The best books on become an exceptional manager and human being

Who am I?

I use the knowledge I’ve gained as an executive coach for 14 years and with a master’s degree in organizational communication to help organizations and individuals more effectively communicate with and engage others in the workplace and in their personal lives. I actively practice what I preach and constantly look for new information to help myself and others become better leaders, managers, and people.


I wrote...

Shut Up and Manage: A Quiet Leader's Guide to Engaging Others

By M.J. Clark,

Book cover of Shut Up and Manage: A Quiet Leader's Guide to Engaging Others

What is my book about?

Are you unsure of how to give productive feedback that fully engages and motivates others? Does it make you uncomfortable to give up control, when you can do it faster yourself? Do you struggle to trust other people and hold them accountable? Managers often feel pressure to generate all the ideas and know all the answers, which leads to too much talking and not enough employee engagement.

 In Shut Up and Manage, you’ll find a straightforward, practical guide that provides you with researched principles along with specific examples from the author’s executive coaching work to become a more effective manager and leader. From hard skills such as organizing your work, onboarding, delegating, evaluating, creating goals, and keeping others accountable, to soft skills, such as navigating tough conversations, building trust, coaching, and motivating others, this book provides an operations guide for managers to fully engage others to achieve greater success.

The books I picked & why

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I Hear You: The Surprisingly Simple Skill Behind Extraordinary Relationships

By Michael S. Sorensen,

Book cover of I Hear You: The Surprisingly Simple Skill Behind Extraordinary Relationships

Why this book?

I listened to this book on Audible and then bought multiple print copies to share with others – it’s THAT good! It’s a short read that outlines how to properly validate people. I thought I was okay at this, but it turns out not so much. Practicing validation will help others feel heard, even when you disagree with them, and ends the need for people to argue their point endlessly or behave in other ways that take up your time. If you practice what Sorensen preaches, you will see amazing results in your work and home lives.


The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload

By Daniel J Levitin,

Book cover of The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload

Why this book?

I’ve learned and applied so many great things from this book. For instance, I’ve learned to stop multitasking, because it makes us less efficient. I’ve learned how to organize To Do items to stop overwhelm. I’ve learned to get around my faulty memory by creating physical records. I’ve learned it’s more efficient to check email only a few times a day. This book is loaded with great strategies based on research that have streamlined my important, everyday tasks, and I think this book would help you too.


Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work and in Life One Conversation at a Time

By Susan Scott,

Book cover of Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work and in Life One Conversation at a Time

Why this book?

This book is great for better understanding how to be fully present in a conversation, how to be authentic and say what needs to be said even when it’s uncomfortable, and how to have tough conversations at work to keep great employees connected and motivated. The book is chock full of great examples of conversations and suggestions of how to say things more effectively.


Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long

By David Rock,

Book cover of Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long

Why this book?

This book is filled with great ideas about how to avoid distraction, how to avoid doing too much so our cognitive abilities are at a maximum, how to use mindfulness to more easily tap into your emotional states, and how to set goals that are more likely to be accomplished. There are so many useful tidbits in this book. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to be more productive and efficient.


Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most

By Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen

Book cover of Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most

Why this book?

The book begins by looking at the structure of difficult conversations and how people often think one thing and say another, struggling in the thinking of what to share and what to keep to oneself. The authors share a great deal of important information about how to listen well, how to avoid blaming others, and how to appropriately acknowledge the feelings of others. It’s a wonderful book that will lead to more connection in your work and personal lives.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in interpersonal communication, the brain, and communication?

5,888 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about interpersonal communication, the brain, and communication.

Interpersonal Communication Explore 21 books about interpersonal communication
The Brain Explore 95 books about the brain
Communication Explore 25 books about communication

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Meditations, Manifesto for a Moral Revolution, and Thinking, Fast and Slow if you like this list.