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5 Professional Development Books Every Manager Should Read

Updated: Sep 12, 2023

invest in yourself

Guest written by RWC's Marketing Director, Safiyyah Abinet

In the intricate tapestry of the business world, managers are the threads that hold everything together. You are the architects of success, the navigators of change, and the bridge builders of communication. In many ways, you are the heartbeat of an organization, pulsating with the rhythm of leadership, adaptability, and growth.

At RWC we understand that your journey as a manager is a deeply personal one, filled with unique challenges, triumphs, and aspirations. Yours is a path where each step can lead to greater heights, provided you have the right tools and knowledge.

Therefore in the 5 Self-Development Goals Every Manager Should Aspire To Achieve 5-day series on Rachel's LinkedIn page, we'll delve into the pages of five remarkable books, each holding the promise of transformation. These books are not just sources of information; they are guiding lights, mentors, if you will, and companions on your journey towards becoming the best version of yourself as a manager.

As we explore these books, we'll not only gain valuable insights but also forge a deeper connection—a connection to the shared experiences, challenges, and aspirations that unite us as managers.

Get ready to cozy up with your favorite warm beverage as we dive into the these five enlightening books.

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by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen

Receiving feedback is an essential skill for managers. In a fast-paced work environment, feedback can often feel like a double-edged sword. However, learning how to receive feedback effectively is key to personal and professional growth. This book sheds light on the art and science of feedback, helping managers navigate the often-tricky terrain of receiving constructive criticism. By embracing feedback, managers can enhance their leadership skills and become more receptive to learning opportunities.

My tip for making the most of this book: As you read "Thanks for the Feedback," keep a journal handy. Whenever you come across valuable insights or practical techniques, jot them down. Then, take some time each week to reflect on and apply what you've learned. Remember, the real miracle happens when knowledge turns into action. So, let your journal be your guide on this feedback-fueled journey!

by Greg McKeown

In a world filled with distractions, it's easy for managers to become overwhelmed. Essentialism encourages readers to focus on what truly matters. This book provides a framework for identifying and prioritizing what is essential, allowing managers to maximize their impact by dedicating their time and energy to the most important tasks. By mastering the art of essentialism, managers can become more efficient, effective, and strategic in their roles.

My tip for making the most of this book: While reading, underline or highlight the core principles and strategies presented by McKeown. Take breaks during your reading sessions to reflect on your current life and work situations. Are there areas where you've spread yourself too thin or said "yes" to too many non-essential tasks? Jot down specific instances.

by Daniel Goleman

Emotional intelligence, often abbreviated as EQ, is a critical trait for managers. This book explores the profound impact of emotional intelligence on leadership effectiveness. Managers who possess high EQ can navigate interpersonal relationships, lead with empathy, and inspire their teams to achieve greatness. Emotional Intelligence equips managers with the tools to understand, manage, and harness the power of emotions, fostering a positive and productive work environment.

My tip for making the most of this book: As you read, think back on your own experiences, both in your professional and personal life, where emotional intelligence played a crucial role. Jot down instances where you demonstrated high or low emotional intelligence. Assess your own strengths and areas for improvement. Where do you excel, and where can you enhance your emotional intelligence skills?

by Carol S. Dweck

Carol S. Dweck's groundbreaking work on mindset offers a fresh perspective on personal and professional development. In this book, readers explore the concept of a growth mindset—a belief that abilities and intelligence can be developed through dedication and hard work. By cultivating a growth mindset, managers can overcome challenges, embrace opportunities for learning, and achieve new levels of success. This book is a game-changer for those looking to unlock their full potential.

My tip for making the most of this book: As you read, pay attention to instances where individuals exhibit either a fixed or growth mindset. These examples can help you identify these mindsets in real-life situations. Pause periodically to reflect on your own mindset tendencies. Are there areas in your life where you tend to have a fixed mindset, believing that abilities are static? Conversely, where do you naturally embrace a growth mindset, viewing challenges as opportunities for learning and growth?

by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler

Effective communication is the cornerstone of successful leadership. Crucial Conversations offers practical strategies for handling high-stakes conversations with confidence and skill. Managers often find themselves in situations where the outcome of a conversation can have a significant impact on their team or organization. This book equips managers with the tools to navigate these challenging conversations, fostering understanding and collaboration even in the most difficult circumstances.

My tip for making the most of this book: When reading Crucial Conversations, my top tip is to apply the skills in real-life scenarios. Take the concepts and techniques you learn and actively practice them in your everyday conversations. The more you integrate these strategies into your interactions, the better equipped you'll be to handle high-stakes situations effectively and with confidence. Remember, practice makes perfect, especially in the realm of crucial conversations.

These five books, each addressing a distinct aspect of professional development, form a powerful arsenal for managers seeking to enhance their leadership skills, make better decisions, master emotional intelligence, cultivate a growth mindset, and navigate crucial conversations. By incorporating these books into your reading list and applying the knowledge gained, as a manager, you can embark on a transformative journey toward becoming a more effective, empathetic, and successful leader.

As we explore each book in this 5-day series, we invite you to join us on this enlightening journey of growth and development.

So which book will kickstart your journey this week?

If you’ve enjoyed reading this, you’d also love my weekly newsletter I release every Wednesday for new and aspiring managers.


As a corporate coach, Rachel has had the privilege of mentoring and coaching numerous managers throughout her career. From recruitment to tech, non-profits to education, and even hospitality. she has seen first-hand the transformative power of effective leadership. Seven of Rachel's own employees were promoted and progressed to other roles internally as a result of her coaching leadership approach.

​Imagine the incredible possibilities that await your organization when you fully leverage your existing talent. If you're ready to witness transformational results and take your business to new heights, let's join forces.

There are are a few ways that RWC can help you:



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