RECOMMENDED READING (AND STUFF)
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Our Recommendations are Genuine…
All of the items recommended by Manager’s Resource Handbook have been used or read by members of the MRH staff. The books have helped us improve our management and business skills. There are countless management books out there to choose from, and finding those that are truly helpful is not very easy. We wanted to provide you with a consolidated list of some of those that were really helpful to us in our managerial careers. We have more on the way and will continue to add to this list. If you have any suggestions, we’d love to hear about them!
Recommended Things For Your Office
VARIDESK – A Height-Adjustable Standing Desk
What started off as an unusual request by one employee took off and became a small revolution in our office. Feedback has been extremely positive as one employee after another has requested one of these. This standing desk allows employees to raise and lower their computer and screens to stretch their legs, run conference calls and remain productive while standing up. There are many options out there, but this one is solid and easy to adjust. It’s a small investment that can have a big impact on ergonomics, health and morale.
Recommended Books for Managing People and Leading Teams
The One Minute Manager by Kenneth H. Blanchard and Spencer Johnson
The One Minute Manager is a fast and easy read that tells the story of a young man seeking to learn how to be a good manager. The story provides a number of great tips and learning points for first-time managers who are trying to make sense of it all. If you’re new to managing other people and are interested in learning a few fundamentals, this is a great start.
The Oz Principle by Craig Hickman, Tom Smith and Roger Connors
The Oz Principle offers guidance on driving employee accountability, one of the most difficult managerial challenges. A good read for managers and business leaders who are struggling to get the most from their employees and their business.
Coaching for Performance by John Whitmore
John Whitmore’s Coaching for Performance
is a light read containing many great tips and concepts that will help managers improve their mentoring and coaching skills. John uses various sport analogies and other simple examples to help convey ideas concerning the role of a coach, the relationship between coach and coachee, and the importance of teams, all of which translate well into the business world. Of particular use to the reader are the numerous lists of bulletized questions and notes, which serve as a quick reference guide for the reader.
Follow This Path by Curt Coffman and Gabriel Gonzalez-Molina
Follow This Path is a fantastic book and guide for managers looking to improve the performance of their teams. Coffman and Gonzalez-Molina tap into mountains of data from the Gallup Organization to demonstrate how the best results come to organizations that enable employees to use their raw talents to the fullest. This is a very easy read and is full of real examples of how a modern approach to running businesses results in enhanced financial performance.
Recommended Books for Sales and Business Growth
Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher, William L. Ury and Bruce Patton
Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In is an international best seller that provides practical approaches and strategies to negotiation. This is a good book for anyone in management and marketing, who has to work through conflict and reach agreements with another party. The skills and tips provided are valuable in day to day business, as well as negotiating a deal for a large scale contract.
The 7 Irrefutable Rules of Small Business Growth by Steven S. Little
Despite its name, The 7 Irrefutable Rules of Small Business Growth is packed full of great tips and lessons for anyone looking to grow their business. Moreover, Little includes many experiences from his own life that all readers can appreciate as real examples of how to build relationships with customers and how to grow a company. Whether you run a small business, or manage a team of employees at a large corporation, this is an easy read with lots of good advice
The Fred Factor by Mark Sanborn
The Fred Factor is based on a real man, Fred the postman in Denver, Colorado. Author Mark Sanborn uses the story of Fred to illustrate how we can best serve our customers and how little things can ultimately go a really long way in the world of business. If you deal with customers, or are looking to find ways to go the extra mile for your clients, The Fred Factor is a great place to start. It’s a short, easy read that packs in many examples that we can all learn and benefit from. Be a Fred!
Recommended Books on Business Strategy
Repeatability by Chris Zook and James Allen
Repeatability is a book that every CEO and business leader should read in order to help them best run their organizations. Zook and Allen explore things like the affect of your company culture and stated metrics on your actual performance, as well as analyze the decisions made by real companies and how these decisions affected their firms. This is an excellent read loaded with countless business and management lessons based on companies that we all recognize.
Contemporary Strategy Analysis by Robert Grant
Robert Grant’s Contemporary Strategy Analysis is an excellent resource for business strategy. Though it is often used as a textbook for business schools and universities, it serves as a good source of theory, examples and real case studies in business strategy. The historical examples of famous corporations are particularly useful.
The Borderless World by Kenichi Ohmae
Although first published over 20 years ago, The Borderless World by Kenichi Ohmae is a good read for managers who lead technology and development teams. Ohmae highlights numerous examples of mistakes firms made in their product development strategy, and how rethinking their approach put them back on course for prosperity. He also provides an in-depth discussion about the benefit of partnerships when dealing with new markets.
The Mind of the Strategist by Kenichi Ohmae
Also by Kenichi Ohmae, The Mind of the Strategist is an excellent guide and resource for managers who deal with business strategy and global business . Ohmae’s writing provides numerous comparisons between Western business techniques and alternate approaches used in his native Japan. His examples and information are applicable to a variety of business environments and situations on the world stage, regardless of which country you happen to be in.
Recommended Books for International Business
Inside Chinese Business by Ming-Jer Chen
Inside Chinese Business is a great read for business travelers headed to China. China is vastly different in terms of culture, communication and business etiquette. This book provides a great overview of the intricacies of working in China, including essential information for how to conduct business in the People’s Republic as a foreigner.
Operation China: From Strategy to Execution by Jimmy Hexter and Jonathan Woetzel
Operation China: From Strategy to Execution provides a more modern take on doing business to China. Written by two seasoned consultants at McKinsey & Company, the book provides tips and strategies that are applicable to a variety of businesses and organizations.
Global Business Negotiations by Claude Cellich and Subhash Jain
Global Business Negotiations is a detailed, yet readable resource that can help you improve your negotiating skills for the global business environment. The book includes strategies, techniques and tips to help you approach, manage and close a negotiation.
Understanding China by John Bryan Starr
To really comprehend what you see when you go to the world’s largest marketplace, Understanding China provides a readable overview for those of us in the West. In it, John Bryan Starr walks through the economic and political history of China in order to help us understand the elements that shaped the country as it emerged onto the global stage. From how the country is governed, to its relationships with other nations, to the differences between its urban and rural populations, Starr’s book includes it all.