Recommended Reading

Recommended (in no particular order)

Leadership and Self Deception

If you are going to read one book on management then I would highly recommend this one.  It will make you seriously reconsider how you communicate with people in both your personal and professional lives.  It is a short easy read that I cannot recommend enough.  I have developed training programs around this book, and it is one of the few books that I reread on a regular basis.

Steve Jobs

Walter Isaacson does a wonderful job of capturing the absolute brilliance and all of the shortcomings of Steve Jobs. It it is a very inspiring story. If you need a little motivation to help you chase your dream, then this book will provide it.

The Supermanager

If you read this blog regularly, then you are familiar with the author of this book, Greg Blencoe.  If you know Greg, then you know he is a pretty smart guy and this book would likely beneficial to you.  On top of that, I am telling you that I have read it and found it to be extremely helpful.  If you are a new manager, then you need to read this book.

Eat That Frog

This a good book that can easily be read in an afternoon.  Brian Tracy does a masterful job of providing you the motivation and tools to ensure that you are maximizing your efficiency.  If you are a chronic procrastinator, then this is the book for you.


Malcolm Gladwell explains the very common connections between truly great people.  Won’t change your life, but it is fascinating.

Presentation Zen:  Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery

It is a good book for anyone that tends to cram a lot of data onto a PowerPoint Slide.  In my opinion, it is a little extreme but I think the author does that intentionally to make a point.  I still think that this book is a must read for anyone that presents information with PowerPoint frequently.

Death by Meeting

I gave this book to my boss one year for Christmas.  Was that wrong of me?  At any rate, it is a parable type story that offers some tips on how to ensure your meetings are not a complete waste of time.  Also makes a great gift.


Another parable type story that focuses on how you can make your office a place that people actually want to be.  The story centers around the Fish Market in Seattle and how they have made the very unpleasant job of handling fish into lively and entertaining position that they have a waiting list of applicants for.  It may sound far fetched. but I have been to the Fish Market in Seattle and there is a lot to be learned from those fish mongers.

Ultramarathon Man

Not exactly a book on management, but if you are a runner or you would like to be a runner then this is a must read book.  Also a lot of good marketing lessons in here if you are looking for them.

Confessions of a Public Speaker

In this hilarious and highly practical book, author and professional speaker Scott Berkun reveals the techniques behind what great communicators do, and shows how anyone can learn to use them well. For managers and teachers — and anyone else who talks and expects someone to listen — Confessions of a Public Speaker provides an insider’s perspective on how to effectively present ideas to anyone. It’s a unique, entertaining, and instructional romp through the embarrassments and triumphs Scott has experienced over 15 years of speaking to crowds of all sizes.


The lack of personal accountability has resulted in an epidemic of blame, complaining, and procrastination. No organization-or individual-can achieve goals, compete in the marketplace, fulfill a vision, or develop people and teams without personal accountability.

The solution involves an entirely new approach. We can no longer ask, “Who dropped the ball?” “Why can’t they do their work properly?” or “Why do we have to go through all these changes?” Instead, every individual has to ask the question behind the question: “How can I improve this situation?” “What can I contribute?” or “How can I make a difference?”

Succinct, insightful, and practical, QBQ! The Question Behind the Question provides a method for putting personal accountability into daily action, which can bring astonishing results: problems get solved, barriers come down, service improves, teamwork grows, and people adapt to change.

What I Am Currently Reading

Slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations

22 comments on “Recommended Reading

  1. Rich Revord says:

    One of the best books I have read recently is “Start With Why”, by Simon Sinek. YouTube it and the video will just skim the surface of what he covers in the book.

  2. I will be following your developing reading list. Your site looks good, and I will be eager to learn from you.

  3. A few more books for your reading list;
    Execution by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan
    Awesome Simple by John Spencer
    First Break All the Rules By Marcus Buckingham
    Trust Agents by Chris Brogan and Jamie Smith

    • Execution I read and I thought had some great points. I is geared a little more towards a senior manager as opposed to middle management but still a good read for anyone. First Break All the Rules was also an inspirational read. I am not familiar with Awesome Simple or Trust Agents, but I will check them out. Thanks.

  4. Ester says:

    love your post, very inspiring books, I will put them on my To Read-list 😉


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  6. Kyla Cromer says:

    Have you read Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson? Their company created Basecamp, among other popular web-based tools. They say, “37signals’ products do less than the competition — intentionally.” It’s a book you can read quickly, or read a page or two a day and really think about. Probably not the kind of thing you’d hear about at the office. (I have no connection to them.)

    • I have not read or even heard of it (that I can remember). I just went on Amazon and checked it out. Looks pretty interesting. I have added it to my queue. Thanks for checking out my blog and making the recommendation. Hope to hear from you again.

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  8. […] the spirit of “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” Manage Better Now has also inspired me to add Suggested Reading lists to my blog as a number of followers have asked […]

    • I am excited to see what you put on your list. I have enjoyed your writing and I would suspect that we have similar tastes in books. I have set a personal goal to read 26 new books in 2012 so I need all the recommendations I can get.

      • My Amazon lists go back some years. Probably need some pruning. By any chance, have you read The Anatomy of Peace by Arbinger. Curious if you thought highly of this book as well.

      • No I have not. I think I went through a similar thought process. I checked into their other books but never pulled the trigger. If you get it, let me know how it is.

  9. Have just downloaded and read You’re Not So Smart as You Think You Are. Loved it! Thank you for recommending it. It’s great and useful to me as both a writer and in my day job in sales.

  10. leereed says:

    Great list to add to my Kindle. Thanks for the heads-up. Also, one of the best books I have read of any genre has been Deep Survival by Laurence Gonzales. Powerful implications for business…and life.

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