Gary Winters

Coach  Workshop Facilitator Author

On leaders and jerks…

In most organizations, there are two kinds of people in leadership roles: leaders and jerks. Let’s distinguish between the two.

Jerks are managers (supervisors, directors, etc.) who:

• Use their positional power to order people to do things. “My way or the highway.”
• See people as simply means to an end. “I need a couple of warm bodies to take on this project.”
• Take credit for any successes of their teams, and are quick to assign blame to others when things don’t go well.
• Are clueless and insensitive about the feelings of others.
• Are hooked on power and measure themselves based on the power they can wield.
• Are afraid of successful subordinates
• Delegate unpleasant tasks, but keep plum assignments.
• Love to talk about the “chain of command”

Leaders are managers (supervisors, directors, team leaders, and even individual contributors, etc.) who:

• Rarely (if ever) resort to their positional power to get people to do things.
• See people as valuable and multi-dimensional. They care about people and realize that organizations serve people, not the other way around.
• Give away the credit for any successes of their teams, and are quick to take the blame when things don’t go well.
• Are aware (and act on) what’s really going on with people.
• Are hooked on helping people achieve their full potential.
• Measure their own success, over the long term, by the number of people from their staff who surpass their own achievements
• Are more than willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done, including the unpleasant, and delegate assignments to stretch and grow the people on their staff
• Love to talk about growth, potential, service, and achievement.

Being a jerk is easier; being a leader is far, far more fulfilling.

And, despite what they say, if you’re a true leader, you won’t be “lonely at the top.” The loneliest so-called “leaders” are the jerks who just don’t get it.

What would you add to either list?

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“What ELSE Your Boss Never Told You” is the sequel to the very popular “What Your Boss Never Told You.” Packed inside are more tips, techniques, and insights about the challenging, but rewarding leadership position.

“What ELSE Your Boss Never Told You” is written in a conversational tone, as though you and the author were enjoying a cup of coffee and talking about the issues that emerge for new leaders. It stands alone, and/or could be read before or after the first volume, “What Your Boss Never Told You.” You can start with any chapter and read in any order you like.

if you search for a book on management, you’ll find a staggering 600,000+ books currently available. How can you narrow that down? “What Your Boss Never Told You” is the best place to start.

No textbook here – this book is short and sweet. It’s designed to help you “unpack” your new job and be effective from the first day with your new team. It contains twenty-one chapters filled with the wisdom Winters has gathered from real managers – effective, successful leaders in organizations much like yours.

Leaders make decisions every day – big and small. Most know that if they include others in the decision-making process, the quality of those decisions – and the commitment to them – will likely improve. That said, they also know it’s impractical, if not impossible, to include others in every decision they confront.

“To Do or Not To Do” tackles the question of when to make decisions on your own, and when to involve your team. It gives you a deceptively simple but proven method to determine, when you are facing a difficult decision, how to decide how to decide.

Far too many meetings are dreadful, mind-numbing, energy-draining, productivity-sapping, colossal wastes of time. As someone once said, “To kill time, a meeting is the perfect weapon.”

Here’s the deal: if you’re willing to learn and apply the techniques in “So, How Was Your Meeting?”, you’ll call fewer meetings, while vastly improving the ones you do lead. They’ll take less time, have more balanced participation, produce better decisions, and result in concrete action items for follow-up afterwards.

While there are thousands of books written for people about to retire, this may be the only book for people who manage soon-to-retire employees. Written in a casual, conversational style, “Managing the Soon To Retire Employee” will give you everything you need to know to move forward with confidence and grace.

You can be successful with Sooners. It won’t happen by chance, and it’s not a matter of pulling some management “trick” out of your hat. But you can learn how to do it, and you can apply what you’ve learned right away.

Managing friends or former peers can be awkward. When you become the boss, everything about these relationships can suddenly be uncomfortable. There’s a new set of ground rules to establish – as manager, you are going be accountable for the work performance of friends or former co-workers on the team, and they are going to have to adjust to the fact that they now report to you. Everyone involved can feel awkward and hesitant about the future. 

Have you been approached by management with an offer to promote you to supervision? Or, are you mulling over the possibility for the future? Find yourself not sure whether to accept the promotion?

If so, you’ve come to the right place. Help! They Want to Make ME a Supervisor will help you sort out a very big question: Should you accept the offer to become a supervisor? Once you’ve read this book, you’ll be confident that you’ve made the best decision for you and for your organization.