The First Book of Management

The top ten things that every manager needs to know about managing people in the real world.

I wrote this little book out of frustration with The One Minute Manager, which is OK, in fact great in parts, but could have been so much greater. What is needed is a small, easy-to-read and quick-to read book for busy managers which tell them, without diagrams etc but just in simple vivid stories, what management is all about. As far as I know no such book exists – until now anyway!

So I decided what the top ten management rules should be, and then wrote down a story to illustrate how I learned each one. All of the stories are true, and even the names are unchanged – except for Stan, who I think might sue me if he read about himself!

This book contains all the things that I wish I had known when I started out as a manager - and all the things I used to wish that my bosses had known about too. Each chapter contains one big idea, simple to understand, harder to do, but not difficult with practice. Of course there will always be more to learn, but if you just do what is written in these 50 pages you’ll be in the top 1% of managers. And the good news is that it’s not that hard.

So who am I to claim that I know all this stuff? Some of the chapters are about mistakes I made - you can learn a lot from your mistakes - while some are about things I did that worked - these are worth noting, since the difference between skill and luck is knowing what you did right, so you can repeat it. I was never perfect, and neither will you ever be, but we can all try to move towards getting most of it right most of the time.

Originally written about experiences in manufacturing, I have changed some of the situations in order to make them a bit more office-based and service-sector based, but of course if one of the chapters is about a different type of job to yours you should still be thinking “Does the underlying message still apply to me?” I bet it does!

I wish I could say that I’ve had lots of positive role models, but unfortunately I’ve had mostly bad bosses (I guess this is true of most people) but at least you can still learn from them: “I’ll never do it THAT way when I’m the boss!”. So I can at least say thanks to Stan ‘Old Rocks’ ‘Large Size’ for showing me how NOT to do it, as well as being the final straw that made me leave manufacturing for ever and therefore discover Management Training, which is my true vocation (if you feel you haven’t yet found your true vocation, the job you were born to do, then you MUST keep on looking, because it’s out there somewhere. It may not be as well paid, but life’s too short to waste years stewing and stagnating unhappily, and anyway when you’re doing the you love you tend to do it really well, so the money probably will follow).

I now run training courses nearly every day, and it’s fun. Not everyone’s ideal job, since you have to be 100% energy all the time, and you have to be a strange mixture of very organised and a confident improviser.

So why don’t all managers do it right? My belief is that they forget to. They don’t think about management as an important process in itself, and they become too busy making decisions or getting emotional or being tough or being distracted by politics or getting involved in the detail. They forget what they are really there for. In chapter 1, called “The Captain Of The Ship” we’ll see what managers are really for.

So here’s my little book of management – I hope you like it. OK - let’s get started. I hope you like Chapter 1!
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Contents
Chapter 1   - The Captain Of The Ship
Chapter 2   - Wandering About
Chapter 3   – Difficult Jack
Chapter 4   - Dr. Evil
Chapter 5   - Knowledge is Power
Chapter 6   - Destruction
Chapter 7   - A real friend
Chapter 8   - Teams from Hell
Chapter 9   - Dangerous Roy
Chapter 10 - Bob vs. Bob
Chapter 11 - Own Goals