Why should anyone be led by you

The book's title definitely plays on a manager's fears. Rather than saying "top 10 tips for being a great manager", it is poking at you - "why should anyone be led by YOU?" I'm not a great fan of fear-mongering. So what advice do they offer?

Led by you You could say that much of this advice is offered in similar management books. You need to understand the people you work with - what motivates them. If someone is quiet, you need to find quiet things for them to do, rather than force them to be a cheerleader where they are likely to fail. Your techniques must be situational. What works well in a room of 500 high powered salespeople probably won't work in a group of 5 quiet engineers. You need to be very aware of those nuances and adjust your pattern accordingly.

You need to be authentic. You must really believe in what you're saying, and work at something you honestly trust in and enjoy. People can sense inauthentic behavior. If you are working somewhere you hate, it is better to find a new job than to "trick" people into promoting a system you do not like.

You cannot try to be perfect. Nobody IS perfect and people will realize that right away. If you don't know an answer, admit it. People will accept it. If you always forget names, admit to it. People will like you more for "being human" and accept the fault as a cute one. The more you try to hide faults, the more you are known as a deceptive liar.

That's not to say you should not improve yourself. If you have a legitimate "problem" fault like not understanding the core business model, you should strive hard to get better. If you need help, ask for it. People will be more than willing to help you succeed if you are honest about it.

As a manager you should be respected - but not necessarily liked. This is hard for many managers. You need to be able to convey why things need to be done but in the end they DO need to be done. Some people who do not want to do the work will simply not like this. You need to accept that and move on. It's not easy, but it's part of being a manager.

My issues with the book is that it is very dryly written. It is almost a struggle to plow through the information, much of which is given over and over again. They give examples but many times it's like reading a history book vs an engaging story.

I also find some of their examples not ones I would believe in. They complain that a senior executive could lose respect for taking a high salary. I feel if someone has been working 30 or 40 years and is offered a high salary at a job they like, why would they refuse it?? That makes no sense to me.

They also talk several times about a pair of co-workers who are told to work on a project. That night there is a corporate social event which the co-workers go to. The boss walks up to them - IN PUBLIC - and yells at them for being there!! That strikes me as INCREDIBLY inappropriate. They were told to work on something. They are going to work on it! To humiliate them and take away their rest / down time is not a path to healthy long term employees.

That being said, there are some good points in here, and if a manager hasn't figured out some of these ideas, this could help them get started in the right direction. Maybe some people handle dry tomes better than they handle touchy-feely books. If that's the case, then this is the book for you. Just use your own wisdom when absorbing what they right, and realize that not every thing they say is wise for your situation.

Buy Why Should Anyone be Led by You? from amazon.com

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