Book Review: Excellence in Execution – How to implement your strategy by Robin Speculated

A strategy is only high-level guidance unless you can execute against that strategy. Unfortunately, the execution of a strategy is one of the more challenging elements of management. In Excellence in Execution: How to Implement Your Strategy, Robin Speculand draws on 16 years of consultancy experience and management thinking and developed and curated a collection Read more about Book Review: Excellence in Execution – How to implement your strategy by Robin Speculated[…]

Book Review: Communicate Like a Leader – By Dianna Booher

If you look at the challenges that arise in business, the vast majority of them have their origin in poor communication.  And so any book that explores the failures in leadership communication and how leaders might address their communication shortfalls is very worthy of consideration for your personal development.  Communicate Like a Leader: Connecting Strategically Read more about Book Review: Communicate Like a Leader – By Dianna Booher[…]

Book Review: From Breakdown to Breakthrough by Michael Papanek and Liz Alexander

Any book on ‘change’ that is written by the Grandson of the modern pioneer of organisational psychology, Kurt Lewin, is anticipated to be a solid text. And From Breakdown to Breakthrough: Forging Resilient Business Relationships in the Heat of Change does not disappoint. Papanek has exploited his knowledge and experience of some 30 years in the Read more about Book Review: From Breakdown to Breakthrough by Michael Papanek and Liz Alexander[…]

Book Review: Creating the Vital Organisation by Brooks and Salesman

There seems to be an almost fanatical drive for organisations to streamline, drive efficiencies and look to get more from the resources they have. But in focusing on scarcity, we are missing the true potential to grow and achieve much greater things. In Creating the Vital Organization: Balancing Short-Term Profits with Long-Term Success, Brooks and Read more about Book Review: Creating the Vital Organisation by Brooks and Salesman[…]

Book Review: Leading the Malcolm Baldrige Way by Kendall and Bodinson

Malcolm Baldrige was the United States Secretary of Commerce from 1981 until 1987 and a strong advocate in the domain of quality management for industrial productivity. His contributions were so effective that an award system was set up in his name and a leadership framework developed that reflects his values and successes.   Leading the Read more about Book Review: Leading the Malcolm Baldrige Way by Kendall and Bodinson[…]

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 Read more about Book Review: Winning Well by Karin Hurt and David Dye[…]

Book Review: Navigating the Talent Shift by Lisa Hufford

This is a useful and insightful read for anyone in a management position or looking to complete short-term projects. In Navigating the Talent Shift, Lisa Hufford a written a book that is perfect for the time. It is particularly helpful to me as I am currently looking to build an ‘on demand’ team to deliver Read more about Book Review: Navigating the Talent Shift by Lisa Hufford[…]

Book Review: Why Make Eagles Swim by Bill Munn

For those of you that have read my other reviews, you will know that I am an advocate of helping people find their talents and focus on developing them to the achieve their highest potential. Bill Munn’s book, Why Make Eagles Swim?: Embracing Natural Strengths in Leadership & Life typifies this approach and provides the reader Read more about Book Review: Why Make Eagles Swim by Bill Munn[…]

Book Review: Board Games – Straight Talk for New Directors by Montford and McCool

The Peter’s Principle suggests that people thrive and perform well in each role they undertake and so are promoted. This continues until the point at which they can no longer perform and so people are promoted up to the point at which they are incompetent. One area where we cannot have any level of incompetence Read more about Book Review: Board Games – Straight Talk for New Directors by Montford and McCool[…]

Book Review: Stand Out by Winnie Brignac Hart and Lorrie Brignac Lee

The pace of change in the marketing domain means that you have to find innovative techniques to allow you to discriminate your business from all of the others. However, there are some fundamentals that you can draw upon to help frame your innovative approaches. In Stand Out, Winnie Brignac Hart and Lorrie Brignac Lee present Read more about Book Review: Stand Out by Winnie Brignac Hart and Lorrie Brignac Lee[…]

Book Review: Permission Marketing by Seth Godin

In Permission Marketing, Seth Godin reinforces the view that the marketing paradigm has changed and we are in the situation that we need to be asking permission of our market to engage with them. Now well recognised in the internet business arena, Godin’s book explores techniques and Permission Marketing applicant as well as the concept.   Read more about Book Review: Permission Marketing by Seth Godin[…]

Book Review: 29 Leadership Secrets by Jack Welsh

  As the head of General Electric, Jack Welsh was recognised internationally as a word class leader. In 29 Leadership Secrets he presents his view of the key factors for leadership. PART 1 THE VISIONARY LEADER: MANAGEMENT TACTICS FOR GAINING COMPETITIVE EDGE   Leadership Secret 1 – Harness the Power of Change Change is the one constant Read more about Book Review: 29 Leadership Secrets by Jack Welsh[…]

Book Review: 59 Seconds – Think a Little, Change a Lot by Richard Wiseman

  59 Seconds: Think a little, change a lot is an easy and enjoyable book to read – the kind that you can dip in and out of, picking up interesting tips along the way.   The chapter list gives a good indication of the subjects covered in the book: Happiness Persuasion Motivation Creativity Attraction Stress Read more about Book Review: 59 Seconds – Think a Little, Change a Lot by Richard Wiseman[…]

Book Review: The Art of Authenticity by Karissa Thacker

Leadership is perhaps one of the most complex psychological concepts to define.  What are the factors that cause one person to step up and make things happen, binding others into a team and so achieving more with a team than the sum of the parts.  What characteristics draw people together to support one from the group and Read more about Book Review: The Art of Authenticity by Karissa Thacker[…]

Book Review: What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith

What Got You Here Won’t Get You There is an excellent book, well deserving of the interest and hype that surrounds it. Goldsmith has the reputation of being one of the most effective executive coaches in the business. His experience in coaching senior management into higher levels of achievement and productivity has led to Goldsmith identifying Read more about Book Review: What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith[…]

Book Review: The New Advantage by Howard Morgan and Joelle Jay

Although the subtitle is How women in leadership can create Win – Wins for their companies and themselves, the leadership lessons in The New Advantage: How Women in Leadership Can Create Win-Wins for Their Companies and Themselves are equally applicable to both men and women. When the foreward is written by Marshall Goldsmith, you know that Read more about Book Review: The New Advantage by Howard Morgan and Joelle Jay[…]

Book Review: Good for the Money – Bob Benmosche

Good for the Money: My Fight to Pay Back America is a fascinating and compelling book that captures the passion and anxiety of the recent banking problems and presents a unique view of how AIG recovered its position in the International Economy. Even though it was written as an auto-biography, Bob Benmosche seems to have been Read more about Book Review: Good for the Money – Bob Benmosche[…]

Book Review: The Psychology of Success: Secrets of Serial Achievement by Judith Leary-Joyce

In The Psychology of Success: Secrets of Serial Achievement, Judith Leary-Joyce offers some interesting techniques, case studies and observations. Success is, apparently, a matter of aligning with 5 fundamental principles and employing 7 basic behaviours.     Part 1 – Five Fundamentals First Fundamental – Know your style There are 3 elements that influence your personal style: What Read more about Book Review: The Psychology of Success: Secrets of Serial Achievement by Judith Leary-Joyce[…]

Book Review: Deep Work by Cal Newport

  Success isn’t something that just happens. It requires focus and concentration. However, there is multi-billion pound industry designed to grab you attention and exploit for their own ends. Marketing, the Internet, email, the telephone and even your own mind recalling tasks and events can distract you. In Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in Read more about Book Review: Deep Work by Cal Newport[…]

Book Review: Women in Transition by Linda Rossetti

In Women and Transition: Reinventing Work and Life, Linda Rossetti presents a heart felt and very personal view of transition. As she explains, at some stage in our lives, we all undergo some level of transition.  The triggers can be many, death of a friend or family, divorce, serious illness, redundancy or just a realisation Read more about Book Review: Women in Transition by Linda Rossetti[…]

Book Review: Almost by Hap Klopp and Brian Tarcy

So often we hear the tale of, how despite challenges and hardship, the gritty small company overcomes all and becomes a great success. In my view success isn’t something that can be duplicated with a cookie cutter approach and so we can learn limited amounts from the success of others. Failure actually teaches us more Read more about Book Review: Almost by Hap Klopp and Brian Tarcy[…]

Book Review: The Boardroom Entrepreneur by Mike Southern and Chris West

Mike Southon and Chris West have a skill for writing very readable books and The Boardroom Entrepreneur,  follows on from their first joint book, The Beermat Entrepreneur: Turn Your Good Idea into a Great Business.   While The Boardroom Entrepreneur is a great read, there is definitely a feeling of deja vu when reading this book. There are common Read more about Book Review: The Boardroom Entrepreneur by Mike Southern and Chris West[…]

Book Review: One Second Ahead by Hougaard, Carter and Coutts

A horse will often win by just a nose, the advantage in length that being a second ahead gives. From a cognitive perspective, being one second ahead provides a potential edge in both effectiveness and productivity. One Second Ahead offers the reader a number of techniques, strategies and training steps to develop the level of mindfulness Read more about Book Review: One Second Ahead by Hougaard, Carter and Coutts[…]

Book Review: The Secret Sauce-Creating a Winning Culture by Ford and Osterhaus

The Secret Sauce: Creating a Winning Culture by Kevin Ford and James Osterhaus is an exploration of the importance of culture. The reader is guided through this exploration by way of a business fable detailing the story of a famous chef, Gage Fabre.  From humble beginnings, Fabre has used the power of his passion and single-mindedness to Read more about Book Review: The Secret Sauce-Creating a Winning Culture by Ford and Osterhaus[…]

Book Review: Zombies Ate My Business by Jamie Gerdsen

For a business to grow and thrive it needs committed, engaged employees that are willing to help that the business grow. Unfortunately not all of your employees will be so fully engaged. Some of them, according to Jamie Gerdsen, will be ‘Zombies’.     In Zombies Ate My Business: How to Keep Your Traditional Business Read more about Book Review: Zombies Ate My Business by Jamie Gerdsen[…]

Book Review: Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

Have you ever wondered why, when a Government begins to struggle with a challenging situation, they call upon a military capability to help resolve it. The National Guard in the US is often called upon to support the civil community in a crisis, the UK MOD are routinely called upon to support anything from supporting Read more about Book Review: Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin[…]

Book Review: Future Strong by Bill Jensen

In Future Strong: How to Work Unleashed, Lead Boldly, and Live Life Your Way, Bill Jensen poses some very challenging questions about the future of business, work and even your own performance. The ideas are bold and quite provocative but worthy of consideration and some of those ideas and observations are surprisingly compelling. As Jensen writes, Read more about Book Review: Future Strong by Bill Jensen[…]

Book Review: Profit from Science by George Danner

There is a balance to be struck between making decisions that are intuitive and those that are based on sound and robust analysis. In Profit from Science: Solving Business Problems using Data, Math, and the Scientific Process, George Danner provides a very clear and digestible description of how to that conduct sound and robust analysis. The Read more about Book Review: Profit from Science by George Danner[…]

Book Review: Bootstrap Selling the Sandler Way by Bill Morrison

As I have written several times before, I have been impressed by large parts of the Sandler selling system. Not everything from Sandler translates into an approach that I would personally employ, however in Bootstrap Selling the Sandler Way, Bill Morrison really has nailed a set of principles and techniques that have direct application for Read more about Book Review: Bootstrap Selling the Sandler Way by Bill Morrison[…]

Book Review: Customer Service the Sandler Way by Anne MacKeigan

It is much easier to keep a customer than it is to win one and the way to keep a customer is to give fantastic Customer Service. In Customer Service the Sandler Way: 48 Rules for Strategic Customer Care, Anne MacKeigan offers 48 Rules for Strategic Customer Care and adds another gem to the library Read more about Book Review: Customer Service the Sandler Way by Anne MacKeigan[…]

Book Review: It Takes More Than Casual Fridays and Free Coffee: Building a Business Culture That Works for Everyone by Diane Adams

As a consultant that works on business change projects, I am always surprised and challenged by how difficult it is to change an embedded culture, no matter how poorly it is serving the organisation.  Diane Adams has provided an outstanding view of not only how to change a culture but also the various stages of Read more about Book Review: It Takes More Than Casual Fridays and Free Coffee: Building a Business Culture That Works for Everyone by Diane Adams[…]

Book Review: The New Corporate Facts of Life – Diana Rivenburgh

  The World changes and for businesses to survive and thrive, they must remain relevant. And that is why Diana Rivenburgh’s book is so important .  The New Corporate Facts of Life describes the high leverage factors that are changing in the dynamics of business and well as providing ways to exploit those changes and so how to Read more about Book Review: The New Corporate Facts of Life – Diana Rivenburgh[…]

Book Review: Survive to Thrive by Dishman and Hoque

Despite being quite a short book, Hoque and Dishman have packed a great deal into Survive to Thrive: 27 Practices of Resilient Entrepreneurs, Innovators, and Leaders. It is a book that explores some of the fundamental behaviours and principles that make an  entrepreneur successful and looks at a number of very dramatic stories of overcoming Read more about Book Review: Survive to Thrive by Dishman and Hoque[…]

Book Review: The Heart Led Leader by Tommy Spaulding

Tommy Spaulding’s book Heart-Led Leader: How Living and Leading from the Heart Will Change Your Organization and Your Life  adds to the growing body of knowledge and supporting evidence for ‘Servant Leadership’.  A servant-leader focuses primarily on the growth and well-being of people and the communities they work with, put the needs of others first and Read more about Book Review: The Heart Led Leader by Tommy Spaulding[…]

Book Review: The Complete Guide on How to Negotiate by Tali Raphaely

The Complete Guide On How To Negotiate: Master the Art of Getting What You Want in Business and in Life by Tali Raphaely is an excellent primer in the skills and techniques of negotiation. It also dispels the idea that the negotiator has to be some hard nosed individual that squeezes the pips out of Read more about Book Review: The Complete Guide on How to Negotiate by Tali Raphaely[…]

Book Review: The Manager’s Dilemma by Jesse Sostrin

managersdilemma

 

With a PhD in Philosophy focusing on organisational systems and a nationally recognised speaker on leadership and practical management, you know that when Jesse Sostrin writes something, its going to be something worth reading.

 

The Manager’s Dilemma: Balancing the Inverse Equation of Increasing Demands and Shrinking Resources    is a book that offers managers a series of options to overcome what has become one of the biggest challenges of modern management.  That challenge is what Sostrin calls The Manager’s Dilemma.  It is the state of being so overwhelmed by attempting to deliver more output with less resources, such that it isn’t possible to see or to implement the solutions that will help solve the key problem.

The dilemma is in seeing the logical next step and not having the spare resources to take that step.  It is in  spotting the flaw in the system but not being able to stop the process to fix that flaw.

The aim of Sostrin’s book then is to explore the dilemma and offer options and practical tools to start escaping its grasp.

To do this he offers 8 actions or routes out of the dilemma that echo the way you got into the situation in the first place:

1. The dilemma leaves us feeling trapped, with unattractive options. Look contradictions you can exploit such as rushing to complete induces errors, so slow down a reduce errors creating breathing space to resolve the pressure.

2. Being under pressure distorts your view so take time to refocus on your priorities and so find the differences that make a difference.

3. We add extra effort but become less effective so we focus on where there is best contribution.

4. We leak time, energy, resources or focus so we need to identify the leaks and plug them.

5. We accomplish the wrong things so we need to look at how we create more value.

6. We feel powerless and and unable to influence the situation so we need to find where a small amount of influence can make a large difference.

7. We feel unable to exploit everyday problems so we need to find a way to exploit challenges and use them for motivation.

8. We can feel as if the situation is divisive creating an us and them situation so we need to find mutually beneficial goals.

So these issues feed the dilemma and your role as a manager is to find an effective way out.

If you read this list of factors, you may see some areas of repetition and there does seem to be some commonalities in the challenges.

For example, reviewing priorities and looking at where there is best contribution are very similar, also slowing down to to improve performance is similar to looking at how to create more value with less. Sostrin has however broken these similar factors into smaller nuanced views to highlight how the manager can step out of the dilemma in multiple ways.

An important insight for me was how we leak the key resources in the managers toolbox. This leak of Time, Energy, Resources and Focus (TERF) comes in many forms, individual and team.  A strong manager will need to watch for a variety of leaks in the TERF and I will certainly look for them when I start to feel overwhelmed on a project.

Sostrin has some additional tools within the book including a series of assessments and indicators for how deep you are in the dilemma. Once you know where you are, it is easier to see which of the the 8 routes out to apply. So all in all this is not just a book on management philosophy but q quite a practical manual for the modern manager.

With a clear and well articulated discussion of the dilemma, its impact and ways out of the situation, Sostrin has, characteristically, found a new context and diverse set of ways to understand the more demanding problems of the modern manager.

This book will give managers at any level, insight and clear direction on how to overcome the dilemma and how to recognise the warning signs well in advance so they can focus on the work that really adds value.

Dare to Aspire

[…]

Book Review: Communicate to Influence by Ben and Kelly Decker

    According to a Bruskin-Goldring Survey, for a large number of the population, the fear of public speaking is greater than that of death. So that would mean that more people would rather than be in the coffin than giving the eulogy!  A surprising situation. For those that are able to muster the courage Read more about Book Review: Communicate to Influence by Ben and Kelly Decker[…]

Book Review: Targeted: How Technology is Revolutionizing Advertising by Mike Smith

  One of the key elements of marketing is to ensure that you get the correct information on your product to the most receptive customer. In the internet age, however you have an additional challenge of trying to find those customers from the global audience you can now access.   In Targeted: How Technology Is Revolutionizing Read more about Book Review: Targeted: How Technology is Revolutionizing Advertising by Mike Smith[…]

Book Review: Anticipate: The Art of Leading by Looking Ahead by Rob-Jan de Jong

Rob-Jan de Jong’s book Anticipate: The Art of Leading by Looking Ahead aims to address the leadership challenge of creating a compelling vision. Not a vision statement that looks to capture the goals of an organisation but a thoroughly researched and clear vision based on environmental and business data. An encapsulation of a corporate strategy Read more about Book Review: Anticipate: The Art of Leading by Looking Ahead by Rob-Jan de Jong[…]

Book Review: You Can’t Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at a Seminar

This is the new and updated edition of David Sandler’s You Can’t Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at a Seminar, 2nd Edition: Sandler Training’s 7-Step System for Successful Selling I’ve known of and been a fan of the Sandler selling system for a number of years when a friend introduced it to me. Read more about Book Review: You Can’t Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at a Seminar[…]

Book Review: Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

The complexity of modern life means that there are lots of things competing for our attention and lots of distractions that have the potential to seduce us from our main aims. It is almost a modern epidemic for new and attractive distractions to capture our attention and this, McKeown believes is one of the largest Read more about Book Review: Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown[…]

BestPlaceToWork

Book Review: The Best Place to Work by Ron Friedman PhD

As a consultant working in the business and organisational change arena, I found this book to be absolutely brilliant at explaining many of the factors that are involved in building an effective and efficient workplace and culture. If you enjoyed Daniel Pink’s Drive and Blink by Malcolm Gladwell then this book is for you. The Read more about Book Review: The Best Place to Work by Ron Friedman PhD[…]

Book Review: The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson

The SLIGHT EDGE is an interesting book, which although not particularly well written or even revolutionary offers a useful strategy for self improvement. What it does present is a highly motivating although somewhat repetitive piece of advice that seems to have been overlooked in recent business literature.  With everyone looking for easy options and quick fixes, the Read more about Book Review: The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson[…]

Book Review: Free Range Human: Escape the 9-5, Create a Life You Love and Still Pay the Bills – Marianne Cantwell

Be a Free Range Human: Escape the 9-5, Create a Life You Love and Still Pay the Bills was a book, again,  recommended to me by a friend and also one that Tim Ferriss has some very positive comments about. So with 2 such positive recommendations, I felt compelled to read it and I am Read more about Book Review: Free Range Human: Escape the 9-5, Create a Life You Love and Still Pay the Bills – Marianne Cantwell[…]

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