Books for first time managers

Were/are you an engineer who is now transitioning to their first managerial role? These are the books recommended by HN users to read for laying the groundwork for effective managers.
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Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

by Daniel H. Pink

About the book:  The New York Times bestseller that gives readers a paradigm—shattering new way to think about motivation.Most people believe that the best way to motivate is with rewards like money—the carrot-and-stick approach. That's a mistake, says Daniel H. Pink (author of To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Motivating Others). In this provocative and persuasive new book, he asserts that the secret to high performance and satisfaction-at work, at school, and at home—is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world.Drawing on four decades of scientific research on human motivation, Pink exposes the mismatch between what science knows and what business does—and how that affects every aspect of life. He examines the three elements of true motivation—autonomy, mastery, and purpose-and offers smart and surprising techniques for putting these into action in a unique book that will change how we think and transform how we live.

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The HP Way

by David Packard

About the book:  In the fall of 1930, David Packard left his hometown of Pueblo, Colorado, to enroll at Stanford University, where he befriended another freshman, Bill Hewlett. After graduation, Hewlett and Packard decided to throw their lots in together. They tossed a coin to decide whose name should go first on the notice of incorporation, then cast about in search of products to sell. Today, the one-car garage in Palo Alto that housed their first workshop is a California historic landmark: the birthplace of Silicon Valley. And Hewlett-Packard has produced thousands of innovative products for millions of customers throughout the world. Their little company employs 98,400 people and boasts constantly increasing sales that reached $25 billion in 1994. While there are many successful companies, there is only one Hewlett-Packard, because from the very beginning, Hewlett and Packard had a way of doing things that was contrary to the prevailing management strategies. In defining the objectives for their company, Packard and Hewlett wanted more than profits, revenue growth and a constant stream of new, happy customers. Hewlett-Packard's success owes a great deal to many factors, including openness to change, an unrelenting will to win, the virtue of sustained hard work and a company-wide commitment to community involvement. As a result, HP now is universally acclaimed as the world's most admired technology company; its wildly successful approach to business has been immortalized as The HP Way. In this book, David Packard tells the simple yet extraordinary story of his life's work and of the truly exceptional company that he and Bill Hewlett started in a garage 55 years ago.

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Peopleware

by Tom DeMarco,Tim Lister

About the book:  The legendary 'anti-Dilbert' book on managing software projects by focusing on people - now fully updated for today's projects and methodologies * *Combines humor and wisdom to deliver timeless, practical advice every software manager and developer can use *Updated and reorganized, with seven brand-new chapters *Now addresses leadership, generational differences, distributed and diverse teams, managing risk, holding effective meetings, and using email the right way For this third edition, the authors have added six new chapters and updated the text throughout, bringing it in line with today's development environments and challenges. For example, the book now discusses pathologies of leadership that hadn't previously been judged to be pathological; an evolving culture of meetings; hybrid teams made up of people from seemingly incompatible generations; and a growing awareness that some of our most common tools are more like anchors than propellers. Anyone who needs to manage a software project or software organization will find invaluable advice throughout the book.

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The Mythical Man-Month, Anniversary Edition

by Frederick P. Brooks Jr.

About the book:  Few books on software project management have been as influential and timeless as The Mythical Man-Month. With a blend of software engineering facts and thought-provoking opinions, Fred Brooks offers insight for anyone managing complex projects. These essays draw from his experience as project manager for the IBM System/360 computer family and then for OS/360, its massive software system. Now, 20 years after the initial publication of his book, Brooks has revisited his original ideas and added new thoughts and advice, both for readers already familiar with his work and for readers discovering it for the first time. The added chapters contain (1) a crisp condensation of all the propositions asserted in the original book, including Brooks' central argument in The Mythical Man-Month: that large programming projects suffer management problems different from small ones due to the division of labor; that the conceptual integrity of the product is therefore critical; and that it is difficult but possible to achieve this unity; (2) Brooks' view of these propositions a generation later; (3) a reprint of his classic 1986 paper "No Silver Bullet"; and (4) today's thoughts on the 1986 assertion, "There will be no silver bullet within ten years."

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How To Win Friends and Influence People

by Dale Carnegie

About the book:  You can go after the job you want...and get it! You can take the job you have...and improve it! You can take any situation you're in...and make it work for you! Since its release in 1936, How to Win Friends and Influence People has sold more than 15 million copies. Dale Carnegie’s first book is a timeless bestseller, packed with rock-solid advice that has carried thousands of now famous people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives. As relevant as ever before, Dale Carnegie’s principles endure, and will help you achieve your maximum potential in the complex and competitive modern age. Learn the six ways to make people like you, the twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking, and the nine ways to change people without arousing resentment.

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Long Walk To Freedom

by Nelson Mandela

About the book:  The riveting memoirs of the outstanding moral and political leader of our time, Long Walk to Freedom brilliantly re-creates the drama of the experiences that helped shape Nelson Mandela's destiny. Emotive, compelling and uplifting, Nelson Mandela became the democratically elected, first black president of the republic of South Africa on 27 April 1994. Long Walk to Freedom is the exhilarating story of an epic life; a story of hardship, resilience and ultimate triumph told with the clarity and eloquence of a born leader. 'Burns with the luminosity of faith in the invincible nature of human hope and dignity . . . Unforgettable' Andre Brink 'Enthralling . . . Mandela emulates the few great political leaders such as Lincoln and Gandhi, who go beyond mere consensus and move out ahead of their followers to break new ground' Donald Woods, Sunday Times

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How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World

by Harry Browne

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The 48 Laws of Power

by Robert Greene,Joost Ellfers

About the book:  3000 years of history of power is distilled into 48 well-explicated laws that will help the reader either in gaining, observing or defending against power. Each law is illustrated by the tactics wielded by famous figures from throughout history, those who have wielded, and thoose who were victimised by - power.

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First, Break All The Rules

by Marcus Buckingham,Curt Coffman

About the book:  Explains how good managers can select, focus, motivate, and develop their employees in order to transform talent into performance

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Get Rid of the Performance Review!

by Samuel A. Culbert

About the book:  The performance review. It is one of the most insidious, most damaging, and yet most ubiquitous of corporate activities. We all hate it. And yet nobody does anything about it. Until now... Straight-talking Sam Culbert, management guru and UCLA professor, minces no words as he puts managers on notice that -- with the performance review as their weapon of choice -- they have built a corporate culture based on intimidation and fear. Teaming up with Wall Street Journal Senior Editor Lawrence Rout, he shows us why performance reviews are bogus and how they undermine both creativity and productivity. And he puts a good deal of the blame squarely on human resources professionals, who perpetuate the very practice that they should be trying to eliminate. But Culbert does more than merely tear down. He also offers a substitute -- the performance preview -- that will actually accomplish the tasks that performance reviews were supposed to, but never will: holding people accountable for their actions and their results, and giving managers and their employees the kind of feedback they need for improving their skills and to give the company more of what it needs. With passion, humor, and a rare insight into what motivates all of us to do our best, Culbert offers all of us a chance to be better managers, better employees and, indeed, better people. Culbert has long said his goal is to make the world of work fit for human consumption. "Get Rid of the Performance Review!" shows us how to do just that.

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Reinventing Organizations

by Frederic Laloux

About the book:  The way we manage organizations seems increasingly out of date. Deep inside, we sense that more is possible. We long for soulful workplaces, for authenticity, community, passion, and purpose. In this groundbreaking book, the author shows that every time, in the past, when humanity has shifted to a new stage of consciousness, it has achieved extraordinary breakthroughs in collaboration. A new shift in consciousness is currently underway. Could it help us invent a more soulful and purposeful way to run our businesses and nonprofits, schools and hospitals ? A few pioneers have already cracked the code and they show us, in practical detail, how it can be done. Leaders, founders, coaches, and consultants will find this work a joyful handbook, full of insights, examples, and inspiring stories.

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HBR's 10 Must Reads on Managing People

by Harvard Business Review,Daniel Goleman,Jon R. Katzenbach,W. Chan Kim,Renée A. Mauborgne

About the book:  Managing people is fraught with challenges—even if you're a seasoned manager. Here's how to handle them. If you read nothing else on managing people, read these 10 articles (featuring “Leadership That Gets Results,” by Daniel Goleman). We've combed through hundreds of Harvard Business Review articles and selected the most important ones to help you maximize your employees' performance. HBR's 10 Must Reads on Managing People will inspire you to: • Tailor your management styles to fit your people • Motivate with more responsibility, not more money • Support first-time managers • Build trust by soliciting input • Teach smart people how to learn from failure • Build high-performing teams • Manage your boss This collection of best-selling articles includes: featured article "Leadership That Gets Results" by Daniel Goleman, "One More Time: How Do You Motivate Employees?" "The Set-Up-to-Fail Syndrome," "Saving Your Rookie Managers from Themselves," "What Great Managers Do," "Fair Process: Managing in the Knowledge Economy," "Teaching Smart People How to Learn," "How (Un)ethical Are You?" "The Discipline of Teams," and "Managing Your Boss."

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Managing Humans

by Michael Lopp

About the book:  Read hilarious stories with serious lessons that Michael Lopp extracts from his varied and sometimes bizarre experiences as a manager at Apple, Pinterest, Palantir, Netscape, Symantec, Slack, and Borland. Many of the stories first appeared in primitive form in Lopp’s perennially popular blog, Rands in Repose. The Third Edition of Managing Humans contains a whole new season of episodes from the ongoing saga of Lopp's adventures in Silicon Valley, together with classic episodes remastered for high fidelity and freshness. Whether you're an aspiring manager, a current manager, or just wondering what the heck a manager does all day, there is a story in this book that will speak to you—and help you survive and prosper amid the general craziness of dysfunctional bright people caught up in the chase of riches and power. Scattered in repose among these manic misfits are managers, an even stranger breed of people who, through a mystical organizational ritual, have been given power over the futures and the bank accounts of many others. Lopp's straight-from-the-hip style is unlike that of any other writer on management and leadership. He pulls no punches and tells stories he probably shouldn't. But they are magically instructive and yield Lopp’s trenchant insights on leadership that cut to the heart of the matter—whether it's dealing with your boss, handling a slacker, hiring top guns, or seeing a knotty project through to completion. Writing code is easy. Managing humans is not. You need a book to help you do it, and this is it. What You'll Learn Lead engineers Handle conflict Hire well Motivate employees Manage your boss Discover how to say no Understand different engineering personalities Build effective teams Handle stressed people freaking out/liliRun a meeting well/liliScale teams/li/uldivbWho This Book Is For/b/divdivbr/divManagers and would-be managers staring at the role of a manager wondering why they would ever leave the safe world of bits and bytes for the messy world of managing humans. The book covers handling conflict, managing wildly differing personality types, infusing innovation into insane product schedules, and figuring out how to build a lasting and useful engineering culture.

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Executive

by Harry Levinson

About the book:  Identifies the numerous tasks that modern managers must carry out and gives authoritative advice, supplemented by case studies, on how to perform efficiently and effectively

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Slack

by Tom DeMarco

About the book:  To most companies, efficiency means profits and growth. But what if your “efficient” company—the one with the reduced headcount and the “stretch” goals—is actually slowing down and losing money? What if your employees are burning out doing the work of two or more people, leaving them no time for planning, prioritizing, or even lunch? What if you’re losing employees faster than you can hire them? What if your superefficient company is suddenly falling behind? Tom DeMarco, a leading management consultant to both Fortune 500 and up-and-coming companies, has discovered a counterintuitive principle that explains why efficiency improvement can sometimes make a company slow. If your real organizational goal is to become fast (responsive and agile), then he proposes that what you need is not more efficiency, but more slack. What is “slack”? Slack is the degree of freedom in a company that allows it to change. It could be something as simple as adding an assistant to a department, letting high-priced talent spend less time at the photo copier and more time making key decisions. Slack could also appear in the way a company treats employees: instead of loading them up with overwork, a company designed with slack allows its people room to breathe, increase effectiveness, and reinvent themselves. In thirty—three short chapters filled with creative learning tools and charts, you and your company can learn how to: ∑make sense of the Efficiency/Flexibility quandary ∑run directly toward risk instead of away from it ∑strengthen the creative role of middle management ∑make change and growth work together for even greater profits A innovative approach that works for new- and old-economy companies alike, this revolutionary handbook will debunk commonly held assumptions about real-world management, and give you and your company a brand-new model for achieving and maintaining true effectiveness—and a healthier bottom line. From the Hardcover edition.

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Waltzing with Bears

by Tom DeMarco,Timothy Lister

About the book:  Any software project that's worth starting will be vulnerable to risk. Since greater risks bring greater rewards, a company that runs away from risk will soon find itself lagging behind its more adventurous competition. By ignoring the threat of negative outcomes---in the name of positive thinking or a Can-Do attitude---software managers drive their organizations into the ground. In Waltzing with Bears, Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister---the best-selling authors of Peopleware---show readers how to identify and embrace worthwhile risks. Developers are then set free to push the limits. You'll find that risk management makes aggressive risk-taking possible; protects management from getting blindsided; provides minimum-cost downside protection; reveals invisible transfers of responsibility; isolates the failure of a subproject---readers are taught to identify the most common risks faced by software projects: schedule flaws; requirements inflation; turnover; specification breakdown; and under-performance. Packed with provocative insights, real-world examples, and project-saving tips, Waltzing with Bears is your guide to mitigating the risks---before they turn into problems.

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The First 90 Days

by Michael D. Watkins

About the book:  The international bestseller and globally acknowledged bible on leadership and career transitions Fully a quarter of all managers in major corporations enter new leadership roles each year. Whether their assignments involve starting a new job, being promoted internally, or embarking on an international assignment, how new leaders manage their transitions can mean the difference between success and failure. In The First 90 Days, Michael D. Watkins, a noted expert on leadership transitions, offers proven strategies for moving successfully into a new role at any point in one's career. Concise and practical, The First 90 Days walks managers through every aspect of the transition, from mental preparation to forging the right alliances to securing critical early wins. Through vivid examples of successes and failures at all levels, Michael Watkins identifies the most common pitfalls new leaders encounter and provides tools and strategies for how to avoid them. As hundreds of thousands of readers already know, The First 90 Days is your roadmap for taking charge quickly and effectively during critical career transition periods—whether you’re a first-time manager, a midcareer professional on your way up, or a newly minted CEO. Published by Harvard Business Review Press.

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