Five books every facility manager should read

by Micah Jacob
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Books every facility manager should read

From putting out spot fires to managing contractors, dealing with life-threatening incidents or complex compliance issues, a day in the life of a facility manager is never dull. Unfortunately, this sometimes means less time for personal development and reflection.

Micah Jacob, a senior facilities manager for CBRE, takes us through his top five books to help enhance the technological know-how, understanding of psychology and communication skills of the facility manager.

1. The Facility Management Handbook (Third Edition) – David G. Cotts, Kathy O. Roper and Richard P. Payant

This book provides a basic overview of life in facilities management covering topics such as finance, people and asset management. Reading it lays steady groundwork for the facility manager to hone in on certain skills and develop them further.

2. Structures Or Why Things Don’t Fall Down – J.E. Gordon

The built environment is made up of thousands of small structures. A basic understanding of these intricate materials and their interconnectedness is essential for the facility manager. Said to be one of the books that inspired Elon Musk, Structures Or Why Things Don’t Fall Down offers readers great detail on material science, biomechanics and structural design.

3. Life 3.0 – Max Tegmark

Machine learning and artificial intelligence is touching literally every sphere of human life, and this book depicts the true extent of the impact these new technologies will have. It’s critical for facility managers to be fully aware of how to effectively use these technologies to their advantage. Reading Life 3.0 will help them do just that.

4. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Often charged with conflicting high-priority tasks, the facility manager is expected to have to operate with a high IQ (intelligence quotient) and EQ (emotional quotient). Facility managers should not only understand their mental state at any given point, but also learn how to optimise it to operate at a higher level of consciousness – and consequently deliver better results.

5. How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie

Written in 1936, this book revolutionised the ideas behind self-help/self-improvement and people skills. Since the business of facilities management is centered around dealing with people at multiple levels, a facility manager should understand people’s needs and deliver accordingly. How to Win Friends and Influence People provides a basic but effective understanding of the human psyche.

Learn more about Jacob’s approach to facilities management in his interview with FM last month.

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