Wisembly Tips: Books for Managers in 2017

featured image books

2017 is here, and with it the chance of a fresh start and opportunity to grow. As they say: new year, new you. We’ve rounded up our essential reading list on a range of topics from leadership to communication to help you develop and grow as a manager.

Management

effective executive

What?
The Effective Executive
by Peter F. Drucker

Why?
In a world where we’re increasingly time-poor, Drucker’s 2007 book The Effective Executive has perhaps never been more relevant. His no-nonsense style cuts straight through the fluff and gets you analysing how you spend your time before giving you practical strategies on how to make more effective use of it.

 

peopleware

What?
Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams (Second Edition)
by Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister

Why?
If you’re managing a technical team then this book is for you. It highlights perhaps one of the most important part of being a successful manager in a creative process: being able to put trust in your team and focusing on people over deadlines. This book is almost 20 years old, but the principles covered in this ring as true as ever. A real classic!

Leadership

shoe dog book cover

What?
Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike
by Phil Knight

Why?
It’s easy to think that the road to success is straight and paved, but this memoir by one of Nike’s co-founder Phil Knight shows that it meanders, takes the wrong turn and often is nothing more than a dirt track. It’s a truly honest account of Nike’s rise to the top of the shoe game and what it really takes to be a leader, and featured on Bill Gates’ Favourite Books of 2016 list.

 

myth of strong leader

What?
The Myth of the Strong Leader: Political Leadership in the Modern Age
by Archie Brown.

Why?
An exploration into different types of political leadership, from Reagan to Thatcher to Hitler. While not strictly business, this book highlights the huge difference between good leaders and destructive leaders by pointing out qualities which are seen as indicative of strong leadership but can have disastrous consequences. A great book for self-reflection.

Entrepreneurship

four steps epiphany

What?
The Four Steps to the Epiphany: Successful Strategies for Products that Win
by Steve Blank

Why?
The premise of this books starts off with is that startups are not simply small versions of large companies, and should be looking to find new business models. But how do you go about doing that? Credited as as having launched the Lean Startup revolution, this book gives practical strategies and examples to help you uncover flaws in your business plan and develop your product through rapid iteration and feedback cycles. A must-read.

Innovation

innovator's dilemma

What?
The Innovator’s Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book that Will Change the Way You Do Business
by Clayton M. Christensen

Why?
What makes some companies ‘disruptive’? Insightful look into why big businesses often fall behind when it comes to innovation by pursuing bigger and better (evolution) over different (revolution).

 

 

wonderland

What?
Wonderland: How Play Made The Modern World
by Steven Johnson

Why?
Innovation can’t be forced, but how can we create a culture that’s open to it? Steven Johnson explores innovations in different industries including tech and fashion, and how they were originally thought of as ‘play things’. A few historical inaccuracies / questionable fact-checking, but an altogether thought-provoking and interesting read!

Communication

on writing well

What?
On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction
by William Zinsser

Why?
Make your emails shorter, clearer and more likely to get a response by following the tips in this book. Part anecdotal, part how-to, Zinsser explains the principles clearly (I think I see a pattern here!) before going on to give written examples. Time to cut that word count!

Productivity

 

deep work

What?
Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World
by Cal Newport

Why?
Being busy is so 2015. Getting more done and having time to spare is in. Deep Work is all about giving you real strategies that help you form habits to get you being more productive, more often (and not just when nearing a deadline).

 

 

talent overrated

What?
Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else
by Geoff Colvin

Why?
Forget about natural talent, being the best is all about practice, practice, practice. Learn how to achieve greatness and outperform even your most talented peers through ‘Deliberate Practice’ with this critically acclaimed international bestseller.

Self improvement

 

daily stoic

Why?
The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living
by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman

What?
Not so much a book as a daily dose of wisdom. Keep this book on your nightstand and take a step each day to a better, calmer and happier version of you.

So, what books are you looking forward to reading in 2017?

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