The Effective Manager
The Effective Manager is a hands-on practical guide to great management at every level. Written by the man behind Manager Tools, the world's number-one business podcast, this book distills the author's 25 years of management training expertise into clear, actionable steps to start taking today. First, you'll identify what "effective management" actually looks like: can you get the job done at a high level? Do you attract and retain top talent without burning them out? Then you'll dig into the four critical behaviors that make a manager great, and learn how to adjust your own behavior to be the leader your team needs. You'll learn the four major tools that should be a part of every manager's repertoire, how to use them, and even how to introduce them to the team in a productive, non-disruptive way.
Most management books are written for CEOs and geared toward improving corporate management, but this book is expressly aimed at managers of any levelwith a behavioral framework designed to be tailored to your team's specific needs.
- Understand your team's strengths, weaknesses, and goals in a meaningful way
- Stop limiting feedback to when something goes wrong
- Motivate your people to continuous improvement
- Spread the work around and let people stretch their skills
Effective managers are good at the job and "good at people." The key is combining those skills to foster your team's development, get better and better results, and maintain a culture of positive productivity. The Effective Manager shows you how to turn good into great with clear, actionable, expert guidance.
Introduction Who This Book Is for, What It’s about, and Why ix
About Manager Tools xii
A Note about Data xiii
A Note about Gender xiv
1 What Is an Effective Manager? 1
Your First Responsibility as a Manager Is to Achieve Results 2
Your Second Responsibility as a Manager Is to Retain Your People 4
The Definition of an Effective Manager Is One Who Gets Results and Keeps Her People 4
2 The Four Critical Behaviors 7
The First Critical Behavior: Get to Know Your People 8
The Second Critical Behavior: Communicate about Performance 17
The Third Critical Behavior: Ask for More 20
The Fourth Critical Behavior: Push Work Down 22
3 Teachable and Sustainable Tools 25
4 Know Your PeopleOne On Ones 37
30-Minute Meeting 46
With Each of Your Directs 48
The Manager Takes Notes 50
Where to Conduct One On Ones 54
5 Common Questions and Resistance to One On Ones 57
The Most Common Forms of One-On-One Pushback 57
Talking Too Much and Talking Too Little 68
Pushback on Note Taking 77
Can I Do One On Ones over the Phone? 79
Can I Be Friends with My Directs? 84
Can I Do One On Ones as a Project Manager? 92
6 How to Start Doing One On Ones 99
Choose Times from Your Calendar 99
Send Out a One-On-One E-mail Invitation 100
Allow for Possible Changes in the Near Future 101
Review Intent, Ground Rules, and O3 Agenda in Your Staff Meeting 101
Answer Questions 101
Conduct One On Ones Only for 12 Weeks 101
Don’t Rush to Get to Feedback! 102
Don’t Rush to Get to Negative Feedback 102
7 Talk about PerformanceFeedback 103
Encourage Effective Future Behavior 108
When Should I Give Feedback? 121
8 Common Questions and Resistance to Feedback 127
How Does It Sound? 127
The Capstone: Systemic Feedback 133
9 How to Start Delivering Feedback 141
Announce Your Intention in Your Weekly Staff Meeting 141
Schedule 30 Minutes for Your Briefing 142
Use Our Materials 142
Cover the Purpose of Feedback 142
Walk Them through Each Step of the Feedback Model 142
Give Only Positive Feedback for Eight Weeks 143
Add in Negative Feedback after Eight Weeks 144
Stay as Positive as You Can 144
10 Ask For MoreCoaching 147
Step 1: Collaborate to Set a Goal 149
Step 2: Collaborate to Brainstorm Resources 152
Step 3: Collaborate to Create a Plan 154
Step 4: The Direct Acts and Reports on the Plan 159
11 How to Start Coaching 163
12 Push Work DownDelegation 165
Why Delegation Is the SolutionThe Delegation Cascade 167
How to DelegateThe Manager Tools Delegation Model 173
13 Common Questions and Resistance to Delegation 179
What Should You Delegate? 179
What If a Direct Repeatedly Says No to Delegation Requests? 180
14 How to Start Delegating 183
MARK HORSTMAN is cofounder and managing partner of Manager Tools LLC, the producer of the #1 business podcast in the world, Manager Tools, which has been downloaded over 250 million times. Manager Tools coaches and trains managers, executives, and organizations on how to optimize the effectiveness of managers. It is a three-time recipient of the Business Podcast of the Year award.
"This book provides invaluable, actionable guidance for all managers. It will challenge some of the assumptions that you have about what makes an “Effective Manager”, and it will make you much more effective in your role. I say this with confidence, having followed much of the advice in this book for the past six years."
Marc Grainger, Managing Director, Human Resources, Credit Suisse
“I have first listened to Horstman’s advice in 2006. I have waited, thought about it, procrastinated, tried to find a catch, surrendered to my fears, hunted for the unclear, the over-simplification, any flaws. Eventually, when there were no excuses left and things at work still needed improvement, I began to focus on the 4 core management principles Horstman has established and did what he suggests. Very quickly, my team responded with thankfulness (!), and our results got better. “Know your people, talk about performance, ask for more, and push work down” is simply what you have to do if you want to call yourself a professional manager".
Dirk Boergers, Company Manager, Stage Entertainment Group Germany
"I was very fortunate to come across Manager Tools over 10 yrs. ago and I've continued to listen ever since. I've also attended the in-person training and have purchased multiple products...each has delivered value far in excess of its price. It's rare to find such specific, actionable, and effective guidance...and I usually find opportunities to apply this guidance within days!"
Graham Cochrane, Senior IT Manager, TD Bank Group
"The Effective Manager is one of those books that gets thicker over time through turned-down corners, paper-clipped pages and the addition of piles of sticky notes. There is advice for every conceivable issue that comes up in a workday, from how to improve project management by increasing team clarity to the minute details of creating agendas for meetings that work better and end earlier...The backbone of Manager Tools (one-on-ones, feedback, delegation and coaching) has already helped me work more effectively, which has been noticed by both executives and directs already, even in such a short period of time."
Ellen Honigstock, Director, Education Development, Urban Green Council of New York
"The application of Manager Tools guidance and principles are core to my success communicating with others and delivering the most value from my organization."
Paul M. Witt, Associate Director, The Dow Chemical Company
"Having been trained as a scientist, the Manager Tools as available via podcast and conference have always appealed to me for their rational construction and the analysis that accompanies their introduction. I am excited to have the basic tools available now in book form where they can also benefit people that are not listening to podcasts. When I am asked how I learned what I do, I will be referring people to this written version in the future!"
Rob Hooft, Manager, ELIXIR Netherlands
“The Effective Manager is a must read for every leader. I’ve been following the Manager Tools guidance for almost four years and have experienced a measurable increase in job performance and promotion frequency. This book would be a bargain at $10,000.”
Robert Greiner, Manager, Pariveda Solutions
"Mark Horstman's The Effective Manager represents best practices. Managers and organizations can and should adopt them with confidence. Mark provides a clear blueprint on how better relationships will drive better results. I know from direct experience they adopt very well in academic and non-profit environments, and I only wish I had adopted these practices twenty-five years ago when I started in industry. I will keep several copies on hand to give to colleagues."
The Rev. Raymond Bonwell, Director, Organizational Training & Development, The Board of Pensions of the Presbytarian Church
"The tools that Mark Horstman and his colleagues provide have been an integral part of my work for over the past decade as an executive in two separate mid-sized non-profit education organizations. All managers within my span of control regularly use the core elements of the Effective Manager Trinity. Their effect has been unequivocal-equipping managers to be more effective, ensuring employees have managers who engage in sound practice which allows them to better pursue their professional and personal aspirations, and, most critically, allowing my organization to better pursue our mission of educating children in a traditionally underserved community for college and a life of active citizenship. From beginning managers to experienced executives across non-profit and for-profit sectors, I would recommend the Effective Manager as the very first resource to use to help you and your organization improve. I could not recommend it more highly!"
Ronald C. Brady, Regional Director, Democracy Prep Public Schools
"One-on-Ones, Feedback, Coaching, and Delegation in action, are so effective at improving both results and retention. These tools have had an outsized positive impact on both my career and even on my general outlook on life. I can think of no better praise than to note how many times I find myself repeating Horstman's sayings, quips, and Laws, both at work and in my private life. If you want to lead employees who consistently outperform and who want to follow you through the rest of your career, the tools in this book are a foundation that will stand the test of time. They have for me."
Ari Mukamal, Director, Puerto Rico Pharmaceutical, Inc.
"I started listening to Manager Tools eight years ago when I was a direct in a team. After eight years I have been promoted into management, senior management, and finally into Directorship . This year I will become a Managing Director. The rapid advancement of my career is due to the implementation of the behaviors you will find in this book."
Stephen Robison, Associate Director, WYG
"The Effective Manager" will carve its niche among the myriad books on management available today because it truly dispels the myth that the ability to manage teams of people is something innate, something that you either have or don't have. This book restates those ideas and sets out succinctly those steps that, if practised in a disciplined fashion, will enable anyone to manage people effectively. There is nothing in here that hasn't been road tested by Mark and his team at Manager Tools over many years with the same, positive results. No piece of advice that is not actionable. If you follow the guidance in here with sincerity and discipline, you will become an effective manager. Actionable guidance for anyone. And that is what will make this book a classic."
Lee Cudmore, Legal & Commercial Manager, Khalifa A Algosaibi Group
"The methods I've learned from Manager Tools have been invaluable to my career as a professional manager. Their specific, actionable guidance has helped me to effectively lead teams of both technical and non-technical professionals, and I wouldn't be where I am today without them! The trilogy, and especially one on ones, are the simplest and most effective management tools around." Andy Sikich, Ruekert & Mielke, Inc.
"Before using Manager Tools, my one on ones were more manager-directed. Did I get across my message? Did I get the information I needed? By switching that mindset and committing to that time every week without change (95% of the time), my relationships with others changed dramatically. I still received the information I needed, but directs received the information they needed as well. I was able to allow more autonomy, and people felt more empowered. In addition, I've recently switched places in my organization, and former direct reports have told me how much they miss the one on ones. That's because of the MT structure, and allowing it to be their meeting, not mine. Thank you for helping me be a better manager."
Stan Ponder, Sr. Learning Technologist, Center for Learning Innovation
"I have followed the Manager Tools for a few years and it has provided me with the organizational understanding that I haven't been able to find anywhere else. The processes and tools that they outline have enabled me to grow my team, become a stronger leader and to further my relationships throughout my organization, at all levels. Much of what they teach could be considered common sense, but putting that common sense into practice is where most organizations have fallen short. Manager Tools provides a roadmap to execute this change which I would consider a "roadmap to excellence in management."
Philip Wenger, IT Manager, Husky Injection Molding Systems
"There has been no greater resource more responsible for my professional success than Manager-Tools. And I spent a lot of money on an MBA."
Jonathan Giglio, Project Manager, IBM
"Every day in every city across the world, lax management causes missed opportunities, creates delays and drives up costs. Skillful management is slowly but surely disappearing. No one teaches this stuff. Until now. This book opened my eyes to a wealth of untapped opportunities. All the recommendations are actionable. No other resource has been as valuable to me in my professional growth."
David Wood, Vice President of Engineering, Swisher International, Inc.
"Manager Tools has been part of my life every week for the past 6 years, be that thru podcasts or TITIT. A big thank you to Mark and the team, it’s helped and challenged me in equal measures to do the right things, at the right time to execute our strategies for the business. The advice is simple and straight forward and sits on your shoulder like a little man constantly reminding you how to perform at your best!"
Wayne Hollinshead, CEO, Pattonair
"If you are a new manager, new supervisor, or merely someone who aspires to become a manager, you must read this book. The guidance that the Manager Tools team provides will enable you to quickly build trust, navigate tricky situations, and set you apart from your peers. I directly contribute my own success as a manager and the strong performance of my teams to the common sense approach to management that I have learned from Manager Tools."
Kevin J. Cryblskey, Regional Manager, Operations, Enterprise Products Company
"There is no better management training than Manager-Tools! Believe me, I've looked...I've used their trinity as well as their hiring recommendations at both my ambulance service and in the hospital with great results. The information in the book is actionable and will tell you not only what to do but how to do it. Buy it today!"
Ryan D. Lybeck, Regional Emergency Management Specialist, Fairview Health Services
"The guidance delivered in The Effective Manager is the most actionable you will ever read. Mark and team consistently deliver not just what you need to do to be effective, but a step-by-step guide for HOW to do it. Few will argue with the premise that teams perform better when strong relationships exist between the team members and the manager. There are hundreds of books and thousands of articles supporting this claim. The burning question of ‘HOW do I build effective relationships with my directs?’ is not addressed adequately in any of these sources. Happy hours and taco Tuesdays are fun, but they won't get you where you need to be. The Effective Manager will give you step-by-step guidance on this and many other aspects of management that will make you much more effective." Dax Middlebrooks, Senior Manager, Supply Chain Murgers and Acquisitions, Halliburton
"As a new manager in 2014, Manager Tools was recommended to me by our Controller. The principles and guidance that I have learned and adopted have become an invaluable asset to my effectiveness as a manager and the success of my team within our organization. I have received many compliments from Senior Management about the effectiveness of my team since I have started using the Manager Tools Trinity. This book is a must-read for any potential, new, or experienced manager."
Tamara Hendricks, Accounts Payable Manager, Bodybuilding.com
"Mark is clear in what he recommends and his advice has a proven record of making managers, and their organisations, better. Drucker's advice is great for leaders. Horstman's tools are vital for managers."
Simon Collier, Manager, IT Solutions & Standards, University of Alberta
"If you're looking for a management resource that is tangible, practical, and actionable, you've found it with The Effective Executive. Having this material at hand is like spending hours with an extraordinary mentor. A word of caution: don't read this book if you're afraid of getting noticed. As you implement what you will learn your manager will be amazed, your co-workers inquisitive and your direct reports thankful."
Adam D. Stewart, Factory Manager, Raytheon Company
"The Effective Manager has been the Rosetta Stone of my management career. Putting this guidance into practice can truly take your management approach from middling to good or from good to world-class."
Andrew Farmer, Manager, PayPal Inc.
"The Effective Manager is the distillation of years of experience, speaking, writing, and podcasting into an information-rich but easily digestible format. From good relationships to getting results and retaining employees, Manager Tools gives every manager the playbook & actionable steps to be more effective than 97% of their peers. I recommend it without reservation."
Brian Baute, Chief Information Officer, Quens University of Charlotte
"This is a must read for both emerging and existing managers. The detailed and actionable guidance gives you step by step instructions on how to become more effective in your organisation. The information transcends generations, countries and cultures and is proven with years of data. Managing people is much easier and more effective with these tools."
Justin Savaille, Managing Director, Management PT
"Mark's work here is immeasurable! He delivers actionable step by step guidance for managerial concepts that every manager should know and use daily. I have used his guidance for over 9 years in multiple management and non-management positions. It has help me break down barriers with directs who were considered "non-approachable" and eventually get them promoted to management. Mark’s feedback model has made driving correct behaviors and change simple and easy. It was something I used to fear, now it has become a simple daily habit. My team loves it, my manager has started using it and loves it. I can't say enough about how easy he has made being a manager!"
Colby Jex, Associate Manager, Harris Corp
"Management how-tos are a dime a dozen, but Manager Tools stands out. Mark and Mike offer a clearly-defined method on how to be a good (and even great) manager, how to build effective teams, and how to create value for your company (and yourself). I wish I had discovered Manager Tools earlier in my career. This book is a must for any professional who recognizes that survival in today's competitive corporate environment is in the hands of those who create and maintain effective relationships. Manager Tools provides a road map on how to do that."
Dirk W. van de Bunt, EVP & CAO, Guthy-Renker LLC
"The advice that Mark Horstman gives out is the most practical advice on management that you will find. This is not the latest fad management trend. It is all actionable and absolutely right on. Read this book and do what they say and you will be a more successful manager - period!"
Lorne Cheeseman, CEO, Kestrel Biologic Inc.
"I initially rolled out the trinity within my department and started seeing instant results. Now that I have been promoted to General Manager, I'm using the tools to manage all of my staff, and my managers have started using them too without me even having to encourage them. The walls put up by the most guarded people on my team have now been broken, the weakest performers are improving rapidly, and our team has never been more coherent or productive than now. I feel more in control, and my staff feels respected and has clarity around where they stand. I can't thank you enough Mark for opening my eyes on what it means to be a great manager."
Damian Grose, General Manager, Tranen Revegetation Systems
"Manager Tools is one of the best resources I have come across - giving practical advice about how to run an organisation well, effectively, seriously, and with humanity. I wish I found it earlier."
Richard Lucas, Serial Entrepreneur
"Manager Tools has been a tremendous gift for my business...I highly, highly recommend this book!"
Rahim Karmali, DDS
"Mark Horstman taught me a vital lesson about management: there's no voodoo. It's all about relationships, behavior and results. If you want the latest management trends and lingo, don't read this book. But if you want to learn how to act consistently and effectively, buy the book, read it, and immediately share it with your entire organization."
Michael J. Reitz, Executive Vice President, Mackinac Center for Public Policy
The Effective Manager is a hands-on practical guide to great management at every level. Written by Mark Horstman, the man behind Manager Tools, the world's number-one business podcast, this book distills the author's 25 years of management training expertise into clear, actionable steps to start taking today.
“Most managers are terrible at the most important thing they’re supposed to be doing: getting top performances out of the people they are managing. Hundreds, if not thousands, of managers describe their “training” this way: I got promoted, and they didn’t tell me anything about what I was supposed to do or how I was supposed to do it. They just gave me a team and wished me luck,” says Horstman. “This is mind-boggling. The upside of this, however, is that you’re not alone. That feeling you have that others know what they’re doing but you don’t is wrong. Almost everyone else doesn’t know either. So, give yourself a break. Let yourself off the hook. You’re doing a difficult job, and you haven’t been given ample preparation. That’s why I wrote The Effective Manager.”
In the book, Horstman identifies what "effective management" actually looks like, and then digs into the four critical behaviors that make a manager great and explains how leaders can adjust their own behavior to be the leader every team needs.
Manager Tools has surveyed/tested over 90,000 managers over the past 20 years. Based on that data, it provides the best ways to achieve the four critical managerial behaviors:
- Build Relationships. Why talking all the time doesn't work to build trust. Why most managers focus on the wrong topics when chatting with directs. How to build trust through frequency and high-quality communications. How and why to introduce, brief, start, and continue the most important tool: One On Ones.
- Communicate About Performance. Managers say they want more feedback and guidance from their boss but then they make the same mistake with their own team members. They don't know what to say, or when to say it, or why directs push back on corrective guidance. You'll learn here how to rollout feedback so that you can address positive or negative situations in less than 10 seconds. No drama, just better results.
- Ask for More. Great managers are never satisfied. They inspire and praise, and also identify areas for improvement. They work with their team to improve each member's productivity by collaborating on goals and a plan to get there. The Coaching Model allows you to improve skills in 10 minutes a week—and without spending hours on a detailed five month growth plan.
- Push Work Down. The very best managers challenge their teams to do more by sharing their own work, exposing directs to higher level challenges, and freeing up their own time to get more done that only they can do. Learn how to Delegate a responsibility in five minutes.
Most management books are written for CEOs and geared toward improving corporate management, but this book is expressly aimed at managers of any level—with a behavioral framework designed to be tailored to a team's specific needs. Effective managers are good at the job and "good at people." The key is combining those skills to foster your team's development, get better and better results, and maintain a culture of positive productivity.