In his book Love & Profit, the Art of Caring Leadership, James A. Autry contributes yet another perspective to the role of the manager. Many current books on management deal with the time issue, and how proper time management can increase productivity. Other top sellers deal with the effective habits that successful managers of leading companies share. Mr. Autry's book is especially attractive because it is different. Rather than focusing on the manager and his habits, this book focuses on the relationships that the manager maintains with his employees. A brief review of this text along with a critical analysis of its content will provide convincing evidence that this book should be on the "must read" list for all current and perspective managers.
The text is divided into five sections. The first is entitled "Work and Life: Business and Relationships." In this section Mr Autry opens his book by refuting an age old adage from the military "Nobody gets special treatment around here."(Autry 23) From Mr. Autry's point of view this is in direct opposition of what really happens in the workplace. Special treatment is actually given all the time, and if we are realistic about what management should be like in today's business world, managers will focus on the flexibility needed to accommodate the special exceptions that keep employee's happy, contributory and productive.
Also in this first section Autry takes on several topics that are of great concern to managers today and gives his own interpersonal relationship point of view. In his chapter "Sexual harassment", Autry notes how from his own experience he greeted a women who he hadn't seen in a while that openly gave him "a warm and exuberant hug"(52) when they met. He states that in this case the woman was someone that he had hired and had been somewhat of a mentor to. Hugging this woman "was important and appropriate", while he could "name fifty other people [that he had worked with on a similar level] with whom the hug woul
Like most middle managers, I sometimes feed compelled to read a management tome from time to time. Love and Profit is different! It proves that a financially successful company does not necessarily have an inverse relationship to one that is humane. Autry writes in short segments, usually of an anecdote from his career, and then analyzes it from a business perspective. There are a lot of Aha! moments in this book. This book shows us how we should treat others in all situations - which makes it all the more exceptional as a business book. The only reason there is a 9 in my rating is the poetry
James Autry takes us right down to the fundemental source of good management and successful relationships: a deep and abiding respect for the people that we share our work and our lives with. A corporate culture is something that we create, one person at a time not some "evil other" that demands that we abandon our principles and our humanity.
As an in-house leadership development consultant for a large company, I read alot of management books. This one is truly a keeper! It isn't full of "fad", impossible ideas about exploiting employees, just ethical ideas to consider about people, in the workplace --what should that environment should be like and how should supervisors and managers contribute to creating and sustaining it. Reading this book is like enjoying a cold lemonade on a hot afternoon. It is a fun and easy read that really makes you stop and consider the basic, critical, beliefs about how we should treat each other -- in the workplace or anywhere. I strongly recommend this book, which considers both "love" and "profit" in the workplace -- it is neither an oxymoron nor illegal.
I was delighted to find a book that puts "caring" and "leadership/management" together. At a time when so much emphasis is put on risk management in Personnel/Human Relations, it is reassuring and liberating to have support in using our natural instincts in our roles in management.