3 Books for the first time managers


Top books for the first time people, product, project and program managers. Entrepreneurs can also benefit from these books.

As a first time leader, there is always a question that is nagging us – “Am I leading the right way?” The answer is very subjective when it comes down to interpersonal interactions and leading people. To answer nagging questions such as these, I think there are three books that can be very helpful.

  • The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni

In this book Lencioni discusses the team issues a manager may face and how to deal with them. This was one of the two books that I was told to read by a HR head when I became a people manager the first time.Leading Geeks

  • Leading Geeks: How to Manage and Lead the People Who Deliver Technology by Paul Glen

Yes, we all know that techies can be a little different compared to others and present different type of people management challenges. This book discusses exactly how to lead and manage technical teams. This was the second book I was told to read by the HR head at my first people manager job.

  • Execution: The discipline of getting things done by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan

I had stumbled upon this book even before I became a people manager. Written by the two former GE executives, the book discusses the importance of hiring right and formulating a team strategy to get things done. I had enjoyed this book so much at them time that I had recommended it to a VP at my company and after reading it he also suggested it to a few others.


  • Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life: Life-Changing Tools for Healthy Relationships by Marshall B. Rosenberg and Deepak Chopra

While not a management book, this book offers tools on how to communicate effectively without screaming and yelling at your direct reports or peers. Don’t we all want a nice boss and peers. Well it has to start with ourselves 🙂 The book is also recommended by the Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. (Source: Business Insider – https://www.businessinsider.com/microsoft-satya-nadella-nonviolent-communication-2018-10)