If you are like me, you probably have shelves full of management books that have never been opened. Given the paucity of time for quiet reading and thinking, could management books be writen off as useless, irrelevant, containing too much theory and little practice?
Don’t be dismissive yet. Consider the advantage. Management books offer the promise of learning from the written word. Good managers and leaders habitually pride themselves on learning from experience, but they don’t seem to appreciate the fact that reading a management book, understanding the perspectives and examples provided, and separating the wheat from the chaff is an learning experience in itself.
Is it possible that these management books sound the same? Admittedly, a lot of books do have some really good ideas, but they are covered with acres of irrelevant fluff, protracted case studies, repetitive lines of reasoning, anecdotal stories, credentials of the authors, or promotion of the author’s services.
So, if you don’t like reading, are too busy to read books, too important to read management books, or you can’t read, simply delegate the reading of these management books. Ideally, most books can be condensed into a page or two of significant points. Find someone who loves to read and ask them to give you a summary of the key points and suggest some actions that interest you. Even if this is not practically as good as reading the books yourself, it’s better than passing up all the knowledge and wisdom available to be gleaned from management books.
My Current Reading List of Management Books
- ‘The Moral Leader: Challenges, Tools and Insights’ by Sandra J. Sucher
- ‘Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul’ by Howard Schultz
- ‘In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America’s Best-Run Companies’ by Tom Paters
- ‘Don’t Follow Me: I’m the Leader’ by Dave Dungan
- ‘How To Win Friends and Influence People’ by Dale Carnegie
- ‘On Becoming a Leader’ by Warren Bennis
- ‘Control Your Destiny or Someone Else Will (Collins Business Essentials)’ by Noel M. Tichy
- ‘The Practice of Management’ by Peter F. Drucker
- ‘Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t’ by Jim Collins
- ‘The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership Workbook: Revised & Updated’ by John C. Maxwell