2 min read

Work Happy

Work Happy, by Jill Geisler, is an excellent book with exercises to help you become a better manager.  Since I need hands-on practice to remember books I read, I particularly like the tool kits and checklists that helps me retain the material.  The book is divided into 3 sections: All About You, All About your Staff, and All About the Workplace.  Here are the five gems that I gleaned from the book.

  1. The Twelve core management competencies are:
  • Maintaining and raising quality
  • Developing and improving systems
  • Coaching employee performance
  • Communicating across the organization
  • Collaborating across the organization
  • Resolving conflicts
  • Building employee motivation
  • Leading with Emotional Interlligence
  • Building teams and team performance
  • Managing change
  • Managing your time and priorities
  • Working with ethics and integrity
  1. Top 5 daily challenges for managers
  • Managers disappoint people everyday.. Don't sidestep this challenge or write off complainers, Do build trust.
  • Manager push people out of their comfort zone..  Don't bulldoze or bully... Do custom calibrate pressure.
  • Managers are routinely caught in the middle.. Don't play coworkers against each other.. Do advocate for your staff.
  • Managers can't always tell people what they want to know.. Don't hoard info.. Do commit to sharing info generously.
  • Managers make mistakes.. Don't assume you must always be smarter.  Do recognize that the way you respond to your employees' mistakes shapes how they respond to yours.
  1. The power grid of leadership
  • Legitimate power.. Your stripes
  • Expert power.. Your smarts
  • Coercive power.. Your stick
  • Reward power.. Your sweets
  • Referent power.. Your Substance.. It's R-E-S-P-E-C-T on steroids
  1. Do not treat everyone the same.  Remember there are different works styles and preferences.
  • Introvert vs extrovert
  • Detail vs big picture learners... This preference affects how this person responds to different communication, brainstorming formats, change management and new ideas.
  • Thinkers vs feelers.. Hard liners vs soft touches.. This preference affects this person's view of praise, criticism, and social interactions.
  • Planners vs plungers.. This preference affects the way this person views deadlines, work vs. play, and team tension.
  1. Motivation stems from Competence, Autonomy, Purpose and Growth.  What's your motivation story?  How much satisfaction do you derive from:
  • Being right
  • Being a pace setter
  • Being an expert
  • Change of pace assignments
  • Getting additional training for new skills
  • Working independently
  • Feeling I have creative freedom
  • Doing something that helps pitchers
  • Working as a member of a high performing team
  • Feeling my ideas are appreciated and implemented
  • Knowing exactly where I stand with my boss
  • Being groomed for bigger things
  • Getting public recognition from boss
  • Getting private recognition rather than public from boss
  • Economic incentives
  • Professional awards
  • Being asked to coach or teach others
  • Working with highly disciplined workers
  • Being held in high regard
  • Friendships and harmony in the workplace
  • Leading the work group
  • Being asked to coach or mentors
  • Liking the workplace,
  • Having input a out tools and tech
  • Being in the loop

Subscribe for weekly articles on Storytelling and Product Management