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Managing for Happiness by Jurgen Appelo

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Preface: Better Management for Everyone

I once tried to motivate an employee to improve his performance and productivity by giving him a smaller raise than his peers on the team. It didn't work. The situation actually got worse, and in a typical example of the-universe-hates-all-my-best-intentions, ultimately the whole team was affected by demotivation and resentment.

In my defense, the work this employee had produced was terrible. As his manager, I had to deal with the complaints, threats, and abuse by customers over the quality of our services—or lack thereof—and I was feeling quite desperate. I had to do something! So I did, but it was the wrong approach. And because nothing ever worked, I hated being a manager.

That was 20 years ago.

As a manager, you have to make choices. You cannot just let demotivation among your team members run its course. You have to do something! This book will help you to do things. It contains a number of great practices and exercises for teams and managers in the twenty-first century. Most are borrowed from other people who often did a much better job at motivating their colleagues than I ever could, and they became great managers of teams. Fortunately, I dared to run some experiments of my own and had a couple of small successes too. Therefore, some of the ideas presented here are my own simple ...

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