Business managers have many duties, whether it be planning out future events, supervising new employees, or overseeing operations. While managers must know the fundamentals of running a business, many overlooked aspects lead businesses to fail. Whether you’re the #1 manager at your company or the newest employee, reading up on management techniques can help you and your co-workers set up for success. What are the best management books, though? Let's find out!

Business Management

Best Management Books

Below are the 9 best books on business management. If you’re looking to be a motivational leader, establish courage in your workplace or create a successful business, these are made for you. 

1. The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson

The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson

This compact guide on becoming an effective manager goes into three fundamental techniques that effective managers implement: setting one-minute goals, one-minute praisings, and one-minute reprimands. Although each strategy is one minute, the benefits are long-lasting, and have been proven to set businesses up for ultimate success.

By implementing the techniques recommended by Blanchard and Johnson, you’ll be able to motivate others and allow them to create higher quality work in the end. 

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2. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t by James C. Collins 

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t by James C. Collins

Good to Great explains how good companies go from average to legendary through great managing techniques. Collins explains what separates the good from the great, and why most companies fail to become great in the first place. This book includes a helpful model that allows the reader to implement useful managing techniques in their own business.

Collin claims that successful companies are made up of 3 key aspects: disciplined people, disciplined thought, and disciplined action. By reading Good to Great, you’ll figure out how to outperform your competitors and avoid bad habits that lead to downfall. 

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3. Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies by James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras 

Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies by James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras

Outlining the research extracted from a 6-year long research project, Built to Last explains the proven managing techniques that lead to legendary companies. Collins and Porras go into the process of building a company that is admired by peers, holding an outstanding reputation, and implementing a significant impact on the world. 

They consistently emphasize that while management techniques have the power to improve a company’s effectiveness, it’s how the managing techniques impact the organization as a whole that matters most in the long run. While focusing on the leader is essential, focusing on managing the entire business is perhaps the most crucial predictor of future success.

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4. Becoming a Manager: How New Managers Master the Challenges of Leadership by Linda A. Hill 

Becoming a Manager: How New Managers Master the Challenges of Leadership by Linda A. Hill

Good managers know how to do great work themselves, but great managers know how to lead others. In Becoming a Manager, Linda A. Hill describes how managers can win trust and motivate their employees. After all, the best managers hold a balance of power between delegation and control. 

This book goes into strategies of 19 managers over the course of five years. The observations reveal the hidden expectations of a manager and how to live up to them. Hill goes into the personal experiences of each new manager and how they reframed their understanding of the role. Ultimately, they learned how to effectively manage, build meaningful work relationships, and cope with the inevitable stress that comes with the job. 

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5. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries 

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

The Lean Startup is the perfect book for business leaders and entrepreneurs to expand their influence and stand out. It offers a real-world approach to building a successful business by using validation, creating a profitable business model, and ensuring consistent growth.

The lean startup technique claims that businesses must use continuous innovation to create things that become successful. Managers go against the status quo, growing radically successful companies, and standing out from the rest. It’s not enough to establish a business idea and execute a plan. You must learn, through trial and error, what works best, and be open to evolving based on the consumers’ ever-changing needs. 

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6. The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker 

The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker

Referred to by The Wall Street Journal as “the dean of this country’s business and management philosophy,” Peter Drucker has created a timeless classic on the management principles. No matter where you are in your organization's rank, this book can help you become more effective in your workplace. 

In this, Drucker elaborates on how productive people aren’t just born that way, but cultivate effectiveness by learning what works and what doesn’t. Later on, he explains the element of decision making, and how to only spend time on things that matter. By reading The Effective Executive, you’ll improve your effectiveness and not only get more done but also do better work. 

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7. Dare to Lead by Brené Brown

Dare to Lead by Brené Brown

In Dare to Lead, an expert on shame and vulnerability, Brené Brown explains how leaders and teams alike sabotage themselves by avoiding vulnerability. Without being vulnerable to others in our organization, there is no room for innovation and creativity.

This book is about facing your fears and building an organizational culture built on the courage to be vulnerable. Brown exposes recent evidence showing that the most effective leaders are culture shifters and change-makers, one of the many reasons that this ended up being a #1 New York Times best-seller.

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8. High Output Management by Andrew Grove 

High Output Management by Andrew Grove

In High Output Management, former chairman and CEO of Intel shares his learned perspective on how to run a company best. In this Silicon Valley classic, Grove elaborates on his past failures and successes and what he believes is the most effective strategy in managing a successful business and team. 

To be any manager, leader, or entrepreneur, you must know how to manage. Grove goes into actionable techniques that teach the reader how to create highly productive teams, inspire motivation, and improve productivity.

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9. Leading Change by John Kotter

Leading Change by John Kotter

Leading Change is a best-selling action plan on change management and leadership from the world's expert on business leadership. In this classic text, Kotter describes his 8-step change process, and how it can give your change initiative the best chance at success. Starting from establishing a sense of urgency and ending with anchoring new approaches in culture, Kotter provides the reader with all they need to know to become a force of influence.

Later on, he gives helpful tools on how you can transform your organization, why many firms fail, and how you can set yourself up for success before the actual execution begins. By reading Leading Change, you’ll be able to transform mediocrity into leading greatness. 

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Putting These Best Management Books To Use

No matter what position you are within your organization, or what career you currently hold, managing effectively is beneficial for any professional aspect of life. Learning about what makes businesses successful, and what makes them fail is at the root of success, and can help you prevent those failures in the future. 

Reading up on these management books will help you form long-lasting professional relationships, improve your productivity, and create positive change in your industry. 

Looking to gain more knowledge that can help make you an effective manager? If so, you may also enjoy our guides on the best leadership courses and the best project management courses. Learn how to hone your skills and be successful!

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