10 Books Every Engineering Leader Should Read

DZone is an ever-growing community of authors from various technical fields who have a wide range of skill-sets and share their knowledge with the rest of the development community.

We asked our DZone Core community members to recommend books they swear helped them up-skill or improvise in their work. We received a list of awesome books that are not only helpful but are interesting reads.

Check out our first two articles of our recommended series:

Below is a list of interesting books to be referred to by any aspiring, new, or experienced managers/leaders.

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The Manager’s Path by Camille Fournier

Transitioning from an engineer to a technical manager can be challenging without the help of the right guidance and tools. The Manager’s Path by Camille Fournier is an excellent guide for tech leaders and engineering managers to understand and grow into the role of a leader while progressing with organization values ​​and goals. If you are planning on accepting a leadership role or have already started in one, this book will help you navigate through all the challenges.

The Manager's Path by Camille Fournier

The Pheonix Project

Bill, the CTO of Parts Unlimited, has the task of achieving the deadline of 90 days in order to complete The Phoenix Project or their process would be outsourced. With a seemingly impossible deadline, risk of being replaced, and pressure to achieve, Bill sets to work with his team and his mysterious philosophy of The Three Ways. Join Bill in his journey to the agile world, navigating the difficulties of software development and management.

The Pheonix Project

Managing Humans by Michael Lopp

Having worked as a manager at Apple, Pinterest, Palantir, Netscape, Symantec, Slack, and Borland, Michael Lopp shares his interesting and sometimes weird experiences. If you are a manager or aspiring to be one, learn firsthand what a manager does in a day. Managing Humans by Michael Lopp is a humorous tale of varied experiences that can help gain perspective of how management works in large-scale organizations.

Managing Humans by Michael Lopp

Radical Candor by Kim Scott

Managers often struggle in finding the right balance between leading a team without being a pushover. Radical Candor by Kim Scott is a guide to finding the right balance in leading the team and how to be a great boss. This book goes into detail on caring personally and successful leadership taking the team on the path to progress.

Radical Candor by Kim Scott

Multipliers by Liz Wiseman

An explorative analysis as to why some managers drain the team resources and intelligence while some manage to multiply and utilize the resources to their fullest without breaking the team morale. Multipliers is a guide for new managers and folks in leadership alike. Learn five key disciplines that help leaders turn into genius makers.
Multipliers by Liz Wiseman

Essentialism by Greg McKeown

If you feel like you are overworked, busy the whole day but feel under-productive, or that your skills are not utilized to the fullest, Essentialism by Greg McKeown is a guide on how to get out of the constant cycle. More than a technique or strategy, Essentialism is a discipline. Learn how to divide your time effectively and take control of your choices.

Essentialism by Greg McKeown

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni

Many organizations have functional teams that lead to unbalanced work environments and unachieved business goals. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team describe in great detail the five signs and behavioral tendencies that corrupt a team. It contains the ways the signs can be recognized and tackled easily by any organization. Learn valuable lessons of behavioral impacts and improvise immediately to achieve a better balance and throughput in any team.

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni

Work Rules! by Laszlo Bock

The majority of an individual’s lifetime is spent working. Work Rules! by Laszlo contains examples from workplaces that have been voted the worst and the best places to work at that include organizations like Google. It also contains a manifesto with lessons that can be applied daily to make sure work rules!

Work Rules!  by Laszlo Bock

How Google Works by Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg

Google Executive Chairman and ex-CEO Eric Schmidt and former SVP of Products Jonathan Rosenberg describe their experiences of working with Google for over a decade. Google has been voted the best place to work for many years and has been consistently focusing on consumer needs and innovation. Eric and Jonathan needed to change their perspective of managing business and teams. How Google Works describes their journey at Google, how they adapted to change and took part in the wave of innovation.

How Google Works by Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg

Start With Why by Simon Sinek

A book that caused a revolution, inspiring millions to ask the big question to their employers: “WHY?” This question was directed toward the purpose of the tasks, the way the organizations work, and the big picture. Start With Why by Simon Sinek highlights the main questions and answers that employees ask their leaders and how leaders can inspire their teams. A bestseller referred to by millions, Simon Sinek has created a masterpiece that can be a great addition to your library.

Start With Why by Simon Sinek

Closing Thoughts

As technology evolves and advancements are introduced frequently, it is important to stay up to date with the latest developments and get in-depth knowledge about your area of ​​work. Books are the best resources to achieve this as they cover all technicalities that stay relevant for years to come.

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