Top 8 Business Management Books That’ll Make You a Great Leader

Have you ever wondered how you could be a better leader? Management books offer insight into what makes some management skills more effective than others. 

A good business management book can be handy if you own a business. We have listed eight business management books that will be helpful to enhance the business impact and become a more efficient leader. In addition, we included short summaries of these books, along with author biographies and why you should read them.

Since these books cover some of the most important aspects of being a business manager and improving your business practice, business students and managers can benefit.

Let’s have a look at these books & start building your reading list!  

Best Leadership Books for Managers

1- The New One Minute Manager by Kenneth Blanchard Ph.D. and Spencer Johnson M.D.

The New One Minute Manager

The New One Minute Manager helps readers understand how to be a better manager and create a positive workplace culture with positive feedback and clear expectations for their employees.

Dr. Blanchard is the chief spiritual officer at The Ken Blanchard Companies and co-author of many other best-selling books, including Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service. Johnson is a physician whose bestselling books include The Precious Present and The One Minute Apology.

Why should you read this book?

As a manager, you should read this book if you want to set clear expectations for employees to know what they are expected to do each day or week. It also gives tips about building a positive workplace culture.

Reader reviews:

“For any manager, this is the book to purchase. It is a great way to find a way to give your people feedback, correction, and redirection in a manner that doesn’t always have to be formal and takes a minute literally. I have used this in managing the 45 people I manage. It works well and takes the pressure I felt in the past to make feedback too formal.

“A great book, a thoughtful updating of the original, a must for all current and developing managers. Simple, Practical and Realistic, it works.”

Buy it on Amazon now.

2- On Becoming a Leader by Warren Bennis

On Becoming a Leader

On Becoming a Leader by Warren Bennis is one of the most famous books on leadership styles. It contains a lot of leadership skills and the personality traits of influential leaders. Bennis asks his readers to consider whether leadership is innate or learned and to think about what constitutes good leadership in the first place.

He gives examples from his own experiences and history to support his claims and uses them throughout the book to illustrate his points to form a business model.

Warren Bennis is a business professor at the University of Southern California. He is known for his work on leadership and has written many books about it.

Why should you read this book?

It is a leadership book that can teach you how to become a successful leader with soft skills. In that way, you can easily improve your business plan and management style. In addition, it can give business leaders an understanding of the different types of leadership styles that they can use in their business practice. 

A reader review:

“Updated regularly over the last 30 years, this classic by Bennis is worth reading. Part self-help book and part analysis of historical leaders within Bennis’ context of development, the book focuses on the stages of leadership development. Easy to read and well researched, the book has withstood the test of time, and contains wisdom and insights for anyone studying leadership. A good read.” 

Buy it on Amazon.

3- E-Myth Manager by Michael E. Gerber 

The Emyth Manager

E-Myth Manager is a popular book on management that will help managers of small businesses to improve their business model and business impact. It also teaches how to manage people with humble leadership to business owners.

Michael E. Gerber is an entrepreneur and a small business advocate who has been featured in Forbes, The New York Times, and Inc. Magazine. He has written several books on small businesses, and his most famous book is The E-Myth Revisited, which was published in 1995.

Why should you read this book?

Those looking for ways to manage their teams better should read this book. In addition, it can be helpful as a business textbook for those who are new in the field of management and business students.

A reader review:

“This is an awesome book. It really helped me to understand my OWN vision and focus. I have managed for several years and, yes, have always looked at the owners’ goals etc. I need to work on my own personal strengths and build myself up to be the best I can be! I loved the book because it was just a refreshing new way to understand management. It opened my eyes.”

Buy it on Amazon now.

4- First, Break All The Rules by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman

First Break All the Rules

First, Break All The Rules helps business leaders to understand how they can get the most out of their employees. It’s a management book about finding the best talent, training them, and keeping them on board with humble leadership.

The authors Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman are Gallup experts. They have done a lot of research on business impact, workplace issues, employee engagement, etc. 

Why should you read this book?

First, Break All The Rules is a must-read management book because it assists managers in understanding their employees better. It also provides insight into how employees can make themselves more valuable and productive at work with conventional wisdom.

A reader review:

“I’m surprised that it took me so long to come across this book. I read a lot of management theory and organizational behavior books, and this is by far and away one of my favorites. Rather than focusing on a single aspect of management or going through the example of one successful person, this is the groundwork, the fundamentals.

I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a solid, comprehensive approach to developing top-notch managerial skills.”

Buy it on Amazon.

5- Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham, Donald O. Clifton

Now, Discover Your Strengths

Now, Discover Your Strengths is a management book that shows you how to use your strengths to achieve more in your professional life. The authors share stories of effective people who have used their strengths to become successful and review studies that show why using your strengths will make you happier and more successful.

Marcus Buckingham is an author and an expert in leadership and employee engagement. Donald O. Clifton was professor emeritus of educational psychology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the founder of the Gallup Organization. 

Why should you read this book?

If you want to become like business people in Silicon Valley, you can benefit from this business textbook. The book emphasizes focusing on strengths rather than improving weaknesses to become successful. By reading this book, you can be aware of your strengths and use them both in your professional and personal life. 

A reader review:

“I found this book extremely helpful when considering my business as well as my creative practice. While much of it is catered to institutions seeking to develop their employees, there are many ways to take actionable advice for yourself in the content offered.”

Buy it on Amazon now.

Best Management Books for Startups & Small Businesses

6- The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

The Lean Startup

The book focuses on how entrepreneurs can create successful startup companies by focusing on customer feedback and experience. It emphasizes the importance of working smarter, not harder, and taking advantage of the tools you already have instead of making new ones while improving your business model.

Eric Ries is an American entrepreneur who was the CEO and co-founder of IMVU and is currently the Long Term Stock Exchange CEO. Eric has also founded or co-founded many other startups, including Catalyst Group and Serious Business.

Why should you read this book?

This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to start their own company. Anyone interested in learning more about business impact, business practice and how businesses work can read this book.

A reader review:

“Before starting a startup, Eric was involved in “lean manufacturing” and what he does in this book is bring “lean” techniques to the startup process. The case study Eric uses within this book is his own. How we can all make assumptions about what customers want and how wrong we can be. He discusses Minimum Viable Product (MVP) how to get to the point of creating an MVP that people actually want. Nice methodology for any startup, especially if you are building a product, app, etc. Eric has a nice writing style which keeps your interest, and anybody in the startup world should read this and implement Eric’s suggestions.”

Buy it on Amazon.

7- Zero to One by Peter Thiel

Zero to One

Zero to One explains how to build a brand new future from scratch for businesses. It can be a great business school for you if you want to improve your business practice. Peter Thiel discusses what it truly takes to be successful in today’s world. Innovation in a business impact is also emphasized.

The author of this book Peter Thiel is a founder of PayPal and the first professional investor in Facebook. He is an entrepreneur and political activist as well.

Why should you read this book?

This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to start a successful business. It gives guidance on achieving sustainable growth and shares tips on how to build something entirely new.

A reader review:

“This is a rather short book that reads like an article in a business magazine. But yes, it is very interesting and I can highly recommend this book to anyone who is thinking about starting a company or has already started one. The author shares his unique opinion about creating companies, his experience of working with PayPal and more. However, I gave it three stars because, in my opinion, this book is very superficial and does not have supporting facts and materials. It looks just like a restatement from one’s biography and experience.”

Buy it on Amazon.

8- Good to Great by Jim Collins

Good to Great

Good to Great explains why some companies beat others in the same industry and what makes them great. Many examples of companies Collins has researched to prove his points are given in the book. He focuses on 11 companies that rise from good to great in their respective industries. 

The author, Jim Collins is an American author and speaker. He has served as a professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business and has been an advisor for several companies as well.

Why should you read this book?

Jim Collins gives business practice principles that need to be followed by companies to achieve success. By reading this business textbook, you can be more like successful people he mentions in the book.

A reader review:

“This is the first business book I’ve ever read, so I’m not very familiar with the genre, but I enjoyed this. I am not interested in being a CEO or anything like that, but I liked this book because many of the concepts can be applied to my own life. I saw this as more of a general self-improvement book that used businesses as examples of concepts, rather than a book solely about business.”

Buy it on Amazon now.

Wrap Up

In conclusion, you can choose a business textbook that suits your needs and curiosities about business management. Add these top eight business management books written by effective leaders to your reading list if you want to become a great leader. These books can be read easily and inspire you while forming your management strategies.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best business book of all time?

On Becoming a Leader by Warren Bennis and First, Break All The Rules by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman are among the best business management books of all time. Humble Leadership by Edgar Schein and Peter A. Schein is also a great book about becoming a humble leader. Choosing the best business textbook that can work for your business depends on your needs for sure. For example, if you own a small business or a startup, you can read The Lean Startup by Eric Ries and Zero to One by Peter Thiel. We have listed eight business management books so that you can find the one that works best for your company and management skills.

Do business books actually help?

The answer is yes! Business books can be about management skills, marketing strategies, financial intelligence, etc. By reading business books, you can learn more about your weaknesses and how to improve them. Besides, you can see your strengths in business practice and focus on them more. 

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Serhat Erdem

Serhat Erdem

Serhat is the Creative Content Writer of UserGuiding, a code-free product walkthrough software that helps teams scale user onboarding and boost user engagement.