“The conventional definition of management is getting work done through people, but real management is developing people through work.” — Agha Hasan Abedi
I finished my new list of insightful Management Books. It’s a collection of my favorite and noteworthy management books.
Insightful Management Books for the Real-World
One of the things that makes this book list unique is that I find out about great management books from people that are getting results. It’s not just my wisdom – it’s the collective wisdom of my network.
I ask my colleagues at Microsoft, what management books made a difference for them, and I ask people outside of Microsoft, from freelancers to Entrepreneurs to CxOs (CxO is simply short-hand for CEO, CTO, CIO, etc.) I then test these books out based on their recommendations, and I continue to expand my library.
Battle-Tested Management Books for Getting Results
Another thing that makes the list unique is that it’s “battle-tested.” In other words, these are books that I use in the trenches to get results. While many books have good theories and ideas, I’m a fan of turning insight into action and getting real results on the job.
One thing I have learned though, is that the burden is usually on the reader to translate the ideas into action. As a reader, I accept that responsibility, and I “own” my results by deliberately turning the books I read into actionable insights. I try to go the extra mile by sharing the insights I learn with both the people I mentor, but also scale it out to a larger audience, here on my blog.
Mapping Out the Most Effective Management Books
There are more books than we’ll ever read in a life time, so part of what I try to accomplish is map out the best of the best. Best is always relative though, so I optimize towards “effective.”
Additionally, I try to find the most effective books, based on scenarios. For example, if you’re starting a new job, The First 90 Days is golden. If you need to figure out how to share vision and create a strategy for execution, Flawless Execution is a great start. If you need to shift to fully engage and empower your workforce, Zengage is the place to start.
Note that I originally included brief scenario descriptions for each book, but I cut that it in favor of keeping the list as lean as possible. I’ll solve this problem eventually, such as maybe adding a scenario map, but for now, I’m more concerned about sharing a lean list of the books I draw from for insight and action on the job.
Call to Action
- Explore my list of insightful management books.
- Tell me what books I need to know about.
- Tell me *why* I need to know about them.
It’s a living library of management books. I’m regularly expanding my library and I regularly recommend books to people, not just at Microsoft, but I regularly interact with fellow lifelong learners beyond Microsoft too.