As a new manager there is a lot to digest. You are taking on new responsibilities and challenges that you haven’t faced before. You might be managing people for the first time in your career or you’re now accountable for a P&L. No matter the situation, there is a lot to learn. The following are six books every new manager should read.
Some of these books are classics and some are newer. One common trait is that they all address the soft skills necessary to be an effective leader. At this point in your career, soft skills will become as important as continuing to learn and refine hard skills specific to your career.
The Hard Thing About Hard Things – Ben Horowitz
“Ben Horowitz, cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of Silicon Valley’s most respected and experienced entrepreneurs, offers essential advice on building and running a startup—practical wisdom for managing the toughest problems business school doesn’t cover, based on his popular Ben’s blog.
While many people talk about how great it is to start a business, very few are honest about how difficult it is to run one. Ben Horowitz analyzes the problems that confront leaders every day, sharing the insights he’s gained developing, managing, selling, buying, investing in, and supervising technology companies. A lifelong rap fanatic, he amplifies business lessons with lyrics from his favorite songs, telling it straight about everything from firing friends to poaching competitors, cultivating and sustaining a CEO mentality to knowing the right time to cash in.
Filled with his trademark humor and straight talk, The Hard Thing About Hard Things is invaluable for veteran entrepreneurs as well as those aspiring to their own new ventures, drawing from Horowitz’s personal and often humbling experiences.”
Poor Charlie’s Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger – Charles Munger
“For the first time ever, the wit and wisdom of Charlie Munger is available in a single volume: all his talks, lectures and public commentary. And, it has been written and compiled with both Charlie Munger and Warren Buffett’s encouragement and cooperation. So pull up your favorite reading chair and enjoy the unique humor, wit and insight that Charlie Munger brings to the world of business, investing and life itself.
Charles Helman Lea once said, “It will generally be admitted that the true test of all books is the influence they have upon the lives and conduct of their readers. ” We hope this book passes that test, exerting a lasting influence on you.”
How To Win Friends And Influence People – Dale Carnegie
“Before Dale Carnegie wrote one of the best-selling business books of all time, “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” he founded his own school, the Dale Carnegie Center for Excellence, in 1912. …Warren Buffett, the billionaire and investment banker, attended the school and credits it for his success. “In my office, you will not see the degree I have from the University of Nebraska, or the master’s degree I have from Columbia University, but you’ll see the certificate I got from the Dale Carnegie course,” Buffett told a documentary film crew.”
The Meditations – Marcus Aurelius
“Meditations is perhaps the only document of its kind ever made. It is the private thoughts of the world’s most powerful man giving advice to himself on how to make good on the responsibilities and obligations of his positions. Trained in Stoic philosophy, Marcus Aurelius stopped almost every night to practice a series of spiritual exercises—reminders designed to make him humble, patient, empathetic, generous, and strong in the face of whatever he was dealing with. It is imminently readable and perfectly accessible. You cannot read this book and not come away with a phrase or a line that will be helpful to you the next time you are in trouble. Read it, it is practical philosophy embodied.”
The Power of Habit – Charles Duhigg
“In The Power of Habit, award-winning New York Times business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. With penetrating intelligence and an ability to distill vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives, Duhigg brings to life a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential for transformation.
Along the way we learn why some people and companies struggle to change, despite years of trying, while others seem to remake themselves overnight. We visit laboratories where neuroscientists explore how habits work and where, exactly, they reside in our brains. We discover how the right habits were crucial to the success of Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, and civil-rights hero Martin Luther King, Jr. We go inside Procter & Gamble, Target superstores, Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church, NFL locker rooms, and the nation’s largest hospitals and see how implementing so-called keystone habits can earn billions and mean the difference between failure and success, life and death.”
Conscious Capitalism – John Mackey and Rajendra Sisodia
“We believe that business is good because it creates value, it is ethical because it is based on voluntary exchange, it is noble because it can elevate our existence, and it is heroic because it lifts people out of poverty and creates prosperity. Free enterprise capitalism is the most powerful system for social cooperation and human progress ever conceived. It is one of the most compelling ideas we humans have ever had. But we can aspire to even more.
Conscious Capitalism is a way of thinking about capitalism and business that better reflects where we are in the human journey, the state of our world today, and the innate potential of business to make a positive impact on the world. Conscious businesses are galvanized by higher purposes that serve, align, and integrate the interests of all their major stakeholders. Their higher state of consciousness makes visible to them the interdependencies that exist across all stakeholders, allowing them to discover and harvest synergies from situations that otherwise seem replete with trade-offs. They have conscious leaders who are driven by service to the company’s purpose, all the people the business touches, and the planet we all share together. Conscious businesses have trusting, authentic, innovative and caring cultures that make working there a source of both personal growth and professional fulfillment. They endeavor to create financial, intellectual, social, cultural, emotional, spiritual, physical and ecological wealth for all their stakeholders.
Conscious businesses will help evolve our world so that billions of people can flourish, leading lives infused with passion, purpose, love and creativity; a world of freedom, harmony, prosperity, and compassion.”
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