The Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming the Manager Your Employees Need

It’s Okay to Be the Boss: The Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming the Manager Your Employees Need

Laff, Michael

It’s Okay to Be the Boss: The Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming the Manager Your Employees Need By Bruce Tulgan (Collins, 196 pp., $23.95)

Workplace analysts are quick to look for symptoms that contribute to dysfunctional management, such as the impatience of Generation X and Y workers, the command-and-control habits of baby boomers, and the free agent nature of the labor force.

Instead of trying to detect a personality flaw or diagnose a lack of training, Tulgan focuses on the “mundane but crucial” aspects of management that are strangely absent, such as providing direction, holding staff accountable, dealing with failure, and rewarding success. The book suggests that the same problems that paralyze managers reappear with each generational shift. Managers still avoid conflict, and many do not receive adequate training about how to provide proper supervision. Managers, like their employees, too often are left to figure out tasks on their own.

Any consultant worth his salt will have plenty of anecdotes gathered from client work. Tulgan uses them judiciously. In contrast with some of his peers, his anecdotes are vivid and provide clear direction about what the manager should do to correct an employee’s performance. Managers may complain about intractable employees but often are unwilling to help correct poor performance. Sometimes, simple instruction combined with regular review is all that is needed to change course.

Michael Laff

Copyright American Society for Training and Development Jun 2007

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