Coach's Casebook

Book Review: Winning Well by Karin Hurt and David Dye

Book Review: Winning Well by Karin Hurt and David Dye

Book Review: Winning Well by Karin Hurt and David Dye

Winning Well: A Managers Guide to GettingWithout Losing Your Soul is perhaps the most comprehensive management book I have read on 2016. Hurt and Dye have written an outstanding guide on how to manage so that you deliver great results without sacrificing the things that are most important to you or your team.


Their view is that there are four types of managers:

  • Gamer manager who is focused on self-preservation and cares little about winning or playing well.
  • User manager who has lots of confidence and wants to win but sacrifices humility and relationships.
  • Pleaser manager who wants to play nice and is humble but has little confidence to drive the team hard and thinks relationships are more important than results.
  • Winning well manager where there is a balance of humility and confidence that considers both results and relationships.

Winning Well then is focused on delivering results in a respectful and focused way and relies on:

  • Confidence – Knowing your and the team strengths and using them in an ethical and honest manner.
  • Humility – Holding an accurate self-image, recognising errors and mistakes and driving to improve.
  • Results – Knowing what you want and how to test if you are getting it.
  • Relationships – Leveraging the power of the team delivers those results, so connect, invest in the team with training and your time and collaborate with others.

Hurt and Dye then explore in detail a number of management areas.

Performance Management – knowing what matters, the behaviours that generate results and how to encourage and reinforce those behaviours. Focus on the successful behaviours, not the actual score. Set clear expectations.

Conducting Effective Meetings – Ensure that the meeting has a clear purpose with an agenda and defined outcomes to achieve. Actions and commitments are recorded.

Accountability – Hurt and Dye discuss the INSPIRE accountability method for resolving problems:

I – Initiate the conversation in a respected but confident manner.
N – Share your observation…What you have Noticed.
S – Specific in your evidence or support to your position.
P – Probe as to the source of the problem.
I – Invite a new and more effective solution to the problem.
R – Review the level of commitment.
E – Enforce the behaviour to ensure future consistency.

Work to INSPIRE specific behavioural changes.

Problem-solving – Get to the bottom of the problem’s causes recognising that not every problem needs to be resolved…Once a problem has been resolved, take measures to ensure it doesn’t recur.

Terminating Employees – This is often a difficult subject that is handled very well by Hurt and Dye. No everyone fits in at an organisation and so there needs to be mechanisms to allow a graceful way to terminate employment. The key point is that something is incorrect in the organisational fit and not with the person. You must be firm and you can leave space for questions. But the bottom line is that staff member needs to know that their employment is over.

Energising the Team – Involvement generates commitment and so engaging the team with the bigger vision will help energise them. Offer a clear vision and the benefits that arise from getting there. Start small and involve the team in the key decisions.

Productivity – With the right approach you can achieve a great deal, but you can’t do everything. You need to know what matters most (WMM) and the Most Important Task (MIT) and then do it. Do one thing at a time and work with focus and purpose.

Motivation – The 5 P’s of Management Motivation are:

  • Power
  • Prestige
  • Pennies
  • Purpose
  • People

If you are motivated by the first 3, you may not go the distance as these are weaker motivating forces and don’t normally reward enough to endure but the final 2 factors are enduring.

Many of the aspects of this book will be familiar to you as they are the elements of management that we all learn about, either in formal training or through experience as we undertake management roles. What Hurt and Dye have written is a comprehensive collection of management activities, exploring why they work and illustrating them with a number of case studies.

A great book to read and absorb and perhaps one to absorb of the holidays to prepare you for the challenges of the new year.

Dare to Aspire

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