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Becoming A Better Boss: Why Good Management is So Difficult

Book Description

An employee's-eye view of what makes a great boss—and how you can become one

Whereas most books on managing people approach the subject from the perspective of a manager of an idealised organisation, Becoming a Better Boss takes a real-world approach, looking at the topic from the perspective of an employee in a real-world organisation—dysfunctions, warts, and all. Focusing on the choices individual employees make every day in getting work done, this book reinvents the practice of management one employee at a time.

Author Julian Birkinshaw stresses the importance of taking management seriously, reveals where management practice often goes wrong, and dives deeply into the worldview of employees. He then explores the common personal biases and frailties of managers and discusses the vital importance of experimentation to overcome the limitations and idiosyncrasies of a particular organisation. Throughout, he supports his assertions with case studies from a wide and varying range of management experiments and situations at real companies.

  • Written by a leading authority on strategy, management, and innovation who is also the author of eleven books, including Reinventing Management

  • Introduces a new approach to management focused on real employees and actual situations

  • Includes case studies from real organisations

Between the stress of deadlines and the demands of today's business environment, it's easy for managers to lose sight of the importance of people management. Becoming a Better Boss not only shows managers how to lead effectively, but why doing so is vitally important to every organisation's success.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Praise for Becoming a Better Boss
  3. Title page
  4. Copyright page
  5. Dedication
  6. Online Self-Assessment
  7. Preface
  8. Acknowledgments
  9. Introduction
    1. Building A Better Business
    2. The Way Forward
    3. Who Is the Book for?
  10. 1: Why Management Matters
    1. Drivers of Corporate Performance
    2. Quality of Life Considerations
    3. The Rhetoric–Reality Gap
    4. Explaining The Puzzle
    5. Why Companies Struggle to Change
    6. Why Individual Managers Struggle to Change
  11. 2: So What Is Good Management Really?
    1. Management and Leadership
    2. Bosses We Love to Hate
    3. What Makes a Good Manager? Insights from the Survey
    4. Another Perspective: Insights from Seminar Discussions
    5. The Rhetoric and The Reality
  12. 3: Getting inside the Minds of Your Employees: What Makes them Tick?
    1. Getting inside the Mind of The Employee
    2. Identity
    3. Motivations
    4. Fears
    5. Strengths
    6. So What does an Employee's Eye-View Tell us?
  13. 4: Seeing The World Through The Eyes of Your Employees
    1. Putting Yourself in Their Shoes
    2. Lessons from Marketing
    3. Cut Through the Hierarchy to Build Employee Insight
    4. Individualizing the Employee Proposition
    5. Managing the Employee Experience
    6. Turning Employees Into Advocates
    7. Thinking Like a Marketer
  14. 5: Doing What We Know We Should: Managing As an Unnatural Act
    1. Doing What We Know We Should
    2. Why Do We Behave the Way We Do?
    3. Letting Go: Why is it Difficult?
    4. Letting Go: Some Advice On Doing it Better
    5. Giving Credit to Others: Why Is It So Difficult?
    6. Giving Credit to Others: Some Advice On Doing It Better
    7. Self-Control: Why Is It So Difficult?
    8. Self-Control: Some Advice On Doing It Better
    9. Overcoming Our Natural Instincts
  15. 6: Experimentation: Functioning in a Broken System
    1. Understanding Bureaucracy – and Rising Above It
    2. Take Personal Initiative – To Overcome Political Game-Playing
    3. Challenge The Rules – To Overcome Inert Procedures
    4. Making Your Experiments Stick
    5. Making The Best of an Imperfect World
  16. 7: The Future of Management?
    1. Forces that Shape Our Choice of Management Model
    2. Technological Change: Web 2.0
    3. Social Changes: Generation Y and Transparency
    4. Economic and Political Changes: The Shift from West to East
    5. Conclusion: Making the Right Choices
  17. Index