Author Topic: Management 101 - recommendations?  (Read 3324 times)

milliemchi

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Management 101 - recommendations?
« on: March 30, 2016, 06:33:13 PM »
Hi guys,

I have read the Idiot's Guide to Management many years ago, and liked the book, but I don't have it around any more. Do any of you have recommendations for a basic, entry-level guide to management? Should I stick with the 'Idiot's Guide' or 'for Dummies' series?

I will be responsible for some serious reorganization in a unit I joined six months ago (in a technical position, now upgraded), so I will need some skills.  I currently have no experience in managing people, and the timeline is short - we'll have our first organizational meeting in a week. Only 4 people are affected, and only 2 in a big way. All the changes we need to make are ultimately benefiting these two by keeping their jobs secure, but I need to be able to help them see the light (as much as possible), rather than shoving changes down their throats.

I'm looking for quick reads right now.  But do let me know if you have a recommendation that might require a slower reading. I'll just put it on the list for later. I expect to be in this position for a while.

Thanks!

Drifterrider

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Re: Management 101 - recommendations?
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2016, 06:03:31 AM »
Hi guys,

I  I currently have no experience in managing people, and the timeline is short - we'll have our first organizational meeting in a week.

First to remember:  You lead people, you manage resources (finances, etc). 

NoStacheOhio

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Re: Management 101 - recommendations?
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2016, 07:08:43 AM »

neo von retorch

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Re: Management 101 - recommendations?
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2016, 08:13:59 AM »
I'd check out First, Break All The Rules by Marcus Buckingham (and the Gallup Organization) for a really enlightening read. Based on 25 years and interviews with 80,000 managers and many, many more employees.

JordanOfGilead

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Re: Management 101 - recommendations?
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2016, 08:50:27 AM »
A few general rules of leadership that have been passed to me and are a shorter read than a book:
1) Never ask anybody to do something you're not willing to do yourself
2) People first, mission always
3) Be sure to explain why changes are being made in terms that make sense to your people
4) Have an open-door policy and, especially important for somebody new to a leadership role, encourage constructive feedback from your subordinates.

ShortInSeattle

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Re: Management 101 - recommendations?
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2016, 09:19:55 AM »
Yes. Here are some books for 101 level:

The One-Minute-Manager series.
The Leadership Challenge
How to Win Friends and Influence People
Your First 90 Days

There are tons of great books about theory but these ones focus on practicalities for the most part.

milliemchi

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Re: Management 101 - recommendations?
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2016, 09:24:28 AM »
First to remember:  You lead people, you manage resources (finances, etc).
Yes, yes. That's why I need to read up a bit, to get in the right mindset.

A few general rules of leadership that have been passed to me and are a shorter read than a book:
1) Never ask anybody to do something you're not willing to do yourself
2) People first, mission always
3) Be sure to explain why changes are being made in terms that make sense to your people
4) Have an open-door policy and, especially important for somebody new to a leadership role, encourage constructive feedback from your subordinates.
I'm on board with these suggestions, which I think are great. I have just noticed over the years that I am willing to do a great many things that others are not. In addition, the two people that will be most affected have been essentially without supervision or accountability for 10 years, and we think their work ethic has deteriorated accordingly. I'm not calling them lazy, I think that would happen to anyone when there is no incentive to exert yourself for that long. But some push-back is to be expected, and I'd like to handle it as best as I can.

Check out http://randsinrepose.com/
Is there any specific post on that blog that you recommend? The current post did not seem relevant, and I scrolled through the archives, and none of the titles jumped at me.

I'd check out First, Break All The Rules by Marcus Buckingham (and the Gallup Organization) for a really enlightening read.
I checked it out on Amazon, and it seems like a great book for slow, thoughtful reading. I'm putting it on my reading list.


ShortInSeattle, thanks so much! I've already read 'How to win friends...' and thought it a great book.

NoStacheOhio

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Re: Management 101 - recommendations?
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2016, 09:29:54 AM »

Check out http://randsinrepose.com/
Is there any specific post on that blog that you recommend? The current post did not seem relevant, and I scrolled through the archives, and none of the titles jumped at me.


Just peruse, the titles can be a little indirect sometimes, but he has a ton of experience leading teams of software engineers.

milliemchi

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Re: Management 101 - recommendations?
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2016, 10:02:02 AM »
^^^^^
This

Start with Your First 90 Days.

Thanks. Is this the "Your First 90 Days as a Manager", by Cindy Flanders, or "The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter", by Michael D. Watkins? Or "The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels", by same Watkins?

Mustache_In_Training

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Re: Management 101 - recommendations?
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2016, 10:02:51 AM »
Hi There,

Figure I would chime in, I'm actually taking an Engineering Management class right now. The three required books for the class were:

Five Dysfunctions of a Team:  A Leadership Fable  (L)
Patrick Lencioni
Jossey-Bass, ISBN: 0-7879-6075-6

Feedback that works:  How to Build and Deliver Your Message (W)
Sloan R. Weitzel
Center for Creative Leadership,  ISBN: 978-1932973716

12: The Elements of Great Managing (W&H)
Rodd Wagner & James K. Harter
Gallup Press, ISBN: 978-1595629982

They're all pretty quick reads and I got a quite a bit out of each one. The book on feedback is super short (<30 pages) and I believe you might find a pdf online free of charge. The main emphasis of the class is communication and understanding differences in cultures, genders, etc. (i.e. Everyone is different) There's a lot of psychology behind being a good leader/manager.

Best of luck!

Axecleaver

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Re: Management 101 - recommendations?
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2016, 10:04:29 AM »
You're in a tough position, because the folks you'll be managing almost certainly do not want your involvement. In your spot I would prepare a 30/60/90 day plan for each of them. If you have a good idea about what they ought to be doing, write it up first and walk through it with them individually to tune it. If you don't know, you'll have to get them to prepare a first draft, but don't be surprised if they set the bar low for themselves. I would in their shoes.

Clarify with your management what your options are. Can you fire them? Put them on a performance improvement plan? Know what tools you have available from the beginning.

Business/Leadership/Management books - Separated into "Need to read it Now" and "Later."
Now
The Practice of Management and The Effective Executive, Drucker. You will keep coming back to this.
The 21 Laws of Leadership, Maxwell
Everything by Patrick Lencioni, especially _Three Signs of  a Miserable Job._ It's a management fable about the value of metrics. I know, sounds thrilling! It is. This book alone will make you a better manager given the immediate problem you have to solve.
One Minute Manager has some good basic concepts, and a simple approach to management that works.

Later
Good to Great and Built to Last, Jim Collins
How to Win Friends and Influence People, Carnegie
Drive, Dan Pink
Lots of stuff by Jack Welch. This might be a controversial recommendation, but Welch has a lot to teach in terms of accountability and building strong teams.

milliemchi

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Re: Management 101 - recommendations?
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2016, 10:29:39 AM »
It's not as bad as it sounds, because the people I need to get in order respond to a boss above me, too, and she can play the bad guy (that's her job, and she's pissed off anyway). In terms of what I can do, I can have them written up, and then they can be fired if they accumulate three of those in a given time period. But, I don't want to go that route, I hope to actually get some buy-in. If they don't make the changes, they will truly be out of a job after a few years, and they're not young guys who can easily land another job (specialized, licensed skill set, and an oversupply of new graduates). This is all for their good. For me it's a side gig, no big deal if the section goes belly up. (At least in the short term. In the long term, it would have given me some job security, but I can get that other ways.)
« Last Edit: March 31, 2016, 01:16:11 PM by milliemchi »