If you are looking for a good book that can help shape your management skills there are a few, that in my opinion, have withstood the test of time. As a manager, you are ultimately responsible for supervising employee activities. Holding people accountable, setting a good example, and motivating your team just some of the important complexities. All in all, being a manager can be one of the best and most rewarding jobs.
If you were to do a search on the web for management books you could likely spend a significant amount of time just trying to figure out which book to choose. There must be thousands of books on this subject. To help you get the best value, I have compiled some of my personal favorites on becoming a leader.
1. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Originally published in 1936, this is a classic authored by Dale Carnegie. In this book, you will learn solid advice that has helped generations of people. While this book may be old the information written is as relevant today as it was more than 60 years ago.
Success doesn’t come easy but following Dale Carnegie’s principles may help you achieve your maximum potential.
My two favorite quotes from this book are:
“[T]he only way on earth to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it.”
“When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity.”
While this book is packed with great knowledge and advice, I feel like the below does a good job highlighting the content. Here are some of the important concepts you will learn.
- Learn to take any situation and make it work for you.
- Learn 6 ways people like you
- Become genuinely interested in others
- A person’s name is the most important sound in any language
- Talk about the other person’s interests
- Sincerely make others feel important
- Discover 12 ways to get people thinking like you
- Best way to win an argument is to avoid it
- Respect other opinions – don’t ever say they are wrong
- Admit being wrong quickly
- Start in a friendly manner
- Get as many “yes, yes” answers as soon as possible, right away
- Let others do most of the talking
- Let other people feel that ideas are theirs
- But yourself in the other person’s shoes/viewpoint
- Be sympathetic to a person’s desires and ideas
- Appeal to noble motives
- Make your ideas dramatic
- Give a challenge
- Explore 9 ways to change people without causing resentment
- Provide honest appreciation and praise.
- Indirectly point out mistakes.
- Point out your own mistakes before criticizing someone else’s.
- Avoid direct orders. Instead, ask questions.
- Don’t embarrass or belittle others (let others save face).
- Praise all improvements, even the smallest improvements.
- Every person should have a big reputation to live up to.
- Make faults seem easy to correct.
- Every person should be made happy to do the thing you suggest.
2. Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices by Peter Drucker
Originally published in 1985, this is a good read for anyone looking to improve their management skills. According to Mr. Drucker, he aims to “provide the manager with the understanding, the thinking, the knowledge and the skills for today’s and also tomorrow’s jobs.” I feel like this is a great ambition and given the book’s popularity, it is likely that a number of readers continue to feel he did a good job.
Mr. Ducker covers proven and effective tools and techniques for successful management. Throughout the book, he makes these meaningful and remembered.
3. In Search of Excellence: Lessons From America’s Best-Run Companies by Thomas Peters and Robert H. Waterman
Originally published in 1982, this book was built by studying 43 successful American companies that ranged from consumer goods, high technology, and services. The result was a “New York Times” Bestseller for over three years.
Some of my favorite quotes from this book include:
“An effective leader must be the master of two ends of the spectrum: ideas at the highest level of abstraction and actions at the most mundane level of detail.”
“Ideas are useless unless used. The proof of their value is only in their implementation.”
Regardless of how different each of these 43 successful companies is, Peters discovered that they all shared eight basic principles of management. These eight management principles are:
- A Bias for action
- Close the customer
- Autonomy and Entrepreneurship.
- Productivity through People.
- Hands-on, Value-driven.
- Stick to the Knitting.
- Simple Form, Lean Staff.
- Simultaneous loose-tight Properties, which is basically autonomy on the ground level married with fanatic adherence to specific ideas.