Gary Winters

Coach  Workshop Facilitator Author

There is no such thing as good management.

One of the brilliant minds in matters of leadership and organizations and such is Dale Dauten. Here’s a column he wrote several years ago which says more in a few hundred words than most books on the subject. I’ve been passing it on to my clients for years. (Check out Dale‘s website!)

Understand just one truth–eight words–and all that has happened to Corporate America in the past two decades will become clear.

The truth is this: There is no such thing as good management.

There are good products, good employees, good customers, but no good management. Yes, there are people who are good at being managers, and yes, a company needs management, but every minute devoted to managing is a wasted minute. Let’s look at some common management minutes.

(1) Supervising: The classic role of a manager is telling underlings what to do and then checking up to make sure they do it. This isn’t real work, its just making sure that real work happens. And then there are assistants to the checker-uppers and checker-upper seminars and national checker-upper conferences to attend. The old organizational structure, based on the military model, assumes that nobody wants to be there, nobody can be trusted, and that redundancies are important because you never know when large numbers of the force are going to turn up dead.

On the other hand, the new organization finds the right employees, puts them in the right system, and supervision is unnecessary. In other words,the time spent managing employees is one measure of the failure of hiring and organizing.

A retired banker, Tommy Ott, recently wrote to tell me of his Jell-O Theory of Management. He says: A cube of Jell-O in an open hand will stay in place, but if a fist is clenched, the Jell-O will run out between the fingers. This also tends to be true in marriages and other relationships.

A leader sets a good example. A manager makes rules. If the example is good enough, you don’t need rules. In other words, management fills a leadership vacuum.

(2) Training: The word training is an insult. You don’t train people; you train dogs. The thriving organization doesn’t have dogs, its made up of cats and robots. The robots do all the routine mindless work; the cats are busy being curious and don’t do what you tell them to, anyway.
You don’t train people, you educate them. In fact, you don’t educate them, they educate themselves. You put them in with their peers, and they catch on.
The biggest irony is the training fad “empowerment.” Take away management, and what’s left? Empowerment. Management is “depowerment.”

(3) Planning: Dead organizations tell no lies. The better the planning, the less healthy the organization. Surprise is a measure of growth. Leaders dream; managers plan. If the dream is big enough, planning is impossible. Dreamer companies are so creative that they will evolve in unpredictable spurts. The entire organization is a laboratory of constant experimentation. No one knows where the breakthroughs will come, or when.

And, if you can’t plan, you can’t budget. In a healthy organization, various groups compete for funds. Employees become geniuses at finding money for their projects and at implementing them cheaply. They cut costs for the sake of their projects, not for the sake of budgets.

The upshot is this: Thriving organizations aren’t managed. As soon as you try to manage an organization, to get it under control, it has begun to die. The less time spent supervising, training, and planning, the better. Which is another way of saying that the ideal time devoted to managing is zero.

There is no such thing as good management.

“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.