Manager Development Books to Read

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When I am not busy blogging, I am a Project Manager at a software company. While most project managers only manage their projects, I am also a people manager. The company I work for has been increasing their in-house training programs over the last couple of years. One of the pieces of training was the Insights Discovery Profile Training, where each of us learned our colors and how to best communicate with each other.

Those of us that are also people managers are going through several Manager Training Modules to better enhance our skills as people managers. These skills are to further develop ourselves but also assist us in managing and developing our teams. Some of the training sessions cover how to coach our team members, some how to give critical feedback, and some how to interview for the right individual for the team. The latest training which we are focused on now is how to be a better manager by delegating tasks to members of your team. Not only for ensuring you are delegating, but also, how to be effective at delegating those tasks for successful results.

The two books we were provided and assigned to read this quarter are:

  1. If You Want It Done Right, You Don’t Have to Do It Yourself! by Donna M. Gennett, PhD
  2. The New One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard, PhD and Spencer Johnson, MD

Below is more information about each of these manager development books and the top tips I learned from them.


This book is all about delegation and how to properly delegate. For control freaks like me, it was worthwhile to read. Parts of it were cheesy, but they got the point across so it works. Since I just finished reading the book this week and I have yet to go through the training module for work, I have not been able to apply these tips at work, yet. However, they are ones that I actually want to so I can become more of an effective delegator so I can become a better people manager.

Top tips I learned for becoming an effective delegator:
  1. When assigning tasks to others, be as clear and concise as possible about the tasks.
  2. Ensure they understand the expectations of the task by asking them to repeat them back.
  3. Clearly define what level of authority they have.
  4. Set up meetings for status updates on the task/project.
  5. Set up a final debrief meeting to review how the task/project went.
Top tips I learned for why you should become an effective delegator:
  1. More time!
  2. Able to focus on the high importance, strategic parts of my role.
  3. Able to coach and develop my team effectively so they can grow.
  4. More opportunities to recognize my team.
  5. Clear documentation for performance reviews.
  6. Successful completion of projects!

Although a short book, I did enjoy reading this one. It was clear, had good examples, and gave some great tips. They even mention how they want readers to share the tips.

Tips to be shared with others:
  1. Be upfront with people with what you are going to help them with.
  2. Set “One Minute Goals”.
    1. Ensure they know everything about the goal and how to achieve it.
  3. If the goal is achieved, do a “One Minute Praise” and move on to other successful projects.
    1. Praise them ASAP and be specific about it. Be clear they should do it more and that you are confident in them.
  4. If the goal is not achieved, set “One Minute Re-Directs” and move forward with improved performance.
    1. Do this ASAP and be specific. Review the situation together. Remind them that you do believe in them.
My Insights Discovery Profile

I briefly mentioned taking the Insights Discovery Training for work, but didn’t mention what my colors are. For those that are interested, here you go! I’ve also included a short statement for what each of them means. Maybe in the future, I’ll do a full post on my colors and how accurate they are for whom I am.

colors profile

Have you taken the Insights Discovery yourself? Comment with your colors and how accurate you feel they are!

Have you read any manager or even personal development books you’ve read lately that you enjoy and/or learned something from? Comment with the book title and your top tip!


Alisha Ruud is a Lifestyle and Travel blogger. She is an animal lover, volunteers with a local animal rescue, avid reader, and motorcyclist. With her many interests, she has found a way to inspire others with the same interests and goals in life. She also likes to keep things fun!

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