In this post I proudly present the Top 100 Best Books for Managers, Leaders & Humans. I have created this list using three different criteria: 1) number of Amazon reviews, 2) average Amazon rating, and 3) number of Google hits.
Please refer to the bottom of this post to find out how I performed the calculations, and why that obscure and silly little favorite book of yours has not made it on this list.
The book with the largest number of Amazon reviews is Freakonomics (#53, by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner). And the book with the largest number of Google hits is The World Is Flat (#56, by Thomas L. Friedman). However, both books scored a somewhat low average rating, which means they didn’t end up among the top 10. The book with the best average rating is Love ‘Em or Lose ‘Em (#36, by Beverly Kaye, Sharon Jordan-Evans), though this book scored only a moderate number of reviews and Google hits.
The winner in this list is The Success Principle (by Jack Canfield, Janet Switzer). This book scored well according to each of the three criteria, which made it grab the #1 position. And it’s worth nothing that three authors made it on this list with no less than three books each. They are Ken Blanchard (#40, #59, #67), John C. Maxwell (#35, #57, #98), and Seth Godin (#31, #47, #54). Clearly these three are the most inspiring writers in the world.
Do you seek more advice about modern Management and Leadership?
If you want to receive the PDF version with the full Top 100 list, including ISBN-numbers and release dates, then you can download it here… send me an email and simply ask for it. I like getting email. And it will help your request tremendously if you told me that you’ve subscribed to my blog/feed. And don’t you dare deceiving me! I’ll be monitoring the feed statistics actively… 🙂 (Oh, and please allow me at least 24 hours to reply to your mail. I might be trying to recover from the hours of sleep I lost…)
I have created the list for three kinds of people:
No-so-great managers who want to become much-greater managers;
People in a group who would like to become leaders of that group;
Any other workers and team members who want to improve their skills.
Scope of the Project
For this Top 100 list I have included only books covering subjects that might be of interest to (middle) managers, team members and employees interested in personal development, in any kind of organization. My main criterion for each book was: might this book help me and some of my subordinates to improve ourselves? (And would it help my managers solving their problems themselves instead of buggering me…)
This means that I have left out books with primary topics such as business strategy, investment, marketing, entrepreneurship, and the art of flower arrangement. These topics, though very interesting, won’t be helpful in enabling the average Joe the Programmer to develop himself into Joe the Leader or Joe the Communicator. (The other reason is that I had to limit the scope, or I would never be able to finish the bloody thing.)
Finding the Books
To find all these potentially timeless classics, I checked the best-selling books in these Amazon categories:
After I found all best-selling books, I subsequently found many other books through the “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought” cross-reference thingy. That’s how I finally ended up with a list of 400 books, and a pair of eyes with the color of Sarah Palin’s dress.
Doing the Calculations
Then it was time to do the calculations. I checked the number of customer reviews on Amazon, and I ranked the books according to these numbers (= a measure of quantity). I also calculated the average Amazon ratings, and I ranked the books according to these ratings (= a measure of quality). I then checked the number of Google hits for each of the books, and I ranked them accordingly (= a measure of popularity). Finally, I took the three rankings, and then re-calculated it into a final ranking. This resulted in the list you now have before you.
I can guarantee that the system I used is scientifically ridiculous. Nevertheless, the results are quite interesting, and I’m sure this list can be of great help if you want to improve your skills as a manager, a leader, or as a human being who just wants to become a more interesting colleague. I suggest you start with number 1, and then slowly work you way down. However, you might want to start with Breakthrough Rapid Reading (by Peter Kump) and How to Read a Book (by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren). These might help getting you through the list somewhat faster…
Now, I’m sure you will understand that the creation of this list cost me many hours of work, some sleepless nights, and RSI from my neck all the way down to my knees. If you think the list is interesting, or even valuable, then I suggest you digg, stumble and bookmark the hell out of it! However, if you don’t like the outcome, don’t hesitate to let me know. I’ll do my best to ignore your comments next time I make another similar list.
Thanks for your feedback, and happy reading!
Wait! Don't stop reading now. I have some more interesting lists for you: