5 top reads for managers to always be on top

Discover the most splendid tips to become the legend of management

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This time last year, very few business managers would have envisaged the new realities that now apply in the field of business management. Many leaders and managers have lost their teams’ grip due to the unique challenges brought about by various global issues like the Coronavirus pandemic.

Wouldn’t you want to know what the dynamics of performing optimally in your leadership roles entail, irrespective of prevailing circumstances? Read along as we assess the must-have skills for business leaders, using this impressive booklist as a guide. This compilation will help business managers effectively tackle new problems.

5. High Output Management by Andy Grove

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is continually fearing you will make one.” –

Elbert Hubbard

Many new entrants into the realm of leadership find themselves intimidated by the fear of uncertainty. However, jumping on impending problems, analyzing, and exploiting them will certainly spell success for the organization. Even if the effort were to flop, the leader could utilize the experience in handling similar situations in the future.

Andy Grove’s book, High Output Management, meticulously dissects a new managerial outlook that shows management as a means to an end. According to Grove, effective management is not an end in itself. Getting the highest possible output using practical managerial and leadership skills is sure to improve the organization. 

A business manager’s creativity level will help them strike a balance between pursuing managerial excellence and organizational productivity.

4. The New One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson

“Everyone is at different development levels on their various tasks and goals. Therefore, they need varying degrees of direction and support from their manager to be successful” –

Ken Blanchard

A leader who merely exploits his team’s capabilities by assigning long stretches of responsibility is likely to down their motivation on the job without realizing it. It then becomes essential to meditatively read through The New One Minute Manager, a sequel book by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson. The first version – The One Minute Manager – has already influenced managers over the decades. However, the ‘new’ version of the book tackles managerial bottlenecks in light of recent development in the business arena across the globe. Dig into The New One Minute Manager to understand the quintessential attributes that team members look out for in their leaders.

3. The Making of a Manager: What to Do When Everyone Looks to You by Julio Zhuo

Employees at Apple regarded Steve Jobs as one of the most influential business managers of his time. Though Steve had an academic and professional background in building innovative devices, his leadership skills and the ability to leverage leadership and technology were propellants in his success with Apple Inc. To develop leadership prowess similar or even better than Jobs’, several pieces of training and books out there will make astute managers out of screen-staring geeks. An excellent example of such is Julio Zhuo’s The Making of a Manager. 

Julio Zhuo has deposits of insights from her leadership experience as the head of the Product Design team at Facebook. In her book, The Making of a Manager: What to Do When Everyone Looks to You, Zhuo posits strongly about an average team player’s potentiality morphing into an effective leader.  In a portion of the book, Zhuo quips: “great managers are made, not born.” Starting new should not be a fear for rookie business leaders, as Zhuo shares first-hand testimonies of her early foray into management. To those who are yet to find their footing in their leadership positions, Zhuo shares:

“All that I knew of management could be neatly summarized into two words: meetings and PROMOTION.”

2. Leadership is Language: The Hidden Power of What to Say – and What You Don’t by L. David Marquet

Communication between leaders and their teams has long changed projectile with the recent infiltration of various communication technologies into the workplace. It is also essential to understand that the effectiveness of communication, in whatever form, is dependent on the empathy, listening skills, and emotional intelligence of the leader in dealing with the rest of the team. 

With more employees worldwide working remotely, communication effectiveness has seen a low fluctuation in recent times. In his book, Leadership is Language: The Hidden Power of What You Say, Military veteran L. David Marquet drives home the importance of effective communication and how the proper use of language as an essential communicative tool can have a far-reaching effect. Marquet strongly suggests: “taking responsibility for how our actions and words affect the lives of others.” He also highlights what he calls the ‘six plays’ that can be utilized in taking the morale, trust, and performance of a team to turbo levels.

1. What You Do is Who You Are: How to Create Your Business Culture by Ben Horowitz

Every organization has a set of rules and patterns of ethos. The management and employees use these patterns as a blueprint in making standard decisions. On an organizational scale, these rules are referred to as the corporate culture. The organizational culture gives a collective identity to all employees of a parastatal. 

Providing clarity about the message of his book, What You Do is Who You Are, author Ben Horowitz states:

“Who you are is not the values you list on the wall. It’s not what you say in a company-wide meeting. It’s not your marketing campaign. It’s not even what you believe. Who you are is what you do. This book aims to help you do things you need to become the kind of leader you want to be – and others want to follow.”

Science states that free space has various potentials if something tangible occupies its precincts. Unleash the untapped potentials of your leadership prowess as you invest your time in reading, imbibing, and cultivating the top skills of an effective business leader.

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