Management Books for the Holidays

John Krautzel
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Management books are good choices for gift giving during the holiday season. The management tips they offer are helpful, and they are almost always appropriate for giving to colleagues. Gifting management books is an inexpensive way to let your team know you're thinking of them, and it's a great way to let aspiring managers know that they're being considered for promotion in the new year. With that in mind, here are three must-read management books for you, your friends, and your coworkers.

The Next Level by Scott Eblin tackles the central concern of ambitious workers—getting into management. In this book, Eblin considers the barriers young managers face when trying to break through the office ceiling, and he offers helpful management tips for when you're on the ladder. Experienced managers will find it as helpful for planning their next moves as hopefuls do in planning their first.

The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson is intended as a timely resource for customer-facing managers—particularly in sales—who are facing new challenges with the recent economic changes. After the collapse and the Great Recession, certain customers might be more reluctant to part with their income. This is especially true of luxury and recreational sales in a time of low consumer confidence. Dixon and Adamson are to be commended for tackling a difficult subject that many management books have trouble even beginning to frame.

The Cultural Intelligence Difference by David Livermore, Ph.D., contrasts with the previous two management books because it is both timeless and targeted primarily for senior managers. In the modern business world, one of the chief concerns of a manager is to better reach subordinates who might be very different in their cultural background, social status, and even national origin. Dr. Livermore is a brave soul for even approaching the vexed subjects of race, gender, and class in everyday office politics. He successfully navigates a middle course between the safe approach of refusing to acknowledge an issue even exists and the dangerous shoals where the authors of The Bell Curve ran aground on accusations of racism. Management books like this are rare.

As a people manager, you almost certainly have a full plate. With the coming holidays, you'll have even more responsibilities as friends and family fly in from out of town and the pace at work picks up. Finding time to read anything is tough; but if you can spare a moment, or you're looking for a gift, these three management books are worth your time.



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