneur’s journey from a rough upbringing in South Africa to the pinnacle of the global business world. Vance spent over 40 hours in conversation with Musk and interviewed close to 300 people to tell the tumultuous stories of Musk’s world-changing companies: PayPal, Tesla Motors, SpaceX and SolarCity, and to characterize a man who has renewed American industry and sparked new levels of innovation while making plenty of enemies along the way.
The book can inspire you to build a product from scratch and show that it’s possible to achieve success. From this read, you will learn how to overcome unexpected problems, what it means to fight until the end against all odds, and what to do when the window of time is narrowing and you need to complete your work so your efforts are not wasted.
It’s one of the best books about management, leadership, and what it means to run a business.
Best for: every manager and business owner who wants to learn about perseverance
10. How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Since its release in 1936, How to Win Friends and Influence People has sold more than 15 million copies. Dale Carnegie’s first book is a timeless bestseller, packed with rock-solid advice that has carried thousands of now famous people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives.
Learn the six ways to make people like you, the twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking, and the nine ways to change them without arousing resentment. This one of the best books about management offers simple advice and strategies that are applicable to and helpful in all aspects of life. The book holds the keys to effective leadership.
Best for: learning how to become aware of your feelings and feelings of others; learning how to communicate with others
How to Manage Your Team With Management Books?
Reading a book is one thing. But implementing the knowledge that’s contained in it is another aspect. There are 3 important elements you need to take into account:
- Read with comprehension: you can only become a better leader by understanding what your reading is about. Focus, take notes, highlight important passages, read the sentences or paragraphs as many times as you need to fully understand what the author means. Write down ideas that come to your mind, keywords. Treat reading as a class during which you can gain new skills.
- Make a plan: after you’re done with the reading, put the book away, give yourself time to think it over, and see what comes to your mind. It will help you clear thoughts and put ideas in order, and in the right perspective. Then, you can start working on a strategic plan and tailor it to your and team members’s personality, and management practices.
- Revise and reevaluate ideas: management is a constant process that requires twitches and fixes. That’s why you need to review and update your plan and strategy. Especially that today’s world you need to keep up with the fast pace of change.
These three elements together create a unified process that can help you get the most out of the books you’ve read. And if you’ve read many of them, you can always mix ideas and concepts to see what works best for you.
Books are a great source of knowledge that is available for everyone at a little price, and there is plenty to choose from. The possibilities and opportunities that books give you are endless!
What Is Your Favorite Book About Management?
From all the books about management that have been published so far, it may not be easy to choose the best ones. Of course, everyone will differently relate to each book. It’s important to choose those positions from your reading list that appeal most to you.
What is your favorite book about management you’d recommend other people? Let us know in the comments! 📚
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