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Best Books for New Managers

Posted by Sophie Butler on Feb 13, 2023

Best Books for New Managers

And 6 Common Mistakes to Avoid 

It’s finally happened. After all the hard work and countless hours you have been promoted to a manager position and are ready to take the next step in your career.

But stepping into a new management position isn’t only exciting but also can be daunting. If new managers are not set up for success it is easy to make the same mistakes that many managers before have made. But have no fear… BookPal is here to help you make this transition into your new manager role seamless!

Let’s take a look at the mistakes that many new managers make and how to avoid them so you can succeed in your new role.

1. Refusal to Delegate

New managers are obviously interested in doing their best from the beginning. They want to show that they were the right choice for the position. But with this comes the pitfall some managers fall into where in wanting to perform they don’t allow their team to do just that.

While it’s important to support your employees and make sure projects are on track, micromanagement can lead to disunity within the team and the manager. It has been proven that micromanaged employees are 28% more likely to leave the company.

New managers need to learn to trust their employees and allow them to have autonomy over their work. Just as the team trusts the manager to lead them and make the hard decisions, the manager has to trust their team to do their jobs that contribute to the success of the team as a whole.

Try reading: When They Win, You Win: Being a Great Manager Is Simpler Than You Think by Russ Laraway

This guide from the legendary Silicon Valley manager, Russ Laraway, shares three simple 

rules for creating happy, engaged teams and business results.

Laraway proves that managing employee engagement through providing direction and steering them towards a goal provides happy results. He also goes into how coaching can benefit employees by allowing them to achieve results on their own that directly impacts the entire organization.

At the end of the day Laraway says that showing employees that you care and trust them not just in the job they are doing now, but as them as full human beings allows a team of employees making tangible progress towards the company’s vision.

2. Not Supporting Employees

Another pitfall that many new managers face is focusing on their own success within their role instead of focusing on the success and career development of their employees. This can take many forms from not offering recognition to team members to not taking the time to actually get to know them as people outside of their job title.

Letting your employees know you’ve got their back and that you care about them is one of the most valuable things you can give them as a manager. This allows teams to feel as though they are safe and can boost their creativity and performance.

So make sure that you check in with your employees. Whether that be through one-on-ones or just brief conversation about their goals within their position.

Try reading: Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity by Kim Scott

This New York TImes Bestseller has been revolutionary in the way it shares how to lead teams. Kim Scott shares her leadership strategy called Radical Candor.

Radical Candor is a simple idea: to be a good boss, you have to care personally for your employees while at the same time challenging them directly. This book shows the perfect balance between how to drive results while not losing your humanity along the way. Perfect for your new manager training program.


3. Lack of Communication

Communication is one of the foundations that a great team is built on. Good communication helps create clear goals and expectations. So when managers step into their new positions many fail to realize the importance of creating structure and guidance for their teams.

With just 35% of employees saying they have clear performance goals, communication needs to be a focus for new managers to be successful in their position. It’s important to not only communicate during projects, but also establish a clear vision for where you want your team to head and the purpose behind that vision.

Try reading: Bringing Up the Boss: Practical Lessons for New Managers by Rachel Pacheco

Rachel Pacheco, an expert at helping start-ups solve their management and culture challenges, shares how to find success when you are placed in a position where you are all of a sudden expected to structure projects and set expectations.

Read these practical lessons that share skills on how overwhelmed employees can become expert managers and how to guide a team to greatness within the company.


4. Avoiding Difficult Conversations and Decisions

Difficult conversation and decisions can be hard to tackle when managers step into their new position. Because of this many new managers make the mistake of trying to avoid them altogether.

Difficult conversations and decisions are unavoidable in the workplace. The decisions you make directly affect your employees so spending time overthinking and second guessing your decisions won’t be beneficial. Instead trust the reason that you were hired in the first place. You have the tools that can help your team succeed.

Try reading: Say Thank You for Everything: The Secrets of Being a Great Manager - Strategies and Tactics That Get Results by Jim Edwards

If you are a brand-new manager unsure about where to start or how to lead, this is a no nonsense guide to management everyone can learn from. Say Thank You for Everything will help you look after your people, get results for your business, and be the kind of boss you always wanted to have yourself.

Learn how to use your incredible power to make decisions and increase productivity at the same time.


5. Unwilling to Adapt

Stepping into that management role for the first time can be hard to adapt too. Let’s face it you will need to not only keep the skills you’ve developed in your older position, but also work to develop your leadership skills now. However, some new managers fall into the pitfall of wanting to act like they are still in a lower role.

Unwilling to act can take many forms from being scared to make decisions to wanting to still act like you are in your old position… maybe with just a little bit more authority. However, for the success of your team as a whole you will need to learn how to start fitting into your new position so you can properly lead your team.

Try reading: The Making of a Manager: What to Do When Everyone Looks to You by Julie Zhuo

Leading a team for the first time is a daunting new endeavor. Facebook’s Vice President of Product Design Julie Zhuo presents a bold new guide to getting respect and results in your new managerial role.

Zhuo shares her journey of stepping into her first manager role to how she adapted and learned how to be the best manager she could be for her team. Relatable and engaging this is a friendly guide that reveals the things she learned the hard way and how new managers can be successful.


6. Trying to Change Too Much Right Away

Stepping into a new management role can be exciting for some. They can’t wait to start making changes to create success within the company and their teams. However, sometimes managers fall into the trap of trying to change too much right off the bat.

While you were hired for a reason, making significant changes overnight can shake up your employees. It’s important to learn their goals and the team’s culture before implementing change. Through your conversations you’ll learn how you can best help them do their jobs more efficiently and effectively.

Try reading: Welcome to Management: How to Grow from Top Performer to Excellent Leader by Ryan Hawk

From the creator and host of The Learning Leader Show, Ryan Hawk shares an essential and tactical guide for newly promoted managers showing them how to make their transition seamless through a three-part framework.

Hawk presents an actionable guide that to effectively lead others you need to take the time to lead yourself and build your skills and earn credibility to then build and lead your team. This included setting a clear strategy and vision for your team and communicating with them on their goals and expectations.


While there are many pitfalls that new managers can fall into, we hope these titles can help in your management development training programs and allow you to develop the most effective managers for your organization. Allow your managers to be their best by looking at our full list of management titles now to develop all kinds of manager skills or reach out directly to one of our book experts for title suggestions