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It's the Manager

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Packed with 52 discoveries from Gallup’s largest study on the future of work, It’s the Manager shows leaders how to adapt their organizations to rapid change, ranging from new workplace demands to managing remote employees, a diverse workforce, the rise of artificial intelligence, gig workers, and attracting – and keeping – today’s best employees. Who is the most important person in your organization to lead your teams through these changes? Gallup research reveals: It’s your managers.

While the world’s workplace has been going through extraordinary historical change, the practice of management has been stuck in time for more than 30 years.

The new workforce -- especially younger generations -- wants their work to have deep mission and purpose, and they don’t want old-style command-and-control bosses. They want coaches who inspire them, communicate with them frequently and develop their strengths.

Who is the most important person in your organization to lead your teams through these changes? Decades of global Gallup research reveal: It’s your managers. They are the ones who make or break your organization’s success.

When you have great managers who can maximize the potential of every team member, you will see organic revenue and profit growth, and you will give every one of your employees what they most want today: a great job and a great life. This is the future of work.

It’s the Manager includes exclusive content from Gallup Access -- Gallup’s new workplace platform, chock full of additional content, tools and solutions for business. Your book comes with a code for the CliftonStrengths assessment, which reveals your top five strengths. 

450 pages, Audiobook

First published May 7, 2019

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Jim Clifton

24 books21 followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 55 reviews
Profile Image for James.
620 reviews24 followers
May 27, 2019
Basically, a very long commercial for using Clifton Strengths, but in book format.

That said, it isn't a bad system, and the data in the book is interesting and engaging. For people who enjoy stats and charts, gold. The parts about coaching are good as well, but not substantial enough to be fully actionable.

Doesn't live up to the title or expectations, and yet, I can't say that I failed to get anything out of it.

Very small word of warning - the chapters on diversity and inclusion and even on gender in the workplace fail to deal with gender identity/expression. It's like the 21st century never happened (yet) for them.

Overall, it's probably worth taking the Clifton Strengths Finder, but it may not necessarily be worth reading this book. Nothing is wrong with its perspective; it just doesn't seem like an essential read.
Profile Image for Robert.
20 reviews
September 3, 2019
This is not *really* a book - but that doesn't make it bad. Just know what it is. It is a publication of Gallup research in a very concise format. "Chapters" are 2-3 pages at most. It covers the "what" and "why" but not so much on the "how."

A third of the book is the documentation of the studies, that while very thorough, I doubt anyone will read unless research papers and academic journals are your thing. The last third of the book is dedicated to Clifton Strengths. Again not a bad thing just not really a book.

Also, not being able to get an e-book in the format of my choice is a downside. The only e-book format is for Kindle and it costs (currently) almost twice as much as the physical copy.
Profile Image for Phil.
673 reviews14 followers
September 20, 2019
If you're already sold on the Gallup Q12 as a management/engagement tool (I am), this reinforces based on the most recent data the was released in December 2018.

Otherwise, It's The Manager doesn't add a lot. A good 100 pages is dedicated to a "A Guide to the 34 CliftonStrengths Themes". Having gotten this from my local library the 'free Assessment' (1x coded access to the instrument) had already been taken from the back. It is apparently a $50 purchase online. That's what I get for not buying the book. And honestly, after reading between the lines on the 34 Strengths, I'm not inclined to.
Profile Image for Des Vera.
6 reviews
January 12, 2023
A book that brings a lot of very good points on how to care for staff, subordinates, and an organization as a whole. Reading this with other supervisors and using it to guide discussion has helped me all the ways I can grow as a leader.
Profile Image for Joe Valenti.
356 reviews4 followers
August 16, 2022
Excellent, research-based findings that you’d be insane not to pay attention to.
Profile Image for Hallie.
336 reviews
March 12, 2022
Numbered pages in this book: 430
Number of pages of actual book (not Appendix): 189
Number of chapters in those 189 pages: 52 (which means about 3 pages on average per chapter)
Number of useful pages in this book that I actually marked and will learn from/use: 14
Price you pay for this (says back of book): $34 (I bought used)

At my job, I manage 6 people, and have made it a goal over the last year to try to improve my managing skills. I've revamped how my 1:1s are structured, attended personal development learning sessions, listened to podcasts, and when I came across this book, thought it would be a great milestone in my education journey. It's a line in the sand at best.

Don't get me wrong. There is useful information in here. But as stated above, it's just surrounded by absolute fluff. What this book SHOULD have been advertised as is this: Here's a bunch of quick blog posts about management, and then an in-depth look at what the CliftonStrengths Finder items mean, and how to manage using those. The title should have been "How to Manage Based on Your CliftonStrengths Type." There isn't anything wrong with that, but I probably wouldn't have picked it up with that title (which is why they titled it It's the Manager instead).

I bookmarked, like I said, 14 different things, and they aren't just one liners. The Five Coaching Conversations are good and meaty, as is Seven competencies for success in any role. They are items that I can refer back to and see how to map to my own direct reports. That alone is worth the read. But I was deeply disappointed — I expected in-depth scenarios, like in How to Win Friends and Influence People, or Leaders Eat Last. Instead, it was a few good tidbits and an ad for CliftonStrengths and Gallup, masquerading as a book.
Profile Image for Rozana AlBanawi.
70 reviews10 followers
November 3, 2020
Highly recommended for anyone managing or leading an organization or startup. I loved the application of human science into the current business arena and also integrating new knowledge about millennials and generation Z and reflecting on what is needed now in a culture and a manager. Apparently, what people need the most these days is a good stable job.
Profile Image for Angie.
3 reviews1 follower
December 29, 2019
Quick to get through with some good takeaways. Easy to skim through since each chapter is just a couple pages.
163 reviews2 followers
April 24, 2022
This book is a bit different in its structure with a large portion made up by appendixes. The "chapters" of the book are just a few pages each built around the findings of Gallup research with the 52 findings organized into five sections: Strategy, Culture, Employment Brand, Boss to Coach, and The Future of Work. Gallup's employee engagement framework, most commonly known as Q12, is based on a hierarchy of employees' development needs, and each of our 12 employee engagement survey questions fits into one of the four levels of the hierarchy: Basic Needs, Individual Contribution, Teamwork, and Growth. The finding that 70% of the variation between a "great" and a "lousy" workplace engagement can be explained just by the quality of the manager or team leader stuck with me in our current period of "the great resignation" with people within the workforce not hesitating to jump to new opportunities. A substantial portion of the book documents the studies and another large portion details the CliftonStrengths assessment that 34 themes that focuses on your top five strengths. I've not done the assessment, but it sounds interesting and I've certainly heard of it. Overall the findings that make up less than half of the pages of this book made it worthwhile.
Profile Image for Angela Lam.
311 reviews17 followers
September 1, 2022
This book presents Gallup's research findings about how work and people has evolved, and what organizations should do. The data and ideas are definitely useful for managers and HR professionals, and covers a range of topics like strategy, culture, hiring, performance management, succession planning, work trends (e.g. gig jobs, diversity, digitization etc).

BUT I was actually quite disappointed by the book. Each of the 50+ chapters are really short to present 1 idea (or a facet of an idea). It's highly repetitive, with the same points being repackaged in different forms over and over again. Each chapter is sliced so finely that some can barely stand on their own if you don't read other chapters. In many places, it reads like a collection of loose points or an outright promotion of Gallups’ tools and assessments.

Still, if you're looking for facts or data to incorporate into your strategy or presentations, or just want to get a quick idea about how the workplace is evolving, this book has some good resources.

Book summary at: https://readingraphics.com/book-summa...
549 reviews7 followers
October 21, 2020
Nothing I don’t already know but useful nonetheless.

Thank Blinkist!

Final summary

The key message in these blinks:

Managers wanting to future proof their companies need to offer their staff meaning and purpose at work, as well as a paycheck. Today’s leaders must also rid their workplaces of sexual harassment, and remove bias from the hiring process. And with the rise of freelance working, it’s time for managers to harness the benefits of the gig economy, without sacrificing employee well-being along the way.

Actionable advice:

Start building great relationships now.

In the next ten years, nearly half of all US jobs are expected to be at risk of being automated. Any human jobs left are likely to be those that need genuine interaction and social skills. In other words, when robots are doing everything else, your customers will expect your face-to-face contact to be exemplary. So start developing your employees’ abilities to build great relationships now, and help them get ahead of the curve.
58 reviews
April 2, 2022
A good survey of the important institutional and cultural aspects of creating a great workplaces, backed by decades of study and analysis. From the perspective of 2020 it all seems rather obvious to me, but I value its comprehensiveness, since I don’t remember all the salient points all the time. Still, the depth of research lends authority that may help the more skeptical to understand its points. The focus on millennials to make its points feels weird at times, since this Gen-Xer feels very much the same, and suspects that people have *always* wanted meaningful work in an inclusive, welcoming, and supportive environment. It’s just that the past top-down approach to management with its focus on “human capital resources” rather than “people” may take some time and doing to knock down, and young folks are most likely to speak loudly to it.
42 reviews
January 20, 2023
Oh my god, this is the worst business book every written....and I have been through an MBA program. Its just a book written by Baby Boomers for Baby Boomers to explain why all the young people are wrong about the world, but how you have to coddle them to get anything done....when in reality its me having to teach a man who makes millions of dollars a year how to hit "Save As" instead of "Save" when he needs it to be a PDF. And I wish that was a made up story....but its not.

Books like this make people feel that its okay to "not understand technology" and having to have the younger generation "meet them in the middle". Nah, miss me with that, get with the times or get out of the work force. Nobody wants coworkers 40+ years older than them anyways.
Profile Image for Alicia Robben.
104 reviews
May 8, 2020
Initially this book looked daunting and had a lot of pages, but don't worry! A large portion of the book is filled with information about the Clifton Stengths Assessment. I'm not a CEO and the book says it is tailor for executives, but I still found it helpful to provide some tips with how to lead in the workplace and what challenges companies might encounter in the upcoming years. My favorite part was the focus on managers as coaches. Even though I enjoyed this book a lot, the chapters are very short. I wish the chapters had included more detail and steps to take to maximize employee potential.
Profile Image for Quinns Pheh.
416 reviews12 followers
October 21, 2020
Managers who wish to future proof their companies need to realise the importance in offering meaning and purpose to their staff at work. As well as a pay-check, of course. Furthermore, issues such as sexual harassment in the workplace, and biases during hiring process needs to be curb and leaders should take a zero-tolerance approach. In the author’s opinion, companies could also harness the benefits of the gig economy with the rise of freelance working, without sacrificing employee well-being along the way. In the rise of technology, most jobs are at risk of being automated. Therefore, employers should start training people on various social skills to provide exemplary customer service.
Profile Image for Yat Sing Ip.
198 reviews2 followers
February 17, 2022
A relatively easy read since most of the chapters are 2-4 pages long. Having said that, you aren't expected to read through every single chapter. Many of the concepts are straightforward and simple to most folks who are used to a corporate life.

I was looking to learn more about coaching and learnt from the book that there are 5 types of conversations in coaching.

While the book doesn't teach you how to carry them out, it gives an idea on how to start.

Like the other reviewers, half the book was made up of the appendixes. Now I'll have to dig up the Strength Finder test I did many years ago to see my own profile again.
Profile Image for Melody Henderson.
2 reviews2 followers
January 3, 2020
Gallup/Clifton's take on the often over-looked margin of leadership positions that exist between Front Line Leaders and Executive Teams is insightful and enlightening. Their revelations regarding other leaders though is a bit redundant to many other resources on the matter. I first learned about this book when an article in the Wall Street Journal mentioned it in Spring 2019. I ordered a copy fairly quickly and gobbled most of it up, but there are large sections that feel basically irrelevant to the topic, and doesn't give much useful information in the way of directions and solutions.
10 reviews1 follower
March 17, 2022
We all know the saying that people don't leave their company, they leave their manager. But what about looking at this another way, do managers have an impact on whether people stay? And if so, how much? This book explains in the clearest terms why and how managers are the single biggest influence on employee engagement... at least 70% of that engagement, in fact.
If you need to present evidence to your organisations leaders that giving your managers the skills they need is crucial, start with this book.
Profile Image for Brad Boyson.
50 reviews3 followers
May 12, 2019
IMHO there are two types of successful nonfiction business books being written today: those using a powerful narrative to tell an important life lesson and those using sound science to elucidate fact from fiction. This book manages to do both in a concise yet penetrating format - that even includes the meta-data! Thank you to the authors Jim Clifton and Jim Harter for aggregating some of Gallup's important findings in one easy to read invaluable reference.
Profile Image for Fabrizio Trotti.
50 reviews
June 21, 2019
Loads of interesting and insightful findings for managers and leaders who want to be modern. The book is NOT designed to be read from start to finish, it is well organized to select a topic you are interested in right now and get practical advises on it. Strongly recommend, for example, the Boss to Coach section. A bit disappointing that in some passages the promotion for Gallup's tools and consulting is so blatant. All in all, a solid leadership book that is based on an insane amount of data.
Profile Image for Sarah.
97 reviews2 followers
December 4, 2019
It’s not rocket science, and I’ll admit I’m predisposed to agreeing with a lot of the content because of my love of the Strengths tool with groups and teams (and personally). Nevertheless, while the super short chapters really annoyed me personally, I did find a lot of valuable nuggets laid out in easy to grasp concepts that I feel like I can readily apply to continue to grow and improve as a manager and leader.
Profile Image for Theresa Jehlik.
1,189 reviews5 followers
December 9, 2019
This is less a "how to be a manager" and more a "summary of Gallup research" book on the manager's role in an organization. More than half the book is devoted to appendixes which include the 34 Clifton StrengthsFinder categories, research outcomes with methodology, and references. Each of the 52 short chapters highlights a research finding plus some applications in a business environment. This is a book best digested in small bites.
Profile Image for Ilonita50.
443 reviews
December 30, 2022
This is a next step to the previous book read for Wellbeing at the Workplace which gave the introduction of Clifton Strength Pack and individual meaning for all the strengths.
This book focuses on the strengths but in next level, how you can guide someone in your teams, based on their strengths. As well as what to focus on if you as a leader posses your strengths.
Language is clear, engaging and precise for the team management and what's important to focus.
27 reviews
June 6, 2019
I, and my colleagues, are truly passionate about the data-driven information and results Gallup produces; this book is no different. Our team works with organizations to implement Strengths-Based cultures, and it is a favorite of ours to see an organization’s eyes open. I loved the book, the facts, the data, and the solutions!
Profile Image for Lori Sullivan.
Author 1 book1 follower
July 21, 2019
Overall good book on the importance of managers in an organization. The manager is the one most influential in employee engagement, yet often are not trained on what to do. The book is full of stats and areas of focus. Grouped into very short chapters that aren't meant to be read in order or all at one time.
Profile Image for Katherine Coble.
58 reviews
June 30, 2020
Gallup does it again - great synthesis of data from years of research, showing that the manager is the linchpin for success in an organization. We have to better equip our managers to communicate and to carry vision if we want to engage employees to accomplish the vision efficiently and effectively.
Profile Image for Rob .
111 reviews6 followers
October 13, 2020
Good research is the hallmark of Gallup and this book delivers on that. It filled with a lot of varied topics so it is easy to jump quickly to topics you might be interested in. I would treat more like a reference handbook than a typical non-fiction business book. But the research is always what is so worth it.
October 21, 2020
Managers wanting to future proof their companies need to offer their staff meaning and purpose at work, as well as a paycheck. Today’s leaders must also rid their workplaces of sexual harassment, and remove bias from the hiring process. And with the rise of freelance working, it’s time for managers to harness the benefits of the gig economy, without sacrificing employee well-being along the way.
Profile Image for Paula Ipina.
27 reviews
June 12, 2021
Claro, conciso y muy práctico. Brinda datos concretos producto de años de investigación en el ámbito organizacional, así como sugerencias aplicables a la empresa dirigidas a contar con un equipo de trabajo comprometido y de alto desempeño. Se evidencia la gran importancia que recae en el Manager para hacer todo eso posible.
Profile Image for Stephen.
659 reviews56 followers
November 9, 2021

Relevant and timely piece from Gallup on the crucial role of the manager in today’s organizations. The proverbial “middle manager” finds themselves squeezed between the demands of upper management and expectations of frontline workers. Gallup provides a good roadmap of what needs to be considered in the transformation of this critical organizational role.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 55 reviews

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