The Effective Manager: Second Edition

Completely Revised and Updated

Authors: Mark Horstman, Kate Braun, Sarah Sentes

The Effective Manager by Mark Horstman is a practical guide to great management at every level. Based on the author’s experience and the world’s number-one business podcast, Manager Tools, the book teaches four critical behaviors and four major tools that every manager should use. Here are some of the main concepts presented in the book:

  • One-on-ones: A weekly 30-minute meeting with each direct report to build trust, communication, and performance. The agenda is simple: 10 minutes for the direct report, 10 minutes for the manager, and 10 minutes for coaching or feedback.
  • Feedback: A way to communicate how the direct report’s behavior affects the team’s results. The feedback model is: ask, tell, encourage or discourage. For example: “Can I give you some feedback? When you deliver your reports on time, it makes our team look more professional. Keep it up.”
  • Coaching: A process to help the direct report improve their skills and achieve their goals. The coaching model is: collaborate, ask, tell, commit. For example: “Let’s talk about your goal of becoming a senior analyst. What are some of the skills you need to develop? How can I help you with that? What are you going to do next? When can we follow up on your progress?”
  • Delegation: A technique to assign tasks and responsibilities to the direct report, while maintaining accountability and quality. The delegation model is: describe, clarify, confirm, monitor. For example: “I need you to prepare a presentation for the client meeting next week. It should include the following points: … Do you have any questions? What are the next steps? How will I know you’re on track?”

The best about this books is, that it provides step by step explanation of what to do, how to start, etc. Especially as new people manager, you just might not know what might work and what might not - here you will find it. There are things that hit me by it’s simplicity, for example: as a leader you’re not a part of the team - you can impact how much people earn or fire them, it’s not equal partnership and they know it. It’s straight, simple and honest. That’s how you also feel about your boss. You might be in good relations, but there still will be things you won’t say your boss. Remember about it sitting on the other side and don’t be naive expecting that people will ignore your recent promotion. It might take some time, but they will figure it out.

Second edition have some updates, especially on the remote work. Must have if you manage people!