Knowledge is the key, but having the right attitude and leadership skills will help you to move your career forward more easily. For sure there are people who seem to be born leaders, but there is nothing you can't learn. Being the manager or the team leader requires interpersonal and organisational skills, which you can learn along the way. Don't undermine yourself, if you're not the outgoing type, it doesn't mean you'll be a bad leader. In fact, studies have shown that introverts make good leaders as well, since they're more willing to listen to others and analyze problems deeply before proposing a solution.
Here you can find the best books about leadership and team management that will help you to learn and understand how to manage other people successfully.
1. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, David Allen
Becoming a manager can be extremely stressful, especially if it's the first experience. This book's premise is simple: our productivity is directly proportional to our ability to relax. If our minds are clear, then we can focus and get things done. Allen shows how to organize our work and gives some suggestions on the best methods to use. Some of the most useful insights are:
Apply the “do it, delegate it, defer it, drop it" rule
Reassess goals in changing situations
Feel fine about what you're not doing
Overcome feelings of anxiety and being overwhelmed.
2. Developing the Leader Within You, John C. Maxwell
If you've ever thought you'd never be a leader because you weren't “born with it", well, you probably have to reconsider that. This book will guide you through all the aspects that make a leader. In fact, you can learn to become one and how to influence other people. If you'd like to go beyond being a manager and lead your team to greater heights, then you should probably read this book. The accomplishment of the leader is inspiring others to do better work. And you can sure learn how to do it as well.
3. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You, John C. Maxwell
John C. Maxwell is an American pastor and public speaker. He summarized his thirty years of leadership experience into a handful of principles to follow in order to become a leader yourself. If you'd like to improve your skills as a manager, you should definitely take a look at this book. Some of the most interesting pieces of advice are about how to serve others and how to make your team trust you and each other.
4. Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, Malcolm Gladwell
Decision making could be a big source of stress for many of us. You can feel some people are just better than you at making decisions very quickly. In this book, Gladwell explains why some are brilliant decision-makers and others are not. He studied the psychology and neuroscience behind every decision we make and how we process the information we have to draw our conclusion. Blink will help you to better understand your thought process and how to be more conscious about it.
5. Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, Daniel Goleman
IQ is not everything you need to be successful at work. We have two minds: the rational and emotional. Emotional intelligence helps us to understand how they work together and shape our personality. As a manager, it's really important to be able to read and adapt to others' personalities and way of working. The good news is that by understanding how emotional intelligence works, you'll be able to hijacked it and balancing your emotions and the ones of the people close to you.
6. How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie
This is the oldest book in the list, but it's timeless and you can still apply the principles at your current situation. If you're thinking to climb the ladder of your organization, or you want to become a better manager or team member, this is for sure a must-read. Carnegie's principles will help you to achieve your maximum potential in the complex and competitive modern age.
7. The One Minute Manager, Kenneth H. Blanchart
Being a manager is definitely hard work. You should balance being ruinously empathetic and obnoxiously aggressive. It's a mix of praises and criticisms, while at the same time keep everyone motivated and productive. This book, written by a highly successful manager at Google, is what you need to learn how to be a good manager. In fact, great bosses have a very good relationship with their employees and their team. She discovered what are the principles which make this relationship bloom in all the different situation.
9. First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently, Marcus Burckingham
To stand out of the crowd you must do something differently. Either you're a very knowledgeable person in what you do, or you're willing to take some risks and try something new. In this book, the author puts together a series of stories from successful managers and why they were so good at their jobs. If you'd like to get more insights on the minds of great leaders and have some new ideas to apply to your own company or job, this is for sure the book for you.
10. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable, Patrick Lencioni
The question answered by this book is: why teams, even the best ones, often struggle? The actionable steps given here can be used on your everyday job to make your team more cohesive and effective. Sometimes, colleagues clash on some basic issues, like for example lack of trust or fear of conflict and they don't resolve the problems among them. Lencioni gives some practical suggestions on how to better work together and decrease the small issues among team members.