7 Top Management Books Worth Reading

Few people are born to manage, most are taught to manage. And, while it's extremely helpful to have a management mentor early in one's career, more often than not, managers must turn to outside sources. Brick and mortar and online bookstores abound with management books to help the novice as well as the life-long learner who wants to keep polishing his craft. Here are seven key business management books you, as a manager, need to read in order to improve your managerial skills as well as your people management abilities. Whether you take one of these books with you to the beach to bone up during the slow days of summer or hunker down in the chill of winter, each one offers insight and words of wisdom sure to aid in the successful growth of your career.  

Now Discover Your Strengths

This is a truly great book by the Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton duo. You can use the insights offered in this book to help you understand your own strengths (and weaknesses) better. Understanding your weaknesses, and where you need improvement, is critical to your career development. You can also use it to help you understand your team better.

First, Break All the Rules

Gallup's Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman have gone far to summarize in this management book the results of their extensive, in-depth study that profiles great managers. The managers (who ultimately became the focus of the duo's research) excelled at developing their employee's specific talents and growing their employees into top performers. These managers, as the title explains, don't hesitate to break any rule that conventional wisdom says must be followed. These two authors literally broke the mold.

The New Yorker Book of Business Cartoons

There's a reason the icon The New Yorker cartoon has been gracing the pages of The New Yorker magazine for over a century. These cartoons not only make people laugh, they make people think. Like the films of Woody Allen, the cartoons are funny because they are true. This collection of cartoons is not just an enjoyable read but reinforcement that the annoyances and challenges you experience at work, are universal.​

Communicate with Confidence!

Each year, Dianna Booher teaches thousands of people how to communicate more effectively at work, at home, or any other given situation. This book distils Ms. Booher's tips into one compact source and offers you advice for increasing your ability to think on your feet and communicate verbally with others in a confident manner.

Executive Thinking

The full title of this book is "Executive Thinking: The Dream, The Vision, The Mission Achieved". However, the author, Leslie Kossoff, revealed in an interview that she usually refers to the book as "Dare to Dream." That's because most professionals in an executive position are afraid to do just that. If you're undecided about buying the book and read the interview with the author first, you may find it hard to resist putting in a rush order to get your hands on a copy. 

Good To Great

Author Jim Collins fondly calls "Good To Great" a "prequel" to his hugely successful business book "Built To Last," which set a target for all managers. However, that book left out critical information for those professionals struggling to move their companies from "Good To Great" as opposed to those trying to (merely) hold on to greatness. This important missing piece is clearly identified in Collins' "Good To Great".

The 16 Personality Types, Descriptions for Self-Discovery

This book is an interesting twist on the very popular 16 personality types by Myers Briggs that breaks up personalities into over a dozen kinds of people. If you purchase this book it's advisable to ask yourself if you think there is a difference between the term management style and communication style. Many successful managers believe that the most important management skill is the ability to communicate effectively, hence they are one and the same.