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Leadership Development Resources for Managers

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As managers, our most important tasks are to train, motivate, and build teams. When people know their jobs, are excited about coming to work, and are working together effectively, things tend to go very well. And when things are not going well, you can usually trace the problems to issues related to job skills/knowledge, motivation, or team dynamics. The manager has a huge impact on all three areas.


Train/Develop Your Team


Motivate Your Team


Cover of Intrinsic Motivation at Work

Intrinsic Motivation at Work: What Really Drives Employee Engagement

By Kenneth W. Thomas

This book provides an exceptionally useful framework for understanding the factors that energize employees and prompt them to put more effort and creativity into their work. (Hint: The secret is not money or awards.) A must-read for any manager who is concerned about morale and wishes to increase every employee's level of commitment.   Read more...

Cover of "First, Break All the Rules"

First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently

By Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman

Gallup interviewed over 80,000 managers to find out what differentiates great managers from average ones.  The authors distilled this data down and identified 12 key factors that form the foundation of all great management strategies.  This book has a wealth of terrific insights, including a useful section on the importance of putting people in jobs that match their talents.  Highly recommended simply because all managers need to understand the 12 key factors.



Build Your Team


The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable

By Patrick Lencioni

This very readable business fable is one of the best things that has been written about the dynamics that undermine healthy teams. Lencioni uses a corporate executive team to demonstrate how an absence of trust, a fear of conflict, a lack of commitment, an avoidance of accountability, and an inattention to results can cause teams of otherwise competent individuals to fail. Tremendously useful to building teams in the real world. Read More...


Learning to Lead

Basic Supervisory Skills

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Cover of "The Empowered Manager"

The Empowered Manager: Positive Political Skills at Work

By Peter Block

An embarrassingly accurate description of how communication typically occurs within a bureaucratic organization and the problems caused by that norm. The author then moves on to describe what mid-level managers can do to change their part of the organization.  Highly Recommended. Read more...

Stories of Leadership

Performance Management

Cover of "The Set-Up-to-Fail Syndrome"

The Set-Up-to-Fail Syndrome: How Good Managers Cause Great People to Fail

By Jean-Fran├žois Manzoni and Jean-Louis Barsoux

If you find yourself spending a lot of time trying to "fix" your relatively weaker performers, then you should definitely read this book.  Manzoni and Barsoux explain how the low expectations managers project onto "perceived weaker performers" tend to become self-fulfilling prophecies.  Includes some great material on how to recognize the syndrome, how to provide feedback more effectively, and how to break out of the set-up-to fail syndrome's downward spiral.  For a sample, see the authors' article "Managing Smart: Enabling Under-Performers to Become Achievers" from the Ivey Business Journal Read More...



  Quotes for Managers

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