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.

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The books I picked & why

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

M.J. Clark Why did I love 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.

By Michael S. Sorensen,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked I Hear You as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What if making one tweak to your day-to-day conversations could immediately improve every relationship in your life?

In this 3-hour, conversational read, you’ll discover the whats, whys, and hows of one of the most valuable (yet surprisingly little-known) communication skills available—validation. 

Whether you’re looking to improve your relationship with your spouse, navigate difficult conversations at work, or connect on a deeper level with friends and family, this book delivers simple, practical, proven techniques for improving any relationship in your life.

Mastery of this simple skill will enable you to:

Calm (and sometimes even eliminate) the concerns, fears, and uncertainties of…


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

M.J. Clark Why did I love 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.

By Daniel J Levitin,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Organized Mind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In The Organized Mind, New York Times and Sunday Times bestselling author and neuroscientist Daniel Levitin offers practical solutions to the problems of information overload.
___________________________________________________

Overwhelmed by demands on your time? Caught in an unproductive spiral of emails and multitasking?

You're not alone. When we're deluged with information our creativity plummets, our decision making suffers and we grow absent-minded. Nowadays, we drown in our inboxes, forever juggle several tasks at once and try to make complex decisions ever more quickly. This is information overload.

Combining the latest neuroscience with everyday examples, Daniel Levitin explains how to take back control…


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

M.J. Clark Why did I love 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.

By Susan Scott,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fierce Conversations as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The conversation is the relationship. Fierce Conversations is a way of conducting business. An attitude. A way of life. Expert Susan Scott maintains that a single conversation can change the trajectory of a career, marriage or life. Whether it's conversations with yourself, partner, colleagues, customers, family or friends, Fierce Conversations shows you how to have conversations that count. Scott reveals how to: Overcome barriers to meaningful conversations; Express who you are and what you believe; Confront tough issues with courage, confidence and sensitivity; Overcome fear to get to the heart of the problem; Inspire followers, attract believers and build visions…


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

M.J. Clark Why did I love 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.

By David Rock,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Your Brain at Work as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A researcher and consultant burrows deep inside the heads of one modern two-career couple to examine how each partner processes the workday-revealing how a more nuanced understanding of the brain can allow us to better organize, prioritize, recall, and sort our daily lives.

Emily and Paul are the parents of two young children, and professionals with different careers. Emily is the newly promoted vice president of marketing at a large corporation; Paul works from home or from clients' offices as an independent IT consultant. Their days are filled with a bewildering blizzard of emails, phone calls, more emails, meetings, projects,…


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

M.J. Clark Why did I love 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.

By Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Difficult Conversations as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The 10th-anniversary edition of the New York Times business bestseller-now updated with "Answers to Ten Questions People Ask"

We attempt or avoid difficult conversations every day-whether dealing with an underperforming employee, disagreeing with a spouse, or negotiating with a client. From the Harvard Negotiation Project, the organization that brought you Getting to Yes, Difficult Conversations provides a step-by-step approach to having those tough conversations with less stress and more success. you'll learn how to:

· Decipher the underlying structure of every difficult conversation 
· Start a conversation without defensiveness 
· Listen for the meaning of what is not said 
·…


You might also like...

Off Season

By Randy Kraft,

Book cover of Off Season

Randy Kraft Author Of Off Season

New book alert!

Who am I?

Author Introspective Observant Bookish Friendly

Randy's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

When Sharon's ex-husband, Red, invites her to join him for a winter retreat, she agrees. After all, they've moved past what ails them, and they get on well. She will be on sabbatical fine-tuning a PhD dissertation, and he needs a respite from an illness. Why not enjoy the charms of a southern California beach town off-season?

Soothed by sea breezes, they become fascinated with their mysterious landlord and her late artist partner, Red is befriended by a flirty neighbor and her surfer husband, and Sharon shares her literary passions with a sexy retiree. When the winds of the pandemic blow, they have to confront their past within a daunting future.

Is off-season an opportunity for renewal or a glimpse of what might have been?

Off Season

By Randy Kraft,

What is this book about?

When Sharon's ex-husband, Red, invites her to join him for a winter retreat, she agrees. After all, they've moved past what ails them, she will be on sabbatical fine tuning a PhD dissertation, and he needs a respite from an illness. Why not enjoy the charms of a southern California beach town off season? On the other hand, what else might he have in mind and what will she face if she lets her guard down? Soothed by sea breezes and ocean views, they become fascinated with their mysterious landlord and her late partner, a Fauvist painter. Then, Red is…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in interpersonal communication, conversation, and the brain?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about interpersonal communication, conversation, and the brain.

Interpersonal Communication Explore 38 books about interpersonal communication
Conversation Explore 9 books about conversation
The Brain Explore 143 books about the brain