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4 mins

Learn To Lead by Reading the Best Management Books

Managing people can be an absolute mind-boggle, so here to help you are some vital tips from the top management books on the market.
by Fionnuala Kavanagh | Jul 31 2017

Being a good boss is not about telling people what to do. You need to know how to motivate, delegate, gel different personalities, assert authority, and make sure people feel at ease in your presence. Juggling all of these aspects of managing a team, plus the other daily tasks you have to get on with saps a great amount of time and energy.

If you struggle to find a spare minute in your hectic schedule but want to improve your leadership skills, then try Blinkist’s selection of the most popular management books.

Become a better boss with this list of the top management books

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t by Jim Collins

Learn the key to great leadership and how to build a successful company from the ground up with insightful analysis from top business advisor Jim Collins and his research team. By studying the progress of companies that made the leap from mediocre to high-performing over a five-year period, Collins shows what great management looks like, and tells you how to steer a business from small startup to global success.

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni

Teams are inherently dysfunctional, and there are common hurdles that any group of people trying to work together will come up against. That’s the message of the author of 3 management book bestsellers and top business consultant, Patrick Lencioni. Read this book if you want to know how to overcome interpersonal struggles, the ingredients for great teamwork, and how to make yourself into the perfect manager.

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink

How can we best motivate ourselves and others? That’s the key question answered by the former chief speechwriter for Al Gore, Daniel Pink, in this guide for any aspiring leader. Pink explains that there are two kinds of motivation: intrinsic, and extrinsic. Often companies choose to implement extrinsic reward systems and sanctions to motivate staff, but this is detrimental to morale and performance in the long run. Intrinsic motivation, on the other hand, nourishes dedication through encouraging self-determination and inspiring people with meaningful goals. Dive into Drive for a fresh perspective on motivational strategies.

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull with Amy Wallace

Learn how to lead a bunch of creative cats and build a colossal success, from top dog Ed Catmull, the current president of both Pixar and Disney Animation Studios. Perhaps you’ll be surprised to hear that you can foster creativity just by buying a new table, and you can increase productivity with your ability to stop an assembly line. For more astounding insights into creative leadership, try this bestselling management book.

How to Be a Positive Leader: Small Actions, Big Impact by Jane E. Dutton and Gretchen M. Spreitzer

A new kind of work culture is brewing: positive organizational strategy. This increasingly popular style of management recognizes the need to nurture the human elements of leadership, like free choice and emotions. It also promotes meaningful work as being the cornerstone of motivation and reminds us to give our full attention to the people we are talking to. So don’t ‘just reply to that email’ or glance at your newsfeed, listen up, if you want to find happiness at work, and build a thriving organization!

Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t by Simon Sinek

Simon Sinek teaches us that in order to fulfill a vision, good leaders must put others ahead of themselves. Drawing on ideas from evolutionary biology, Sinek explains how our need for hierarchical structure and leadership is rooted in our biological makeup. Instead of viewing their staff as subordinates, any great boss will approach their colleagues at eye level, and encourage anyone in their sphere of influence to fulfill their greatest potential. Learn how to lead with empathy and integrity, with this insightful read.

Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler

Work can be a hothouse, and confrontation is a common challenge in both our professional and personal lives. The founders of management consultancy VitalSmarts give actionable advice so you will know how not to put fuel on the fire, and blow up any kind of difficult discussion. Try this top management guide if you want to be clued up on how to conduct a calm, crucial conversation.

Scaling Up Excellence: Getting to More Without Settling for Less by Huggy Rao and Robert I. Sutton

From two of the world’s best management science professors at Stanford University comes this guide for leaders who want to build their business into a rocket and shoot it through the ceiling. This great management book provides cutting-edge research from the field of organizational behavior, as well as interesting case studies, and clear instructions on how to successfully scale up any budding organization.

The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done by Peter F. Drucker

Peter F. Drucker provides us with a step-by-step guide on how to become a highly productive and effective executive. The key message is that anyone wanting to boost their management skills should practice leading by example. Pick this for some sterling advice on the importance of cutting client dinners, valuing long decision-making meetings, always hiring well-rounded salespeople, and much, much more!

Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence by Daniel Golemen

Do I have your full attention? Chances are, probably not. Lack of focus is the Achilles heel of many of us, but luckily psychologist and bestselling author Daniel Golemen has written a book to help treat this endemic problem. Our lives are full of buzzing distractions, that suck our time and energy into an unproductive black hole. Golemen guides us off our bad procrastination habits by showing us how we can lead a more focused life. Learn how to enjoy a fuller existence by paying more attention to yourself, to others, the environment, and by thinking about the future.

If you’ve enjoyed your taster of the bestselling management books, and you’re curious to explore more, then delve into Blinkist’s ever-expanding library of top titles from entrepreneurship, psychology, history, mindfulness and much more!

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