25 Best Management Books To Read in 2024

25 Best Management Books To Read in 2024

Have you ever wondered what it is that makes successful people who they are? Do they have similar traits? Or is there a practice you can immediately implement in your business? Reading their experiences, philosophies, and thoughts is one way to shape your leadership mindset.

Looking for the latest list of management books that you must read? We have made it easier for you. Here are some thoughtful selections that we believe will resonate with you, our reader. Discover our book recommendations in this article.

25 Management Books to Have on Your Bookshelf

As per eRs, a top-notch resource management software, here are 25 books that can teach you a lot about management and can transform you into a great leader.

1. The One Minute Manager - by Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson

Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson’s short and sweet book is about a man who is in search of a good leader. In his journey, the man meets several types of leaders — like aristocrats and democrats. Finally, the guy hears of the “one minute manager” and can’t wait to meet him. What he discovers is that what makes the one minute manager effective is that he has very clear and uncluttered ideas on what he expects from those he manages.

The one-minute manager follows three techniques:
One minute goal setting
One minute praising
One minute reprimanding

You might be wondering if it all takes just a minute, how can it be effective? Well, the one-minute manager says it’s simple but it works. If someone is doing a great job, praise them for a minute, if they need correction, use a minute to help them. The easy book quickly delves into how to set goals, appraise and reprimand others.

What makes this book a must-have is that it’s a short and easy read with simple to implement tips. Some of the tools can be applied to your personal life as well.

25 Best Management Books To Read in 2024

2. The Making of a Manager - by Julie Zhou

Facebook’s first intern, Julie Zhou, shares her experience of becoming a manager at the young age of 25. This Wall Street Journal best seller has anecdotes of what and how Julie did when she felt like she didn’t know what she was doing.

The subtitle of the book, What to do When Everyone Looks to You, accurately describes what the book is about. The main message Julie promotes is that good managers are made. Julie delves into her experience of leading countless teams with no guidance or resources into a riveting and easy to follow tale. The three main themes are purpose, people, and process.

You might be wondering if it all takes just a minute, how can it be effective? Well, the one-minute manager says it’s simple but it works. If someone is doing a great job, praise them for a minute, if they need correction, use a minute to help them. The easy book quickly delves into how to set goals, appraise and reprimand others.

She also shares practical and easy-to-implement tricks that can help any newly promoted manager lead effectively. Some of the accessible advise Julie offers includes not hiding problems from your own manager and not offering feedback in a “complimentary sandwich.” The book cuts through a lot of industry jargon and it almost seems like Julie is sharing her secrets with you over coffee. She even offers advice on how and who to hire, what to do when you feel like you have no faith or answers, and how to build trust with your team.

The Making of a Manager by Julie Zhou

3. Good to Great - by Jim Collins

Probably touted as the most popular management book in the past two decades, Jim Collins’ Good to Great is a must-have for any manager or business head. Jim Collins and his team studied 1100+ companies, over a five year period, to understand why some companies make the leap and others don’t.

Collins states that the journey from good to great happens rarely because it’s quite difficult. To make the jump, an organization has to undergo a series of steps or phrases. The phases are made up of six key learnings that any company can use to become great instead of just being moderate:

  1. Level 5 Leadership
  2. First Who, Then What
  3. Confront the Brutal Facts
  4. Hedgehog Concept
  5. Culture of Discipline
  6. Technology Accelerations
Good to Great by Jim Collins

4. Measure What Matters - by John Doerr

Legendary venture capitalist, John Doerr, shows how setting objectives and key results (OKRs) is the secret sauce that led Amazon, Apple, Google, Bono, and Gates Foundation to their top positions in the world.

The foundation of the book is about the power of OKRs as a mechanism to help get everyone in a company moving in the same direction. The main idea is to get everyone in the company to build their own plan for the next quarter and then tie it into the company’s plans.

Key points of Doerr’s OKR are:

  • Every objective should be tied to no more than five results
  • Goals should be set using the bottoms-up approach
  • Objectives should be relevant, transparent, and flexible
  • OKRs are tools and not the law

The book is also full of case studies that show when and how OKRs work. However, some readers might find it difficult to grasp the tech industry jargon.

Measure What Matters by John Doerr

5. The Checklist Manifesto - by Atul Gawande

At first glance, this might not seem like a management book, but Atul Gawande will prove you wrong. His third book, after Better and Complications, touches upon the powers of a simple checklist and how it can bring you success. In the business world, where everything is getting more complicated and intense, a simple checklist can help you get things right. 

While Gawande’s book shares a lot of stories from the medical world, it makes one consistent point – checklists can help us solve even complex problems and tasks. It also makes the case for how checklists can help a team make a decision. A lot of Gawande’s insights are based on what Einstein said, everything should be made as simple as possible. There’s also a lot of satisfaction that can stem from discovering a simple solution to bigger, seemingly more complex cases. 

How to write the perfect checklist? Gawande borrows this from Daniel Boorman: 

  1. Keep them simple and short
  2. Know when to use them
  3. Avoid the list spilling over multiple pages or different colors
  4. Test the checklist in real world scenario and keep improving it
The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande

6. The Harvard Business Review Manager’s Handbook

Need specific, step-by-step guidance on what skills a leader requires to stand-out? Get yourself a copy of The Harvard Business Review Manager’s Handbook. The book, split into five parts, covers topics from how to develop a leadership mindset, managing teams and a business, understanding financial statements and emotional intelligence, to fostering creativity and innovation.

The format of this book lends itself well as an encyclopedia or reference book for many business owners. Facing a particular challenge? Just take the book out and read the relevant section. Like most management books, this world is also filled with real-world examples. However, an added bonus is that each chapter has a mini recap that helps one digest and review all the main points easily.

The Harvard Business Review Manager’s Handbook

7. Head & Heart: The Art of Modern Leadership - by Kristin Ferguson

Kirstin Ferguson is ranked as one of the top 50 management thinkers in the world by Thinkers50. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that her book, Head & Heart: The Art of Modern Leadership, makes it to our top 25 list.

This is a practical guide for today’s modern leaders. Actually, the tips covered in this book can be applicable right from running a multinational company to managing your home. Kristin combines studies from thought leaders with her own research and findings. Kristin explains the eight key attributes of a successful modern day leader, that combine the emotional and logical approaches to leadership.

A drawback of this book could be that the examples and conversations with leaders included are primarily based in Australian context, so you might not be familiar with most. However, don’t let that stop you from picking this up for a read, as the lessons can be applicable to a wide range of situations.

Head & Heart: The Art of Modern Leadership by Kristin Ferguson

8. Dare to Lead - by Brene Brown

In Dare to Lead, research professor Brene Brown puts forth the case of how daring leaders are more successful because they are willing to spread the control and leadership power instead of hoarding it. She supports her claim through research, interviews with leaders, case studies, and stories. 

Brown states that leadership isn’t about titles or power. A leader doesn’t have to know it all. Instead, leadership is about asking questions, remaining curious, and sharing power and knowledge. The book asks some tough questions such as “How to make braver, more daring leaders?” and “How to build courage in an organization?” In her book, Brown asserts that leadership is 100% teachable, observable, and measurable.

The book is easy to read and Brown is a master motivational storyteller. By the end of your reading, we’re sure you too will be looking for an emotional connection with people, be eager to learn how to be calm, and not be afraid of asking questions to challenge the status quo.

Dare to Lead by Brene Brown

9. The Art of War - by Sun Tzu

Want to gain advantage in the boardroom the same way soldiers overtake a battlefield? Add Sun Tzu’s 25 hundred year old classic The Art of War to your reading list. This popular book highlights military strategies that a leader can use to win a battle or conflict. Timeless wisdom such as attacking unexpectedly or knowing when to fight and when not to fight are just a few of the nuggets in this book. 

Other important messages highlighted in the 13 chapters of this classic are: 

  • Preparing in detail for battle 
  • Remaining flexible 
  • Know your enemy and yourself (strengths and weaknesses)
  • Be ready for the unexpected 

Art of War remains relevant in today’s world because it offers a framework or tactics for success that can be applicable to any industry and setting. It also provides life lessons like the importance of timing and choosing your battles. It stresses the importance of adaptability and sound decision-making.

The Art of War by Sun Tzu

10. Lean In - by Sheryl Sandburg

An increasing number of women are turning to entrepreneurship and taking over the “C” suites in business. While this is excellent, there are also various challenges women face in the workplace. Sheryl Sandburg dives into the challenges women face and how to juggle professional and personal responsibilities. She advocates that women can’t just rely on keeping their heads down and working hard, instead they need to speak up to help each other and create change. 

This book is extremely valuable for women in leadership positions or those who aspire to progress in their careers. It is also a great read for men who work with women to help them understand the battles women face on a daily basis. 

Sandburg also breaks down many cultural and social barriers that hold women back — such as asking for a seat at the table rather than claiming it and attributing their success to external factors over their skills. One advice she offers women is to not always wait for the right opportunity, but instead be willing to quickly learn and progress. She also urges women to always ask “What is the company’s biggest problem and how can I solve that?”

Lean In by Sheryl Sandburg

11. Creativity, Inc. - by Ed Catmull

How can you lead well? Or how can managers inspire their team to put forth their best foot forward? Ed Catmull, founder of Pixar Studios, talks over the philosophies he and his team used to put Pixar on the map and one it one of the most loved and dominant forces in the animation category. 

Creativity, Inc. will not only motivate you to strive for the very best, but it will also offer step-by-step, precise guidance on how to go about it. It shares timeless business principles that will help you be a better leader and agent of creativity in your organization. 

Some key takeaways include: 

  1. Trust - Trust is the best tool for removing fear. Trust means you believe and have faith in them even if they do make a mistake.
  2. Mistakes - They aren’t evil, but more of an inevitable consequence of doing something for the first time. 
  3. Loosen controls - Managers must loosen the controls, not tighten them.
  4. Recognize mistakes - Pixar was successful mainly because they recognized their mistakes before they turned into disasters.
Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull

12. Decisive - by Chip and Dan Heath

Decision making is an integral part of being a good leader. The Heath brothers, Chip and Dan, delve into the human psychology behind decision making. The starting point of this management book is that our decisions are heavily influenced by our biases, irrationalities, and emotions. This even happens when we are aware of our short-comings. So how can we make better decisions? 

Chip and Dan’s Decisive is peppered with jaw-dropping anecdotes from leaders in various fields — a musician to a business head and how a right decision turned their fate for good. It’s a compulsive read, one we feel you might not want to put down once you get started. 

This book is ideal for those who want to: 

  • Make confident decisions
  • Stop overthinking or agonizing over past decisions
  • Put a stop to office politics
  • Understand how short-term emotions can impact outcome
  • Learn how to widen your decision options

This book’s biggest takeaway is that it can help you make better, more informed decisions by creating decision checklists. Now isn’t that a good enough reason to add it to your 2024 reading list?

Decisive by Chip and Dan Heath

13. Indistractable - by Nir Eyal

It’s no secret that we have become highly distractible. Access to almost everything via our phones and this technology has made it harder for us to stay focused and committed. This behavior has its repercussions in personal life and the workspace, with a lot of us struggling with raising “indistractable” kids. 

Nir Eyal, a Standard lecturer and consultant, examines this distraction phenomenon. He presents us with a four-stage process we can implement to overcome it in his 2019-released management book, Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention

The main ideas Nir presents start with understanding yourself — why do you get distracted? Is it because of the notification pop-ups (defined as external stimuli) or something internal? This process gets you to acknowledge the fact that you have to do things even if they are against your best interest or even if it makes you feel uncomfortable. He says it’s equally important to understand the emotion one associates with a task or chore. Next, it’s about building a signal or communication system that will let others know you don’t want to be disturbed or interrupted. 

Nir advises the usage of a time box strategy to plan your day and eliminate white space. Time boxing will give you a clear direction on what you need to do and how you are going to accomplish it. 

Another powerful way to stay on track that’s recommended in this book is to make self-made pacts! If you don’t hold yourself accountable or get off track, then give yourself a fine! You get the gist. You could also instill the help of friends or work buddies to keep you focused. 

By Indistractable you’ll understand the power of small changes — how they can improve management skill, work style, and personal life.

Indistractable by Nir Eyal

14. Leaders Eat Last - by Simon Sinek

Simon Sinek, who became infamous because of his viral videos sharing his consulting experience, explains his management philosophies in this book, Leaders Eat Last. The term “leaders eat last” comes from the military practices of highest general eating last. 

Simon says that a leader’s key focus should be making his or her team feel safe and cared for. How to do this? By eating last. He means that leaders need to put the needs of the team before their own ones. So if the team is hungry, they get served first and not vice-versa. 

Some key messages from the book are of:

  • Prioritizing members’ well-being and mental health
  • Cultivating a sense of purpose
  • Practicing servant leadership where the leader’s sole responsibility is on protecting their people
  • Building relationships based on trust, honesty, and integrity

Simon uses research and case studies to exactly guide one on how to create a safe space and feeling of belonging that fuels innovation. 

Experts say this book is for anyone who wants to be an effective leader. But we also recommend this book for millennials who are entering the workplace. It’s an excellent read to learn how to create a safe space and sense of belonging.

Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek

15. Emotional Intelligence - by Daniel Goleman

Daniel Goleman first coined the term emotional intelligence in his 1995 book. He states that humans, no matter how intelligent they are, are still prone to succumbing to their emotions. This can impact their professional and personal lives. Therefore, it’s equally important to develop emotional intelligence. 

Goleman goes into scientific reasoning as to how and why emotions impact your body. He also asserts that emotions can be studied and people can be taught to understand their emotions. Therefore, we feel this is a great read for those wanting to understand how emotions work and how they can change their behavior and thinking. 

Understanding emotions is a critical component of leadership, as a leader is trying to get people to work towards a common goal. By the end of this book, you’d become a more astute leader who’s empathic and can understand and manage not only your own emotions but also others.

Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman

16. Delivering Happiness - by Tony Hsieh

Who doesn’t know about Zappos? The online retail store that does close to a $1 billion in sales and was smartly acquired by Amazon. It’s a beautiful journey and Tony Hsieh, the founder of Zappos, does a wonderful job of sharing it through the book, which is part a memoir, part business development guide. He also discloses his secrets to success. 

Some of the strategies that Tony championed include:

  • Giving autonomy to the employees 
  • Recognizing and encouraging both professional and personal success in employees
  • Exhibiting traits of someone you, yourself, would like to work with 
  • Supporting the entrepreneurial spirit in kids (they are the future)
  • Investing in customer service
  • Building a strong company culture starts with having core values

He also advocates for creating a sense of purpose and belonging, which is a common theme in Good to Great and Leaders Eat Last

Doesn’t matter if you are a new or seasoned manager or dream of starting your own business, this is a great pick for you.

Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh

17. That’s What She Said - by Joanne Lipman

The #Metoo movement rocked the business environment a few years back, but that doesn’t mean that gender equity isn’t there and the professional environment is safe and welcoming for all. A lot remains to be done and if you are in a leadership role, you have more power to work towards promoting gender equality. 

In That’s What She Said Joanne Lipman provides practical tips on how to narrow the gap between genders at work. She explored the dynamics between men and women in today’s rapidly evolving workspace. Lipman uses personal experience and case studies to show how managers can create a safe and positive work environment for all. 

The book addresses issues like mom guilt, unconscious bias, respect gap, and disparity between pay and promotion. It’s an easy read and all the topics are supported with solid analytical data. At the very least, That’s What She Said will heighten your awareness and understanding of gender issues at play.

That’s What She Said by Joanne Lipman

18. The First Time Manager - by Jim McCormick

The First Time Manager is an unconventional book that blends a pep talk, explanatory text, how-to's, and checklists. Jim McCormick, the author, is known as the founder of The Research Institute for Risk Intelligence and has experience in both private and public sectors. Thus, the advice provided by McCormick in this book is applicable to managers in all and any organizations. 

New managers should pick up this book because it does an excellent job at highlighting common problems committed by first time managers. McCormick also gives tips on managing the transition from being an employee to a manager. 

Newbie managers can refer to this book when they encounter the following situations in office:

  • Hiring and firing employees
  • Motivating employee
  • Managing time
  • Delegating responsibilities 
  • Conducting appraisals
The First Time Manager by Jim McCormick

19. First, Break All the Rules - by Gallup

First, Break All the Rules is a book that challenges traditional management rules. It was on the New York Best Sellers list for a record-breaking 93 weeks. The book's central theme is that the common trait among all successful managers, whether they are leading a multinational company or are front-line supervisors, is that they aren’t afraid of breaking the rules. 

This insight is based on the interviews with 80,000 managers in 400 companies. The first step the book asks you to do is to understand your own leadership style by using the list of 12 questions. Once you know how effective your leadership style is, then you’ll be able to improve it. 

Gallup states that the most successful managers focus on talent, outcomes, developing strengths, and finding the right fit. Every employee has unique talents and managers should be able to develop these natural abilities. The book also states that only when managers develop themselves can they lead successful teams. 

This book is a must read for new and seasoned managers who want to understand their employees strengths and find the best roles for them, human resource teams, and leaders who want to make sound staffing decisions.

First, Break All the Rules by Gallup

20. “Brave New Work: Are You Ready to Reinvent Your Organization?” - by Aaron Dignan

Organizations and leadership styles that are rooted in the industrial area aren’t relevant anymore. However, those ingrained principles of hierarchy and top-down authoritarian management are mighty hard to let go of. Five or 10 year strategic plans aren’t as accurate as they used to be because the business environment has become so complex. Dignan paints a compelling picture of why one needs to reinvent the way they work if they wish to succeed in the current, rapidly changing business climate.

Leaders need to think of more than one way of doing things and they need to adopt a people-positive mindset. For instance, an organization should frequently review its operating system to identify if there’s a better way to go about it. He also champions the idea of empowering people to build a sustainable and adaptable organization. 

We would describe Brave New World as a toolkit rather than an instruction manual. Decide which practices you would like to try and adapt them for your unique circumstances.

“Brave New Work: Are You Ready to Reinvent Your Organization?” by Aaron Dignan

21. Multipliers - by Liz Wiseman and Greg McKeow

Are you a genius or a genius maker? That’s the question driving the book Multipliers. This 2010 management book makes a case for being a leader who doesn’t hoard all the knowledge but becomes a “multiplier.” They want to make everyone else around them more capable and smarter. By being a multiplier, they have the ability to invoke innovation, increase productive effort, and create collective intelligence. 

The logic behind Multipliers is that most people in an organization are underutilized and everyone’s intelligence and/or abilities can be cultivated through effort. How do multipliers achieve this? The authors state that multipliers:

  • Create a environment that’s comfortable, yet intense
  • Generate buy-in through debates
  • Give others full accountability and ownership
  • Trust their people

If you want to move away from micro-management and create a team that is successful and sustainable, grab yourself a copy now. Readers describe Wiseman and McKeown’s book as accessible, thought-provoking, and extremely helpful.

Multipliers by Liz Wiseman and Greg McKeown

22. Traction - by Gino Wickman

Gino Wickman’s Traction continues to be a management book best seller some 15 years after it was first published. And why not? The book has everything a leader would need to succeed. Many leaders describe Traction as their go-to book for all-CEO needs. Want to know how to onboard an employee — check. Want to know how to create a business plan – check. 

Wickman promotes the idea that success stems from having a clear vision and the right processes in place. The book guides leaders of various organizations on how to gain control of their businesses using the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS).

Here are some key takeaways from the book: 

  • Define your vision: Identify your "sweet spot," and set goals for one, three, and 10 years.
  • Have the right people in the right seats: These individuals should align with your core values and seamlessly fit into the culture. They should also excel in their respective fields and deliver value to the company.
  • Focus on what matters: You don't have to focus on everything to make your business grow. Focus on what counts.
Traction by Gino Wickman

23. The First 90 Days - by Michael Watkins

Nervous about a new overseas job? Or not sure what to do in your newly minted managerial position? Or are you wearing the boss hat by starting your own business? Internationally recognized leadership transition specialist and Harvard Business School Professor, Michael Watkins shares his tips on what a new leader or employee should do in their first 90 days to set themselves up for success. 

Watkin sheds light on the common mistakes made during the first three months that can be detrimental to their success. He also walks you through every aspect of the transition scenario and gives you the necessary tools to avoid mishaps. 

The book gives ways to build credibility and alliances, how to identify any misalignments between people and assigned tasks, and how to go about building, assessing and evolving your team. 

We feel that the breakdown of the first 90 days into 10 directives to follow is extremely beneficial. What Watkins does best is that he digs deep and it’s almost as if he's giving you a step-by-step guide on what to do in each situation. This book is ideal for anyone making a transition, no matter where they are in their career. So, go ahead and make it one of your reads in 2024 and write your own success story.

The First 90 Days by Michael Watkins

24. How to be a Good Manager - by Kimberly Peters

Being a manager isn’t easy and straightforward. And no longer is management just about hiring employees, assigning work, and then checking progress. Today’s leaders need to bring people together, ensure everyone is putting their best foot forward, and get them to work harder. You can learn all of this in Kimberly Peter’s How to be a Good Manager. Peters gives simple, yet effective strategies that will help you reduce stress, improve productivity and profits, achieve more, and create the most positive work environment.

How to be a Good Manager by Kimberly Peters

25. Give and Take - by Adam Grant

Being a manager isn’t easy and straightforward. And no longer is management just about hiring employees, assigning work, and then checking progress. Today’s leaders need to bring people together, ensure everyone is putting their best foot forward, and get them to work harder. You can learn all of this in Kimberly Peter’s How to be a Good Manager. Peters gives simple, yet effective strategies that will help you reduce stress, improve productivity and profits, achieve more, and create the most positive work environment.

What describes your workplace mentality? Are you a taker? Someone who asks for help without reciprocating or are you a matcher or giver. A giver is someone who provides assistance freely without a tit-for-tat mindset. Matchers only help when they know they will receive something in return. We ask you this because this mindset can impact your chances for success significantly. 

That is exactly what Adam Grant says through his highly researched book, Give and Take. According to Grant, helping others ultimately drives our success. Givers are most likely to succeed because they unselfishly help others without expecting anything in return. 

Other ideas that Grant covers include:

  • Reciprocity - Matchers believe in an eye for an eye, which motivates them to reward givers and punish takers. 
  • Learning - By volunteering to help and mentor others, givers gain new knowledge and skills.
  • Focus on performance - Grant proposes that the focus on performance in workplaces should be more about the team, over individuals.
Give and Take by Adam Grant

Read into 2024

So, that’s it, folks! Our list of 25 management books you must read in 2024. Reading about new ideas, implementing new strategies, and sharing your learnings can help you grow professionally and personally. 

Start reading eResource Scheduler’s picks and let us know what you think of our recommendations. Happy reading!

Marketing Consultant
Nikita Sharma
Nikita Sharma, an impassioned Marketing Consultant at eResource Scheduler, has been shaping the digital marketing landscape since January 2021. With a rich background in web development and digital marketing strategy, she's a beacon of innovation in the field. Nikita has achieved remarkable milestones, including reaching over 1 million social media users for the Jaipur International Film Festival and 3 million-plus SERP impressions for Enbraun Technologies. Her tenure at Nexa as a Digital Marketing Strategist in Dubai, certified by Google and Hubspot, underscores her profound expertise. Nikita's educational journey in Computer Science from Rajasthan Technical University and advanced programming courses have been pivotal in her career. She exemplifies dedication, creativity, and a deep understanding of digital trends, making significant impacts across diverse industries.

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