What are some good books on management

The 10 best books for leaders

There's a good reason we're publishing an article right now about the best books for leaders: it's the same game every year. The new year is just around the corner, and one tries with ambitious resolutions to force something that one has planned for a long time.

It is often the same for managers who have a lot of responsibility. Regardless of whether it is about outperforming KPIs, increasing employee motivation or increasing popularity in the department. Managers also have wishes that they would like to fulfill in the new year.



It is no secret that resolutions often do not survive for too long (here the study on the subject of New Year's Resolutions). Often this is due to the fact that these resolutions are not only vaguely formulated, but also that no concrete plan is set out how the defined goals are to be achieved. In many cases, however, the implementation simply fails due to insufficient motivation or a lack of inspiration.

There are sources of inspiration like a dime a dozen. Prominent examples show that books can play a major role here:

Investor legend Warren Buffet once said in an interview that around 80 percent of his day was spent reading articles, newspapers and books. Self-made millionaire Steve Siebold interviewed 1,200 of the world's richest people to find out what habits they shared. A habit that almost everyone had in common was reading books about self-optimization, business management, or biographies.

We have selected 10 books for you so that you too can get started with new knowledge and vigor in the next year. These should provide you with sufficient motivation, inspiration, tips, tricks and methods (the order does not correspond to any ranking). By the way, they could look particularly good under the Christmas tree this year! In addition, we also have a small gift for you at the end of the article:


Books for executives number 1: Leading a new generation: How Generation Y should lead and be led - Nils Schulenburg


Professor, management consultant, executive trainer: Nils Schulenburg is one of the most renowned leadership experts in Germany. In this book he describes an important finding from his practical experience:

Generation Y and its special features are one of the main challenges facing today's managers. The young professionals of our time are often labeled as leisure-oriented, digitally savvy and not very career-focused. The fact that a large part of this generation is not only self-confident and extremely powerful, but also highly motivated, is often ignored here.

As a management consultant and professor, Nils Schulenburg describes in this management manual for the digital natives indispensable management tools that every modern leader needs in order to optimally use the potential of this generation.

“There is nothing more practical than a well-founded theory.” With this approach, the book combines research results from human resource management, psychology and neurosciences.

A book for practitioners who value scientifically sound tools and indispensable for all those who are firmly convinced that real competitive advantages can only be achieved through timely management. You can get the book here.


Books for executives Number 2: The team developer: Learning to win together - Jens Corssen


It is well known that team building is crucial for the success of companies in the agile working world. In this book, Jens Corssen describes a chaotic department with role conflicts, egoism and destructive behavior among each other in the form of a novel. In order to achieve the turnaround, only good management work can help here.

As a team developer, the manager is not only in demand professionally, but also has to promote relationships in the team, especially with social skills (leadership skills are relational skills). The protagonist of the story gradually develops into an orientation aid for his employees, and leads them like a real leader in challenging times.

With modern management tools he forms a team from individuals and helps the company to regain its shine.

The arduous way to get there and the real-life conflicts make the book not only exciting, but also particularly instructive.

The integration of the technical background in the novel ensures that the book conveys many knowledge of modern leadership and team development techniques in a playful way. That makes it a nice read for the cold season. Click here for the book.


Leadership Books Number 3: The 10 Biggest Mistakes New Leaders Make- Martin Schmidt


Mistakes are not only human, but also incredibly valuable in personal development phases. They offer unbelievable potential that you only have to use through intensive work-up.

So it's all the better when you don't even have to make the mistakes yourself. In his book “The 10 Biggest Mistakes New Managers”, Martin Schmidt analyzes all the mistakes that he himself made in his 20 years as a manager. The book thrives on authentic examples and smart conclusions, which are often obvious, but are therefore no less useful.

Schmidt is providing entertaining instructions for use to prevent errors, especially for new managers. It sums up the most common mistakes in a pragmatic way, and if you should have committed one of the mistakes, it offers smart solutions to make up for it. This book also offers useful tips for managers who have been around for a long time to reduce the risk of mistakes in their own leadership behavior!


Books for executives number 4: Entry into the leadership role: Practical book for the first 100 days- Helmut Hofbauer / Alois Kauer


Helmut Hofbauer's book "Entry into the Leadership Role: Practical Guide for the First 100 Days" is exactly that. A great book for people who are about to take on a new leadership role.

The book answers the most important questions that you ask yourself in such a new situation: How should you prepare, which new requirements can you meet and how do you want to be perceived as a manager? It describes how to avoid role conflicts and prepare for new challenges.

However, it does not stop at theory. With exciting interviews, practical examples and numerous tools such as checklists or worksheets, the book provides orientation, motivation and inspiration for the challenging transition from employee to manager.


Books for Executives Number 5: Motivational Conversation - William Miller / Stephen Rollnick


The book “Motivational Interviewing” by the two professors William Miller (University of New Mexico) and Stephen Rollnick (University of Wales, Cardiff) is considered to be one of the best books on the subject of interpersonal communication.

Based on the four phases of relationship building, focusing, evocation and planning, the most important mechanisms of action for constructive conversation are prepared and avoidable errors are shown using good practical examples.

There are countless application examples. Regardless of whether it is an appraisal interview, a sales pitch or a conflict in a private relationship - this book helps to get the best possible out of every situation.

Although it is actually aimed at social workers, this book is a must-have for real leaders who want to improve their communication skills and thereby motivate employees. You can find the book here.


Leadership Books Number 6: The Psychology of Persuasion - Robert Cialdini


This world bestseller has it all. Social psychologist and marketing guru Robert B. Cialdini analyzes why people agree. He explains how to use the basic principles of conviction to get people on your side and protect yourself from manipulation.

The fact that the eighth edition of the book brings people to a new level of charisma and persuasiveness speaks for itself.

Cialdini combines practical examples with scientific accuracy, and with this very easily digestible book has already helped millions of people to gain new powers of persuasion. It analyzes the psychology behind numerous behaviors in different contexts and explains why z. B. certain sales methods still work almost without restriction.

The book uses the “weapons of influence” to explain, among other things, the law of reciprocity, the power of commitment and consistency, heuristics based on social reliability, or the power of authority.

The book is a wonderful addition to Miller's and Rollnick's “Motivational Conversation” and gives every manager extremely valuable input along the way. Click here for the psychology of persuasion.


Books for executives number 7: Corporate Social Responsibility: Responsible corporate management in theory and practice - Andreas Schneider / René Schmidpeter


In times of global warming, threatened species, a gigantic carpet of plastic garbage in the oceans and a growing gap between rich and poor, companies can no longer act carelessly without being aware of the consequences.

This book by Andreas Schneider and René Schmidtpeter makes it clear that responsible corporate management not only results in costs, but also, above all, gigantic business potential.

100 authors from German-speaking countries show the entire spectrum of responsible corporate management in 80 articles. The focus here is on the integration of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in SMEs, the financial perspective of the topic, and internal and external communication.

The book shows impressive examples of success and shows that CSR offers immense economic and social potential for companies. This modern management area holds incredible innovative strength and is must-have know-how for every manager!


Leadership Books Number 8: The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail (Management of Innovation and Change) - Clayton M. Christensen


Books that are on the top ten list of leadership greats like Steve Jobs and Co. naturally belong on this list. “The Innovator's Dilemma” is one of the most influential business books of our time.

Amazon boss Jeff Bezos said in a recent interview, “I predict that Amazon will one day fail. Amazon will go bankrupt ”. Harvard Professor Clayton Christensen shows why even the strongest companies that do everything right can disappear from the market.

But the book also explains what executives have to do to avoid extinction in the long term with the help of innovative corporate practices. Companies that force disruption with a new customer base, new subcontractors and sufficient resources can avoid their own downfall.

In order to bring the right mindset into a company in a world of unrestrained progress, managers should have internalized this book through and through.


Leadership Books Number 9: One Touch: What Leaders Can Learn From Professional Football. With interjections from Jürgen Klinsmann, Joachim Löw & Co.- Claus-Peter Niem / Karin Helle


Most will remember it as if it was yesterday: July 13, 2014. The 88th minute is running. The Estádio do Maracanã shakes when Jogi Löw comes on for Mario Götze against Argentina. The rest is history.

Like managers, trainers in sport are under pressure every day. Every decision could have unforeseeable consequences for the future of the team or the company. They are motivators, strategists, role models and conflict solvers. You need to be able to communicate, build and nurture relationships, and be knowledgeable about the subject.

This book shows what business leaders can learn from the sporting elite of professional football in order to put themselves and the company at the top. An absolute must for managers who are enthusiastic about football!


Books for leaders number 10: Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It ... and Why the Rest Don’t - Verne Harnish


The book "Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It ... and Why the Rest Don’t" by Verne Harnish has been considered one of the corporate Bibles for some time. In just over 300 pages, Harnish describes how to scale your own company to the status of industry leader.

Every entrepreneur, manager, and employee reading this book should be able to actively grow their own business with the help of this bestseller.

With the help of numerous practical tools, such as the One-Page Strategic Plan, the Rockefeller Habits Checklist ™, or OKR boards and much more. are designed to help readers optimize the four main decision-making areas that make Harnish:

  1. People

How to attract the right employees and retain them in the long term.

  1. Strategy

How to develop an independent and promising corporate strategy.

  1. Execution

How to implement the developed strategy without friction losses.

  1. Cash

How to drive cash flow and build enough liquidity for bad times.

The goal of this book is to make a statement: Grow businesses tenfold by following the tips in this book. Harnisch repeatedly brings practical examples such as Apple or Starbucks into play. The latter took around 20 years to perfect the business model and crack the 100-branch mark. From this milestone in the early 1990s, the company has grown to over 18,000 branches with over 150,000 employees.

One of the most interesting theses of the book is, for example, that the growth potential of companies and their value is only at its highest when there is a clear imbalance in the distribution of information between management and employees. According to this, managers should ask the right questions, but leave the search for answers completely up to the employees. Only when the manager is the dumbest in the meeting does a company make optimal use of its human capital.

More than 40,000 companies worldwide are already successfully using the instruments of the book, which are intended to accelerate four main results:

  • A doubling of the cash flow
  • A tripling of profitability compared to the industry average
  • A higher company valuation compared to competitors
  • A broad support of the ascent by all actors (employees, customers, shareholders)

It does this by breaking down the main barriers to growth that Harnish sees in an inadequate leadership style, a lack of scalable infrastructure and ineffective marketing.

Due to its practical relevance and the countless successful use cases, the book Scale-Up is a must-have book for managers and employees that can bring new momentum to any company!




It goes without saying that the list does not claim to be exhaustive given the incredible selection of management books.

Nevertheless, these 10 books definitely belong in the repertoire of every executive who wants to lead their company into a glorious future. Each of them should also bring a lot of joy under the Christmas tree and lead into the new year with motivation and inspiration:


1. Nils Schulenburg - Leadership of a New Generation: How Generation Y should lead and be led

2. Jens Corssen - The team developer: Learning to win together

3. Martin Schmidt - The 10 biggest mistakes new managers make

4. Helmut Hofbauer / Alois Kauer - entry into the leadership role: practical book for the first 100 days

5. William Miller / Stephen Rollnick - Motivational interviewing

6. Robert Cialdini - The Psychology of Persuasion

7. Andreas Schneider / René Schmidtpeter - Corporate Social Responsibility: Responsible corporate management in theory and practice

8. Clayton M. Christensen - The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail (Management of Innovation and Change)

9. Claus-Peter Niem / Karin Helle - One touch: What managers can learn from professional football. With interjections from Jürgen Klinsmann, Joachim Löw & Co.

10. Verne Harnish - Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It ... and Why the Rest Don’t


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