A manager's work is never done, but reading people management books can help you keep your finger on the organizational pulse. The wonderful thing about reading the best people management books is that you're getting distilled knowledge that you can easily assimilate to improve your overall management skills.
Here are the top ten principles of management books and authors you need to know about:
Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win
By Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
The authors of this book are two former, highly decorated U.S. Navy SEAL officers who were tried and tested by the Iraq War but passed their military leadership lessons with flying colors. Today, they share the powerful lessons they learned with the business world. Surprisingly, leadership or people management has its core principles, which is why the authors of this book can adapt their battlefield experience to real-world business cases.
Each chapter contains a battlefield scene at the beginning, followed by the people management principle behind each scene. The book's title references the fact that when managing people, leaders and managers need to take full responsibility or ownership for everything that occurs in the organization if they want to be better leaders.
By Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler
Good communication is key to people management, but it's not always easy having productive conversations with your team when stakes are high, the pressure is overwhelming, and emotions run rampant. Fortunately, this book contains many nuggets for navigating difficult conversations.
In a nutshell, the book teaches how to create a safe environment for communication and the importance of sticking to facts and using your words carefully. This is one of the best books on managing difficult people because it teaches you to keep your head when dealing with stressful situations.
Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts
By Brené Brown
In this book, the author outlines four critical skills that can help managers build a positive work culture. In short, managers learn how to be vulnerable, lead with more compassion, cultivate trust, and handle failure effectively.
One of the key takeaways from this book is that successful managers need to have empathy to understand their team's perspective even when their authority feels threatened. The principles in this book are supported by research and personal stories, so you can be confident you're learning practical and realistic people management principles.
How to Win Friends and Influence People
By Dale Carnegie
Effective people management requires certain people skills, and this book is packed with all the techniques that will help you develop those skills. For instance, the book touches on various lessons, such as how appreciation can improve motivation instead of focusing on criticism.
In fact, this is one of the best books for new managers because it teaches fundamental principles of handling people that have stood the test of time.
Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity
By Kim Scott
This is the book for you if you want to manage people effectively and efficiently while avoiding a bad boss reputation. In most instances, managing people is tricky because while you want people to like you, it's also your responsibility to provide constructive feedback. However, by using "radical candor," it's possible to do so while showing your team members that you're a leader that cares. This makes it easier to achieve the following:
- Create a culture of compassionate and honest communication.
- Build a cohesive team
- Achieve results through teamwork
The Making of a Manager: What to Do When Everyone Looks to You
by Julie Zhuo
Managing people sounds easy until you have a team of people relying on you to lead them on a project. This book is suitable for managers at every level, whether they are new, seasoned, or something in between. It contains plenty of examples to help you get deeper insights into becoming a great manager and establishing trust with your reports.
The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey
by Ken Blanchard
Managing people can be overwhelming because when people look up to you, they tend to bring a lot of problems to your table (monkeys) for you to solve. When you read this book, you'll discover how to empower your team to solve their own problems so you have enough time to meet your own priorities. This is key when managing people. Otherwise, it's all too easy to fail to delegate and start micromanaging.
Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams
By Tom DeMarco
This book is a must-read, especially in today's business world, where technology is the order of the day. The book was primarily written for managers with software teams. It gives a greater insight into the human element behind software problems and how to solve them to increase your chances of successful projects in the workplace.
Managing Humans: Biting and Humorous Tales of a Software Engineering Manager
By Micheal Lopp
This book is a lighthearted read filled with many valuable nuggets of wisdom related to people management. The author worked in Silicone Valley and has been there and done that, so they are able to provide highly relatable advice about managing humans. By reading the book, you'll learn about hiring the best employees, motivating employees, leading teams, and building effective teams.
The First-Time Manager
By Jim McCormick, Loren B. Belker, Gary S. Topchik
This is one of the best business management books for beginners. You can think of it as a shortcut to becoming a better manager and learning how to handle your team like a pro.
The book contains a lot of good advice for new managers, but it's a bit of a long read because there's so much first-time managers need to learn before they can confidently fill out their shoes. The book covers a wide range of topics, including conducting meetings, recruiting, delegating work, carrying out performance reviews, plus more.
Sharpen Your Skills With People Management Books
Picture a work environment where employees and team members are motivated, and there's smooth communication in all directions. You can achieve such an environment with the help of these best people management books.
People management is crucial because an organization's employees are its greatest resources, and you can effectively leverage them to increase productivity and profitability.