Andy Kelk

Management and leadership resources : the big list

I often find myself talking to experienced and new managers about things I’ve read or heard. Of course I can never remember everything so this post aims to capture some of my “go-to” resources about management and leadership. This list is naturally skewed towards technical/software leadership but a lot of it crosses over into other domains too.

I’ll update this post as and when I read/listen to new things or remember things I’ve read before!


  • Behind Closed Doors – an excellent introductory text for people making their first steps into team leadership.
  • Peopleware – hard to believe this is almost 30 years old. So much good advice for all levels of leaders on software projects.
  • Management 3.0 – covers a wide range of management topics from an agile perspective.
  • Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us – fascinating studies and a strong message (autonomy, mastery, purpose). Also available as a 10 minute video for the time poor.
  • To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others – not as well known as Drive but as important in my view.
  • Turn the ship around – this works best for senior leaders but everyone will appreciate the brilliance of the Leader-Leader model.
  • What did you say? The art of giving and receiving feedback – probably one of the hardest things any manager has to do is give and receive feedback but it’s essential.
  • The Servant as Leader – the concept of servant leadership was coined by Greenleaf 45 years ago but it’s as relevant now as it was then. This essay is available as a free pdf.
  • Tribal Leadership – another book that senior leaders should read. It’s very easy to follow in its progression through the five stages of tribal culture.
  • Five dysfunctions of a team – while the story in this book focuses on a C-suite, the same principles can apply to any leadership team. The model is a good one to diagnose a dysfunctional leadership team.
  • The No Asshole Rule – having a civilised workplace would be a given, you’d hope. But, as Bob Sutton shows, that’s not the case. A great case for fixing toxic environments.
  • Basically anything listed on the Luna MBA list. This one will keep you going for a long time.

Specific posts/articles

Blogs (general)

  • Rands – otherwise known as Michael Lopp (currently head of engineering at Pinterest).
  • – the blog of Jurgen Appelo (author of Management 3.0)
  • Managing Product Development – Johanna Rothman’s blog covers a wide spectrum of topics of interest to those developing software products.
  • Lindsay Holmwood – an engineering manager and organiser of DevOps events from Sydney, Australia.
  • Kylie Hunt – wants to be a Chief Happiness Officer and writes about making great workplaces.


  • Rich Rogers – leads engineering at Hitachi Data Systems. Often posts great articles on engineering leadership.
  • Steve Hayes – co-founder of Cogent, agile advocate and provider of great tweets.
  • David Marquet – author (see book section, above), former submarine captain and inspiration.
  • Bob Sutton – author (see book section, above) and professor at Stanford.
  • Dr Jason Fox – expert on motivation and also very amusing.
  • Jason Yip – Agile Coach at Spotify; like standing in front of a firehose of interesting content.
  • Nigel Dalton – a lot of what I read came directly or indirectly from Nigel.
  • Esther Derby – expert on organisations and how they work (or don’t).
  • Johanna Rothman – management guru and author.


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