IntroductionWho This Book Is for, What It's about, and Why

If you're a manager, this book was written for you. If you've ever struggled to lead your team or wondered how to handle a difficult situation, this book is for you. If you find the people side of management (and that's all this book is about) difficult at times, this book is definitely for you.

To be clear: this book isn't about “management” the way most business publications talk about it. To them, “management” means big organizational ideas like strategy, or finance, or organizational change. If you scan the Management section of The Wall Street Journal, you'll see articles about those topics. That's not what this book is about. Frankly, if you're just a frontline manager, or maybe even a director, you don't need to know a lot about that kind of “management” just yet. What you do need to know about is how to manage people. If that's you, this book is for you.

This book is about managing people. It's about getting the most out of your direct reports, for two reasons: because most managers are very bad at that part of their job, yet that's the most valuable thing they do as a manager.

Isn't that sad? Most managers are terrible at the most important thing they're supposed to be doing: getting top performances out of the people they are managing.

In a way, though, it's not surprising. Lots of folks think getting a Master of Business Administration (MBA) will make them managers. But MBA programs don't teach much about ...

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