Management is a process of development and guidance to effectively control situations and people. It includes various functions such as planning, organizing, directing, and controlling. Management is not simply a function that is implemented in organizations, but it is a discipline of life. Here is the blog titled Best Books on Management.
It is not necessary to be managing a fortune 500 company to prove your management skills. Instead, a good manager may be managing an organization that has the potential to become a global corporation or they could be managing their homes or doing both. Management is a life skill that we require every day to efficiently juggle multiple tasks at work and in our personal lives.
It is the significance of “Management” that has turned it into one of the most sought-after skills by employers all over the world. Individuals invest huge sums of money in courses that are based on teaching management in a theoretical manner as well as give some real-life exposure to flexibly apply the skills learned during management programs. It is no surprise that an MBA (Master of Business Administration) has become one of the most popular degrees in the United States.
People try to learn Management skills as it will help them in performing their day-to-day tasks more competently and also serve as an asset in times where substantial decisions need to be made. In this article, we share with you a thoughtfully organized list of some of the best books on management ever, that will be much cheaper than a degree in management but extremely valuable in changing your perspective at making decisions and considerations when you are at crossroads of sorts, in your personal or professional lives.
Best Books on Management
How To Win Friends And Influence People- By Dale Carnegie
Management is not a new age concept, although it has been given a lot of limelight in the current industrial scenario. This is a book that understood and tried to highlight the importance of management over the last eight decades. This extremely simple yet insightful book defined new standards for writers in the self-help genre. The book has been on the list of 100 Most Influential Books by Time’s Magazine. It has sold a record number of copies, which is currently over 30 million. That explains the reason that is also one of The Most Successful Books in American History.
Its effortless and effective approach has made this book a timeless piece. One can excel in the management of things, events, and people once they have figured the skills of negotiation, persuasion, and motivation. This book imparts marvelous and classic advice that will help one become better at management by winning over the people around them past making them feel heard and appreciated with some soft skills. This approach builds an amicable environment that can be more effectively managed. This book is extremely useful for those who are practicing management in a rather professional setting.
The Art Of War – By Sun Tzu
Another book that here to tell us how much management has been a part of our personal and professional even hundreds of years ago. This book was first written over two thousand years ago, yes you read that right. This is a compilation of leadership philosophies by Sun Tzu, a Chinese military leader, and strategist. The book is filled with practical wisdom and acts as a guide to someone navigating through a tough situation.
It talks about how it is not essential to take up huge challenges in the first step itself, it gives an insight into breaking the enemy’s resistance without excessive struggle. Striking the weak points to win is equally important as striking the supremely strong points. It is applicable in a war-like situation and in all the aspects where one needs to manage their endeavors and outsmart the opponent without creating a hostile situation. Sun Tzu unfolds this sagacity through thirteen chapters with each of them unfolding a certain philosophy.
On Becoming A Leader – By Warren Bennis
This book by Bennis is definitely one of the best management books of all time. The author of this book firmly believes in the process of learning and making leaders instead of the assumption that great leaders are simply born and fulfill their destiny of being great. This book outlines the criteria of qualifying as a leader and the characteristics that one must work on to become a great leader. This highly motivating book provides insights on traits of a successful and thus, a great leader. Leadership is vital for efficient management in the businesses world of today, which is highly uncertain in nature. Thus, this book has guided generations of readers and continues to do so even today.
Influence – By Robert Cialdini
This book talks about the psychology of persuasion. Persuasion is an art and it is extremely important to know this art form for the successful management of people, events, and situations. Thus, this is another important read for all the managers out there. This classic work of Robert is helpful for those who are related to management outside of a professional environment as well because it consists of teachings of psychology that can be applied in your life too. It includes multiple interesting interviews and personal experiences of the author that will keep the readers engaged throughout.
After a good understanding of the psychological concepts explained in the book, the readers will become aware of how fundamentals of psychology prove to help transform a blunt NO into an agreement that the parties involved can settle upon. These concepts were developed after years of research and have been tested successfully. It is accurate to say that this book is helpful in all walks of life as it not only equips you with the universal principles of persuasion but it also trains you to defend yourself from them.
The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide To Getting The Right Things Done – By Peter F. Drucker
“Management” by the definition of Harold Koontz, is the art of getting things done through others. This requires an effective execution of plans on all levels of management and in all of its functions as well. The most knowledgeable and creative plans will seem to be misdirected without an effective implementation strategy. This straightforward idea forms the plot for this book as the author tries to clarify the difficulty in the execution of this simple premise.
The book has identified and laid down some of the points that may be in the blind spot for you, in a very easy-to-understand manner. The importance of team, time management, and coordination among all the factors involved in implementation is explained. It can be concluded, that the successful readers of this book will be better bosses and practice management with a new and more effective insight on implementation.
Radical Inclusion – By Martin Dempsey and Ori Brafman
A highly unlikely duo of a Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff and a New York Times bestselling author came together to write this book. However, it does not seem so unlikely when we tell you that the two have been friends for over a decade, does it? “Radical Inclusion” focuses on the lessons that we need to learn to maintain better control and culture in the work environment. The authors believe that these are the lessons of leadership that we should have learned post 9/11. This book presents a mix of exploration through challenges of management in the digital age as well as decades of practical experience.
The authors suggest that the insight with which we should have moved on past the 9/11 attacks is that of creating an environment that can be meaningful to every person who is in it. The reality is contrary to what we feel about reserving control and thus, retaining power. It is the abrasion of trust and exclusion that leads to loss of power. To be a good superior and manage your team in any work environment, it is important to make each team member feel included. This is one of the best influential books that guide the management process to be more understanding of the feelings of self-worth and belonging within each person involved in the process.
The One Minute Manager – By Spencer Johnson and Kenneth Blanchard
This is certainly a remarkable book that was rightfully cited as one of the 25 Most Influential Business Management Books by Time Magazine. The book follows three techniques of an effective manager through the story of a young man searching for a good leader. The man encounters different styles of management and rejects them one by one due to one reason or another. He finally concludes on a simple yet effective management style that follows this One Minute approach- One Minute to clearly state the goals.
This helps in avoiding any confusion whatsoever and successful accomplishment of tasks as a result of clarity in communication followed by One Minute of Praising or Reprimanding, as required by the situation. Praise is necessary to motivate and reprimanding is important to maintain control over quality and quantity as well as effectiveness and efficiency of tasks. It is with this One Minute approach that management becomes extremely productive and successful.
The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People – By Stephen R. Covey
The Seven Habits has managed to carve a space for itself not just among the best books on management, but also as one of the most renowned works of Covey. The book is appreciated worldwide for its effective approach that can be applied universally and has proved to be timeless as the book was first published three decades ago. Since then, it has sold 25 million copies across the world and is still perceived as one of the best self-help books available.
The principles that are called “true north principles” by Covey are based on an individual’s character ethics. It is with the alignment of these principles that individuals can achieve their respective goals. The author takes his readers on a journey from independence to interdependence through a series of habits in the book. The character ethics mentioned earlier and these seven habits help in understanding self-management better and lead to the accomplishment of set goals.
First, Break All The Rules – By Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman
“Employees are the heart of every organization.” “They are the internal customers for a company.” “A company that cannot satisfy its employees can never truly satisfy its customers.” We have most probably read the above-mentioned statements in one form or other multiple numbers of times, therefore we are aware of the fact that employee satisfaction is utterly important for any organization. It is the job of every person who is responsible for the management of a certain number of people in an organization to ensure that they are managed in the best possible manner.
This is a book that talks about how the best managers handle their employees and deliver employee satisfaction. It is a very thorough book as it is a result of analysis and findings from 80,000 interviews with managers carried by the Gallup Organization over a course of 25 years. It also earned its place in “The 25 Most Influential Business Management Books” listed by Time Magazine.
Don’t Bring It To Work – By Sylvia Lafair
The former family therapist who now runs a consulting firm to resolve workplace conflicts and leadership issues have written this book to break the family patterns that limit success. In simpler words, imagine your first day at a new place. Why is it that we suddenly click with a few people but start to dislike some others soon after exchanging eye contact or a handshake? Sylvia answers these questions in this book by drawing a correlation between our subconscious expectations based upon our childhood behavior family relations.
The book aims at identifying these patterns and allowing a space to change such behavior to build a better workplace. This allows us to manage our work attitude more positively, and when we let ourselves do that then we certainly engage in more effective management of our tasks.
The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles Of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success And Performance At Work – By Shawn Achor
Shawn Achor, an advocate of positive psychology authored this book to propose that it is happiness that fuels success and not the other way around. You don’t need to find a great job that you may not feel happy about. Working hard on a job simply to get promoted and earn more will not fetch happiness.
Make happiness your priority to serve justice to yourself, your co-workers, and the organization you work for. It is also known that an individual’s brain is 30% more productive when it is happy. To be a successful manager you need to be productive and more importantly happy, and satisfied with your job.
The Speed Of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything – By Stephen M.R. Covey
In this book, Covey talks about the importance of trust to make any business a success. Trust is a significant factor to be able to excel at management as well, as one needs to trust the companies policies and goals, and also trust the talent of their subordinates in addition to the judgment of their superiors.
Trust is vital to manage any event or relationship successfully in our personal and professional lives. The author explains the importance of credibility and suggests ways to improve it as it could be useful in driving the costs down. The book includes 13 behaviors of bona fide leaders which makes it a great read for trust, growth, and management lessons.
Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices – By Peter Drucker
This book is a result of the author’s close interactions with managers from small and large businesses, government and private enterprises, while the author was a consultant himself. This book is meant to ease the navigation process for managers. It aims to inform them of the challenges that they will have to face in the constantly changing times and the responsibilities that they will be required to take up today, and tomorrow. The author has discussed various accessible and meaningful tools and techniques that are necessary for successful management practice.
In Search Of Excellence: Lessons From America’s Best-Run Companies – By Thomas Peters and Robert H. Waterman
This book of Thomas and Robert was the New York Time’s Bestseller for over three years. It was a quest to discover the secrets of successful management. The authors tried to uncover these secrets after an in-depth study of 43 successful American Companies, specializing in different areas from technology to consumer goods.
Turn The Ship Around: A True Story Of Turning Followers Into Leaders – By L. David Marquet
This book is inspired by the life events of Marquet. He talks about the change in his style of management after he realized that the crew of the submarine that was being led by him had continued to follow his impossible orders that had adverse results. According to the author, a certain degree of autonomy and responsibility of the job should fall upon the person doing it. Subordinates should not be expected to blindly follow the orders from their superiors. The change that his approach had proposed went on to attain some very positive results.
Built To Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies – By James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras
The authors have presented a groundbreaking vision through this book. They have not analyzed the management styles, nor interviewed the managers. Instead, this book presented eighteen companies that have been in existence for at least a hundred years. These are the companies that have stood the test of time and outperformed many of their competitors. This book studies each of these companies in comparison with their number one competitor.
Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive – By Harvey B. Mackay
A very important part of management extends outside of the regular workplace. You can manage employees from your office but competition has to be managed with a lot more analyses and observations of the business environment and other factors. Mackay shares some practical advice on doing the same through the medium of this book.
Now, Discover Your Strengths – By Donald O. Clifton and Marcus Buckingham
Gallup Press invented a language for 34 of the most common talents. Then they developed an assessment called Clifton StrengthsFinder. This assessment was meant to identify and describe the talents mentioned earlier. This assessment has been included with this bestselling management book by Clifton and Buckingham. As a matter of fact, most Americans are unaware of their strengths. Thus assessment will help them in analyzing their strengths and present the five most powerful themes for an individual.
Competing For The Future – By Gary Hamel and C. K. Prahalad
The world around us is more dynamic than ever and that reflects upon the business environment as well. This is a must-read for everyone who is practicing management today and wishes to stay relevant in the future as well. This book is a masterful blueprint to build the future path for the managers and executives of today.
StrengthsFinder 2.0 – By Tom Rath
The assessment that was initiated in the book “Now, Discover Your Strengths” allowed a large number of people in identifying their top five talents and becoming more self-aware. In this 2.0 version Gallup has tried to improve the assessment quality. StrengthsFinder 2.0 claims to change people’s perspectives about themselves and the world forever.
Management is an essential part of all our lives and we use it actively and passively as well. Many of you might believe it to be an innate skill. While a fraction of that might be true, yet it is not a philosophy to live by. These books can help beginners in identifying their talents in the field of management and assist them in identifying the areas of their personality that require work if they want to develop a career in management.
These books will also equip the existing managers with a new insight into habits and principles that they might find useful. One must remember that management is not and will never be confined in a professional perimeter. We require management every day while managing work and personal life balance while managing time for our individual tasks and various other situations. Thus, the above-listed books are a good read for everyone and we hope that you get to learn something meaningful from each book you pick from this category.
Also, Read Top Must-Read Books For Product Managers