Some people believe that being a manager means not having to do the real work. Others see the position as a chance for a pay raise. But of course, great managers are highly skilled at what they do, and they improve the performance of everyone around them.

So, let’s explore five of the best management books that can help you become a better manager. They cover essential topics, including:

  • How to get up and running as a new manager
  • How to help people develop and grow faster
  • What the best managers all have in common
  • How to unlock the full capabilities of your team
  • How to discover, attract, and recruit great people

Note: In addition to the best books for managers, you may also be interested in the best leadership books. They cover practical tips for how to make better decisions, how to inspire others, and how to create an effective work culture.

1. The Making Of A Manager by Julie Zhuo

The Making Of A Manager Book Cover
The Making Of A Manager by Julie Zhuo

Many new managers are surprised to find themselves in a leadership role. They didn’t set out to manage people and instead were promoted into the position as their team grew. So, one of the key challenges they face is getting clear on their new responsibilities and figuring out how to be effective in their role.

The Making Of A Manager is a practical guide to getting up and running as a new manager. It covers essential topics, including how to build trust within a team, what to focus on in the first few months, how to get better results from other people, and how to cope with increased responsibility. It’s a must-read for any new manager.

The Making Of A Manager is available from Amazon, Audible, and Apple Books.

2. The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stanier

The Coaching Habit Book Cover
The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stanier

As a manager, when a team member is facing a difficult challenge, it’s often tempting to jump in and offer our expertise or advice. In some cases, we may even want to take direct action to resolve the issue on our own. But of course, this approach almost always limits their growth and creates a reliance on us to solve future problems.

The Coaching Habit is about how to help people develop and grow by using a coaching mindset. It covers seven powerful questions that you can use to support others as they take on greater responsibility. And, it provides tips for how you can build a habit around using this approach on a consistent basis.

The Coaching Habit is available from Amazon, Audible, and Apple Books.

3. First, Break All The Rules by Marcus Buckingham

First Break All The Rules Book Cover
First, Break All The Rules by Marcus Buckingham & Curt Coffman

It can be challenging to identify the best management practices. Many highly effective managers have their own unique approach, and of course, every team is different, and every organization has its own difficulties. So this begs the question, “are there proven methods or practices that can benefit all managers?”

First, Break All The Rules uncovers what the best managers have in common. It’s based on a massive study of over 80,000 managers across many types of organizations, and it included both top-level leaders and front-line supervisors. The insights from the study can help any manager become more effective in their role.

First, Break All The Rules is available from Amazon and Audible.

4. Multipliers by Liz Wiseman

Multipliers Book Cover
Multipliers by Liz Wiseman

At a high level, there are two distinct approaches to managing a team. The first is to focus on being the genius that everyone else turns to when they’re in a bind. And the second is to focus on unlocking the genius that can be found in others.

‘Multipliers’ is about how great managers help everyone around them become smarter, more capable, and more effective as a team. The book provides actionable tips for getting more done with fewer resources, developing and attracting talented people, and achieving superior results through a multiplier mindset.

Multipliers is available from Amazon, Audible, and Apple Books.

5. Who by Geoff Smart & Randy Street

Who Book Cover
Who: The A Method For Hiring by Geoff Smart & Randy Street

The right hire can take your business to the next level, but the wrong hire can set it back months or even years. Unfortunately, many managers have weak or non-existent hiring methods. They may look up an article regarding good interview questions, but they lack a consistent and reliable process for hiring great people.

‘Who’ introduces “The A Method For Hiring.” It’s a practical and actionable approach that covers how to define the outcomes you want, generate a flow of talented people, and ask the right questions to identify the best candidate for the role. It’s a must-read for anyone making critical hiring decisions.

Who is available from Amazon, Audible, and Apple Books.

After Reading The Best Management Books

Beyond exploring some of the management books in this list, you may be interested in exploring other topics, including leadership, business strategy, or productivity. So, be sure to bookmark RickKettner.com and browse some of my other reading lists.

You can also subscribe to The Rick Kettner YouTube Channel or The Rick Kettner Podcast to get updates about future book summaries and reading lists.

Rick Kettner

Rick is an avid reader and lifelong entrepreneur. He co-founded popular online music education platforms including Drumeo, Pianote, and Guitareo. He now spends much of his time sharing tips on business strategy, marketing, and entrepreneurship.

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