Genre : Business & Investing
Author : Nick McCormick
15 Successful Strategies for Becoming a Good Manager
McCormick has created a brilliant little management handbook here that is a perfect desk mate of any manager or want to be manager. He truly understands the problems with “typical” management and he offers a superb collection of steps and ways to turn yourself into a good manager. His theory behind what at first seems to be weak, that of just a “good” manager is that being a good manager is FAR more than what is typical in today’s workplace so comparatively, good is definitely good enough and will do you well to strive even for that. There isn’t any need to be a great manager because there is such a gap between the good and typical already that first gap is the important one. The book is nice and short and can be read in about an hour. It’s illustrated by Mark Morgan with a number of office cartoons that demonstrate typical behavior and thoughts that represent the gap that is often between a manager and a direct report. They are quite amusing and add some good humor to what otherwise is a more serious topic.
The 15 steps outlined (which are also the 15 short chapters of the book) are:
- Adopt a Serving Attitude
- Provide Honest and Timely Feedback
- Share Information
- Treat People Like Human Beings
- Set Goals, Plan, and Execute
- Do the Right Thing
- Embrace the Uncomfortable
- Clean Up Your Own House First
- Do What You Say You’ll Do
- Always Follow Up
- Plan Your Week
These steps cover all aspects of management and McCormick captures them into a set of steps and things you can actually do. I think the book is also valuable to any leader and even just for life tips as you can see, the steps listed are useful for relationships and other areas of life outside of work and management. The focus in the book however, is still certainly for managers. As I mentioned, the subtitle for becoming good manager is an understatement. Anyone who does all of these steps and does them well is going to be a great manager. None of them are easy, but they are all effective and are required at least at some level to be a good manager.
I particularly love how McCormick focuses so many areas on the fact that you are serving others as a manager and that your directs are real people, with real feelings and their own minds. They aren’t robots, shouldn’t be treated like a possession and that you will only succeed as a manager through the work of those people you work for (yes, you do work for them as a manager)! One other thing I really like that’s in the book is a 31 question survey to measure if you’re a good manager. I did well on that but it also pointed out a few areas I can focus on to improve. I’ve decided that each month, I will make sure to take on one of those questions I don’t yet do and make it happen that month. I plan to get to the point where I can honestly answer yes to all the questions about being a good manager and the book is definitely an excellent guide to help understand how to do that.
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