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The Effective Manager

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  965 ratings  ·  90 reviews
The how-to guide for exceptional management from the bottom up

The Effective Manager is a hands-on practical guide to great management at every level. Written by the man behind Manager Tools, the world's number-one business podcast, this book distills the author's 25 years of management training expertise into clear, actionable steps to start taking today. First, you'll

Kindle Edition, 208 pages
Published June 17th 2016 by Wiley
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Average rating 4.36  · 
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1. Your First Responsibility as a Manager Is to Achieve Results.

2. Replacing employees is expensive. When someone leaves, there's the lost work that had been planned for, the cost of interviewing in both money and time, the likely higher salary that will be paid in the event of replacement, the time and expense of training the new employee, and the cost of less productivity by the new employee until that person can match the quality and quantity of work of the person who has left.

Sebastian Gebski
Nov 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Let's make it clear since the very beginning:
* this is NOT a book about leadership
* it's a book about management -> efficient, pragmatic, focused on particular effect

So, if you're looking for tips, techniques, comments regarding: building teams, developing people, aligning to one vision, growing organization, creating a better workplace for everyone, etc. - this is
NOT a book you're looking for.

It isn't a book about project management either - you'll find here nothing about finance, risk,
The Effective Manager is a fantastic foundation for those of us learning management skills. I recommend this as a starting point if you want to learn to be a good manager.

If you listen to the Manager Tools (MT) podcasts already, consider reading the book anyway. Yes, much of the book’s content is also in the MT Basics podcasts series. You’ll read about One On Ones, the Feedback Model, and coaching.

I’ve learned about these tools in the podcasts before. But I appreciate having a cohesive, scoped
Rajiv Moté
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book proposes and addresses the problem that front-line managers aren't very good, because they were promoted from their usual job functions into a role that wasn't well-defined, and demanded accountability for a nebulous set of deliverables. I liked it because it took an opinionated stance on the role of the front-line manager, and defined it around a value proposition that can easily be used to prioritize the myriad duties managers are called on to handle.

The concepts are pragmatic. The
Magne Land
Jun 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My review didn’t save the first time
Second review:

All the people managers at Turing College read this yesterday. It was an all day book club where we all met at the Java Station coffee shop and read it chapter by chapter with intermediate discussions.

There is also a podcast "Manager Tools" with the same material (and even more so). However, I only recommend it if you like listening to gravelly whiskey sandpaper voices.

Instead, you can read this book yourself in about 4 hours!

It has a lot of
Nimmy Mathew (Kurian)
Really basic. A lot of the book was on the importance and mechanics of 1:1s
Brad Revell
Feb 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was very fortunate to come across Manager-Tools in 2005 when I took on management responsibilities. Since that time I have been avid listener to many Manager-Tools podcasts and in fact have attended the Manager-Tools effective manager and communicator courses; twice.

Yet with everything I have learned from these interactions over the years, The Effective Manager is the book that puts it all together. The rhyme, reason and rationale of what it means to be a manager and more importantly,
Alex Orr
Feb 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For fans of Horstman's long-running podcast, Manager Tools, this may be a bit of a redundant read, or, depending on how long you've listened, it may actually be a great, in-depth dive into Horstman's four central pillars of being an effective manager. Of course for those who have never heard of Horstman or the Manager Tools podcast, ti might all be new. In any case, the book focuses exclusively on how to implement and conduct one-on-ones (03s), feedback, coaching, and delegation. Horstman's ...more
Young Kim
Nov 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business, management
Good summary of Manager Tools

Good summary of Manager Tools when you dont have time to relisten the podcasts. If you arent familiar with Manager Tools, it is a good introduction to the essential podcasts.
Ioana Ioana
Feb 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book was decent and the podcast enjoyable.
David Chapin
Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love the Podcast and the book
Scott Wozniak
Sep 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wish I could give this five stars. I'm deeply grateful that I stumbled across the author's podcast thirteen years ago. I've learned a lot from him and there are some brilliant insights.

I would recommend you read this book to learn about how to discuss behavior as a middle manager. He brilliantly outlines how to give feedback (good and bad), keep in touch without being a micromanager, help your direct reports learn new skills, and delegation. This is 85% of the book and some of the best
Feb 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just love it when I discover a great book exactly when I need it. That was definitely the case with The Effective Manager. Although it would have benefited me at any time in the last few years (including BEFORE I started managing), now is the time when I really need to put these lessons into place.

Other reviews have made the point that this book focuses on management, rather than leadership, and some imply that there is a value judgment there. Honestly, I'm not entirely sure I buy into the
Joe Robles
Jun 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: executive-shelf
This is really a great introduction to what it takes to be an effective manager. They use the term effective as Peter Drucker meant it and the title is obviously an homage to Drucker's seminal The Effective Executive. Like Drucker's book, this one should be required reading for those starting a path towards a business degree. The book is short and contains actionable items that one can begin implementing and a timeline for rolling out the full set of Manager Tools. For those, like myself, who ...more
Dec 23, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm having too many issues with this book to consider it useful...

THE APPROACH. Business has changed a lot over last 20 years and so did the office dynamics. While in the sixties it went without saying that a manager is an absolute unquestioned authority lording over the minions, so that the only acceptable response would be "Yes, boss!" things are different now. Relationship between a manager and a subordinate has become more complex, with more power to the latter. Part of this is because newer
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's been years since I have managed anyone, so when my supervisor gave me this book and asked me to read it after my first direct report was hired, I was grateful for his investment in me. The Effective Manager (and Manager Tools) seems to me to be a great system of applying teachable rules to management.

The book is designed to steer learning about management. Instead of "born managers" who would say: I just use my personality, it comes naturally to me; we have "trained managers" who say: I
Daniel Cluskey
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I will be entering my first position as a manager in 2020 and needed some advice on how to navigate that transition. One of the managers I respect a great deal in my company recommended this book and it did not disappoint. Horstman provides the reader with tools that can be implemented immediately and claims that he has research to support the fact that they work. That has yet to be proven in my case, but I'm excited to try them out. My only complaint is that the hypothetical conversations in ...more
Farhan Samir
Jun 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It delivers the perfect balance of pragmatism and philosophy. Horstman uses simple heuristics and values to guide his practical, evidence-based prescriptions of action items. For instance, a central value he repeatedly articulates in this book is that you can get more productivity out of a trust-based relationship with your directs than with a fear-based one. He uses this central value to derive effective plans for management tasks such as delivering feedback.

Furthermore, Horstman is incredibly
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Required reading for new managers

Like many managers I was placed in the role before I knew what it entailed. All I knew was that I did not want to be a bumbling manager like some of the ones that came before me.

A coworker in a similar situation recommended this book and the authors' podcasts and it has made all the differences.

I have silent reports that I can now talk with. I have a team that alerts me to issues before they rise. I have an agile team that has adapted to a rapidly changing
Sep 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the only “business books” I’ve ever read that deals with the ins-and-outs of managing people with practical steps and advice. Based on the Manager Tools series of podcasts, Horstman manages to avoid getting too theoretical by focusing on a framework for building relationships within a team, which can be easily adapted for many management situations.

I think the advice provided is excellent and I intend to implement it. I found sometimes it was a little too similar to the podcast series,
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am not a manager nor do I plan on becoming a manager. I am also not always great at interpersonal relationships - especially in the workplace. So, I thought some management book might be beneficial...and it was!

Because I don't really care about the management aspect of this the second half of the book was not very useful. They "get into the weeds" with one on ones and management specific situations, I listened, but didn't feel it pertained to me.

The first couple of chapters - the overview -
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy the Manager Tools and Career Tools podcasts for their insight and was excited to buy this book. Mark Horstman offers a comprehensive review of managing that any manager or professional would find beneficial, whether you want to know "what was my boss thinking?" or if you're about to implement something new with the team. There's something for everyone here in an easy-to-follow format that makes this book just as great a reference tool as it is logical guidance. I anticipate this to be ...more
Russ Mathers
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really like Horseman's Career Tools podcast which prepared me for interviews and my job search. His Manager Tools podcast is good too. His book covered how to give feedback to those who work directly for you and has some good tips.

One good one I hadn't thought of was feedback is to encourage future effective behavior. Even though you should give feedback as quickly as possible, if you're angry about something, now isn't the time to give the feedback. Feedback isn't for you to vent to feel
Nov 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
I am reading a lot of books on management, because I want to be a better manager for my team. This book was helpful because it takes a lot of management tasks, explains their purposes, and presents an actionable framework for implementing them. For example, I liked the straightforward discussion of how feedback is a tool for improving future behavior, and how it should be forward-looking, and I think this framework will help me give better feedback in the future.
Kent White
The best book I've ever read on exactly how to be a manager. There are four behaviors that represent 95% of the behaviors that get the biggest results in performance:
1. Get to Know Your People
2. Communicate about Performance
3. Push Work Down
4. Ask for More

There are various processes for doing each, but what I loved was the clarity of the instructions. A book I will return to many times in the future.
Gwyne Taylor
Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great read and actionable advice for a manager

I love the manager tools podcasts. Having a companion to refer to is very helpful. Read the book before starting a new manager position with a new organization. I'm sure the techniques will serve me well in this new role. It also helps me remember the kind of manager I want to be and reminds me to discard the bad behaviors I've used in other jobs.
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Direct and lean, this book provides concrete, actionable guidance for managers (a group of largely underserved and undertrained professionals). I’m a longtime listener of the podcast, so I’m already familiar with a lot of what’s covered here. (By the author’s own admission, most of this book’s guidance is free in that form as well.) But it’s still nice to read the system’s key principles in a standardized way.
Only two things to say about this book:

1) Its the most practical, straightforward book on management that I've ever read (and I've read several).

2) I've been using these tools for a few months now and I've seen it produce dividends. I'm a better manager and employee and my directs are growing, hitting their goals, and getting results.

This is a great book and all managers should read it.

Violet Marcelo
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Short and sweet

Short and sweet. A godsend to managers who didn't get manager training.
Some of the advice is too prescriptive, so ask yourself if it fits and how you'll adjust it to your particular situation.
I'm also listening to the podcast, which is much more wordy (lower signal to noise ratio) but the insights are well worth it (so far!)
Francois Chalifour
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent management book

Very actionable, sequential guidance any person who has at least one staff member on their team can implement today and over a short phase of about 6 months. Also recommended for aspiring managers. Building relationships are a critical behaviour that provide the foundation for managing people. This book shows you how to do that and more.
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