This article showcases our top picks for the Team Building Books For Managers. We reached out to industry leaders and experts who have contributed the suggestions within this article (they have been credited for their contributions below). We are keen to hear your feedback on all of our content and our comment section is a moderated space to express your thoughts and feelings related (or not) to this article This list is in no particular order.
This product was recommended by Rajesh Namase from TechRT
Peter Drucker is considered to be one of the greatest management thinkers of all time. He wrote many books including Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices. This book was published in 1992 and is still relevant today. In this book, he discusses the importance of managing humans instead of just managing things. He talks about the difference between leadership and management and how managers should focus on developing their people. This book clearly draws the line between a leader and a manager and which one appeals the most to subordinates. This book made me realize that being a good manager is great but being a leader is more fulfilling. The book opened my eyes and then I started cultivating a group of people who do not necessarily obey orders just because of my position, but rather, follow directives because they are inspired to make a movement for our (including them) business.
The book covers the key aspects of HR. It covers a practical and step-by-step explanation of the cornerstones of HR. The information in it strongly matches the techniques used by many successful corporations. It helps you understand basic concepts and the articles help you introduce to various strategies to overcome issues at the workplace and they definitely work as I have applied them in the past. As far as the impact, I have referenced this book many a time in creating presentations and working on projects for my company which were well recieved by my management and colleagues.
This product was recommended by Deepanshu Bedi from Holistapet
It is an excellent book for managers because it focuses on how the workplace could be much more productive and successful for the manager and the team. It is a great tool to read before starting your team or reference during difficult times. The book highlights the five dysfunctions teams will most likely experience and how to fix them best. It takes the reader on a journey from the dysfunctional team to the functional team. Lencioni talks about the five dysfunctions of a team: trust, accountability, emotional engagement, respect, and results. The book includes helpful tools for managers, such as the Dysfunctional Team Diagnostic Survey and the Dysfunctional Team Roles Assessment. This book gives you a clear understanding of what makes the team work effectively and how you can be sure that your team is functioning optimally. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team is a quick read that makes you stop and think about your team’s strengths and weaknesses. It’s an easy read that can help you and your team grow together.
This product was recommended by Phil Ohren from Intender
This is an incredible book full of actionable team-building exercises that you can apply within your workplace workshops. The exercises focus on different team-building aspects, including communication, cooperation, and more. You can also use them as a base to create your own exercises, making it a highly valuable resource.
There is no better author to study on teamwork and leadership than John Maxwell. As in each of his books, he teaches a framework. In this case, it is for a group of people to embrace as they work to become a real team. Within the framework, he cites specific examples, action steps to take, and questions for team members to think about as they work to become valuable contributors to the team. By taking the time to think deeply and answer the questions, a group has a structure to develop a teamwork dynamic that is unique and suited to their work and their individual working styles. Each of the 17 chapters of the book delves into one of the laws of teamwork. Maxwell describes the value of the laws by saying, “The wonderful thing about a law is that you can depend on it. No matter who you are, what your background is, or what circumstances you face, you can take these laws to the bank.”
This product was recommended by Linda Shaffer from Checkr
What I would suggest for the best team building book for managers is The Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni. In this book, Lencioni outlines the three essential virtues of an ideal team player: humility, hunger, and people skills. While most books on teams focus on either the psychology or the mechanics of successful teamwork, The Ideal Team Player zeros in on what it takes for an individual to be an effective team member. Lencioni’s book is a must-read for any manager looking to build a high-performing team.
This product was recommended by Eran Galperin from Gymdesk
We were lucky as a company that we pivoted early to a hybrid and remote work environment as the pandemic hit the States. However, like most businesses we had to adapt quickly. From ensuring workers had the correct tools at their disposal to remain productive to the myriad of social issues that erupted in business in the following years. As the middlemen, management needed all the help they could get. George Karseras gives you a full-on, researched history and report of our ‘new normal’. It’s incisive in its determination to guide managers through the labrynth of contemporary corporate conundrums and peppered with good humor and personal accounts. It’s a must-read for team leaders determined to help steer their company in good faith.
Workplace Jazz provides a step-by-step process, enhanced with stories, neuroscience, case studies, and a strategic blueprint for developing connected and high-performing project teams based on the author’s experiences as a professional jazz musician, certified Conversational Intelligence Coach, and certified business consultant. This team development system provides clarity, purpose, and structure to support individual and corporate responsibility in building cultures that are healthier and more productive.
The Future of Work has arrived. And it’s powered by empathy. We are in a period of change. We need to think and act differently. The new world of work is significantly more digitized and decentralized than before―a transformation accelerated by the COVID-19 crisis. We need to orient ourselves differently to be successful, shifting from transactional to human-centric management, mindsets, and methods to deal with the faster pace of business developments, continuing uncertainties, more complex issues, and an increase in multidimensional projects. In Empathy Works, work futurist, international keynote speaker, popular online course instructor and workforce consultant Sophie Wade shows you why empathy is a critical corporate value, mindset, and skill for improving engagement and productivity, and achieving sustained growth as we emerge from the pandemic. Sharing data and insights from brain science, organizational psychology, as well as real situations, stories, and solutions from around the world, Wade guides you through the steps to cultivate empathy throughout both the Customer Journey and the Employee Journey―encompassing culture and leadership, managing distributed workers, fostering effective sales teams, and bridging generations. You’ll learn how to integrate empathy habits into management practices and daily operations, nurturing customer experiences empowered by human-centric connection and understanding. You will be able to gain sustainable competitive advantage by cultivating a more supportive, meaningful, and positive workplace as you manage, motivate, and enhance team performance and business results. An invaluable resource for both established and rising executives and managers, Empathy Works provides you with essential insights and knowledge to adapt, thrive, and grow―no matter what the future holds.
This product was recommended by David Garthe from Gravyware
This book is written as a story, which is much easier to digest and relate to. It follows a company that is performing a major software product release, but the product is nowhere ready and stable enough to be released. Against the recommendations of the CTO, the CEO decides to go forward with the release. It follows the turmoil that occurs and the various steps that the company goes through to fix everything and come out stronger than before. For every character in the book I can find someone that fits the role in my company. Many of us that read the book actually discussed who fit the characters in the book. It really got me thinking about the next steps I had to make within my department in order to avoid similar problems down the road.
This product was recommended by Richard J. Brandenstein from FBRLaw
This book is an absolute masterclass in employee engagement practices, many of which I already knew about, but some of which were completely new to me. I’m not getting any younger, and I appreciated the way this book updated my knowledge of best practices in the modern-day work environment. Managing and working with millennials and Gen Zers is different, and requires a different approach, from working with the generations who were around when I first started all those decades ago. Ultimately, this book is all about keeping your staff happy and earning their trust and respect, which by extension will keep them motivated and engaged with their work. I said above that the law firm is a team, but I was wrong; it’s more like a family, and I want the very best for everyone. This book has helped me to keep my staff happy, and I hope, by implementing some of the lessons I learned from it, at least some of my colleagues consider me a ‘Great Boss’. Perhaps you should ask them!
Gratitude Infusion gives real-life strategies, examples, and outcomes of building team connections by applying gratitude throughout your workplace culture, including internal communications, leadership styles, client relations, and resolving conflicts. In addition, each chapter concludes with a gratitude-expanding experience to help you put the concepts into action. Team-building activities like sharing weekly wins with your team, friendly company-wide wellness challenges like moving with gratitude, and how to give back to the community while aligning personal aspirations with company goals are all covered with steps to get started. Kerry Wekelo shares her unusual blend and experiences as a Chief Operating Officer of Actualize Consulting, entrepreneur, and mindfulness expert in this thoughtful book and during her interactive sessions.
One of the best books to help teams not only learn how to interact with each other, but also understand how to avoid miscommunication. Instead of reading through different books, the advantage of this specific book is that it offers actionable tips to help ensure that your team will succeed and be part of a great work environment that cultivates trust, safety and a sense of purpose for your team. In this book, Coyle highlighted the importance of three skills for excellent teamwork: safety, vulnerability and purpose and how to use actionable team building tips to ensure your team is performing efficiently and productivity.
The First-Time Manager is the perfect guide for anyone who is stepping into a leadership role for the first time. Packed with expert advice and real-world examples, this book covers everything you need to know to be successful in your new role, including how to set goals, delegate tasks, give feedback, and handle conflict. Whether you’re a new manager or simply looking to brush up on your leadership skills, this book is essential reading.
As the world becomes more and more competitive, businesses are looking for ways to create uncontested market space and make the competition irrelevant. Blue Ocean Strategy is a revolutionary approach to business that is based on creating value for customers instead of competing against other businesses. This expanded edition includes new chapters on implementation, tools, online strategy, and more. With case studies from around the world, Blue Ocean Strategy shows how businesses of all sizes can create uncontested market space and make the competition irrelevant.
The Black Art of War: Hannibal’s 99 Truths is a powerful guidebook that will help you understand the strategies and tactics used by one of the most successful military commanders in history. Hannibal Barca was a Carthaginian general who fought against Rome in the Second Punic war. He is considered one of the greatest military strategists of all time, and his successes on the battlefield are legendary. In this book, author and historian Joseph A.Balogun dissects Hannibal’s various campaigns, analyzing his thought process and decisions in order to distill what made him so successful.. The Black Art of War: Hannibal’s 99 Truths is not only a fascinating read for anyone interested in military history, but also provides valuable lessons for modern-day business leaders and entrepreneurs. If you want to learn how to be as cunning, strategic, and relentless as Hannibal Barca, then this book is for you!
This product was recommended by Layla Acharya from Edwize
A simple but profound observation that Simon Sineck explains in his book Leaders Eat Last (2017). In the context of dining out, it means that even if you are in a position of leadership, you must order your food last, and will likely be served before everyone else around the table. The reason for this, as Snack explains, is the extremely sensitive nature of this situation. Firstly, respect and trust are built on a foundation of mutual respect and trust. Secondly, the most sensitive level of communication – honesty – cannot take place if there’s an underlying doubt about whether you are being seen as a leader or not. And thirdly, any disagreement or confrontation at this meal may develop into a heated discussion that may cause the entire group to lose their trust in each other and even snap at each other.
The author does a fantastic job at breaking down the essential growth components into practical advice you can use today. Creating a cohesive team is an everyday process that needs a lot of effort from the leader: hiring people, creating a bond based on shared values, and aligning your team. Natalie’s recommendations are easy to follow and very effective. She helps you to understand the importance of your company’s culture, where people should be prioritized, valued, and growing together with the business. It’s a perfect guide on building an effective team and reaching your fullest potential as a part of it. The book is well-written, straightforward, and filled with useful tips and insights. It changed my perspective on dealing with teammates to bring my business to another level—a must-read for every manager and business owner.
In any relationship, whether personal or professional, communication is incredibly crucial. It decides the outcome of such crucial moments. This book is exactly what managers need to read. A person’s success as a manager is dictated by the quality of relationships they were able to grow inside their team. In addition, a manager’s job mostly relies on crucial conversations. If managers are able to properly handle crucial communications, they can create breakthroughs and bring their teams closer together. This book discusses how important communication is in personal and professional relationships. The decisions we make and the results we get are all based on the information we get from a dialogue, which contains ideas, feelings, thoughts, and opinions.
This is an excellent title that dives into team building, culture building and how to create the foundations of a winning business team. McCord is a talent expert who advocates for radical honesty in the workplace, and her methods as disclosed in this book will be truly eye-opening and inspiring for all business managers today.
This product was recommended by Deepanshu Bedi from Exhalewell
With more than 20 years of experience working with teams in large corporations, author Mike Robbins aims to help aspiring leaders and managers understand the different ways to create trust and establish them in their teams. This book covers topics such as engagement, decision-making, conflict resolution, inclusion, and belonging.
I highly recommend ‘Quick Team-Building Activities for Busy Managers’ for staff development training. This book provides readers with concrete, quick easy-to-apply tips to promote good communication and collaboration during team building. It’s a must-read book for busy managers who want to boost their teams’ confidence and productivity levels. Because the 50 exercises as fun and challenging, all members can share their unique suggestions and smart insights to win as a team. No wrong answer, just a united team working together for a common goal.
This product was recommended by Ryan Stewart from Webris
Written by John C. Maxwell, a widely-read author on leadership, this book cites how team players act within a working environment. Some of these include adaptability, collaboration, commitment, communication, competency, and dependability. Leaders are advised to model such behaviors, so they can influence team members to do the same. Anyone who displays all 17 qualities is growing from the inside out. By standing out and becoming a great team player, they could collectively move the organization towards success and earn a favorable reputation.
This product was recommended by Rachel Davis from Soul Factors
In my experience, the best team-building book for managers is The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries. This book has helped me develop my own business, as well as manage and motivate my team more effectively. I got it when it first came out and it has made a huge difference in how I approach work.
This product was recommended by Will Cannon from Uplead
Stephen Covey’s book First Things First is a classic text on time management and personal productivity. In it, Covey advocates for a proactive approach to life in which we prioritize our time and energy based on what is most important to us. For managers, this means making time for the people and tasks that will have the biggest impact on our success. In today’s hectic world, it can be easy to get caught up in the urgent but unimportant tasks of managing a team. However, by taking a step back and prioritizing first things first, we can ensure that we are making the most of our time – and our team’s potential.