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Monday, 26 May 2008 07:49

Lead Well and Prosper

Written by  Elizabeth Harrin
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Could you be a better manager?  Elizabeth Harrin reviews Nick McCormick's latest book, packed with hints about how to work with your teams more effectively. Lead Well and Prosper by Nick McCormick is an easy read.  I got through it in a couple of tube trips: it’s small enough to carry around.  The print is quite large, so it’s easy on the eyes in the dim light of underground public transport.  That said, it’s not lightweight in content. 

The strapline is ’15 Successful Strategies for Becoming a Good Manager’.  The premise is that there are so many bad managers around that it doesn’t take much to be good.  In fact, the publisher is actually called Be Good Publishing. 

The fifteen strategies, like so much in the office, are not rocket science.  But we do often forget the little things.  I read through the book and yes, I do always share information (Strategy 4).  And then I realised that some minutes from another team were still sitting in my inbox and I hadn’t passed them along to my team.  Not that they are particularly interesting – not to me anyway.  But there isn’t any reason not to share them, and someone in my team might find them relevant, so I should circulate them.  I’ll stick that on my list of things to do this week (which is part of Strategy 15: Plan Your Week).

It is designed for people who have people directly working for them and that doesn’t happen much in project management.  However, there is a lot of good stuff in here relevant to managing virtual teams.  Projects are all about getting things done through other people, so if you work more effectively with those people, you are more likely to get the results you want.  Things like doing what you say you’ll do (Strategy 13) and handling difficult tasks (Strategy 10) are good practice whatever kind of team you lead.

Each short chapter starts with a little sketch from Joe Kerr, the manager, and Wanda B. Goode, one of his employees (see what McCormick has done there?).  When I opened the book I thought I was going to be in for an all-American back-slapping and punch-the-air kind of read.  But it’s not like that.  The characters aren’t annoying at all and they do help you see how miscommunication and lack of action results in poor performance.  And they show that it isn’t that hard to actually make a few changes and do things better.

Each chapter ends with a list of things to do, things not to do, and actions.  This makes fifteen boxes of information so they have been consolidated into three lists at the end of the book.  There is also a sample action plan and a sample week planner too.

The best thing is the management test – it’s Appendix F in the book but you can also do it online .  Have a go and see how good you really are.

  • Nick McCormick:  Lead Well and Prosper: 15 successful strategies for becoming a good manager
  • Be Good Publishing, 93pp, softbound, $14.95

Elizabeth Harrin lives and works in London, England, and is the author of Project Management in the Real World (BCS Books), a case-study based analysis of techniques that can be applied by the time-starved professional to help effectively implement change. She also writes the irreverent blog A Girl’s Guide to Project Management .

Read 5118 times Last modified on Sunday, 13 December 2009 17:38
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