Top Management Audiobooks


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When was the last time you read a good book? If you’re like most adults, your days are filled with demanding work schedules, juggling family responsibilities, and possibly even graduate school classes. You’d love to read more, but wonder when you’d possibly find the time. If this sounds like you, audiobooks are a great solution! If you listen on your morning and afternoon commute, you could possibly finish one book per week. As a management professional, you probably already encourage your employees to have a growth mindset. By listening to some top management audiobooks, you can continue to grow personally and professionally.

There are some really great management audiobooks available that can help you hone in on your leadership skills. Time is valuable, and there are many quick and affordable ways to access audiobooks. If you have a library card that doesn’t get nearly as much use as it once did, it’s time to pull it out to peruse all of the free digital resources, including a wide assortment of audiobooks. Audible and Kindle Unlimited also have user-friendly apps that offer hundreds of thousands of audio titles for a low monthly membership rate. Ready to download your first audiobook? Check out the following list for recommendations on 10 of the best management audiobooks for business leaders seeking to elevate their strengths as well as strengthen their team.


HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Making Smart Decisions

Managers make multiple decisions every day that affect their business relationships, profit, and organizational change. This audiobook, exclusive to Audible, is published by Harvard Business Review, so you can rest assured it has advice from people who have made some of the toughest decisions. The ten featured articles were carefully selected to help you tackle the most difficult challenges by using effective decision-making strategies. Articles offer insight and advice from leading experts on topics such as evaluating risks and benefits, utilizing experiments to test out your decisions, and how to use constructive criticism to better yourself. You may want to listen to this book when you can take notes, so you can remember and apply all of the great tips! If you enjoy this book, check out other books in the HBR series, covering innovations, teams, leadership, communication, and many other issues that are important to effective managers.  

The Effective Manager Series

Have you ever had a major aha moment at a professional development session and left excited to implement what you learned? Professional development sessions can be expensive and require advanced planning. You don’t have to take a day off from work to listen to this series which meshes together 14 management seminars that have been presented to real corporations. Since these sessions were created for live audiences, you will be entertained and fully engaged. A few of the sessions you’ll learn from include Motivating People Toward Peak Performance, Executive Time Management, and Superior Sales Management. Newer managers can customize their listening experience by listening to the seminars that address topics you need the most assistance with and returning to the others later on. This audiobook is also a great crash course on timeless management principles you’ll learn while earning your Online MBA or for graduates to brush up on information they may have forgotten.

Leading Remote and Virtual Teams

One of the biggest lessons 2020 taught managers is that businesses must quickly adapt to stay afloat. Nearly overnight, business leaders had to transform their leadership style. Many executive-level managers who had led teams for decades had little to no experience with conducting virtual meetings. Some employees will never return to a brick-and-mortar office, so managers must learn to lead strategically without physically seeing their team. This book offers practical strategies for collaborating with others, succeeding in hybrid teams, and how to positively mentor junior employees. By applying the strategies provided on keeping open lines of communication, conducting performance evaluations, and adjusting your leadership style, you can achieve a more harmonious work/life balance and increase employee productivity. This is a must listen to by any managers who enjoy the flexibility offered by remote work and are interested in sharpening their virtual managerial skills.

Building Trust for First-Time Managers

You made it! Since your entry-level position that kicked off your business career, you’ve had your sights set on becoming a manager one day, and now you’ve landed a manager role. Now what? This book will help you discover your footing as a leader and earn the trust of your team. Real case studies and research on executives who built high-trust organizations from the ground up are presented throughout this book. Tactics for handling difficult conversations, creating an inclusive culture, and a work environment that embraces diversity are broken down into manageable action plans that can immediately be put into place. While managers need to assume control, first-time managers often cross the line and micromanage. When employees know their manager trusts them, they develop more confidence in your leadership abilities. This book is a great listen for managers striving to make a strong first impression.


No doubt being a manager definitely requires guts, but what exactly is the definition of guts? The author of this book, Navy Seal veteran Brian Hiner, defines it as “Greatness Under Tremendous Stress.” Managers face a high level of stress over retaining the right employees and insufficient capital. This book is a guide to turn fear into motivation to overcome obstacles. By rechanneling fear into determination, leaders can drive positive changes in the workplace. With self-discipline, nearly any goal can be met, whether it’s merging two companies, growing profit margins, or new client acquisitions. Each chapter culminates with a recap and detailed plan with action steps. This would make an excellent choice for professionals who let self-doubt get in the way of them being the best leader they can possibly be. GUTS actually followed First Fast Fearless, so if you haven’t read the first book yet, add it to your list of books to listen to!


The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership

This book from a world-renown leadership expert offers easy-to-follow advice derived from his own success as a leader. Each of the rules is interwoven into a story from Maxwell’s experiences as well as examples from recent history. These stories will captivate listeners of all management levels. An evaluation tool helps readers identify their strengths and weaknesses as a leader. Each chapter also includes application exercises, so you can work on areas that need growth. Even if you’ve already read the first version of this book, this one is worth listening to because it includes 17 new stories and two new laws of leadership. Chapters are only about 15 minutes long, making them the perfect length for when you’re short on time. After listening to this book, you’ll be inspired to make sacrifices in your own life to be a better influence for those you lead.

Lean In

This empowering memoir was written by Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and one of the most powerful women in business, to inspire women to become leaders in the workforce and challenge the status quo. Men can also benefit from listening to this audiobook, so they can gain the perspective of their female co-workers and work towards creating equality in corporate America. This book will help leaders open the dialogue to changes that may need to be made at their office. Sandberg includes lessons on leadership and confidence in a way that makes it feel like you’re getting advice from a more experienced friend at work who wants you to succeed. Working moms will also be able to relate as Sandberg grapples with guilt from working and joy in doing meaningful professional work simultaneously. This book offers solutions to how 21st-century women truly can have it all!

The Leading Brain

Cutting-edge scientific discoveries on the brain are used in this book to explain how to be a better, happier leader. The old adage, “Work smart, not harder,” is definitely the theme of this book. Neuropsychologist Friederike Fabritius and management consultant Dr. Hans Hagemann teamed up to offer you pragmatic strategies on training your brain to focus, achieve your highest performance, increase information retention, and improve decision-making antics. For example, when we reduce our stress level, our brain is able to function at a higher capacity. Concrete steps are given to implement these strategies. By using the insights in this mind-blowing book, leaders can help their teams unleash their full potential and reach peak performance. It’s like having a career psychologist share all of their tips to make your company succeed. This bestseller has gained national recognition on NPR, The Chicago Tribune, and other news sources and was named a Best Business Book by Strategy+Business in 2017.

Measure What Matters

This #1 New York Times Best Seller reveals what performance measures Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation use to make businesses thrive. In this book, Doerr shares the lessons he learned on OKRs, or objectives and key results, as an engineer at Intel, and later passed on to Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Defining OKRs will help businesses measure what truly matters to individuals and organizations from the top down. Executives down to entry-level employees should set goals that are specific, measurable, and within a set time frame. When goals are clearly defined, everyone knows where to focus their effort, and this simple principle helps employees stay on track. Employees will feel more connected, and companies will benefit from higher employee retention rates. This book is filled with case studies to demonstrate the success of OKRs, so managers can easily implement them to lead their teams to success.

The CEO Next Door

Online Masters of Business Administration

This highly-acclaimed management book is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal Best Seller! Think of this book as the largest business case study ever conducted! Over 2,600 leaders have been analyzed in 13,000 hours of interviews to uncover the attributes that separate the world’s most successful CEOs apart from those who have failed. Top-level executives can hone in on four characteristics to set themselves up to join the ranks of the most prominent leaders. The four characteristics include decisiveness, delivering promises on time, the ability to adapt quickly, and fearlessly facing conflict. Myths are also busted by data. For example, many may think the majority of CEOs are Ivy League graduates when only seven percent come from these prestigious institutions. If you are climbing the career ladder, listen to this audiobook so you can focus on what it takes to become the next CEO.

Next Steps

A common interview question is, “What is the last book you read?” Thanks to audiobooks, you can now confidently answer this question. With the wide array of top management audiobooks on the market, you can broaden your knowledge of any business sector. Use the audiobooks as inspiration to set and achieve your goals. For example, if you dream of launching a business, apply the entrepreneurship lessons you’ve learned to propel your start-up forward.

If applying for an Online MBA is in your near future, you can find audiobooks that will walk you through the steps of the admissions process. Research the required components for your grad school application so you can listen to selectively choose the audiobooks that will be most beneficial. You may need to write a personal statement explaining how this degree will help you in your future endeavors. Listening to audiobooks about different careers can help you explore some options that may be a great fit for you. If you are undecided on your concentration, listen to books about different areas of business, and see what appeals to you the most. Study guides for the GMAT are also available if your program requires test scores. Other materials you may need to prepare include a resume, but you guessed it, there are audio manuals about that, too! Online MBA applications may seem like a lot of work, but hearing success stories in the books can provide the motivating force you need. One day, you may even be the author sharing your own strategies!

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