Job Hunting
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Our top seven reads for new managers or people wanting to develop management skills

May 25, 2022

Whether you’re interviewing for a promotion or looking to uplevel skills in your current role, books can be a great tool to advance your career goals. Read on for Recruiting from Scratch’s top picks when it comes to books that can help develop some of the skills needed to transition into higher management roles.

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

The Lean Startup is the how-to of bringing startup ideas up to speed, without the additional overhead of traditional business methods. Ries shares his thoughts on what makes a startup successful, like being willing to focus on “boring” things and how applying lean drives innovation.

The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman

What makes good design? Originally published in the 1980s, The Design of Everyday Things is an excellent read for product managers - or anyone who wants to learn how to make their product successful.  Author Don Norman, a pioneer in the field of product design, walks the reader through what makes a great product great (hint: simplicity and usability) and the critical impact of a well-designed system.

Zero to One by Peter Thiel

In addition to being a well-known investor and entrepreneur (co-founder of Paypal and Palantir), Peter Thiel is also an accomplished author. Zero to One is based on a class Thiel taught at Stanford, wherein he shares his key principles for founders: including asking contrarian questions, understanding your place in the market, and how to create things people will value.

Herding Tigers: Be the Leader That Creative People Need by Todd Henry

How do you manage creative people, and how do you go from being an individual contributor to providing guidance to an entire creative team? A great read for anyone in less traditional positions of management, like art direction, product design or product marketing. Henry also dispels some of the myths around creative team members while providing actionable insights on how to have hard conversations and inspire people to produce great work.

No Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention by Reed Hastings & Erin Meyer

Released in 2020, No Rules was an immediate hit for sharing the unorthodox rules that dominate work culture at Netflix. Unlimited PTO, candid feedback, and a focus on results resonated with many high performers. No Rules is a great read for new or aspiring managers because the authors share how Netflix grew to be a company where highly talented and motivated people want to work - all while creating one of the most successful brands of all time.

The First 90 Days by Michael D. Watkins

The First 90 Days provides a framework for new hires on how to turn their first 90 days on the job into long term success at their company. From dodging common pitfalls to strategies for onboarding success, Watkins walks the reader through a plan to level up their career.

Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker, PhD

Putting in the hours and effort towards career advancement is important, but how can we make sure we are well-rested and prepared? Why We Sleep is an excellent read on the importance of sleep: how sleep helps us make decisions, prevent injury, reduce the likelihood of disease, and more. This must-read is a reminder of the ways physical and mental health are important for our success too.

Want to see more posts on startup hiring? Check out this post on when to hire a Head of Product for your startup and this post on hiring a Chief Technology Officer.  

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