My Favorite 10 Practical “Management” Books

The 2020 CX Report gathers trends on how business happens in the computational era by examining the tech stacks for marketing and products in the context of digital transformation.

I listed these up in an email to someone but maybe it’s best I blog them instead so I can remember them later. I’m not a big believer in the “first 100 days” or “first 90 days” books that people give to leaders at scale anymore. Nor do I belive in the Drucker books, too — although they are delicious to read and all, but they were crafted during a different era. So the books I recommend to folks cover things that the typical Harvard MBA blah-blah-blah might not really tell you about. Enjoy! —JM


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For the basic managerial things, it’s useful to consider how the product-developer-designer triangle implicitly implies a difference in points-of-view, so you should expect that these three types of people experience organizations differently. Thus I recommend you read from these three points of view as a way to best triangulate how you work and behave as someone who will work with these three types of folks: developer, designer, product manager.

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The easiest book to read about how to address imbalance in products (and organizations that make products) today is by Kat Holmes, entitled Mismatch. Here are my three picks as you start to head in this direction — and I definitely recommend that you learn about age-ism if you don’t know about it already. In my early 30s I got to work with AARP and it showed me an important world that I was fully prepared to enter, luckily.

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People are interesting and complex, and they’re not complicated at all. They’re just complex — which means that they will act and behave unpredictably. So these three books are my current favs in this category of people.

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This is my go-to medicine when I am feeling down, or else have been beaten down. So that I can get back up. It always works for me. Maybe it will work for you.

Another quick bit of medicine that works well in this category is remembering what Nelson Mandela said, “Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”


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