Recommended Resource – Manager Tools

Manager Tools
by Michael Auzenne and Mark Horstman

Website Address: www.Manager-Tools.com

About the Reference

Manager Tools by Michael Auzenne and Mark Horstman is a weekly podcast that provides managers with the step-by-step tools and techniques for becoming more effective. Updated weekly, the Manager Tools podcasts provide insight to a broad range of topics including feedback, one-on-ones, coaching, and mentoring. Manager Tools was recognized as the best business podcast in 2006 and 2007 by Podcast Awards.

Benefits of Using this Reference

A great strategy is nothing more than a tome of good intentions until executed. The more accountable the organization and the more effective the execution of its processes the greater the likelihood the organization will achieve its mission objectives.

Professional executives and managers are responsible for establishing and reinforcing a culture of accountability and effectively leading execution of the organization’s processes. StrategyDriven contributors like Manager Tools podcasts because each of these approximately 30 minute discussions provides a clear, step-by-step method executives and managers can immediately implement to increase their organization’s accountability and their leadership effectiveness. We particularly encourage all of our readers to listen to the Manager Tools Basics podcast series focused on feedback, one-on-ones, coaching, delegating, and conducting meetings.

Many of the Manager Tools recommendations support the effective execution of StrategyDriven best practices; making Manager Tools podcasts a StrategyDriven recommended listen.

Final Thought…

The vast majority of Manager Tools content is FREE! We encourage all members of the StrategyDriven community to take a moment and visit the Manager Tools website and begin to benefit from Mike and Mark’s advice today.

Recommended Resource – The Three Signs of a Miserable Job


The Three Signs of a Miserable Job: A Fable for Managers (And Their Employees)
by Patrick M. Lencioni

About the Reference

The Three Signs of a Miserable Job: A Fable for Managers (And Their Employees) by Patrick M. Lencioni examines three causes of job dissatisfaction. Focused on the executive and management teams, Mr. Lencioni illustrates the harmful effects of anonymity, irrelevance, and immeasurability on worker performance and ultimately the organization’s success. He then prescribes actions that can be taken to overcome these obstacles thereby increasing employee productivity and engagement which subsequently improves organizational performance.

Benefits of Using this Reference

Employee performance serves as the foundation for the organization’s overall performance. When employee efforts are optimized and aligned to common mission goals, the organization realizes its greatest value potential.

Creating job satisfaction and thereby earning employee engagement and promoting focused, productive work effort is the responsibility of every executive and manager. StrategyDriven contributors like The Three Signs of a Miserable Job because it highlights the fundamental job satisfaction needs shared by all employees and the barriers preventing these needs from being met. As with all of his previous fables, Mr. Lencioni offers actionable steps executives and managers can take in order to eliminate these barriers. Additionally, Mr. Lencioni’s recommended actions support what StrategyDriven contributors believe is key to sustained, superior success; shared vision, focus, and commitment.

As a business novel, The Three Signs of a Miserable Job presents its principles for improving job satisfaction through a believable, vividly illustrated, and easily related to story of two organizations struggling to improve performance. Many of the best practice recommendations found on the StrategyDriven website compliment the actions prescribed in The Three Signs of a Miserable Job; making this book a StrategyDriven recommended read.

Recommended Resource – First, Break All The Rules


First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently
by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman

About the Reference

First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman explains how great managers select employees, set expectations, motivate people, and assign people to jobs that fit. Selected examples from the vast research for this book reveal in detail why these practices are successful at attracting and motivating the most talented individuals in a way that produces results beyond those realized by applying traditional managerial methods.

Benefits of Using this Reference

The challenge of today’s highly competitive business environment is compounded by an ever tightening labor pool. In order to meet the need of continually producing more with less, managers must attract and retain talented personnel and find better ways to release their creative, productive spirits.

StrategyDriven Contributors like First, Break All the Rules because it clearly illustrates how managers, without elaborate and costly rewards systems, can better attract and motivate employees. Using the insights gained from extensive Gallop Organization research, Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman show how great managers:

  • select employees based on their talents rather than their skills and experiences
  • define goals and expectations for the work employees perform
  • focus and build on the individual strengths of each employee rather than on “fixing” the employee’s weaknesses
  • seek to place employees in jobs that fit rather than on corporate ladder climbing

We believe the management approach described in First, Break All the Rules will motivate employees and help them reach their highest potential; ultimately creating increased organizational value.

Strategy without effective execution is no more than a compilation of good intentions. We believe managers implementing the approach described in First, Break All the Rules will enhance tactical business execution at all levels of the organization; making this book a StrategyDriven recommended read.

Recommended Resource – Managing the Nonprofit Organization

Managing the Nonprofit Organization
by Peter F. Drucker

About the Reference

Managing the Nonprofit Organization by Peter F. Drucker addresses the unique management challenges associated with nonprofit organizations. In this book, Dr. Drucker explains the differences between managing for-profit and nonprofit organizations in the areas of mission, leadership, resources, marketing, and goals.

Benefits of Using this Reference

Nonprofit organization management can be truly challenging in the areas of strategic planning and tactical business execution because of the lack of a profit driver. In our experience, nonprofits that don’t effectively replace the profit driver with another equally strong motivator risk diminished performance and organizational value.

StrategyDriven contributors like Managing the Nonprofit Organization because it illustrates a method for creating a compelling mission, setting goals to that mission, and gaining and maintaining employee/volunteer commitment to the achievement of the mission goals. We believe that while essential to the management of nonprofit organizations, many of the principles Dr. Drucker describes in Managing the Nonprofit Organization would greatly benefit for-profit companies as well.

Many of the best practice recommendations found on the StrategyDriven website compliment the principles described in Managing the Nonprofit Organization; making this book a StrategyDriven recommended read.

Recommended Resource – Bringing Out the Best in People

Bringing Out the Best in People
by Aubrey C. Daniels

About the Reference

Bringing Out the Best in People by Aubrey C. Daniels illustrates how executives and managers can motivate their workforce to goal achievement through a system of positive reinforcement. Dr. Daniels’s process shapes worker behaviors by identifying an individual’s recognition and reward reinforcers, establishing a fair performance monitoring system, and providing effective, continuous feedback.

Benefits of Using this Reference

An organization only becomes truly StrategyDriven when all of its members share a common vision, maintain focus on that vision, and continuously exhibit a commitment to successfully achieving the vision. StrategyDriven Contributors like Bringing Out the Best in People because it provides a very direct means of gaining and maintaining employee commitment to the organization’s goals. The system of positive reinforcement presented by Dr. Daniels is powerful because it is readily actionable. Many of the best practice recommendations found on the StrategyDriven website compliment the programs prescribed in Bringing Out the Best in People; making this book a StrategyDriven recommended read.