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The 27 Challenges Managers Face: Step-by-Step Solutions to (Nearly) All of Your Management Problems Hardcover – September 9, 2014

4.7 out of 5 stars 77 customer reviews

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From the Publisher

Author

Bruce Tulgan

Q&A with Bruce Tulgan Author of The 27 Challenges Managers Face
Why are there 27 challenges, instead of 26 or 28 or some other number?

This book is based on twenty years of workplace research conducted by my company, RainmakerThinking, Inc. We’ve asked hundreds of thousands of managers—in our management seminars, focus groups, interviews, and surveys—some version of this open-ended question: “Which employee situations are most challenging for you as a manager?” Despite the diversity of people and situations, the same basic challenges come up repeatedly. In fact, more than 90 percent of responses over the years refer to these same 27 challenges, including the superstar the manager is afraid of losing, the slacker the manager cannot figure out how to motivate, the employee with an attitude problem, and the two people who cannot get along, to name a few.

You say that the most difficult challenges managers face come from the fact that “employees are human… and so are their managers. ” Please Explain.

The age-old reality is that human beings have weaknesses as well as strengths. Humans are not always great at self-management, much less at managing others. Human beings have habits—not always good ones. Not only that, but everybody has bad days. Some people have bad weeks, months, and years. Productivity and quality of work are highly variable, sometimes due to employee performance. On top of all that, humans have attitudes—not always good ones.

Yet you argue that managing people is harder nowadays than ever before. Why?

  • That is due in large part to the incredible complexities of today’s workplace in today’s world, in what I like to call the “real new economy.” First, people come and go. That’s always been true, but employment relationships today are far more short-term and fluid than they have been before in the modern economy. So you are always losing good people, and you are always trying to get new people on board and up to speed. Second, change is constantly coming at you from every direction. Change forces rework, often involving lots of moving parts, and therefore lots of employees in multiple departments of the organization. Third, most people must rely on many others within and without their immediate work group in order to do their own work. Finally, everybody is expected now to do more with less. Increasingly, people report that they are making do with tighter resources, longer and more complex supply lines, with shorter lead times. Often people find themselves trying to do their jobs with what they feel are insufficient resources.
  • How can the fundamentals be the solution to such a range of very different, sometimes rather complex, management challenges?
  • It turns out that when things are going wrong in a management relationship, almost always the common denominator is unstructured, low substance, hit-or-miss communication. And almost always the solution comes from applying the fundamentals of management. Throughout the book, you’ll see—one challenge at a time—how the most effective managers apply the fundamentals of management to gain control of any situation with a step-by-step solution to the problem at hand. Almost always, the ad hoc manner in which most managers talk to their direct-reports every day actually makes inevitable the most difficult employee situations that tend to vex managers. What is the key to avoiding most of these problems and the key to solving them quickly and with relative ease as soon as they appear? High-structure, high-substance, one-on-one dialogues with every direct-report.
  • Is this book intended to be read straight through or used as a reference book that managers turn to over and over again?
  • Both! This book is intentionally designed to be used and reused as a reference book—a hands-on management tool you can go back to over and over again throughout your career as a leader/manager/supervisor. Reading the whole thing beginning to end is sort of like putting one’s self through “management fundamentals” boot camp, which I hope is a very worthwhile thing to do. But I also encourage readers to go ahead and skip right to the specific challenge they are facing today. And keep it on your shelf as a resource for the next time you run into a daunting challenge. Chances are, if you go to the table of contents, the challenge you are facing will be right there with a step-by-step solution waiting for you.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (September 9, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 111872559X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118725597
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 77 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,359 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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