“This is the best management book I’ve ever read. Here’s why.
It seems like a lot of management books are either heavy on theory, or heavy on practicalities. That’s probably because most people are talented on the describing side of the street (declarative knowledge), or they are talented on the performing side of the street (procedural knowledge). It’s rare to find someone who can work both sides of the street. Dave Rohlander (who has an MBA) has pulled off the trick of painting the big theoretical picture and then integrating that with the nitty-gritty details of how to get things done, resulting in a whole, functioning management system.
For example, making a general statement, Dave says that a good leader is a good listener. Fine. We have all heard that. But what does that translate into practically speaking? Dave tells us in six simple examples, such as asking employees, “How could we make the system simpler and still maintain or improve quality?” As another example, he suggests we should “hire the best and brightest” to staff our organizations. Again, fine. But Dave then funnels down from that generality into a whole series of savvy practicalities, such as for a sales position: 1) use assessments to get a comparable baseline for each candidate, 2) have candidates role-play their potential job, 3) hand them your pen and have them sell you your pen, 4) grade them on their attitude, adaptability, sensitivity, and anything else you think is important, 5) take them out on an actual sales call or networking event and observe their interactive style. He even provides lists of sharply-focused interview questions and a system for rating the answers.
Management Skills is like that all the way through. Like a good mentor, it walks the novice manager through the management forest, showing the lay of the land, and then points out the critical trees as well. For the experienced manager, Management Skills could serve as a useful summary and reminder. Mr. Rohlander has provided us with a strong and reliable guide to what, in some ways, is the most important profession in the world.” – Steve Davidson, PhD
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