Managing for Success distills the topics of hiring, staff motivation, enriching jobs, setting goals, delegation, coaching, decision making, conducting performance reviews, holding staff meetings, building trust, and others in a way that makes it feel like you have a friend with their arm around your shoulder trying to give you the advice that they had to learn the hard way. You can try and learn these principles yourself, and if you are lucky enough to survive in your new position long enough, you might pick up half of them.
There is even a section on "Managing Your Boss", which over the years I have found to be a skill that is mandatory for survival and sanity.
Having taught Business courses in high school for 7 years, this is the kind of book that I wish I had to point students to. I could have chucked half of the textbooks I used and just followed the topics and expanded upon them enough to insure that they grasped the concepts and practice them in different scenarios.
Managing for Success is a book that should be read by every business student in college. There are just some "real world" practices that your $200 textbook just won't cover. For example:
- "You must remove those who are a poor match for the positions they hold. This can be difficult, but without great people you cannot have a great department. If someone does not fit in and does not respond to coaching and training, the person needs to be replaced."
- "It is not wrong to lay off people who threaten the productivity and motivation of your department. If anything, it is unfair to leave these people in the dark about their weaknesses and allow them to stay in jobs where they are failing. Do not delay the firing, but be humane. Give them time off to look for another job, but set deadlines. Consider that you may be doing them a favor. People who do a poor job are probably a bad fit and will be much happier after they find a job better suited to their needs and capabilities."
So why does this book come with my highest recommendation? It is better to have a game plan and hope you don't run into the situation rather than run into the situation and have no game plan.
Invest in yourself, invest a little in this book - or you may not have to worry about being a manager long enough to worry about all of the things you wish you would have known going into the position!