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7 Books Every Manager Should Read in 2017

Cornerstone Editors

Here's a resolution that's both personally and professionally fulfilling: Read more books.

As we enter 2017, many of us are pushing ourselves to think more creatively and proactively in both life and work. Well, you're in luck. We compiled a list of our top books for reinvigorating your workplace and inspiring others, thinking back on our own favorites reads and interviewing entrepreneurs, leaders and talent experts across industries for their go-to recommendations.

Whether you've already put your objectives in motion or are struggling to find inspiration, stacking your bedside table with the following shortlist of titles is a great way stimulate ideas, inspire action and reflect.

1) Winning Well: A Manager's Guide To Getting Results Without Losing Your Soul by Karin Hurt and David Dye

As an HR professional, it's not uncommon to feel like you have to choose between delivering results and maintaining strong relationships. Winning Well breaks down those barriers and provides usable ideas, action plans and advice. Whether you're a seasoned CEO or a first-time manager, you can apply these tips to become an effective and adored leader.

"Winning Well challenges the common win-at-all costs mentality, offering specific tools and techniques for managers to achieve lasting results while remaining a decent person," says Megan Constantino, founder and chief creative officer at Parachute Partners. "This is a practical resource for inspiring teams and developing leaders."

2) Tools of Titans by Timothy Ferriss

Tim Ferriss has interviewed more than 200 guests for his podcast, ranging from celebrities to athletes to scientists. Tools of Titans compiles tools, tactics, lessons, and actionable ideas from new and past guests. Use these captivating short chapters to inspire innovative topics of discussion, learn from the minds of high-performers or discover a different perspective you can share with your team.

"This is a collection of the best bits the author gleans from interviews with successful people such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Malcolm Gladwell and Seth Godin," shares Eugene Gamble, a business coach and manager at Rosedale Health Centre. "This is a book you can pick up, read a few pages and put down. Chapters are short and to the point."

3) What Got You Here Won't Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith

You've worked hard to get where you are, but without professional development and continually updating your skills, it can be tough to continue to climb that ladder of success. What Got You Here Won't Get You There will have you thinking about leadership in another light to discover what's holding you back, and what you can do to put your talents and abilities to best use.

"As you become successful, you'll need to develop a new set of skills and focus to remain successful and to get to the next level. This book outlines how to do that," says CEO of Confirmed Instant Scheduler David Radin.

4) Disrupt Yourself by Whitney Johnson

Disruptive innovation is the idea that an original invention or idea can create a new market and value network—disrupting the existing market and value network—and lead to new products and success. While creating something for a market that doesn't exist yet might sound scary, it can also be inspiring if you've reached a plateau. Whitney Johnson's real-life anecdotes and applications can help you identify your particular strengths, understand how to work with constraints and, perhaps most importantly, become more comfortable with failure.

"This book is about applying disruptive innovation to one's career and one's business," says Joan Michelson, executive producer and host at Green Connections Radio and a communications coach. "To list a few tidbits, you learn how constraints can be inspiring, how to sell your great idea and why your strengths may not be what you think they are."

5) The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph by Ryan Holiday

We all face obstacles at one time or another, and at that peak moment of frustration it can be difficult to see the best way to deal with a situation. In The Obstacle Is the Way, Ryan Holiday shows how you can turn your problems into advantages. You'll be inspired with stories from some of the most successful people in history who worked through seemingly impossible circumstances including John D. Rockefeller, Steve Jobs and Ulysses S. Grant.

"This book takes 2,000-year-old wisdom from the Stoics and puts a modern twist on it," shares Pete Abilla, founder and CEO of "This book will help you change the way you see and perceive situations. Rather than overcoming obstacles, this book teaches you how you can actually make those same obstacles work in your favor and propel you to a higher version of yourself."

6) Influence by Robert Cialdini

As a leader, you likely have a plethora of great ideas, but getting people to listen, understand and accept those ideas can be difficult. In Influence, you'll learn the psychology behind why people say "yes," how to skillfully persuade people in the right way and how to detect and react to expert persuaders.

"When dealing with others, it is always useful to have a good understanding of how and why people react a certain way. Influence discusses how we have the capability to leverage that knowledge to get the job done in the most efficient way with minimum hassle," says Gamble.

7) How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

How to Win Friends and Influence People was one of the first self-help books ever published, and it's still a bestseller nearly 80 years later for a reason. Whether you're looking to enhance your conversational skills or become a better executive, this book is a classic that should find a place on your bookshelf.

"I read this book (or listen to the audio version) every year," shares Radin. "Although it's 80 years old, it still forms the foundation of great leadership thinking and working with other people. It continues... to consistently be on Amazon's and Audible's top 10 sellers for the category."

Header photo: Creative Commons

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