What To Do when You Become the Boss

What To Do when You Become the Boss by Bob Selden is a practical, step by step guide on how to survive the transition from employee to someone others report to. These types of books by their nature often have to make assumptions about your learning style and the situation you're in. Bob really does go above and beyond by trying to have his book meet all needs. To begin with, he has you determine if you are an activist, pragmatist, theorist or reflective learning style. He then gives you a step by step guide on how to "hop chapters" to find the information you most need.

I admit that I would find it very hard to jump around - I wanted to start from the beginning and read through chapter by chapter. But maybe that's just an indication of my personal style. Maybe someone else would really enjoy the chapter leaping :)

Bob says that you need to balance leading, managing and operating. Leaders don't just "happen" - they need to be *chosen*. I.e. if your followers are unwilling to follow you, then you really aren't a leader. A leader needs to help his followers understand their tasks, provide direction provide belief in what they're doing and help enable them. Bob also comments that leading is path finding, while managing is path minding.

Bob talks about these generalities - but he also gets down to specifics as well to help you in each area. He recommends you find concrete, specific things to praise your employees for - they appreciate this much more than one might imagine. Also, when discussing problems, avoid the word "but". Also avoid the word "you". Phrase things with "I" - such as "I was disappointed in the quarterly report, and I think together we can find a way to improve this." Always discuss the ACTION that needs to be fixed - not the person.

Other specific suggestions really do seem helpful. He suggests setting Outlook to open to the task view - not to email which might distract you from your tasks. He suggests turning off the pop-up reminders of new mail and the associated sounds. That being said, he talks about only checking on mail for a brief time in the afternoon. I would never survive managing my web businesses if I ignored my mail all morning long :)

Finally I did find it a little annoying when he constantly recommends you buy copies of the book for friends and family and discuss the book with them. Talk about viral marketing! If you have the book you've probably already bought one copy. Now he's telling you to go out and triple his sales by yourself? That just seemed wrong to me.

Still, there's a lot of great information in here, and rather than buying a copy for a friend, I'm going to give them MY copy :)

Buy What To Do when You Become the Boss from Amazon.com

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