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What resources can help entrepreneurs be better managers?

5 min read


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Q. When learning how to manage better, what is one resource an entrepreneur should utilize (ex: a book, website, course, etc.) to strengthen their management skills?

1. Read “A Year With Peter Drucker”

This fantastic book provides 52 weeks of coaching focused on driving effective leadership. From management to innovation, this read covers all the themes that Drucker identified as most important to leadership development. Our team at AirPR is currently reading a chapter per week and members take turns leading group discussions applying Drucker’s words to our business. — Sharam Fouladgar-Mercer, AirPR

2. Join or create a mastermind group

A mastermind group, as popularized by Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich,” can be tremendously helpful in improving one’s self. If you can surround yourself with a few peers facing similar challenges — ideally peers who are a step or two ahead of you, in this case — you can tap into a wealth of knowledge and experience. I’ve personally had opportunities to learn and improve through multiple groups. — Erik Reagan, Focus Lab LLC

3. Read “Mastering the Rockefeller Habits”

This book gives you a detailed guide on how to manage your entire business using a simplified plan and a set routine. In the startup world, routine and process is key to manage the endless fires that come up each day. In my previous startup, everyone in the company read this book and we standardized our goal setting and meeting schedule accordingly. — Faraz Khan, Go Direct Lead Generation

4. Write something

I was once an aspiring screenwriter in L.A. After going through that grinder and learning how to edit myself down to the comma, I never feared starting my own business. There’s nothing harder than bulletproofing a script, and those skills led me to pitch well and execute like an unpublished writer eager for a credit. We’re all selling a story. was my bible, and it still is. — Michael Portman, Birds Barbershop

5. Circulate surveys

I have implemented a “Rate Your Manager” survey, which employees complete anonymously. Each employee can rate and comment on their direct manager and their CEO. The anonymity allows subordinates to be honest and speak their mind without fear of retaliation. Then, each of my managers is encouraged to read the comments, analyze their statistics to see how they are doing, and spend time reflecting on the feedback. — Joshua Waldron, Silencerco LLC

6. Ask your employees

It’s hard being at the top. Getting candid feedback from your employees takes trust and time, so set the tone from the beginning. Employees need to know from day one that honest feedback is not only encouraged, it is required. There is no greater resource for improving your management skills than asking those who are affected by it — no book, website or course can beat that.— Alex Riley, MeritHall

7. Surround yourself with excellence

I find it invaluable to surround myself with friends and acquaintances who are excellent at a wide range of skills so that I am able to constantly learn from new and interesting perspectives. I set up my entire social structure to avoid mistakes before they happen. But when trouble arises — it always does — I am equipped with a group who is willing and capable of supporting and guiding me. — Dario Meli, Quietly

8. Get a leadership coach

There is a lot of leadership advice out there; some good, some trash. But nothing from a book or website will provide the customized advice each entrepreneur needs to thrive. I found the best way to grow as a manager was to put down the books and hire a leadership coach. Face-to-face personalized coaching and advice is powerful, and worth every dollar. — Joel Holland, VideoBlocks

9. Try StandOut

So much of management is about communication and listening — learning about yourself and the people around you. I use StandOut to inform others about my strengths and learn about theirs. StandOut unveils your top two strength roles and offers specific, practical ideas that leaders can use to lead, communicate with and manage others. — Brendon Schrader, Antenna

10. Listen to audiobooks

I once heard Brian Tracy refer to his car as a university on wheels. I have to agree, as I find that time spent in the car commuting to the office can be utilized best by listening and learning. You can download audiobooks from iTunes or Audible for under 10 bucks. Alternatively, consider borrowing audiobooks on CDs from your local library. — David Ciccarelli,

11. Become a Little League coach

Children have no filter and will rarely do something unless they want to. If you really want to motivate adults, you should try coaching children in a sport. They’ll tell you immediately if you’re being unkind, or if they just don’t care about what you’re saying. If you can stay with one team through an entire season, you’re ready to manage a team of adults. — Jared Brown, Hubstaff