Books & Media

This is the first item on this list for a reason: it’s the one I think every manager should start with — for themselves, first and foremost. And then, later, ideally for their teams. Buy the book, read it, and then take the assessment. The results provide fantastic insight that I believe is an invaluable tool as we work to improve our skills as managers.
 
Once you’ve done StrengthsFinders (and, particularly if you’ve also given it to you at least part of your team), then it’s time to take the second assessment from Gallup. This is one is designed for managers.
 
Multipliers is not just the clearest business case ever for being an Engaged Manager, but it also draws stark contrasts to the alternatives, calls out nuances that make a difference and has a great body of additional research-based data that is useful for any managers seeking to get better.
 
While everything Brene Brown writes has applicability for organizations, in Dare to Lead she has specifically focused on how her research showcases the importance of building a culture that can produce creativity and innovation while being resilient when it comes to change. All of these are essential for an Engaged Manager.
 
In “Big Potential” happiness researcher Shawn Achor outlines some fundamentally important pieces of research that are at the heart of an Engaged Manager Discipine, not the least of which is the innate ingredients of high performing teams, and how to help yourself show up as someone who inspires your team.
 
While this book is targeting new managers, it is jam-packed with valuable information, techniques, reflective questions and tools for even the most seasoned managers who are looking to up their game. This book is designed to be a practical guide to help newly promoted managers to navigate the uncertainty of their new role.

The Power of Vulnerability

In her first TEDx Talk, Brene Brown launched a national discussion on vulnerability that, at first blush, sounds like it should be just a personal issue. But the leap to it’s implications for managers and organizations is a small one that happens right away. Much of the Engaged Manager Discipline is rooted in the importance of what Dr. Brown’s research shows.

Listening to Shame

In her second video, Brene Brown follows up (and builds on) her first TEDx Talk, by digging in to shame — and it’s implications in organizations striving for innovation and creativity is quickly very clear.

Your Body Language May Shape Who You Are

Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk on body language includes a great set of tips that managers (especially new ones) can use to start building their leadership presence, with teams, peers, bosses and clients.

Do Schools Kill Creativity?

In one of TED’s most famous talks ever, Sir Ken Robinson discusses the education system’s failure to produce an Information Age workforce. While his focus is on reforming education, the main driver is because of the world we now work in. Everything he discusses about the antiquated nature of our educational system also applies to our Industrial Age views on organizations and management, and his case about the importance of change applies across the board.

Bring on the Learning Revolution!

His follow up to his original TED Talk, Sir Ken Robinson makes the case for individualized learning for students. Again, his arguments for academic application are all completely applicable for business as well — managing people as individuals with unique skills and talents is just as important for a boss as it is for a teacher.

12 Elements of Great Managing

In the follow-up to “First, Break All the Rules” (Gallup’s original publication about the financial impact of organizational culture on a business’ bottom line), this book distills the list of components that were identified as key for employee engagement.