Manager Resources to Improve Employee Engagement Skills

I thought it would be helpful to create a resource page you can use to learn more on how to improve employee engagement skills. Below resources help managers to become a better leader and inspire others, motivate teams and help others to reach highest levels of their potential. Below are the resources that helped change my life and had profound impact in helping me grow and learn how to improve.

I add to the list as I learn more, but you’ll notice that in the future I will reference this page quite often. I share with you books I have read, podcasts I am listening too and other online resources I find useful in developing to employee engagement and leadership skills. I read or listen to about 80-90 books a year and share with you my recommendation, based on my recent reading. I update this page regularly, so I recommend bookmarking it for your reference and convenience. Enjoy!

Note: Some of the links below are affiliate links (I will get paid a small commission by the provider of the service, without any additional cost to you). 

Leadership Podcast recommendations

This Is Your Life with Michael Hyatt - Simple, practical and wise perspective on life. I love his servant leadership style and excited about every new episode.

School of Greatness with Lewis Howes - I love Lewis' positivity and focus on doing something great in life. And enjoy the interviews and perspectives of others he brings on the show.

Books to understand employee engagement

Lead from the Heart: Transformation Leadership for the 21st Century- by Mark C. Crowley. I especially enjoyed this book as author has captured true essence of leadership, which helps you understand skills, necessary for engaging others.

The NEW ROI: Return on Individuals Paperbackby Dave Bookbinder. Excellent book to look at the human capital in organizations: the most valuable asset in every organization. Additionally, we explore universal ways to promote even greater workforce value including creating difference makers, increasing employee success, improving happiness, reducing toxic employees, generating innovation by building trust, embracing and improving corporate culture, and much more.

Books to Develop Influence

The Science of Self-Confidence - by Brian Tracy - I especially enjoyed the information about self confidence research and author sharing his personal examples. Great book on how to evaluate and improve your self-confidence and self-esteem.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking - by Susan Cain. Great read. The book helps you understand your strength and relate with others. Introverts are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. The most fascinating part is the fact that book shows how society dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so.

Books to help develop soft skills

Steal the Show: From Speeches to Job Interviews to Deal-Closing Pitches, How to Guarantee a Standing Ovation for All the Performances in Your Life - by Michael Port. Every day there are moments when you must persuade, inform, and motivate others effectively. Each of those moments requires you, in some way, to play a role, to heighten the impact of your words, and to manage your emotions and nerves. Every interaction is a performance, whether you’re speaking up in a meeting, pitching a client, or walking into a job interview. One of the most unique and practical book written on the topic of raising the game and doing your best performance in everyday life

The 5 Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potentialby John C. Maxwell. This book specifically takes you through a checklist 5 whys of why people follow you and how to improve your leadership based on these natural trends. I learned so much from this and my eyes were opened about my own leadership style, my relationships and how people view me, based on the 5 levels of leadership, identified by the author:
1. Position--People follow because they have to.
2. Permission--People follow because they want to.
3. Production--People follow because of what you have done for the organization.
4. People Development--People follow because of what you have done for them personally.
5. Pinnacle--People follow because of who you are and what you represent.

Soft Skills - Online Training Courses

Soft Skills You Need to Be Successful at the Office  - Excellent course on How to gain power, write emails, persuade, resolve conflicts, get promoted, negotiate, relieve stress, and communicate

12 Soft Skills Essential For Success In Life - Covers Essential Soft Skills You Need To Be Successful. Excellent course by Ali Haider

My Favorite Leadership Books

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You - by John C. Maxwell   Excellent description of down to earth leadership principles, combined with great examples and Maxwell's leadership experience in multiple organizations, makes this book great authority on the subject

The Servant: A Simple Story About the True Essence of Leadership - by James Hunter   this is one of the best leadership books I have read. It covers philosophy of the leadership and written unconventionally to look at people's interactions during different situations.

The Servant Leadership Training Course - by James Hunter   - excellent introduction to the concept of Servant leadership as it show practical examples and steps on how to implement the principles.

HBRs 10 Must Reads on Leadership   - a lot of good advise on how to use leadership principles in business and organizational setting

Next Generation Leader: 5 Essentials for Those Who Will Shape the Future - by Andy Stanley   - excellent book to learn 5 essential principles of leadership. I have listened the audio version and ended up repeatedly listening to few important section and was taking notes as I was listening. Great book!!!

A Passion for Leadership - by Robert Gates   -  I enjoyed this book as author described how he applied leadership principles in his career. And Mr. Gates has a great sense of humor as he shares his story!!!

Strengths Based Leadership - by Tom Rath   -  I am in total agreement with author that you will be much more effective in scaling your strength then to focus on scrutinizing and improving your weaknesses. Great insight with a lot of research and practical examples!!!

The 5 Levels of Leadership - by John Maxwell   - Amazing concept and insight on 5 different levels of leadership. It starts with first leadership by position, the lowest, weakest, least helpful, most self-centered form of leadership. The second level is leadership by permission. It is this second level which make the other three levels possible. Focuses on leaders helping grow others and measuring their success by success of people they lead. Must read!!!

The Leadership Challenge - by James Kouzes   Excellent book, which takes real world situations and reflects them through 5 areas, authors view as basics of leadership. This books helps you grow as leader if you are willing to do the work!!!

Leadership is an art - by Max Dupree. Phenomenal book about practical leadership philosophy. Author looks at leadership as a stewardship, stressing the importance of building the relationships, initiating ideas, and creating a value.

The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations - by James Kouzes and Barry Posner. Excellent book that came out as part of a research project. Book focuses on the peak performance experiences of the top leaders and identifies 5 key rules of leadership: Model the way, Inspire a shared vision, Challenge the process, Enable others to act and Encourage from the heart.

Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box - by Arbinger Institute. If you suspect that you might be deceiving yourself this might be a good read. I can think of so many examples when I was told I was blaming others, but felt I was un-biosed and was just sharing the facts. I still think that most of the time the facts were right, but now I can see another person's perspective and the message they have heard that other message came through. Learn about the power of self-deceiving through this great book.

Winning from Within: A Breakthrough Method for Leading, Living, and Lasting Change - by Erica Ariel Fox - Helps you learn about contemporary approach for getting more of what you want, improving relationships, and enjoying life’s deeper rewards. There are literally dozens of other profound insights: one of my favorites is the idea that "you have choices, and that ultimately, your create your life".

Leadership BS: Fixing Workplaces and Careers One Truth at a Time Hardcover - by Jeffrey Pfeffer. Author is showing why modern leadership is failing and how it might be remade. Chapters are names as question - here are the examples of the few names: "Why Inspiration and Fables cause problems and fix nothing?", "Modesty: Why Leaders Aren't?", "Authenticity: Misunderstood and Overrated?" etc. I life the fact that author sets the record straight on the oft-made prescriptions for leaders to be honest, authentic, and modest, tell the truth, build trust, and take care of others. By calling BS on so many of the stories and myths of leadership, he gives people a more scientific look at the evidence and better information to guide their careers. Good read.

Leadership - Online Training Courses

Seth Godin’s Leadership Workshop - Great course on intentional nature of leadership from Seth Godin

Management Skills: Essentials for the manager  - excellent course for leaders and managers that are just starting to work with other people. Focuses on all important aspects and skills needed for a job

Think like a leader with Brian Tracy - Course focuses on how to motivate yourself, so you can become powerful motivator and leader for others

Leadership: Practical Leadership Skills - one of my favorite resources to learn about practical leadership skills

Management Skills: Productivity, Leadership, Strategy + More  - This course helped me learn some new ides on how to develop a leadership strategies and help manage other more effectively

Team Building - My Books Recommendations

Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World  - excellent book on team building, full of practical examples and entertaining stories

Find Your Why: A Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team   - very good book on "Finding your Why" for organizations and individuals. Short read you can complete on the weekend.


Team Building - Online Training Courses

Team Building: New Strategies for Developing Effective Teams - Excellent course for Team Leaders on how to make all your workplace Teamwork much more successful!

Leadership Skills - Leading Teams to High Performance - This course helped me expand my horizons and learn how to lead teams effectively to achieve high performance

Be A Better Manager 3 - Team Building Management Training -  Excellent Business Management Training course on how to become a team building manager and improve your management skills