Managing a team of employees is no easy feat. Different styles of leadership yield different results, so it’s important to understand which one suits you and your team best.
One great way to discover your own management style is by reading about leadership and business, and experimenting with different management resources. That’s why we asked the members of Forbes Business Council which book or resource has been particularly helpful in shaping their management style. Below, 11 of them shared their favorites.
Reading Principles: Life and Work, by Ray Dalio, in large sections or even just a few passages can be a grounding reminder to keep yourself, your team and things in general in perspective. My personal favorite passage and life reminder is, “Make your passion and your work one and the same and do it with people you want to be with.” – Kim DeLine, Elevate K-12
2. Delivering Happiness
Many business owners overlook the importance of the mental health of their employees. Tony Hsieh’s Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose influenced my management style because it emphasized the significance of office culture. Employee happiness directly impacts customer satisfaction, thus it was essential to establish an amazing culture where my team could be themselves and felt at home. – Sardor Umrdinov, Home Alliance
3. The Culture Code
The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups, by Daniel Coyle, breaks down managerial myths that no longer work. As talent continues to be difficult for businesses to attract and retain, culture is the retention tool for building an unshakable foundation for growth. Modeling roles, promoting the right people and behaviors and creating safe environments to talk and share ideas are the solution to any business’ talent conundrum. – Dandan Zhu, DG Recruit
4. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey, is a great resource. The section on interdependence is especially influential in our internal management style. Think win-win, seek first to understand and synergize! We’re big on teamwork and Covey’s ideas are paramount. We keep things organized on Trello and we experiment with training platforms like Trainual. – Corey Lewis, 1AND1 Life
5. The Ten Faces of Innovation
The Ten Faces of Innovation: IDEO’s Strategies for Beating the Devil’s Advocate and Driving Creativity Throughout Your OrganizationThe Ten Faces of Innovation talks about people, the roles they can play, the hats they can wear and the personas they can adapt. Tom Kelley shows how the organization can bring the human components of innovation to your organization’s operational work. It’s about developing the personas of your team to maximize its influence. – Jennifer Ty, Excell Home Care Inc
Building cohesion within your entire team and giving your staffers a unified focus and purpose inspires them to work together. It’s all about having a growth-oriented mindset. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., is a great book that covers this topic and can help evolve your management style. – Beth Worthy, GMR Transcription Services, Inc
7. The Art of Gathering
The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters, by Priya Parker, is a wonderful book that changed the way I approach meetings. Parker stresses the importance of making all gatherings memorable by mapping out their purpose beforehand. Since time is everyone’s most valuable asset, her strategies are right on target and help ensure meetings are useful for everyone. – Jeanne Hardy, Creative Business Inc.
8. People Styles at Work
A strong manager has the ability to manage people of all work styles and get the most out of them. How do you engage the person who insists on lengthy discussions and analysis before making a decision? What about when they are at odds with their fast-charging, action-oriented teammate? People Styles at Work…And Beyond: Making Bad Relationships Good and Good Relationships Better, by Robert Bolton, has been an invaluable guide on how to effectively lead all kinds of people. – Christine Tao, Sounding Board, Inc
9. Jim Collins Books
Jim Collins has authored some really fantastic books for managers. In particular, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t and the newer Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies provide great examples of how companies from diverse fields maintain excellence. Even though some of the companies discussed have failed to weather the current market (Circuit City), they still provide insight into what does and does not work for managing a team. – Andrew M. Smith, McRight-Smith Construction
10. Classic Leadership Books
Modern leaders listen, learn and innovate. Functional expertise can be earned, but character-building traits, like purpose, compassion, humility, perseverance, integrity and respect must be honed. My resources are Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, Simon Sinek’s Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, Jim Collins’ Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t, Ben Horowitz’s The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers and Alfred’s Lansing’s Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage. – Daphne Liu, Softescu
11. Harvard Business Review
Reading the stories and articles available on Harvard Business Review has been extremely insightful by giving first hand experiences, solutions to problems and advice anyone can take and easily apply to personally and to the business. I highly recommend all entrepreneurs visit the site when they’re in a pinch or looking for insight on problems they are having. – Hoda Mahmoodzadegan, BAḴT Global