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How to be a better manager: the books you should be reading

Published 27 Mar 2019
3 min read

In the modern workplace, one of the best things you can do for your career is A.B.L – Always Be Learning! You should always want to learn the things you don’t know, how to do a new skill or how to be a better manager, employee or leader. The key trait I look for as a hiring manager is the thirst for knowledge because jobs and roles are constantly changing. Someone who wants to improve and challenge themselves will always do well in that environment. For that reason, I did a quick around the office to find out what books the Employment Hero Team would recommend to be a better manager.


Books to read if you want to know how to be a better manager

The Coaching Habit: Say less, ask more and change the way you lead forever, Michael Bungay Stanier (recommended by Kerryn McIntyre, Implementations Manager)

There are many things I love about this book but let’s start with how simply it is written. You can easily get in a few pages in between your next meetings. This book outlines seven simple questions to create more effective coaching sessions and gives you the tools to break your current habits to be a better coach. Stanier outlines questions that you can ask, how they will change the situation and what results you’re likely to get. It also gives you loads of reference points and research to go to for more examples. Where to buy:

The Hard Thing About Hard Things, Ben Horowitz (recommended by Ben Thompson, CEO and Founder)

The Hard Thing About Hard Things is an easy read because it’s written as Horowitz story. This book teaches you that starting and scaling a business involves an endless series of very difficult decisions and that you are not alone in dealing with this. It’s great to gain perspective from someone else’s trials, tribulations and oh f#$k moments. Where to buy:

How To Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie (recommended by Andrew Cai, Business Operations)

As a manager, you need to be able to sell your ideas effectively and bring people around to a different way of thinking. It’s about caring for people, human interactions and handle all the things that come with that. This book will teach you how to communicate effectively, which to me is at the core of being a manager. It talks through different management styles and how to work with people to be better performers. It will also teach you how to communicate effectively with everyone you work with. More info:

Your Own Oxygen Mask First: 17 habits to help high achievers survive and thrive in leadership and life, Kevin N. Lawrence (recommended by me)

I have always been a people pleaser and a high achiever. Unfortunately, that also means there have been times in my life where I haven’t been a very nice person to be around when the pressure became too much. In this book, you’ll look at the seventeen areas of your life that could potentially bring you unstuck as a leader if you don’t pay attention. It also removes some of the stigma of taking time for yourself (both as a leader and a high achiever) and how to put yourself in the best position possible to be an effective leader. Where to buy:

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