10 of the Best Books for New Managers | Fellow.app (2022)

One way of continuously growing and working on your professional development is through reading. Reading can help us learn new habits that we can then teach to the teams we manage. Reading can be one of the most effective ways to support someone moving into a management position because reading feels leisurely, but you’re actually acquiring a lot of valuable knowledge. Leading a team is not a skill that anyone is born with. Gaining leadership skills takes time, effort, and a lot of learning. In this article, we’ll cover some of the best books for new managers so you can feel more confident and more equipped to lead a team of employees.

  • How books can benefit new managers
  • 10 best books for new managers

How books can benefit new managers

Books can benefit new managers because they provide an excellent opportunity to learn and to gain a new perspective on management that is outside of the manager’s immediate circle of leaders or coworkers. There is a huge variety of management books, so new managers have the opportunity to select a book that speaks to them personally. What’s better is that the best books for new managers hold so many lessons and insights that can be applied in your personal life and, therefore, can enrich your life more broadly in a way that extends beyond the office. Because there is often no formal training on how to become a manager, reading can be used as your secret weapon as you grow into a leader.

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10 best books for new managers

1High Output Management by Andy Grove

High Output Management is a great book for new managers because it teaches the essential skill of creating and maintaining new businesses for the modern-day entrepreneur. That said, this book is not only for entrepreneurs, as it holds many learning lessons for managers that come from all kinds of businesses. Andy Grove, former chairman and CEO of Intel, shares his perspective on how to build and run a successful organization.

“But in the end self-confidence mostly comes from a gut-level realization that nobody has ever died from making a wrong business decision, or taking inappropriate action, or being overruled. And everyone in your operation should be made to understand this.”

– Andy Grove, High Output Management

2Radical Candor by Kim Scott

Radical Candor is an optimal read if you’re new to leadership because it’s about caring about your role personally while providing constructive criticism to improve your leadership and your team’s performance. There is a focus on how to provide effective guidance that will help your team grow. This book focuses on praise but also teaches you how to deliver criticism in the most effective way possible so you enjoy your leadership role and the time you spend with the people with whom you work.

“When it comes to our own biases, I think we’re often much more likely to actually have a fixed mindset – I am not a biased person. Instead, adopt a mindset like – I do not want to be a biased person, but I know I have a lot of biases and I’m curious to learn what they are so that I can get better and improve.”

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– Kim Scott, Radical Candor

3Be the Boss Everyone Wants to Work For: A Guide for New Leaders by William A. Gentry, Ph.D.

“We all have mental scripts that tell us how the world works. Your old script was all about “me”: standing out as an individual. But as a new leader, you need to flip your script from “me” to “we” and help the group you lead succeed. In Be the Boss Everyone Wants to Work For: A Guide for New Leaders, Gentry supports and coaches you to flip your script in six key areas. He offers actionable, practical, evidence-based advice and examples drawn from his research, his work with leaders, and his own failures and triumphs of becoming a new leader. Get started flipping your script and become the kind of boss everyone wants to work for.”

“Your script helps you understand who you are and how to live. It’s what is expected of you. When you write your own script, you provide details about how you are supposed to think; what you are supposed to do; how you should act, feel, relate with others; how you should view the world; and how you should view yourself. Scripts help us understand our roles and our purpose.”

– William Gentry, Ph.D., Be the Boss Everyone Wants to Work For: A Guide for New Leaders

4Bossypants by Tina Fey

Tina Fey has made her childhood dream of being a TV comedian come true. Bossypants touches on her youth to her rise to fame, which started on Saturday Night Live. Everything from motherhood to self-consciousness is touched upon, and Tina Fey reveals all there is to know about her and how she made her dreams become a reality. She reminds us that you are no one until someone decides to call you bossy.

“Don’t waste your energy trying to educate or change opinions; go over, under, through, and opinions will change organically when you’re the boss. Or they won’t. Who cares? Do your thing, and don’t care if they like it.”

― Tina Fey, Bossypants

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5Own the Room: Business Presentations that Persuade, Engage, and Get Results by Booth, Shames, & Desberg

Own the Room: Business Presentations that Persuade, Engage, and Get Results is a fabulous book for new managers because it provides insights on an essential skill: presenting. This book teaches new managers to facilitate presentations that engage and move the audience, creating buy-in and trust. The authors present the renowned Eloqui Method—involving innovative techniques that are modern, versatile, and effective. Research has demonstrated that more memorable presentations are the result of a combination of using ethos while also using factual information. The techniques presented in this book have been used over the past decade by several Fortune 500 companies such as TD, Fisher-Price, and Pfizer. If you’re looking to optimize your presentation skills, this is the book for you.

6Welcome to Management: How to Grow from Top Performer to Excellent Leader by Ryan Hawk

Welcome to Management: How to Grow from Top Performer to Excellent Leader is a great book for those looking for an all-in-one guide to becoming a great manager. Ryan Hawk presents a new and actionable framework that is created as a result of over 300 interviews from the most innovative thinkers and leaders from around the globe, while also drawing from his own professional experience as he journeyed to become a leader. This book teaches every new manager how to lead themselves, how to build their team, and finally, how to lead their team. Providing case studies, interviews, and personal stories, this book helps you take the leap from individual contributor to leader.

“If you are curious and open for the ride, you will discover that leadership is a journey into yourself.”

– Ryan Hawk, Welcome to Management: How to Grow from Top Performer to Excellent Leader

7The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz

Ben Horowitz, one of Silicon Valley’s most respected entrepreneurs, offers crucial advice on building and running a new business in The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers, which is based on his popular blog. Horowitz provides practical wisdom for managing extremely difficult problems and analyzes the problems that leaders face on a daily basis, sharing the insights he’s gained while developing, managing, selling, buying, investing in, and supervising technology companies. This book gives it to you straight while simultaneously being hilarious. If you’re looking to start your own venture, this is the book for you.

“There are no shortcuts to knowledge, especially knowledge gained from personal experience. Following conventional wisdom and relying on shortcuts can be worse than knowing nothing at all.”

― Ben Horowitz, The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers

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8Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones is a book with a proven framework for improving your habits every day. James Clear is one of the world’s leading experts on habit formation and provides his readers with practical tips that will teach new managers how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master different smaller behaviours that can lead to remarkable results. Clear highlights that if you’re having issues with your habits, your problem is the system that you have in place, not yourself. He, therefore, provides a proven system that can take you to new levels as a leader.

“Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of your new identity.”

― James Clear, Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

9Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It by Chris Voss

Former FBI agent Chris Voss had a career as a hostage negotiator which brought him face-to-face with a range of hard situations with difficult individuals. Later, he became the FBI’s lead international kidnapping negotiator. His book Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It takes you inside the world of high-stakes, tough, and seemingly impossible negotiations, teaching you the skills that helped him and his colleagues succeed in saving lives. This is a practical guide in which Voss shares nine effective principles, counterintuitive tactics, and strategies you can use to become a better negotiator in your professional and personal life.

“Negotiation as you’ll learn it here is nothing more than communication with results.”

― Chris Voss, Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It

10How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

How to Win Friends & Influence People is one of those classic management books that remains relevant even today. This book teaches new managers to take any situation that comes their way and make it work for them. Carnegie’s time-tested advice has taught countless people how to find success in their professional and personal lives. This is one of the most groundbreaking and timeless bestsellers of all time, and it will teach new managers how to make people like you, how to win people to your way of thinking, and how to change people without provoking feelings of resentment.

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“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

― Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends & Influence People

Parting advice

Reading is a way to give you a new perspective on your management journey. Often, the authors of these books are extremely successful, so reading these types of books is often like having a mentor or a guide. Because you have the liberty of choosing a book that really speaks to you, not only will you enjoy reading as a hobby, but you’ll also gain new ideas, tools, and resources to yield in your new leadership position. What you take away after finishing a book can be really motivating, and your takeaways can equip you with lessons and learnings you can then pass on to your team as you simultaneously learn with them. In this way, reading is truly the gift that keeps on giving!

FAQs

What a new manager should read? ›

Best books for new managers
  • High Output Management. ...
  • Managing Oneself. ...
  • Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. ...
  • The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business. ...
  • Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future. ...
  • Nudge. ...
  • Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams.
29 Jun 2021

What new managers should do first? ›

Here are seven things you should start working on in your first day as a manager:
  • Adopt a growth mindset.
  • Build rapport with everyone you can.
  • Start one on ones with your team right away.
  • Practice asking good questions & listening.
  • Master the art of managing up.
  • Get to know your peers.
  • Look for some quick wins.

What are the 5 most important things a manager needs to do? ›

  • They Align Organizational Purpose With Team Goals.
  • They Demonstrate Empathy With Their Team.
  • They Delegate Tasks Effectively.
  • They Set Clear Goals And Expectations.
  • They Make Communication A Priority.
  • They Bring Out The Best In Their People.
  • They Leverage The Latest Technology.
  • They Set Up The Team For Success.

What are the top 3 skills of a manager? ›

Robert Katz identifies three types of skills that are essential for a successful management process: Technical skills. Conceptual skills. Human or interpersonal management skills.

What are the 8 traits of a good manager? ›

8 Traits of Effective Managers
  • Practice Open Communication. ...
  • Turn Feedback into Action. ...
  • Establish and Maintain Trust. ...
  • Foster a Culture of Belonging. ...
  • Provide Support in Weathering Change. ...
  • Encourage Collaboration. ...
  • Support Career Development. ...
  • Walk the Walk.
28 Apr 2021

What should a new manager do in the first 90 days? ›

Things To Do During the First 90 Days as a New Manager
  • Connect with the Boss and Their Boss. ...
  • Create a Plan and Set Expectations. ...
  • Connect with Counterparts. ...
  • Ask Questions. ...
  • Give Yourself Time to Learn. ...
  • Connect With Your Teams. ...
  • Celebrate Wins, Even Small Ones.
12 Jul 2022

What are manager's 3 main responsibilities? ›

Most of the job responsibilities of a manager fit into one of three categories: planning, controlling, or evaluating.

What should a manager do in the first week? ›

Your first week as a manager: 7 things to remember
  • Don't just play the "role" of manager. The first thing to be said about managing a team is to be yourself. ...
  • Don't rock the boat too much. ...
  • Know what's expected of you. ...
  • Meet your team individually. ...
  • Prepare for your first group meeting. ...
  • Find a mentor. ...
  • Be your own model employee.
12 Aug 2022

What are the 4 skills managers need? ›

The following are 6 essential skills that managers need to have in order to manage employees effectively and efficiently to get the best from them.
  • Good communication. ...
  • Good Organisation. ...
  • Team Building. ...
  • Leadership. ...
  • Ability to Deal with Changes Effectively. ...
  • Domain Knowledge.

What is a good 30 60 90 day plan? ›

An effective 30-60-90 day plan consists of three larger phases — one for days 1-30, one for days 31-60, and one for days 61-90. Each phase has its own goal. For example, the goal in the first 30 days is to learn as much as possible about your new job.

What should a manager say on the first day? ›

Start with a sincere greeting and share what motivates you as a manager. Consider asking your staff what their passions are outside of work to build a rapport. Set the standard for regular individual meetings to help lead your team to ensure future success.

What should a manager do in the first 3 months? ›

Recalibrate & plan your next steps
  • Managing your manager.
  • Managing your direct reports and actively delegating. Make sure to get them growth opportunities.
  • Staying connected with stakeholders & peers.
  • Getting and giving feedback.
  • Delegating.
21 Jul 2022

What are the 5 M's of management? ›

Production management's responsibilities are summarized by the “five M's”: men, machines, methods, materials, and money.

What makes a successful manager? ›

Managers become great communicators by being good listeners. They allow time for others to speak. They have a clear understanding of the organization's vision and share it with the people in their team in a way that motivates them. They keep their team up-to-date on what's happening in the organization.

What personality makes the best manager? ›

Personality Traits of Good Managers
  • Free-spirited and positive. ...
  • Flexibility and respect for employees. ...
  • Honesty and selflessness. ...
  • Focused and goal-driven. ...
  • Task management and delegation. ...
  • Problem-solving and critical thinking. ...
  • Time management and organization skills. ...
  • Conflict resolution.
16 Feb 2020

What are the top 3 qualities you expect from new manager? ›

Let's take a closer look at the top 15 qualities of a good manager.
  • Transparency. Energage research shows employees at Top Workplaces feel well-informed about important company decisions. ...
  • Good Communication. Good managers are great communicators. ...
  • Trust. ...
  • Empathy. ...
  • Decisiveness. ...
  • Vision. ...
  • Accountability. ...
  • Employee development.
4 Jun 2021

What personality makes a good manager? ›

Empathetic and Understanding. Social perceptiveness is one of the most important personality traits of successful managers, according to the Occupational Information Network, or ONET. Effective leaders naturally want to help, coach, and nurture their employees.

What should a new manager do in the first 100 days? ›

Your first 100 days checklist
  • Make the most of your induction.
  • Get to know your team.
  • Set out to develop a winning team.
  • Get to know your manager.
  • Identify the criteria against you will be judged.
  • Be aware of the culture of your organisation.
  • Develop a broader understanding of your organisation and your role within it.
9 Aug 2022

What should managers avoid? ›

7 common mistakes top management should avoid:
  • Forgetting to set clear goals and expectations. ...
  • Micromanaging and not delegating responsibility. ...
  • Resisting change. ...
  • Failing to acknowledge employees' hard work. ...
  • Setting a bad example. ...
  • Lacking communication with the team. ...
  • Not incorporating feedback.
12 Apr 2022

What managers should not tell? ›

40 Things You Should Never Say to Your Boss
  • "I am so hungover right now." ...
  • "Mind if I dip out early today for an interview?" ...
  • "Your job isn't even that hard." ...
  • "Sorry I'm late, I didn't want to be here." ...
  • "I am so bored right now." ...
  • "That's not my fault." ...
  • "That's not my job." ...
  • "I voted for…"

What is the biggest mistake a manager can make? ›

Top Management Mistakes
  1. Not making the transition from worker to manager. ...
  2. Not setting clear goals and expectations. ...
  3. Failing to delegate. ...
  4. Not recognizing employee achievement. ...
  5. Failing to communicate. ...
  6. Not making time for employees. ...
  7. Going for the quick fix over the lasting solution. ...
  8. Starting your day without a plan of actionv.

What is the hardest part of a managers job? ›

Hardest Parts of Being a Manager
  1. Firing an Underperforming Employee. ...
  2. Supporting a Grieving Employee. ...
  3. Handling Conflict Between Multiple Employees. ...
  4. Dealing With a Dishonest Employee. ...
  5. Persuading an Employee to Stay.
19 Jun 2018

What should a manager do in the first 60 days? ›

Actions to take:

Review business/ department goals/objectives. Review your job description & org charts. Schedule meetings with key colleagues. Learn departmental processes & systems.

How do I establish myself as a new manager? ›

Get off on the right foot with these steps for a smooth transition.
  1. Get Smart. First off, make it your personal mission to learn everything you can—believe me, this is the big key to success as a new manager. ...
  2. Find a Mentor. ...
  3. Change Your Focus. ...
  4. Listen and Learn. ...
  5. Address Relationship Shifts. ...
  6. Be on Model Behavior. ...
  7. Manage Up.
25 Aug 2021

What should a manager do in the first month? ›

They are:
  • Start dressing like a leader. ...
  • Develop professional relationships with your staff, not friendships. ...
  • Stay visible. ...
  • Clarify expectations with your boss. ...
  • Set expectations and establish group norms with your team. ...
  • Schedule time away from work for your friends and family. ...
  • Learn, learn and learn some more.
19 Dec 2016

What is the number one role of a manager? ›

Leadership

Leadership is one of the most critical skills for success as a manager. People in management positions must be capable of helping drive employees to meet goals, motivate them through challenges and ensure they have all the support they need to excel in their jobs.

What do managers do all day? ›

Meetings, meetings, meetings. Managers are often responsible for an area of the business. This requires several meetings including operational, team 1:1s, project specific, strategic and ad-hoc. The main issue with the meetings is that they can consume so much time and leave you no time to do your deliverable work.

What are the 7 functions of management? ›

The 7 functions of management are as follows:
  • Planning.
  • Organising.
  • Staffing.
  • Directing.
  • Coordinating.
  • Reporting.
  • Budgeting.

Why do first time managers fail? ›

Research conducted by CEB shows that 60 percent of new managers fail within the first 24 months of their new position. And according to Steve Smith, the author of Managing for Success: Practical Advice for Managers, the main reason why most new managers fail is because they were never properly trained to manage.

How do you lead a team with no experience? ›

7 Management tips for first-timers
  1. Know yourself and your organization. ...
  2. Share your assets. ...
  3. Value and practice transparency. ...
  4. Schedule regular one-on-one meetings. ...
  5. Recognize great work. ...
  6. Focus on team performance. ...
  7. Learn to delegate.
2 Jun 2022

What is the average age of a manager? ›

The average age of an employed manager is 44 years old.

What are the 6 managerial competencies? ›

AMA has identified this list of 6 core competencies that are crucial to your success as a leader and manager.
  • Management and Leadership Skills. ...
  • Communication Skills. ...
  • Collaboration Skills. ...
  • Critical Thinking Skills. ...
  • Finance Skills. ...
  • Project Management Skills.

How do you break the ice with a new boss? ›

Make a Connection
  1. Start with the basics. Ideally, your boss will introduce him or herself to you but if not, take the initiative. ...
  2. Follow up. Watch for opportunities to help your boss, and take them. ...
  3. Actions speak louder than words. Show your new boss what you can do. ...
  4. Find common ground.
5 Mar 2014

What do you discuss in the first 1 1 with a manager? ›

Here are some great topics to consider:
  • Your Career/Growth Goals: If you have an aspiration, don't assume your manager knows it. ...
  • Team Improvement: Have ideas to help the team improve, or work better? ...
  • Self Improvement: Want help, feedback, or coaching on something?

What are some common mistakes of first year managers? ›

Unfortunately, when you're a new manager just starting, you often don't have the experience to do the same thing.
...
Avoid the Nine Common Mistakes New Supervisors Usually Make
  • Indecision. ...
  • Making all the decisions. ...
  • Lack of a plan and goals. ...
  • Not meeting with your direct hires immediately. ...
  • Trying to fix all the problems at once.
24 Aug 2021

What challenges do new managers face? ›

The 12 Most Common Challenges Faced by New Managers
  • Motivating and Inspiring. ...
  • Holding People Accountable. ...
  • Coaching and Developing Others. ...
  • Communicating More Effectively. ...
  • Delegating and Trust-Building. ...
  • Resolving Interpersonal Conflict. ...
  • Connecting Across Differences. ...
  • Prioritizing Competing Demands.

What a new manager should say? ›

In-person meeting

I'm [your name], and I'm your new manager here at [organization]. Let me start by telling you why I'm here. My goals include [list some quick goals and expectations]. I'm excited to work with you all to meet those goals and to hear what's worked well for you in the past.

What are the top 7 competencies of a great manager? ›

What Are The Top 7 Competencies Of A Great Manager?
  • Communication. Being able to communicate your own 'vision' to the team is so vital for any manager. ...
  • Delegation. ...
  • Motivating Others. ...
  • Organising & Task Management. ...
  • Patience. ...
  • Building Effective Teams. ...
  • Self-development.
24 Jun 2013

What should a new manager avoid? ›

7 simple mistakes to avoid as a new manager
  • Mistake #1: Micromanaging your team members. ...
  • Mistake #2: Trying to manage everyone the same way. ...
  • Mistake #3: Pretending you know all the answers. ...
  • Mistake #4: Avoiding difficult conversations. ...
  • Mistake #5: Not sharing the vision behind the numbers.
29 Sept 2021

What should a first time manager not do? ›

Mistakes to Avoid as a First-Time Manager
  • Not Delegating Tasks. ...
  • Diving Too Deep into the Details. ...
  • Forgetting to Ask "Why?" ...
  • Trying to Make Too Much Change Too Soon. ...
  • Avoiding Difficult Conversations or Decisions. ...
  • Not Prioritizing Trust. ...
  • Not Seeking Out Mentors. ...
  • Saying “I” Instead of “We”
29 Nov 2018

What is the greatest strength of a manager? ›

Strengths of management
  • Reliability. Managers make sure their teams complete tasks and meet deadlines. ...
  • Organization. Managers are aware of every detail of a project or process. ...
  • Motivational. Effective managers inspire their teams to be their best. ...
  • Problem-solving. ...
  • Flexibility. ...
  • Commitment to excellence. ...
  • Teamwork. ...
  • Optimism.

What are the top 2/3 things that my manager could do better? ›

  • Identify the most important behaviors for great managers at your organization. ...
  • Build trust. ...
  • Be a true collaborator. ...
  • Make employee recognition your ritual. ...
  • Rethink how you promote your people. ...
  • Flip the traditional performance process.

What are the 3 roles of a manager? ›

Managers' roles fall into three basic categories: informational roles, interpersonal roles, and decisional roles.

What makes a manager a great leader? ›

Good managers support their staff and trust in their abilities. They stand up for their team and defend them to senior leadership. They delegate tasks with confidence and never micromanage. They know putting faith in capable employees empowers them to further their ability and professional development.

What makes a manager successful? ›

A good leader sets a positive example and knows how to use their strengths to help their team achieve goals. Successful managers get to know their employees and find ways to support them so they produce their best work. It's important to consistently communicate clear goals, expectations and feedback to your team.

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