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Managing (Right) for the First Time Hardcover – June 10, 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

A friend's request that you review his first book can prompt a range of emotions. On one hand, he's one of the smartest, well-reasoned successful and in-charge people you know. On the other, brilliant authors occasionally produce literary clunkers. It was that with a fair amount of procrastination, I prepared for the reading session. (After all, this was a business book I was about to read, not a Nelson DeMille novel). Within minutes, I found myself half way through the book. Because I know David, I could visualize him sitting across from a new manager, dispensing his counsel in his straight-foward, logical, no-nonsense manner. He writes with authority about the good and not-so-good reasons people are promoted into management roles; the pitfalls and opportunities; the importance of managing the relationship with one's boss; and the critical importance of understanding the core principles that guide successful managers. This book is not meant exclusively for the neophyte. Every manager can profit from it. Experienced managers can use it to assay the fineness of their managing. Moreover, hiring managers will find it an indispensable guide when they promote others to management. From watching David present to large audiences, reading his articles and conversing with him via email, I was certain the book would not be a pompous tome about the importance of motivation, formal employee development programs or organizational development theory. I was not disappointted, as it is wise, tested counsel, presented logically and understandably and immediately usable. --John Ranalletta, Senior Consultant at Advisa

Inc. Magazine just named this book one of the Top 10 Books that Entrepreneurs Should Read. That's quite an honor, and also a validation of the reviews above. --Inc. Magazine

About the Author

David C. Baker was born in Michigan, but lived in San Miguel Acatan, Guatemala with a tribe of Mayan indians until he was eighteen years old, after which he moved to the United States. He spent six years in graduate school, earning an advanced degree in ancient languages and theology. He has taught at the undergraduate and graduate level. David managed a publisher and mail order book house from 1983-1988 and then owned and ran a marketing firm in Warsaw, IN from 1988-1994. David lives in Nashville, TN with his wife Julie. They have two grown boys: Jonathan, who lives in Atlanta, and Nathan, who lives in Nashville. David enjoys playing racquetball, riding fast motorcycles, taking photographs (ReTake), and flying (he's a helicopter and airplane pilot). Since 1994, David has been a speaker, a writer, and a consultant for the marketing industry via his own firm (ReCourses). He has worked with more than 600 firms individually and thousands of people have been through his seminars. David founded RockBench Publishing Corp., a traditional and electronic publisher of courageous thought leadership content. He has been a featured speaker at nearly every marketing industry conference (HOW, AIGA, PRSA, Counselors Academy, MYOB, SEGD, BDA, PROMAX, Y, etc.), as well as a frequent contributor to nearly all the major publications that serve the marketing industry (Critique, Communication Arts, HOW, Rough, Creative Business, PR Intelligence Report, Creative Planet, In-Review, Graphic Artists Guild, Agency Insider Report, Post Industry, Internet Professional Publishers Association, etc.). He edited Persuading for its entire tenure of six years, earning accolades from subscribers all over the planet. His work has been discussed in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Inc. Magazine, BusinessWeek, Fast Company, Forbes, CBS Business Network, and MarketingProfs. He also contributed portions of Cameron Foote's The Business Side of Creativity, Robert Bly's Internet Direct Mail: The Complete Guide to Successful E-Mail Marketing Campaigns, and the new AIGA book on Professional Practices in Graphic Design. He has contributed to a dozen other publications by leading authors, and a recent three-part booklet series was published by NewPage: David C. Baker Speaks, and he has also written Financial Management of a Marketing Firm, also available on Amazon.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 212 pages
  • Publisher: RockBench Publishing Corp.; First edition (June 10, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1605440027
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605440026
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #904,942 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
David Baker is really unique. He has a dry wit and a very direct, no-nonsense style that I found refreshing. His advice is solid. I can see why this book is so highly recommended. Highly recommended for business owners - and managers.
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Format: Hardcover
David Baker writes like a mentor throughout the 200 pages of Managing Right for the First Time. He is confident in the knowledge he has to share, and consequently he doesn't waste time trying to justify himself with just-so case studies or second rate neuroscience.

In other words, this is written by a thoughtful, experienced, and articulate leader rather than a self-appointed guru. If you're like me, it's exactly the kind of advice that is helpful.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I first saw an ad for this book on a professional networking website and the title immediately caught my attention because I had struggled so much with superiors who just could not manage! I immediately order and read the book when I was up for promotion! After all there is nothing worse than point the ugly end of the stick at people and then following in their footsteps when it is your turn to walk that path!!

The one main thing that has to be said about this book is that it does not speak to the reader in dry and theoretical language that most management books do! The Author has gone through extensive research and writes in a very easy to read and digest tone, even hilarious at times!

What caught my attention from the first few chapters was that the Author was describing the proper management techniques by observing the wrong management techniques and pointing out how not to follow in those footsteps!! It was funny for me because I saw the exact same mistakes being made by some of my previous superiors and I could relate to the situation being described and the frustration it caused me and the entire team! It made me realize that management is universal as it speaks to a core human nature.

The book targets managers, soon to be managers, and business owners. For people with no ambition to ever become entrepreneurs then some sections might sound unnecessary and because this book speaks to managers in general and not towards managers in a certain industry where there are different management norms, the techniques might sound excellent on paper, but a little bit more difficult to implement in reality.

Overall a great, informative, and enjoyable book which is very easy to read. I read mine in a few days. There is tons to be learned from this book, which might warrant a second or third reading in order to best unlock the true value of this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've known David Baker for awhile now, and have used his consulting services several times. As a result, the content of this book did not surprise me. It will, however, be a resource I keep at my fingertips for years to come.

The book is meant to appeal to any manager, but is particularly relevant to small business owners who reluctantly (or not) found themselves in a management role as they grew. There is a definite bent to the creative industry, but worth reading-and paying attention to-for any new (or frustrated!) manager. If I had any comment on how it could be better it is that the book flips back and forth between being broad and being focused on the creative industry.

That said, Baker's insights are short, to the point, based on years of real experience with managers and business owners, and always, always, *always* worth considering.

He is not a flashy guy, but he is a true thought leader, one of only a few I know.

I value his opinions and insights far more than celebrated marketing authors like Seth Godin (that's not a slam on Godin, but rather a testimonial for Baker :-)
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read this book after I had been a manager for some time and i still found this book very useful. It has some great basic information for all levels of management. Things I think some managers forget over time. Or maybe they never knew it. But this is the guide of the type of manager I want to be.
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Format: Hardcover
I've been a manager for decades, and my childhood dreams sure didn't have anything to do with managing employees. When I was thrust into the role, I was unprepared for it, and I've made a lot of mistakes along the way. Many of them I still remember (and I bet I've made twice as many as I can recall). The wonderful thing about David Baker's book is that every mistake I can remember is documented and dissected.
So reading this book is a bit of a tough go for me, as it feels a little like a movie that is reviewing many of the rough bits in my managerial life. How I wish I had this book back then! But reading this book also gives me hope, because I read some topics and think, "Well, at least now I'm handling that situation right (most of the time)."
I got better at those situations by making mistakes, but you don't HAVE to make mistakes to get better, if you have someone showing you HOW to do it better, and someone telling you the reason (the WHY). I think of the HOW and the WHY as accumulated wisdom, the kind of advice that the best manager you ever had would give you, if s/he were sitting on your shoulder when those tough situations come up.
This book is full of accumulated wisdom. David's been working with managers and firms for decades, and I get the sense he's seen all of the common mistakes and most of the rare ones. I know that he works with and interviews both managers and employees, and when you read this book you get a clear sense that the issues have been thought through from both points of view. In fact, there is one chapter that reads like it was written from the employee's point of view (for example: "Give all of us a chance to work on the best projects.").
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