11 Essential Books for New Managers to Read in 2023

Are you a new manager? If so, congratulations! You’ve taken on an exciting challenge and the rewards can be great. But with that comes responsibility – to yourself, your team, and your organization. To help you succeed in this role, I’m going to share ten essential books for new managers.

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Why Managers Should Read Books

Reading books can provide managers with valuable insights into the business world. Books often contain stories and wisdom from experienced leaders who have navigated the same challenges that you may be dealing with.

By reading about their experiences, you can gain insight into different approaches to problem solving and decision making. Additionally, books can provide a window into different industries and the strategies that have been successful for others. This can help managers to gain a broader understanding of the business world, and to think more strategically about their own decisions.

These 10 books featured below are packed full of useful advice from experienced professionals who have been through it all before. From inspiring stories of successful teams to practical tips on how to motivate employees, these books will give you the guidance and confidence you need as you start out in management.

And best of all, they’ll make you feel empowered – like there is nothing you can’t achieve when it comes to leading your team effectively.

1. On Becoming a Leader by Warren Bennis

On Becoming a Leader by Warren Bennis is one of the essential books for new managers. The book takes an insightful look at what makes leaders successful and how to become one yourself. It examines how people management skills are developed, looking closely at how these skills can help you lead your team more effectively.

This book helps readers gain a better understanding of their own leadership style while giving them guidance on how to refine it.

The book covers topics such as managing expectations, motivating teams, dealing with difficult situations and communicating clearly. With its easy-to-follow advice and useful tips, On Becoming a Leader offers practical steps that anyone in a managerial role should take to be successful. Readers come away from this book feeling inspired and empowered to tackle any challenge they may face in their work life.

It is no wonder why On Becoming a Leader has been included in lists of must-read management books by many publications around the world – it’s one of the best books on managing people out there!

Whether you’re just starting out or have years’ worth of experience under your belt, this book provides invaluable insights into becoming an effective leader.

2. The One Minute Manager by Kenneth Blanchard

Moving away from Warren Bennis’ On Becoming a Leader, I’d like to turn our attention towards The One Minute Manager by Kenneth Blanchard. It’s one of the best books on management out there and it has been popular among new managers since its publication in 1982.

The main gist of the book is that effective leadership comes with both structure and flexibility. This means that you should strive for consistency while also being open to change when necessary. To illustrate this point further, Blanchard introduces us to three concepts:

  1. One-minute goals
  2. One-minute praise
  3. One-minute reprimands

all of which are designed to make management easier and more efficient. By incorporating these concepts into your own style of management, you can improve communication between yourself and your team members while maximizing productivity at the same time.

So if you’re looking for great books on management that will help you become an effective leader, then The One Minute Manager by Kenneth Blanchard is definitely worth a read!

3. Turn the Ship Around!: A True Story of Turning Followers Into Leaders by L. David Marquet

Turn the Ship Around!: A True Story of Turning Followers Into Leaders by L. David Marquet is an essential book for new managers to read. It covers a wide range of topics about how to lead and manage effectively, from inspiring motivation in others to engaging followers with trust and respect.

The book also emphasizes the importance of empowering those around you, allowing them to make decisions without fear or hesitation. This allows your team members to become stronger leaders themselves while still being held accountable for their actions.

The story itself follows former US Navy Captain L. David Marquet as he takes command of a nuclear-powered submarine and attempts to turn it into one of the highest performing ships in the fleet.

He does this not through traditional methods like punishment or coercion but instead encourages his crew to take ownership over their roles, ask questions when needed, and think critically about what needs doing on board the ship – ultimately leading them away from just following orders blindly towards becoming strong independent thinkers who are confident enough to challenge ideas presented by their captain.

Marquet’s approach provides invaluable insight that can be applied in any managerial role; from managing small teams up to large corporations. His experience has proven time and again that providing freedom within boundaries creates an environment conducive for growth, innovation and success – something all aspiring leaders should strive for!

4. Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t by Simon Sinek

Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t by Simon Sinek is an essential book for all new managers. It provides a comprehensive understanding of how to create teams that are unified, effective, and successful.

The book explains the importance of establishing a culture where leaders put their team’s needs ahead of their own, enabling them to become more efficient and productive.

In this book, Sinek dives into the science behind why some teams pull together while others fall apart. He explores topics such as trust building within organizations, creating strong relationships between coworkers, helping employees feel valued in the workplace, developing meaningful connections during times of challenge or change and inspiring passion in those around you. His insights provide tangible tools that can be used to build cohesive teams with clear objectives.

The following three points further demonstrate what makes Leaders Eat Last stand out from other management books on the subject:

  • It focuses on fostering a sense of community with one another rather than solely relying on traditional methods like rewards systems and punishments;
  • It emphasizes encouraging collaboration among teammates and looking beyond individual achievement;
  • And it stresses the need for leaders to take responsibility for setting up an environment that enables others to succeed.

By highlighting these key elements, Leaders Eat Last helps readers develop skills necessary for becoming better managers – ones who embrace team cohesion and recognize its impact on productivity.

This valuable resource will enable new managers to confidently lead their teams towards success in any organization they join!

5. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

I’ve been reading How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie for the past few weeks, and it’s had an incredible impact on my management style. This book is essential for any new manager looking to make a positive impact in their organization.

Carnegie covers key topics such as how to build relationships with colleagues, handle difficult conversations with grace, and create powerful impressions that last. He encourages managers to look at things from other people’s perspectives so they can have meaningful conversations, foster collaboration, and gain trust within their organization.

His advice is informed by decades of experience working with successful leaders around the world, making his insights invaluable for anyone seeking greater success in their management roles.

What stands out most about this book is its focus on understanding rather than dictating – something I think all new managers should strive for if they want to be effective leaders. By taking Carnegie’s advice into account when managing teams or individuals, you’ll be able to quickly build strong relationships while also getting results.

6. The Art Of War by Sun Tzu

Number 6 on our list of essential books for new managers is The Art of War by Sun Tzu. This ancient treatise has long been a source of wisdom and strategy for those in leadership positions, offering timeless insights into the complex dynamics of conflict and cooperation. Despite being written more than 2,500 years ago, its advice still holds true today.

The Art of War contains 13 chapters which all focus on different aspects of warfare. Each chapter is full of strategies to help leaders understand how to succeed in battles both physical and metaphorical. In addition, it also provides guidance about when not to fight – something that many overlook but can be equally important for success as knowing when to act.

Sun Tzu’s teachings are invaluable for any manager who wants to build successful relationships with colleagues or customers alike. After all, understanding your opponents’ motivations and anticipating their actions can make all the difference between winning or losing an argument or negotiation.

So if you’re looking for insight into how best to approach conflicts while maintaining harmony within your team, this book will provide great value.

7. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is an essential read for new managers. Author Stephen R. Covey lays out seven habits that can help break bad patterns and create more productive ones. He explains how to be proactive, focus on the important things, prioritize tasks, think win-win, seek first to understand then to be understood, synergize; and sharpen your saw by taking time for yourself.

These principles are all relevant in today’s business environment and provide a foundation for effective management practices.

Covey emphasizes self-awareness as the key to recognizing our strengths and weaknesses so we can become better versions of ourselves. This book helps readers reassess their daily behaviors, attitudes and values in order to take control of their lives instead of being controlled by it.

Moreover, he encourages readers to develop strong relationships with others based on trust and respect – something crucial when managing teams or leading projects.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People can help managers create meaningful changes that will have a positive impact on both themselves and those around them. It offers practical advice backed up with case studies and examples which make it easier to implement its lessons into everyday life. If you want to get ahead as a manager, this is must-read material!

8. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You by John Maxwell

Next up is The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell. This book highlights the importance of leadership, particularly when it comes to new managers. It provides helpful advice on how to be a better leader and understand what followers need from their leaders.

Maxwell’s primary focus in this book is that successful people do not lead others randomly; they follow certain laws or principles which allow them to become effective leaders.

He explains these “laws” with vivid examples and personal stories that illustrate each one. His writing style makes the book both entertaining and educational – something every manager should have!

With his 21 irrefutable laws, Maxwell encourages readers—new managers included—to think about what kind of leader they want to be. He challenges readers to ask themselves difficult questions such as:

  • What kind of culture do I want my team to create?
  • How can I use my strengths as a leader?
  • Does my behavior reflect the values I strive for?

Through practical advice and thought-provoking perspectives, he helps new managers cultivate an inspiring environment where everyone feels comfortable expressing their ideas without fear of judgement.

9. Primal Leadership: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis & Annie McKee

Primal Leadership is a great book for new managers. It focuses on the power of emotional intelligence, and how it can be used to get the best out of both yourself and your team. The authors provide practical advice that you can immediately implement in your career as a manager.

They also delve into deeper topics such as understanding human behavior, developing empathy and cultivating inspiring relationships with colleagues.

The authors emphasize the importance of self-awareness when leading a group of people. You need to understand your emotions so that you are able to effectively manage them during difficult situations. This will help you remain calm and rational even when facing intense pressure or stressful moments.

In addition, they explore different approaches like having informal conversations with employees rather than relying solely on formal processes in order to build trust and foster collaboration within an organization.

Overall, Primal Leadership provides invaluable insight into becoming a successful manager who can lead their team towards success. It’s filled with useful strategies for setting up structures which enable everyone to work together harmoniously while still achieving goals efficiently.

If you’re looking for ways to become more effective in your leadership role then this book is definitely worth reading!

10. Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh

Delivering Happiness is a must-read for new managers. Written by Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos and one of the most successful entrepreneurs in recent history, who sadly passed away in 2020. This book provides an excellent insight into how to create lasting customer loyalty while also building a profitable business model.

It’s not just about making money; it’s about creating an environment that encourages employees to be passionate and dedicated to their work.

The book offers practical advice on how to foster workplace happiness, such as recognizing good performance, listening attentively to customers’ feedback, and giving back to the community. Tony shares his own experiences throughout the book – from early success stories with LinkExchange to eventually selling Zappos for over $1 billion – emphasizing important lessons along the way.

He emphasizes that businesses should focus less on profits and more on purpose and values which will help drive long-term customer satisfaction and higher sales figures overall.

By following Tony’s advice, new managers can gain valuable insights into what makes a great company culture while still staying true to their core mission statement. His strategies are timeless yet relevant today – focusing on trustworthiness, transparency and genuine care for your customers will lead you toward greater financial rewards down the road. Delivering Happiness offers invaluable guidance for those embarking on their managerial journey.

11. Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter by Liz Wiseman

The last book on our list is Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter by Liz Wiseman is an essential read for new managers. The book provides a practical guide to honing your leadership skills and unlocking everyone’s potential in order to maximize success. It also looks at how to become a ‘multiplier,’ or leader that brings out the best from those around them.

The core of Multipliers centers on two distinct types of leaders – multipliers and diminishers. A multiplier leverages their team’s intelligence, creativity and capability; while a diminisher stifles these qualities by relying too heavily on their own ideas and leaving others feeling drained. Recognizing which type you are can be challenging but essential if you want to succeed as a manager.

In this book, readers learn about five key disciplines that will help them develop into effective multipliers:

  1. Attract and Optimize Talent – recognizing each individual’s strengths and weaknesses so they can draw out their full potential;
  2. Extend Challenges – creating complex challenges that ignite passion in individuals;
  3. Create Energizing Environments – providing inspiring atmospheres where people can collaborate effectively;
  4. Expand Horizons – encouraging innovation through experimentation without fear of failure;
  5. Instill Trust – empowering teams with trust rather than micromanagement.

These five disciplines provide invaluable insight into becoming a successful manager capable of getting the most out of every situation. By following this advice, readers can expect improved morale among employees as well as greater productivity and output from their teams.

Ultimately, Multipliers guides aspiring managers towards optimizing results from any given project or task – something which is sure to pay dividends in both personal development and business growth alike.

Bonus: Mastering Management Techniques by ManagerHQ

Are you ready to take your management skills to the next level? Look no further than “Mastering Management Techniques,” the upcoming ebook from ManagerHQ. This comprehensive resource is packed with practical tips, expert insights, and proven techniques to help you become a more effective and successful manager.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out in your management career, “Mastering Management Techniques” has something for you. From communication and delegation to performance management and team building, this guide covers all the essential skills you need to lead your team to success.

Don’t miss out on the chance to be among the first to get access to this invaluable resource. Add your email below to get early access and be notified as soon as “Mastering Management Techniques” is released. Your team – and your career – will thank you.

Final Thoughts

If you’re a new manager looking to grow into your role, these ten books are essential reads. From Warren Bennis’ On Becoming a Leader to Tony Hsieh’s Delivering Happiness, each book offers valuable insights and lessons that will help you become the leader you want to be.

I recommend starting with How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie as it is an excellent foundation for developing effective interpersonal skills necessary for any successful manager.

Once you have read this book, turn your attention to Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t by Simon Sinek which provides invaluable advice about creating strong teams through trust-building activities.

Finally, wrap up your journey with Primal Leadership: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis & Annie McKee in order to learn how emotions play a crucial role in leadership success.

With these books at hand, I’m sure that you’ll be well on your way towards becoming a great leader!

Last updated on May 1st, 2023

Robert Clarke

With over 15 years of experience in SEO, sales and team management, Robert knows how to drive results and lead a team to success. His sales background has honed his people skills, making him a master at bringing people together and creating a positive team environment. When Robert isn't writing for ManagerHQ he can be found leading a team of SEO professionals at Skale, the biggest SaaS SEO agency in the world.