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Top 25 Management Books for 2019

One quick scan of your local bookstore, or a search for book titles on Amazon with the words “Leadership” or “Management” in the title, will automatically yield many resources to choose from. It is a guarantee that as long as business professionals lead organizations, they will pursue exposure to various principles, case studies, parables, surveys, and programs which all claim to bolster the skills needed for success at the management level. The constant popularity of leadership books lies in the continually evolving nature of business. While some organizations have committed to conventional practices, there comes a time when these principles become dated and are unable to attract a new market share. With the constant developments taking place in the worlds of technology and neuroscience, organizations at all levels have more access to understanding what makes people think and behave the way they do. While technological advancements show no signs of slowing worldwide, businesses of all sizes are responsible for keeping up with how customers want to invest in goods and services if the brands are to remain competitive.

Put plainly, there is no one way to become successful in business. Much like the best musicians in the world must be influenced by many musical mentors to best form a unique sound and approach to their instrument, so business leaders do well to read from a vast array of voices in the world of management. Today, we can find all sorts of leadership resources written by young and successful millennials who are significant players in the fields of social media, video game design, and entertainment to business leaders who have accrued billions of dollars and have decades of experience which include tremendous successes and devastating failures. The tendency to read leadership books that seem to be in defiance of each other can still produce fruitful thinking and work to impact the decision-making skills of a manager directly.

Based on the need for leaders to read quality books on management, we have compiled 25 of the best books on leadership and management now available on the market. Many of these titles are bestsellers with hundreds of thousands in print. Let these best of the best management books inspire you to greatness in business and management.

Note: A detailed explanation of the methodology we used to determine the Top Management Books can be found at the end of this list.

#1 Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t

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By: Jim Collins

The genesis of this incredible leadership resource began when Jim Collins and a team of researchers started looking into the inner workings of nearly 1,500 companies to see which were able to make substantial improvements over time. Their findings resulted in the highlighting of eleven organizations which shared many of the same traits which challenged the status quo and took a departure from conventional business practices. The discovery was made that in place of a stellar CEO or maverick leader who had all the answers, these companies all championed a corporate culture relying on disciplined employees practicing discipline while making decisions. This text will act as a roadmap for business leaders who can learn from and be inspired by the specific examples of great (and not-so-great) decision making from some of the world’s most successful corporate organizations.

Collins introduces and explains several concepts of successful leadership, including Level Five Leaders (what type of leadership it really takes to experience greatness), The Hedgehog Concept (the transformation of good to great requires disciplines within the Three Circles), a Culture of Discipline (practices that when committed to yield incredible results of success), and the Flywheel and the Doom Loop (how ill-advised change within organizations are a death warrant). Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t by Jim Collins is one of the books which business leaders will be talking about for years to come.

#2 How to Win Friends & Influence People

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By: Dale Carnegie

With a record publishing of over 15 million worldwide, the first edition of Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends & Influence People was released in 1936. Hailed as one of the most-timeless books of self-development and business success, this resource has been celebrated over the years as one of the best (and best-selling) books of all time. Written with a straight-forward approach to self-help, Carnegie shares 12 ways the book’s content will help the reader. These actions include the ability to make friends quickly, increase popularity, boost influence, win clients, raise your salary, make you a better salesperson, and help you inspire coworkers to increase their excitement and productivity. Other lists for success in this book include ways to be liked, ways to win people to the reader’s way of thinking, how to be a leader without being offensive, and seven critical rules for a happy home.

Many of the points Carnegie presents are rooted in simple precepts of being a good listener, practicing empathy, being honest in communication, praising others for their efforts and accomplishments, and showing a genuine interest in people. Some may say the practical points given in this excellent book are elementary yet many people in corporate America would do well to brush up on these timeless concepts of how to be successful in the realm of business and the act of being human.

#3 The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

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By: Stephen R. Covey

Many will remember how The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey hit the business and self-help book list like a hurricane in the early 1990s. Drawing on aspects of the philosophies of ancient thinkers like Aristotle, Benedict, and Cicero, Covey repackages some of the foundational humanity-based precepts into a digestible lesson for a 20th-century audience. The author’s tone is overtly positive, allowing the reader to believe anything is possible with a can-do attitude and solid determination to strive first for self-discipline.

The seven habits themselves are spread between three groupings of emphasis: Independence, Interdependence, and Continual Improvement. The Independent area of focus encourages the reader to be proactive as opposed to reactive, picture success by beginning with the ending in mind, and to remember what is most important and never lose sight of it. The interdependent area deals with the importance of working with others by thinking win-win, being a great listener, and always making it a point to strive for synergy at all levels of leadership and in life. The final area of continual improvement reminds the reader that we are always in a constant state of improving as people both in our personal lives and professional careers. Covey introduces the concept of sharpening the saw to stay motivated, inspired, and healthy.

#4 First, Break all the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently

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By: Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman

Not only is this management resource an excellent study of an eye-popping 80,000 organizations and their tried and true business tactics, but it also delivers valuable secondary resources that readers with a bend towards research will find worth-while. The resources included with this book are access to Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment, Gallup’s Q12 employee engagement survey, and the authors’ current meta-analytical research which will help to personalize the experience this book offers. The main premise of Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman’s First, Break all the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently is that despite differences of backgrounds, educations, cultures, and leadership styles, indeed successful managers share one key component: the tenacity to break every rule held sacred by conventional business leadership.

With as many case studies documented in this book, the reader will learn quickly that the concepts delivered are not specific to any one type of organization or manager. This will serve the reader to see himself or herself able to apply some of the 12 simple truths Buckingham and Coffman present throughout First, Break all the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently. More than just a book on management philosophy, this resource provides specific ways a manager can improve her leadership and make her organization more effective.

#5 The Essential Drucker: The Best of Sixty Years of Peter Drucker’s Essential Writings on Management

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By: Peter F. Drucker

Regarded by many in business as the “Father of Modern Management,” Peter Drucker worked as an educator, author, and management consultant during his illustrious career as one of the most critical voices in leadership culture. With a reliable determination to build and influence business leadership, Drucker invented the concepts of self-control and management by objectives and wrote books that have proven to be essential resources in many business courses throughout the country. In The Essential Drucker: The Best of Sixty Years of Peter Drucker’s Essential Writings on Management, Drucker’s methods are made available to the reader in an excellent compilation that spans over half a century of primary concerns and principles of management all leaders should be responsible for.

This excellent book is divided between 26 selections which have been proven over time to speak into many areas of business. While the budding business student will benefit from the concepts presented within, managers at all levels with some experience will find this book to be a high-quality refresher on what matters most in building and maintaining a customer-focused leadership mentality. This resource not only works as a competent survey of business practice and theory of the 20th century, but it also serves as a comprehensive collection of the thoughts of one of the greatest minds in modern business leadership.

#6 The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable

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By: Patrick M. Lencioni

Fresh off the heels of his two bestsellers, The Five Temptations of a CEO and The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive, author Patrick M. Lencioni makes yet another splash into the world of business with his stellar book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable. This time around, Lencioni tells the story of Decision Tech CEO Kathryn Peterson, a business executive trapped in the leadership puzzle of trying to right a sinking ship. This fictional storyline allows the author to hold the reader’s attention and deliver highlightable principles that will have a direct impact on the reader’s leadership style.

The dysfunctions organizations can suffer from (and perhaps ultimately die from) listed throughout the book include an inherent lack of trust among all levels of leadership, a fear of conflict among employees which can paralyze decision making, a general lack of commitment, a deficiency of accountability for leaders, and an inability to recognize results. Like many lessons of life and business, the author presents ideas which are simple to understand yet hard to practice throughout The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable. Everyone from the most-diehard management veterans to business school students will glean from the wisdom contained within the pages of this excellent book.

#7 Principles: Life and Work

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By: Ray Dalio

Not every ultra-successful billionaire investor takes the time to share the principles and tactics which have brought him success over the year. Thankfully, Ray Dalio has done just that with his excellent book on lessons he has learned along the way. As founder of one of the most substantial hedge funds on the planet, Dalio is also listed as one of Bloomberg’s 100 wealthiest people in the world. A New York City native, Ray Dalio famously began investing before his 13th birthday and went on to pursue an MBA from Harvard Business School before entering his career trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

The key to success, as explained in Principles: Life and Work, is to systemize the areas of life into rules which ensure success at all levels. Dalio does an excellent job of communicating what drives him in business and life at the philosophical level but not at the cost of tangible instruction. This book is full of helpful guidance rooted in the successes and failures that Dalio experienced throughout his illustrious career. The author’s tone will inspire the reader as well as pick up instruction useful for how to maximize decision-making and communication at all levels of management.

#8 Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

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By: Daniel H. Pink

While the majority of business leadership uses the reward system to motivate its workers, it is Daniel H. Pink’s premise in Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us that the carrot-and-stick approach is flawed at its core. Pink’s paradigm-shifting work challenges the reader to rethink how we are motivated and to see that true motivation for the highest performance we can experience at work, school, and in the home begins with the innate human desires we possess at our core. The author argues that humans are born with the deep-seated desire to be directors of our own lives, continually better ourselves, be life-long learners and creators, and leave our mark by making the world a better place.

Pink uses a sledgehammer of scientific data to break through the wall of conventional business wisdom and expose a flawed system in need of correction. He asserts that while extrinsic motivators like salary, profit-sharing, bonuses, and other perks may yield results for a time, they will never be as useful as ways to get the best out of people than to speak into the innate desires human beings possess and can exercise as workers, students, and family members. The three elements of motivation presented in this book include purpose, mastery, and autonomy. Understanding and developing these three components within us will allow for better decision-making and problem-solving for managers.

#9 Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration

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By: Ed Catmull with Amy Wallace

How exciting would it be to be invited to sit in on the meetings when the creative team at Pixar discussed the idea for Toy Story, The Incredibles, or Finding Nemo? The readers of Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull with Amy Wallace get that experience and so much more. As many know, Pixar has a long track record of releasing some of the most successful, creative, and endearing animated films ever created. This resource is an unprecedented look at the company itself, how it got started, and how others can learn from its successes and struggles. At the heart of this book is an incredible message of encouragement from the writers urging the reader to work hard to create and protect an environment of creativity both in the workplace and at home.

Author Ed Catmull’s childhood dream was to create the world’s first computer-animated film. While at the University of Utah he laid the foundation for that dream pursuing an education in computer science, later formed a union with filmmaker George Lucas, and in 1986 co-founded Pixar. When asked how Pixar’s films can continue to push the envelope of creativity while being so remarkably successful in the box office, Catmull answers that the organization continues to make smart management and leadership choices which defy convention and guard the creative process. You may never lead a multi-million-dollar organization like Pixar, but there is still much to be gained from this excellent resource about creative management.

#10 The E-myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It

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By: Michael E. Gerber

One of the most significant issues the author deals with in The E-myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It is the need to overcome assumptions most entrepreneurs and small business startups bring into the marketplace. Author Michael E. Gerber spends time walking the reader through the levels of development most organizations experience from an entrepreneurial infant to adolescence riddled with growing pains, into a self-sustaining adult organization. Gerber shares valuable lessons from a franchise’s perspective which can be an asset to both organizations which will experience franchising and those which won’t. The distinctions between working on a business and in a business are also presented in this book to enlighten the reader on ways to be most efficient and effective.

While many entrepreneurs and startups tend to struggle to overcome obstacles to business growth, there is a comfort in camaraderie when it is realized some of the issues are more common that one would think. Gerber’s voice speaks into these issues time and time again within the pages of The E-myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It. The content of the book is delivered as a fictional conversation between the author and a small business owner, Sarah. The structure of this conversation adds some interest and keeps the pace up throughout the reading.

#11 The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail

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By: Clayton M. Christensen

As many leadership veterans can attest, there is no magic bullet when it comes to an organization’s success, not even when it comes to capitalizing on disruptive technology when it enters the marketplace. In Clayton M. Christensen’s The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail, the author does an excellent job of toeing the line between stressing the importance of an organization’s need to utilize disruptive technology while at the same time revealing that a company’s accepting and putting a new technology to work does not guarantee success. Christensen has for years been regarded as a trusted voice in business leadership. Apple’s Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos of Amazon have both benefitted from Christensen’s voice.

While the original release of the book is just over twenty years ago, many of the concepts presented within are still relevant today. The author guides the reader to understand the dilemma an organization faces when they experience success with customers using a particular technology. When a new technology gets introduced into the marketplace, an organization must decide to invest in the latest technology or remain committed to what it already has. Like most things in business, the future is often difficult to forecast. Christensen offers helpful ways to anticipate changes in business, which can help an organization stay healthy and lucrative. This resource has been called enlightening to the point of being required reading in many business programs across the country.

#12 High Output Management

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By: Andrew S. Grove

Heralded as a book for anyone interested in building and maintaining a successful team, High Output Management by Andrew S. Grove is a must-read for teachers, managers, consultants, and CEOs alike. Drawing on his experience as former CEO and chairman of Intel, Grove delivers a no-holds-barred instruction manual on ways to get the most out of yourself and those under your influence. The author can dissect the decisions made at the successful Silicon Valley computer chip manufacturer and explain ways to use the concepts in other types of business and leadership. His authoritative voice will inspire the reader to consider ways to become more effective at getting the best out of teammates.

Some of the specific highlights from High Output Management include the ability to identify high leverage actions and emphasize them on a regular basis without becoming distracted, the importance of all types of meetings and how to facilitate them wisely, the proper way to give performance feedback, the importance of employee training programs, and how to hire and keep valuable team members. This book also includes Grove’s concept of Task-Relevant Maturity and how to utilize this tool for maximum performance potential. There is no doubt that Andrew S. Grove is a leading thinker in modern business. This book is a rare glimpse into some business principles that are sure to make a team member better for reading it.

#13 Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs

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By: John Doerr

It is not often you get to sit and pick the brain of one of America’s most successful venture capitalist and investor. Just how successful is John Doerr? He was ranked in 2017 by Forbes as the country’s 105 richest person (303-richest on the planet). In the #1 New York Times Bestseller, Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs, Doerr tells the story of how he helped Sergey Brin and Larry Page develop a business plan that would match the high level of ambition and entrepreneurial energy they were bringing to the idea of what would become Google. Brin and Page benefitted from Doerr’s proven business approach of Objectives and Key Results (OKR).

At its core, OKR is a system for goal-setting which includes the knowledge that the highest-priority goals will be met by agreeing on specific and measurable directives completed within an acceptable time frame. All goals, including the CEO’s to entry-level positions, are shared throughout the organization. This system fosters quality communication and synergy across the bandwidth of personnel. The context of Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs includes the narrating voices of Rockstar Bono and Bill Gates which add an exciting pace to the content. This interesting resource is a must for any manager’s library.

#14 The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups

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By: Daniel Coyle

What does it take to build not only a successful corporation but a culture of success? What are the requirements of investing in a culture of consistent health and longevity? These are just two of the questions that find their answers in Daniel Coyle’s The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups. Like many books of its type, this resource is comprised of data found by researching organizations which experience success at multiple levels. While these case-study-based books can seem a bit stale when focusing on faceless corporations the reader may struggle to identify with, Coyle gets it right by shadowing such exciting organizations like the San Antonio Spurs basketball team, IDEO, and the fabled United States Navy’s SEAL Team Six, to name a few.

More than a list of business how to’s or general steps for success in leadership, this book reads as more of a roadmap for professionals looking for ways to create an environment characterized by innovation, problem-solving, and goal-oriented cohesion and idea-sharing. Coyle presents the idea of culture as more of an action than a person or organization’s identity. The perspective offered by the author allows the reader to apply these concepts to her situation no matter the size or scope.

#15 Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity

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By: Kim Scott

Packed with thoughtful insight, illuminating truths, and practical advice Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity by Kim Scott is a beautiful balance of informative management principles peppered with humorous cartoons inspired by Scott’s wealth of experiences leading within such organizations as Apple and Google. The author’s keen observation, sharp wit, and business intelligence shine throughout this resource that will serve the business student and management veteran alike. The veritable “how to’s” of the book include ways to make the smartest decisions, give and receive feedback like a pro, and how to keep moving forward in the face of adversity.

Scott’s central premise includes introducing the concepts of Caring Personally and Challenging Directly. When these two concepts are not balanced, bad things happen in business. Caring without challenging only results in stalled empathy, while challenging without caring can easily result in resentment. When managers have a clear understanding of and practice tangible personal care and direct challenge, an organization can indeed reach its full potential. Scott also creates three responsibilities for the leader throughout Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity: building a culture of honest feedback, cultivating a healthy team, and producing fruitful results.

#16 The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers

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By: Ben Horowitz

Ben Horowitz has had a long and fruitful career as one of America’s most successful entrepreneurs. Having made a name for himself in Silicon Valley, Horowitz founded Andreessen Horowitz and, after being urged by colleagues to compile content from his popular Ben’s Blog, he released The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers. This book is full of practical wisdom touching on many topics relevant to entrepreneurs and startups. The Hard Thing About Hard Things will prove to be an invaluable resource for young entrepreneurs who have a can-do attitude but may lack the realistic thinking it takes to endure the difficulties sure to hinder anyone working to build a brand.

The author learned in the field and developed, sold, marketed, facilitated, invested in, and managed at multiple levels of business. This book is full of the practical wisdom you would expect from a tech giant like Horowitz, but it is also delivered in a humorous and sometimes self-deprecating manner which makes the content memorable and allows the reader to connect with the author. Readers looking for an honest (though sometimes crass) approach to business leadership need look no further than to this excellent book.

#17 Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High

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By: Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler

There have been countless books written, released, and then hailed as a game-changer in business over the years. Unfortunately, just as many titles have gone from being the hot ticket one day to only drown in an ocean of obscurity the next when their content failed to stand the test of time. Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High by the writing team of Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler is no such book! While business schools across the country strive to teach students the principles of accounting, finance, marketing, and economics, many degree-holding managers are taking positions at all levels within corporate America without the critical knowledge of how to manage themselves in a conversation.

As sometimes the simplest concepts are the hardest to understand, managers at all levels will benefit from reading Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High as it shows how to navigate through and capitalize on dialogue with others. Some of the specific goals contained in the book include how to be persuasive in a conversation without being abrasive, how to prepare for the most critical discussions in business and family life, how to create an atmosphere for honest dialogue, and how to transform anger and hurt into meaningful connections. This title is sure to improve relationships at multiple levels and make you look at discussions in a whole new light.

#18 Thinking, Fast and Slow

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By: Daniel Kahneman

This international bestseller is a must for the forward-thinking business manager. Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow goes beyond self-help philosophies and corporation case-studies to unveil where success begins: in the mind. The two systems Kahneman introduces and explains that drive the way we think are System One and System Two. The first system contains emotional, intuitive, and fast-paced thinking. The second system is described as logical, more deliberate, and slower. The author argues that understanding these two systems is imperative to know how to make the right decisions in the professional and personal realms in which we exist.

This book reads like an interesting conversation the reader is enjoying with Daniel Kahneman where he explains when we can and cannot trust our intuitive thoughts. The author challenges the reader with ways to practice slower thinking to make informed choices. The book also includes practical techniques you can begin using immediately to evaluate the motives and outcomes of the decisions we make in the office and at home. Among Thinking, Fast and Slow’s awards and recognitions include it’s being named one of 2011’s 10 Best Books by The New York Times Book Review, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the National Academy of Science’s Best Book Award.

#19 The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done

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By: Peter F. Drucker

Business leadership has often been compared to a minefield where the wrong step can lead to disaster. In his excellent resource on management, The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done, author Peter F. Drucker walks the reader through five important acts managers must be committed to reaching their full potential in business. The practices covered in this book include time management, knowing how to contribute to the organization, having an eye for your teams’ strengths and how to work to develop them, setting goals and achieving them, and combining all these acts with stress on keen decision-making.

Drucker argues there are many “fires” to put out in management. Problems arise when managers waste precious time and resources on the wrong things in business and then begin to experience ineffectiveness. The manager with the right perspective will spend time doing the things that others overlook and use his imagination and intelligence to make informed decisions. The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done will cause you to question your schedule, priorities, values, and time management in a way that will result in a newfound inspiration which will be contagious in your organization.

#20 The One Minute Manager

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By: Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson

First published over 30 years ago, The One Minute Manager by Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson continues to be heralded as a foundational resource for management based on its simple (yet not simplistic) message which champions solid business leadership tactics. Managers who read this very short, yet strong book are encouraged to do things like set clear and easily-communicated goals for teams, be quick to address issues within the organization, and always praise high performance by employees and teammates. One crucial principle developed in The One Minute Manager deals with the importance of professionals first becoming efficient managers of themselves. When managers first develop an intrinsic drive to create healthy habits, they will then be so much more likely to manage others well.

Just as a dog trainer uses a reward system to train an animal to respond a certain way when given a specific stimulus, managers can use the same philosophy of positive reinforcement to motivate employees which in turn makes an organization healthier and more prosperous. While some may argue that the world of business has changed too much over the past three decades for a book on business leadership to remain relevant, one must understand this resource is principle-driven as opposed to relying on strict practicality. In other words, The One Minute Manager has stood up well to the test of time.

#21 The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement

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By: Eliyahu M. Goldratt and Jeff Cox

Creatively written as a fast-paced thriller novel, The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement tells the story of Alex Rugo, an industrial plant manager with a focused goal of improving the performance of the factory he works in and saving his marriage, which is also heading for disaster. With the clock ticking, Alex has only 90 days to save his plant from being closed down by the corporate headquarters. He relies on the valuable information conveyed from a previous professor, Jonah, to rethink his conventional processes and be reborn as a manager. In the book, Goldratt and Cox present and flesh out the Theory of Constraints designed by Goldratt.

With other vital titles like The Goal and Standing on the Shoulders of Giants, Goldratt challenges the norm by encouraging the reader of The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement to remain in a constant process of improvement over the years. This mindset of continual goal setting and achievement will serve the manager not only in business but in his personal life as well. Like many of the best books on business written, the authors do an excellent job of drawing parallels between a manager’s personal and professional life.

#22 Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies

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By: Jim Collins and Jerry Porras

This incredible book was a labor of love that authors Collins and Porras spent the better part of a decade researching and writing to present the reader with eighteen case studies of blossoming companies. Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies tells the stories of these brands from when they were formed as start-ups to becoming large corporations and the trials and tribulations which existed in between. The research also includes comparisons of these companies to their competitors to show what mistakes the other companies made along the way. This text will serve as a rich resource for managers at all levels and well as entrepreneurs who hope to build a successful brand.

Readers will recognize Jim Collins as the author of How the Mighty Fall and Good to Great. In Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies, he and Jerry Porras offer themes like how to be a clock builder able to design and build a vision which will stand the test of time. In their concept of “Genius of AND” the authors encourage the reader to set high expectations for the potential of success. They also speak into the importance of offering stakeholders a well-communicated vision which can be accessed and maintained over the years. This resource will prove itself as a valuable part of any management library.

#23 Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life

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By: Spencer Johnson

With nearly 30 million copies in print since its release, Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life is not only one of the most recognized titles in business leadership, it is also one of the most celebrated. The title gives a clue to the overriding principle of the book which brings to mind a mouse scurrying through a maze to find the cheese at the end of the journey. It would all be such a natural process if we were given a map of the labyrinth but what if the cheese keeps getting moved? Dr. Johnson speaks into the need for business leaders to know of the certainty for change in business and life. He offers the accounts of Sniff and Scurry and Hem and Haw to have the reader evaluate what their personal and professional cheeses are and how to pursue them best.

Inventor of the One Minute Manager System, Spencer Johnson’s objective as an author seems to be a priority to teach business leaders how to stress less and enjoy life more. His approachable parables have a unique way of serving the reader and allowing him to evaluate what is most-valuable in business and life. Johnson works to disarm the fear and anxiety that many associate with change. When a manager can know that change is a certainty, she is then able to face it with confidence.

#24 Leading Change

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By: John P. Kotter

For years, John P. Kotter has been a trusted name in leadership, motivation, and change. Kotter is not only a New York Times bestselling author, but he is also the founder of Seattle-based management consulting firm Kotter International and Harvard Business School Professor of Leadership Emeritus. Of his 20 books, 12 have become business bestsellers, and to date, two have made the New York Times Bestseller list. His original title on leadership is Leading Change. Recognized by Time Magazine as a quintessential business management books of all time in 2011, Leading Change presents the reader with eight steps for managing change in business. Kotter gives solid advice on how to get the most out of employees and get an organization to achieve its goals.

In today’s business climate, change is inevitable. An organization’s ability to not only respond to change but to anticipate it and create a game plan for it is crucial. Kotter’s principles include the importance of urgency in leadership, the need for a clear and concise vision and strategy, how quality communication is the driving force behind change vision, hot to generate short-term wins and to anticipate cultural approaches. This excellent book reads like an instruction manual for success in business and will serve the reader as an invaluable tool-box of ideas.

#25 Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility

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By: Patty McCord

Few are aware, but author Patty McCord served at the media giant, Netflix, as chief talent officer. During her time at the uber-successful company, she was responsible for the recruitment and motivation of excellent teams. In her book, Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility, she peels back the layers of her experience to show the reader her successes and failures, not only at Netflix but also as a business leader in Silicon Valley. In this no-holds-barred resource of management gold, McCord stresses the need for honesty and transparency in management. She touches on topics like the need to celebrate a team’s success and how to let a team member go when the chemistry is not there.

McCord’s interesting perspective sheds light on many of the mistakes made in management. She believes the old-school way of motivating teams (employee engagement programs and annual performance reviews to name a couple) is a waste of time and resources. The author’s ability to convey essential business principles in a way that amuses and encourages the reader is sure to make this an important book for anyone who is desiring to take their leadership to the next level. This book is a game changer.

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What are the top books Human Resource Managers should read?

Methodology

To find the top management books today, Top Management Degrees examined over 20 sources and compiles a list of over 430 management books. This list is the product of finding the top 25 management books that spanned the most lists.

Sources include the following websites:

10 books every new manager should read by Business Insider
15 books every first-time manager should read by Inc.com
The 25 most influential business management books by Time
11 leadership books to read in 2018 by The Washington Post
15 top leadership books every current or future boss should read die by Inc.com
8 books every manager should read to become a better leader by Entrepreneur
24 leadership books to read before you die by CEO
10 must-read books to develop your leadership skills by Forbes
Best Sellers in Business Management by Amazon
The 10 top leadership books to read by the Center for Management & Organizational Effectiveness
Best business books in Leadership & Management by The Financial Times

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