The New Manager's Handbook (Mighty Manager)
by Morey Stettner
McGraw Hill, 128 pages, $11.01
Becoming a new manager brings a whole new set of responsibilities and challenges. You may be symbolically given keys to unlock the higher potential in your employees, but you would be better off being given a copy of The New Manager's Handbook. Stettner is quick to note that your success will be judged by the performance of others, and his strategies for getting the best out of them are direct and to the point. There are 24 lessons here devoted to honing your managerial skills and forging productive relationships with employees that speak to new managers as well as seasoned ones.
According to Stettner, "Because it's common for rookie managers to want to be liked by their troops, they may shy away from pointing out work-related defects or concerns about an individual's effort or attitude." His remedy? Get over it. Your employees thirst for input and the only way to guide them to improve is to be upfront about your expectations and their performance. The chapter on "Delegation" notes that true delegation involves giving someone the responsibility and the authority to do something that's normally part of your job. That means, above all, you have to have faith in your team.
Communication is at the core of the majority of the problems and the pointers given for solving them. The section on "Preparing Employees for Change" is especially relevant in today's rapidly shifting workplace. Stettner writes about cooperating with rather than competing with employees and the best way to establish a dynamic based on mutual respect. His philosophy in a nutshell is that a supervisor's people skills usually trump nuts and bolts knowledge. In addition, there are sections devoted to interacting with your new bosses and the unique pitfalls to avoid.
Stettner writes "You've been promoted to manager because you've done a great job and shown that you have a thorough understanding of your firm's products, services, and processes." It's your job to impart this to your workforce. New supervisors are bound to make mistakes and The New Manager's Handbook takes this into account. But it also takes the time to examine these mistakes and how to avoid them in the future. New managers and experienced ones looking to develop their styles to jell with today's workers will appreciate this lucid, concise handbook.