You must have heard the famous proverb, ‘Pen is mightier than swords’. So are the books that they write. Books open several doors to their readers. With the help of books, you cannot only empower but also help people explore new worlds. In the same way, reading books will also allow you to become a successful manager. 

Generally, authors of popular self-help books pour years of experience into their books. This allowed readers to gain insights from their experiences. Hence, finding the right books can change you and your life. 

Top industry leaders, top billionaires and even popular artists are known to be avid book readers. However, successful people mostly prefer to be enlightened rather than being entertained.

All in all, if you want to be successful in any particular field, then reading industry-specific books will help you. Just with a quick search on the internet, you may find lists of tens of books. But, unfortunately, most of them are not useful. 

If you are also facing trouble finding the books that will be perfect for you, then read along. Here’s the list of the top 5 books to read if you aim to become a successful manager. 

Top books to be a successful manager

  1. 7 Habits of highly effective people

You need to make a list of successful people and try to find similarities amongst them. After doing this, we guarantee that you will be astonished that most of them have most of these habits in common. Thus, the book provides you with several insights into the habits of successful people. Further, it guides people with the most effective ways to implement these habits. 

About the book

With more than 40 million book copies sold worldwide, the book has been awarded the title of number 1 most influential business book of the 20th century. Although it is a bit old, its principles remain equally important and implementable to date. 

The book talks about 7 different habits used by highly effective people. Major takeaways from this book include the following: 

  • Learn to be proactive.
  • Learn about how you can begin your work by keeping the end goal in mind.
  • How to prioritize by keeping first things first. 
  • Think positively – always think about winning.
  • Learn the importance of first understanding and then be understood. 
  • Importance of synergizing.
  • Sharpen yourself using all these techniques.

The book is known to transform the lives of thousands of its readers positively. Several educators, CEOs, parents, and people of all ages have praised all of them. 

Our thoughts

The book is one of the best books if you want to learn soft skills. Using its easy to implement features, we believe that you will positively influence and motivate others. 

Moreover, the book asks its readers to follow a principled approach to solving professional and personal problems. The book’s implementable principles make it one of the must-read books for students and managers alike. Go through this book. You will learn about winning your game by playing fairly and honestly. 

  1. How to Win Friends and Influence people

Managers are mostly resented because of their position of authority. Therefore, it is quite common for managers to feel difficulty in handling people around them. Are you also one of the managers who are facing such issues? Then reading this book can be helpful for you.

About the book

The book works on the mantra that you will achieve anything if you make positive efforts. Authored by Dale Carnegie, the book’s presence and vibe are as alive as it has been about 60 years back when it was first published. 

The book’s time-tested advice has been adhered to by thousands of people. These people vouch for the book’s changing life-changing ways. Through this book, you will learn the following ways: 

  • Different ways to manage people.
  • Ways to change people without arousing any resentment between them. 
  • Ways to win people through your way of thinking.

Our thoughts

Undoubtedly, the book changes the way you perceive people around you. Moreover, you will surely learn about various techniques to handle people around you with the help of different solutions mentioned in the book.

One of the biggest problems that managers face is that people often do not like them. This book tells you about six principles that will help you make people like you. Additionally, it also tells you about multiple ways through which leaders can bring out the best from people around them without offending others. 

In summation, this book is a treasure trove for managers seeking genuine advice to manage their subordinates.

  1. The Art of War

The quality of leadership is one of the most important factors for becoming a good manager. But what is leadership? Who is an ideal leader? 

About the book

Sun Tzu’s ‘The Art of War’ is a classic military strategist book written about 25 years ago. Primarily based on the Chinese art of military thought and warfare, the book sets certain principles for creating war-winning strategy. 

The book specifies the importance of a good leader and pre-planning. A good leader usually comprises five traits: humanity, credibility, courage, discipline, and intelligence. 

The Art of War was especially known for its military-specific nature. However, its advice is implementable in general life. With the modern age, diversified lifestyle, the politicization of almost every field, and the increasing need for good leadership, the book has found a new life. 

Our thoughts

Although set to define the strategies of war of fields, the book can also be helpful to winning boardroom war. The book offers key psychological principles to be applied in office wars.

The book is spanned across 13 chapters that deal with all aspects of warfare strategy. Thus, the book’s short proverbial sentences make it a philosophical and compelling read and a must-read for managers. 

  1. The Making of a Manager

Managers are burdened with the heavy responsibility of managing people under them. Becoming a good manager is both scary and hard. However, it is a skill that anyone can learn. 

Learn how through Julie Zhuo’s ‘Making of a Manager’ book.

About the book

Unlike popular views, being a manager is not easy. Managing tens of people, increasing productivity, and inculcating teamwork and productivity in the team are the most crucial tasks of managers. 

Facing these challenges is not easy. However, the book’s author, Julie Zhuo, a manager herself, is aware of these challenges. After managing hundreds of people, Ms. Julie came to one conclusion, i.e., good managers are not born but made. 

In the ‘Making of a Manager’, Julie guides the reader through a series of insightful ideas that can transform your life. Some of the crucial questions that this book answers are, namely, 

  • Ways to make your team trust you using reports.
  • Differences between an average and a great manager.

Our thoughts

We are sure that most of your queries will get resolved by going through this book. We assure you that no matter if you are a veteran or new to the field of management, with this handbook, you will become the kind of manager that you have dreamt of. 

  1. The One Minute Manager

Are you looking out for better ways to manage your team? If yes, then the Kenneth Blanchard’s one-minute manager will be the gateway to success for you. The book, although written in 2001, its methods are still effective to date. 

The book has sold more than 2 million copies, making this book one of the most successful managerial books in the world. 

About the book 

The book is about a young, energetic man searching for a good manager or a good leader. During his journey, he encounters two types of managers. 

First is the aristocratic type. The managers only cared for final results. Although, in most cases, organizations in such cases grew. However, their employees always suffered. 

The second was the democratic managers. These managers cared for their employees. However, as a result, the organization suffered. At the end of his search, the man finally founds a successful manager—the one who used the one-minute approach. 

After reading this book, you will learn about three management techniques, namely, 

  • One-minute Reprimands
  • 1-minute Praising 
  • 1-minute Goal setting

Our thoughts

According to the author, the one-minute method is a way to set clearer expectations or goals for your managing people. Using its easy to implement techniques, you will increase your team’s productivity and also boost the organization’s profits. 

Through the book’s easy-to-read and relatable story and practical secrets, you will surely become a successful manager. 

Moreover, its newer version – the New One Minute Manager, released in 2015, has further tried to promote its old yet powerful message to the new generation. 


That said, it isn’t easy to become a successful manager with the help of book reading. In reality, understanding your team, advising them, and taking guidance from other managers will make you a great leader. However, much of these are the qualities that you will learn with the help of ample experience. 

That said, books can only become your guide. They will offer you primary principles to move a step forward and become a good manager. But it is you who must implement these principles to move forward towards success. So, just get started with the available resources, and you will soon see yourself evolving into your successful version.

Author Bio

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Abhyank Srinet, the founder of MiM-Essay, holds a Masters in Management degree from ESCP Europe. He is an entrepreneur who is passionate about digital entrepreneurship. Following his passion, he started his first company while he was a student at the ESCP. He managed to scale it up by 400% in just 2 years. Being a B-School Alumni, he recognized the need for a one-stop solution for B-School admission process. This encouraged him to create MiM-Essay, a one-of-a-kind portal with cutting edge profile evaluation and school selection algorithms, along with several avenues to stay informed about the latest B-School Updates.

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