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The 10 Best Books on Managing People

The ability to manage others is vital for any successful business leader – but what if you're not a "born leader"? You can fake it and hope for the best, or you can turn to the wealth of books available on best practices for managing people.

In this post, we give an overview of the 10 best books on managing people. This collection offers high-level tools for developing your skills in this essential aspect of business success.

Why Read a Book About Managing People?

Books enable you to tap into the minds of established business leaders and learn from their personal experiences. By reading books on people management, you will gain valuable insights into different approaches to leadership. You will also learn strategies that you can apply in your own workplace.

Whether you're new to management or you are looking for ways to refine your leadership skills, management books can provide you with the framework, strategies, and guidance you need to become a great leader.

10 Best Books on Managing People

Here's our list of the 10 best books on people management:

1. The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations by Barry Posner and James Kouzes

The Leadership Challenge is one of the most respected books on leadership. The authors transformed the insights gained from their extensive worldwide research into Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership® – practical, real-world advice and tools that can help anyone become an effective leader.

2. Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter by Liz Wiseman

In her Wall Street Journal bestseller, author Liz Wiseman differentiates between two types of leaders – "Multipliers" and "Diminishers." While Diminishers tend to suck the life out of those around them, Multipliers get the best from those who work for them. In this book, Wiseman shares five behaviors that distinguish Multipliers from Diminishers. More importantly, it teaches readers the tactics they can use to become Multipliers themselves.

3. Turn the Ship Around!: A True Story of Turning Followers Into Leaders by L. David Marquet

Turn the Ship Around! is the true story of how Captain Marquet took control of the worst submarine in the fleet and transformed it into the best by empowering his 100-man crew. Drawing on this experience, Marquet demonstrates how anyone can become a more effective leader by reversing the traditional leader-follower dynamic. Marquet's empowering leadership style is a must-read for anyone who wants to develop their people management skills and build an enduring, best-in-class organization.

4. Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity by Kim Scott

Former Google and Apple executive Kim Scott believes that leaders must directly challenge their team while genuinely caring about them. In Radical Candor, Scott shares her experiences with managing people and provides practical advice for forming cohesive teams capable of delivering amazing results.

5. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You by John C. Maxwell

This title is one in a series from New York Times bestselling author John C. Maxwell. It is a collection of principles and strategies learned from decades of leadership experience. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership is an essential resource packed with timeless advice on how to become an effective and successful leader.

6. The Making of a Manager: What to Do When Everyone Looks to You by Julie Zhuo

Julie Zhuo's Wall Street Journal bestseller is a practical guide to the common challenges managers face. Zhuo is a firm believer that effective managers are made, not born. This is an excellent book for first-time managers, and Zhuo's insights are also relevant for experienced leaders looking for ways to fine-tune their management style and navigate tricky situations with confidence.

7. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey

This book is widely considered the most influential business book of the twentieth century. It lays out the core principles that help individuals become more effective in both their professional and personal lives. True leadership, according to Covey, starts from within. Covey's seven habits can guide you to become a better leader by first teaching you how to better manage and understand yourself.

8. Primal Leadership: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis & Annie McKee

Using many real-world case studies, Primal Leadership explains how emotional intelligence is the factor that distinguishes outstanding leaders from average ones. By understanding the power of qualities such as self-awareness and empathy, then applying the ideas outlined in this book, you can learn to develop your own emotional intelligence and become a more effective leader.

9. On Becoming a Leader by Warren Bennis

Warren Bennis was a front runner in the field of leadership studies. He was nicknamed "the dean of leadership gurus" by Forbes magazine. In On Becoming A Leader, Bennis draws on his experience of advising well-known leaders, including presidents, to illustrate the traits that make someone a great leader. Bennis is another proponent of the idea that great leaders are made, not born, making this one of the best books on people management.

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

Simon Sinek wrote Leaders Eat Last after a conversation with a Marine Corps General. In this book, he examines the idea that the best leaders sacrifice their own well-being for the benefit of the teams they lead. Utilizing true stories from the military and business world, Sinek argues that leaders who foster trust within their teams and build what he calls a "Circle of Safety" benefit from long-term success.

Whether you are just starting out in your role as a leader or you have many years of experience, these 10 best books on people management offer tools and resources for taking your skills to the next level. Learn more about growing your business and team by connecting with the experts at Teamworks Group today.


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