20 Most Influential Books for HR Managers

Confucius once said, “You cannot open a book without learning something.” And it is commonly known that books have a great influence on our lives. They teach, inspire, motivate, and give hope. And that concerns every area of life, including HR Management. Today we prepared 20 Most Influential Books for HR Managers.

Let’s take a look at the best positions on the bookshelves with Amazon’s rating, and see what inspires HR managers!

#1 First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently
by Marcus Buckingham, Curt Coffman


4.5/5 stars

Ranked 4.5 stars out of 5 on Amazon, Buckingham and Coffman’s book teaches the readers that breaking the rules is a practice which can have positive effects. The book contains a large study (described in a short way as it would take too many pages) conducted by Gallup Organization and is one of the most critically acclaimed books for managers.

#2 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
by Stephen R. Covey


4.5/5 stars

Another book with a high rating on Amazon. This is one of the most popular books for managers available on the market. This reading teaches how to believe in yourself and improve a relationship with the surrounding world, including family and friends. It also helps in achieving success and business and personal life with to 7 simple but effective habits.

#3 Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t
by Jim Collins


4.5/5 stars

In his book, Collins presents companies which managed to become great over time. And time does not have to be an obstacle, quite the opposite – it helps in developing a good strategy and strong roots. This book will help to understand why long-term goals are important in management.

#4 It’s Your Ship: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy
by Michael D. Abrashoff


4.7/5 stars

Even though written by a soldier, this book is a great manual for everyone who wants to learn how to lead a team. Every manager can learn how to make a great team from Abrashoff’s book, no matter what area of business (s)he works in.

#5 Social Psychology
by Elliot Aronson, Timothy D. Wilson, Robin M. Akert

influential books

4.4/5 stars

This book sheds new light on old theories, adds new, updated approaches to the psychology of society. This position’s authors pay particular attention to critical thinking and understanding of the social processes. Every HR manager should read this book to understand the motives according to which people act.

 #6 Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose
by Tony Hsieh


4.5/5 stars

Tony Hsieh shows a completely different approach to a business culture. Read his book and you will find out that making sure your employees are happy matters more than making sure they help your company being successful. Not possible? See for yourself! After all, success comes when people are happy.

#7 Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers, Third Edition
by Robert M. Sapolsky


4.5/5 stars

Do you know that stress is not good for business and people at work? In his book, Sapolsky shows how stress affects our bodies. “When we worry or experience stress, our body turns on the same physiological responses that an animal’s does, but we do not resolve conflict in the same way-through fighting or fleeing. Over time, this activation of a stress response makes us literally sick.” This position is one of the most important books for managers as it helps to understand why it is important to eliminate stress at work.

#8 The 3 Keys to Empowerment: Release the Power Within People for Astonishing Results
by Ken Blanchard, John Carlos, Alan Randolph


4.5/5 stars

This book shows that an active participation of employees in the company’s work is the best solution for success. “The authors show that empowerment is not about giving people power, it’s about releasing the power they already have.”

#9 Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
by David Allen


4.4/5 stars

Even though published 15 years ago, Allen’s book is still valid. With it every HR manager will learn how to get rid of stress and become productive with a new approach of personal organization.

#10 Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ
by Daniel Goleman


4.3/5 stars

It may seem unimportant but emotional intelligence is very often more crucial than IQAnd that’s what Daniel Goleman proves in his book. The author describes how emotional intelligence helps us in everyday life, relationship, and particularly, at work. Every HR manager should read this book to become more aware of people’s feelings and how they affect everything around.

#11 The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey
by Ken Blanchard


4.6/5 stars

The title of this book may seem funny but it touches quite a relevant topic – how to solve your problems without paying attention to unnecessary things. “When a person goes to the boss with a problem and the boss agrees to do something about it, the monkey is off his back and onto the boss’s. How can managers avoid these leaping monkeys? Here is priceless advice from three famous experts: how managers can meet their own priorities, give back other people’s monkeys, and let them solve their own problems.”

#12 How to Win Friends & Influence People
by Dale Carnegie


4.7/5 stars

As the saying goes: old but gold. As this book gets older, it does not lose on validity. Still read by millions of people it contains helpful tips on how to be successful. Make sure to read it to become the best HR manager!

#13 The Customer Comes Second: Put Your People First and Watch ’em Kick Butt
by Hal Rosenbluth, Ms. Diane Peters


4.5/5 stars

So you think the customer is the priority and should always come first? You could not be more wrong! This book will show you why it is important to take care of your employees’ first. This method will transform your company into a better place and your product or services will also boost sales.

#14 The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
by Charles Duhigg


4.5/5 stars

This Pulitzer Prize winner shows how the change of habits can bring good into life. It is especially useful for those HR managers who need to work out their own habits and make life more productive, especially when it comes to work!

#15 The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life
by Rosamund Stone Zander, Benjamin Zander


4.5/5 stars

In their book, Rosamund and Benjamin Stone show that where there is a possibility, there are no impossible things, even if there are obstacles. With creative approach and realizing that things aren’t what they seem it is easy to achieve our goals.

#16 Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers
by Alexander Osterwalder


4.5/5 stars

If you are one of the people with creative attitude and want to do things in your own way, this book is for you. The author shows how to create the model of business which will be different than those already existing, “Business Model Generation is a handbook for visionaries, game changers, and challengers striving to defy outmoded business models and design tomorrow’s enterprises.”

#17 Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
by Simon Sinek


4.5/5 stars

Sinek’s book is currently a no.1 bestseller in Amazon’s entrepreneurship section. In his book, the author answers the question why the biggest leaders achieved success and how their way of thinking differs from other people’s mentality.

#18 The Future of Management
by Gary Hamel


4.5/5 stars

In his book, Gary Hamel proves that the old, traditional methods of management are outdated. Make sure to reach for this book to stay on top of current, modern ways of management. Change your way of thinking and perceiving of things with Hamel’s reading.

#19  Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
by Daniel H. Pink

4.4/5 stars

Pink’s book is currently no. 1 best seller in Occupational & Organizational Popular Psychology category on Amazon. With the help of this book, every HR manager will be able to rethink his/her motives behind every movement and will get the impulse to act.

#20 Thinking, Fast and Slow
by Daniel Kahneman


4.5/5 stars

“In the international bestseller, Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman, the renowned psychologist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think.” Daniel Kahneman’s book should be a no.1 position on every HR manager’s bookshelf. It is inspiring, bright, and innovative.


A good HR manager should not be afraid to read as books help to develop new skills. With professional literature, every person can become better at work and find a potential which may be hidden deep in our mind.

*The source of all book covers used in this article is Amazon.com

20 Most Influential Books for HR Managers

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