Employee Motivation

The New Manager Gift Guide

6 min read

Unique gift ideas to help new managers hit the ground running, destress when things feel frenzied and smoothly transition into people leadership.

Your colleague/friend/employee has just been promoted into their first manager role and you’re looking for the perfect gift that they’ll actually use. Just in time for the holiday season, we’ve put together the ultimate guide of gifts for new managers complete with books, gift cards, subscriptions and desk swag.

Books

7 books on management that are especially valuable for first-time managers tackling things like giving hard feedback, creating psychological safety on your team and goal-setting.

Managing Oneself

Peter F. Drucker

Before you manage other people, think about how you manage yourself. Peter F. Drucker’s book is chock full of insights into how to take charge of your own career path first. A must-read for new and seasoned managers.

“One should waste as little effort as possible on improving areas of low competence. It takes far more energy and work to improve from incompetence to mediocrity than it takes to improve from first-rate performance to excellence.”

Peter F. Drucker, Managing Oneself

High Output Management

Andrew S. Grove

Andrew Grove’s book is laser-focused on building high performing teams. You can find advice and tools on everything from giving feedback to managing one-on-one meetings in High Output Management.

 “The single most important resource that we allocate from one day to the next is our own time.”

Andrew S. Grove, High Output Management

Radical Candor

Kim Scott

Radical Candor provides a simple framework for being a good manager: To be a good manager, you have to care personally and challenge directly. The book is heavily focused on how practicing radical candor will help you manage your team and specifically give your team feedback.

“Make sure that you are seeing each person on your team with fresh eyes every day. People evolve, and so your relationships must evolve with them. Care personally; don’t put people in boxes and leave them there.”

Kim Scott, Radical Candor

The New One Minute Manager

Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson

The New One Minute Manager is a revision of the original The One Minute Manager that has been updated to reflect new challenges of the modern workplace. Told as a story, and totalling 112 pages, it’s an easy and inspiring read on how to approach managing teams.

“Praising people doesn’t always work if it isn’t combined with Re-Directs to correct mistakes when they occur.”

Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson, The New One Minute Manager

Measure What Matters

John Doerr

This book has everything you need to set goals with your team. It dives deep into the OKR goal setting technique and shows how it has been implemented at companies like Google, Intel and more.

“Contributors are most engaged when they can actually see how their work contributes to the company’s success. Quarter to quarter, day to day, they look for tangible measures of their achievement. Extrinsic rewards—the year-end bonus check—merely validate what they already know. OKRs speak to something more powerful, the intrinsic value of the work itself.”

JOHN DOERR, Measure What Matters

The Culture Code

Daniel Coyle

Daniel Coyle digs into some of the world’s leading companies and shows what makes their culture unique.

“While successful culture can look and feel like magic, the truth is that it’s not. Culture is a set of living relationships working toward a shared goal. It’s not something you are. It’s something you do.”

Daniel Coyle, The Culture Code

The ONE Thing

Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

The ONE Thing is all about focus. Cut through the noise, the clutter of both daily life and work to focus on one thing you can do differently to achieve your goals. While it may be marketed as a self-help book, it’s really a guide on how to do more with less.

“Extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow you can make your focus … when you spread yourself out, you end up spread thin.”

Gary Keller and Jay Papasan, The ONE Thing

Gift Cards and Subscriptions

Transitioning into a management role is tough. You’re constantly wondering “am I doing this right?” or “do they like me?” These un-traditional subscriptions and gift cards will help de-stress, caffein-ate and delight new managers.

Headspace

Guided daily meditation that will help managers decompress, de-stress and focus.

Driftaway Coffee

A coffee subscription service that can be delivered weekly, bi-weekly or monthly for that extra pep in your step.

Book of the month club

5 featured books every month to choose from and pick the one you like the most to have it delivered right to your door. The perfect gift for that manager bookworm in your life.

Zeel

For those extra tense days, order a massage…literally to your door.

MindBody

Every health and wellness service under the sun, from yoga to hair styling you can book it through MindBody.

Amazon

If you’re stumped, you can never go wrong with an Amazon gift card.

Desk swag

New role usually means a new workspace. What better way to kickoff a new job than with some new desk swag?


Learning to juggle managing a team with individual contributor responsibilities take time, training and tools. Whether you’re buying for a friend, colleague or employee, the best thing you can give them? Support (and SoapBox of course 😉).