There is a difference between managers and leaders.
Managers oversee people and tell them what to do. Leaders bring out the best in people and guide or lead them to do their very best. It is possible to learn how to lead and improve your performance as a manager. There are literally thousands of books written on the subject. For those who are responsible for leading and managing employees, here are the top 21 books for managers.
1. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make The Leap and Others Don't - This book by Jim Collins answers the question, "How do mediocre companies become great?"
2. Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage - This is the story of Ernest Shackleton and how he led his crew of sailors through a year on the Antarctic Seas and eventually back to safety.
3. The Emperor's Handbook: A New Translation of the Meditations -This book presents the thoughts and advice from one of the greatest leaders of all time, Marcus Aurelius.
4. How to Have Confidence and Power in Dealing with People - This book provides a basic approach to communicating and dealing with people. It explains how to deal with others as they really are, not how you want them to be.
5. Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies - This is a book about visionary companies which endure and stand the test of time.
6. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People - This is one of the most popular books on leadership ever written. In it, the author Stephen R. Covey discusses a principle-centered approach to dealing with professional and personal problems.
7. Primal Leadership: Learning to Lead with Emotional Intelligence - This book reveals insights and lessons on leadership drawn from extensive research on the top companies in the world.
8. The Art of War - Written more than two thousand years ago, this book is still one of the best ever written on how to lead people and bring them to success.
9. Wooden on Leadership: How to Create a Winning Organization - This book reveals a glimpse to the leadership principles of one of the greatest coaches in America, John Wooden.
10. Developing the Leader Within You - Written by a pastor and business leader, John Maxwell, this book describes a biblical foundation for leadership that applies across all facets of life.
11. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln - This is an awarding winning narrative on how Lincoln won both his party's nomination and eventually the presidency.
12. Liar's Poker - Liar's Poker is a behind-the-scenes look at the jungle that is Wall Street.
13. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion - Considered by many to be the classical book on the psychology of persuasion, this book explains why people say, "yes" and how to bring them to that point.
14. True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership - Based on interviews with 25 of the top leaders today, this book provides insights on how those who follow their internal compass can become a truly authentic leader.
15. Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow - Scientists from Gallup examined decades of research on leadership. This book provides their results and insights into how to be an effective leader.
16. Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard - This book examines why it is so difficult to create change - within our lives, our communities, and our companies.
17. How to Win Friends and Influence People - First released in 1936, the principles defined in this book is still relevant today.
18. The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World - In this book, the author takes a look at the history of money and its impact on society.
19. The Truth About Leadership: The No-Fads, Heart-of-the-Matter Facts You Need To Know - Written by two of the world's experts on leadership, this book is based on 30 years of research.
20. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us - This is a discussion on what truly motivates people and how to get them to want to do their best.
21. Crucial Conversations: Tools For Talking When States are High - When it comes to important discussions, emotions can flare and nothing gets done. This book discusses how to keep your cool to get what you want.
These are our top 21 books for managers and are a must read for anyone who wants to be a leader and able to motivate and inspire their employees. There are many more than just these top 21 books for managers, but these are the best place to start. If you're looking for additional tools to make your management workflow run more smoothly, check out Your Next Seven!
Now it's your turn! We want you to tell us what book has influenced you as a leader or manager, and how it made a difference in your management practices!