Last Updated on April 6, 2020
Leadership and management, according to Terina Allen, are integral concepts that add value to any organization. Though both are often interchanged, they are significant in their own right as well as vastly different.
These complementary concepts, and when applied to their full potential, can be the key to organizational success.
Leadership and Management: What are the Differences?
One of the major differences between the two is that leaders have individuals whom they lead while managers have a group of people who work for or under them.
Leaders often provide the company direction by developing a vision for the company and effectively communicating it to their employees. A manager is tasked to give structure to the organization and to oversee the duties and responsibilities of each individual.
Leadership is all about leading an organization toward a specific goal. Leaders are often the ones who inspire, motivate, and encourage others to work toward their vision and goal for their organization. Core leadership skills such as communication, creativity, responsibility, and commitment are some of the traits embodied by strong leaders.
Management entails planning and organizing. It focuses on actions and processes designed to further an organization’s progress. Effective managers should ideally have strong interpersonal, communication, organizational, problem solving, and mentorship skills.
Recommended Leadership and Management Books
To help young leaders and managers alike, here is a curated list of some of the best books that provide advice and new insights on the aspects of leadership and management:
1. Drive by Daniel H. Pink
What makes you tick? What motivates you?
While most people tend to assume that rewards make us want to work harder, Daniel H. Pink turns that idea on its head by suggesting that good leaders do away with incentives and instead focus on what actually motivates us as individuals.
2. The Art of War by Sun Tzu
Sun Tzu’s well-loved classic has been read and studied by several kinds of readers, from the military leaders of old to today’s politicians and executives.
The Art of War is a classic book on military strategy and tactics that can be applied in various facets of the modern world, including business and leadership.
3. Start With Why by Simon Sinek
There are two Simon Sinek books on this list and the first one is Start with Why. Ever wonder why the question “why” is such a powerful force? Sinek proposes that individuals won’t buy into anything—an idea, a product, or a service—if they don’t first understand the why behind it.
In this book, Sinek offers a glimpse of what it takes to succeed using real-life examples and shows us that great things and ideas are possible and that they all start with why.
4. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
This best-selling book is well-loved for a reason: for its many readers across the ages, Dale Carnegie offers practical advice that is still applicable today.
The book teaches you how to become successful in both your business and personal life by focusing on improving your ability to communicate and interact with people as well as make them more meaningful.
5. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C. Maxwell
How do you become the kind of leader that people want to follow? Bestselling author and leadership guru John C. Maxwell provides readers with a clear, chapter-by-chapter discussion of the laws that make a leader effective, from how to set direction to how to best inspire people.
6. The New One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson
The New One Minute Manager is a revised edition of a timeless classic on business, updated to become more relevant in today’s modern world. The original version has helped countless of readers succeed in different aspects of their lives.
Now, this compelling revised version conveys the same important lessons to a more modern audience.
7. Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
What do the battlefield and life have in common? Leadership. It’s what determines each mission’s success or failure.
Willink and Babin, two former US Navy SEAL officers, demonstrate how leadership principles used on the battlefield can be applied to different aspects of business and life. These principles will help any individual to lead and win.
8. Lead with Appreciation by Amber Teamann and Melinda Miller
Gratitude is often overlooked, but it’s actually one of the most effective ways to bring about positive transformation in the workplace.
Teamann and Miller emphasize how cultivating a culture of gratitude and appreciation starts with the leader and how this change can bring about the best in a leader’s staff.
9. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
This classic book on leadership has changed the lives of countless leaders and change makers ever since it was first published in 1990.
It offers a holistic and integrated approach to tackling personal and professional problems by breaking down what makes a person truly effective.
10. The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen
Why do companies miss out on innovations? Clayton Christensen argues that unless managers know how and when to do away with traditional business practices, companies will miss out on getting ahead when it comes to market leadership.
Lauded by reviews and influential leaders, this book is an exploration of Christensen’s theory of disruptive innovation, which challenges perspectives on innovation itself.
11. Good to Great by Jim Collins
How do good companies fight mediocrity and adversity to become great companies? In his book, Jim Collins presents the results of his five-year project.
Findings include concepts such as the “Level 5 Leadership”, a style necessary to achieve greatness, and “Technology Accelerators”, which shares how companies who transitioned from good to great view technology differently.
12. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
A timeless classic, author Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius focuses on Stoic philosophy and how to utilize control in your life to remove stress and excess in order to rise above everyday challenges.
Originally writing for himself, Aurelius’ book transcended the boundaries of time and continues to impact the leaders and thinkers of today.
13. Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek
The second Sinek book on this list, Leaders Eat Last explores how great leaders make concrete and lasting impact in their respective environments.
Simon Sinek worked with various international organizations and noticed that some teams have a deep trust in each other while others are destined for failure.
Sinek posits that great leaders eat last, meaning they are willing to sacrifice what they have for the greater good of everyone on the team.
14. Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, has become an icon for women all over the world who want to achieve major leadership positions.
This book is an inspiring read about women and power, illuminating how women rise to meet new challenges and become leaders despite everyday adversity.
15. On Becoming a Leader by Warren Bennis
Bennis’ book argues that great leaders are not born, but are made. This book explores the qualities that define leadership, stellar examples of individuals who embody great leadership, and strategies that can be utilized by anyone who wants to become a leader.
A revised and updated version is also available, made even more relevant for the fast-paced and ever-changing business landscape.
16. Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman
Having a high IQ doesn’t always guarantee success and happiness. Daniel Goleman’s book is an exploration of our rational and emotional minds and how they can be made to work together to guarantee success and positively affect our well-being.
Too often, emotional intelligence is discounted when talking about careers and progress, but Goleman argues that it is a crucial aspect that shouldn’t be overlooked.
17. The Truth About Leadership by James Kouzes and Barry Posner
In the competitive landscape of business, what does it take to become a leader?
This book presents the results of years of research and leadership assessment by Kouzes and Posner, two of the biggest names in leadership. Here, they lay bare the fundamental, enduring truths of leadership that continue to be relevant and effective.
For an endeavor to become successful, leadership and management must work hand in hand. If you want a better understanding of these concepts, how they work, and how they can best be applied, reading the books on this list is a great way to start your journey toward success.
Which book would you like to read first? We hope that this list can spark a difference in your life.