Book suggestions for a new manager
December 13, 2007 11:32 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for suggestions for books for a person new to management.

I work for a friend who is new to her role in management. She has a lot of talent but is barely treading water in her leadership position. I'd like to help her new role without upstaging her and without speaking down to her. I think that approachable management skills books would help her fill-out her new position. I would like to help her wrap her mind around her changing responsibilities and support her in her new position.

Specifically, we work in a restaurant/bar. She is the new general manager and I am the kitchen manager. Previously she was just a bartender and now she is running the entire restaurant.

Most importantly, we have been friends for over ten years and I want to make sure that we remain friends regardless of our professional interactions.

And I have to admit that this question is influenced by this question.
posted by peeedro to Work & Money (12 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
I enjoyed The One Minute Manager.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 12:11 AM on December 14, 2007

The book Becoming A Manager is kind of long but since it is based on interviews with people learning to manage, it's less "this is how to do it," and more "then I figured out I was making THIS mistake," which is more like what the process actually feels like. :)
posted by salvia at 12:45 AM on December 14, 2007

I am a manager trainer and can give you some good tips if you can e-mail me some of the most pertinent things you are having problems with. My e-mail is my profile. I second One Minute Manager but also recommend that you speak to barkeeps about the things they face on the job. Setting up those meetings should not be difficult.
posted by parmanparman at 12:58 AM on December 14, 2007

Getting Things Done... It's a bit cultish and can take your life over but basically, it just works.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:05 AM on December 14, 2007

I love Getting Things Done.
posted by The Deej at 6:08 AM on December 14, 2007

I'm a big fan of Scott Berkun , and his book on Project Management. He has some great essays online (free) so that you can get a feel for his style.
Good Luck
posted by GurnB at 6:49 AM on December 14, 2007

I like First Break All the Rules. It's data-driven vs. a lot of pop psychology that's out there.
posted by kamikazegopher at 7:08 AM on December 14, 2007

I also like First Break All the Rules.

However, I gotta say that handing your friend a management book is not the way to encourage your friend to be a better manager. You report to her, yes? Tread lightly. Your job is to help your friend manage YOU better. So, in a series of one-on-one conversations, explain to your friend how you would like to be managed.

I work for a new manager. He is an honest and earnest guy that I genuinely like. He takes feedback well. However, he's got new manager-itis and his management approaches (or non-approaches) are sometimes painful. I am trying to train him to manage me better. My approach will not work with somebody overly defensive or backstabby.

On occasion, he will do something and I will think to myself "God, what an asshat!" or "God, what a moron!" or "Learn to fucking delegate already!" or "God, I can't believe he has no idea what is going on in the trenches!" Here's what I do in these situations.

I work in a corporate setting so we have a scheduled time to sit down and chat. You work in a bar so you can sit down for drinks after work, try to do this every couple of weeks or so. I make sure I save up my incidents for our scheduled time so that I'm not shitting on his head on a daily basis.

If my boss didn't treat me as I would like to be treated in a given situation, I will first recap the situation that occurred. I will then talk about how I felt in a given situation. I will then tell him about other approaches that I would have appreciated at that time. If my boss needs to delegate something, and I want to do it, I volunteer to do it. If my boss is clueless and has no idea what is going on, I tell him.

In general, I try not to speak for other people. You, however, can try to influence your peers to sit down with the manager for drinks one-on-one and have similar conversations.

The best thing you can do to support your friend is to give her honest feedback and to encourage others to do the same. The other thing you could do, if possible, is to introduce her to somebody who works in her role at a different restaurant and see if they will establish a mentoring relationship. Handing her a book at best won't help and at worst will damage your relationship. I suggest you go read up on managing up.
posted by crazycanuck at 7:52 AM on December 14, 2007

Buy The Successful Manager's Handbook published by PDI (Personnel Decisions International). We give a copy to every new manager at my company and, as an HR d00d, I refer to it myself when designing trainings. It's about 35 bucks and well worth it.
posted by Mmothra at 8:59 AM on December 14, 2007

When I am emperor, Managing Assertively will be required reading in high school.
posted by futility closet at 9:54 AM on December 14, 2007

The first thing that comes to mind is "Getting to Yes" or "Getting Past No."
posted by radioamy at 10:04 AM on December 14, 2007

I'm about 7 months into my first management position, and in addition to the books above, I'd recommend "Who Moved My Cheese." It's less about core-management than being a therapist for your employees in times of change.

In addition to "Cheese," Managing Humans is a great read. Although it speaks to the tech industry, many of it's anecdotes can be applied in a variety of areas.

Good Luck!
posted by lonemantis at 3:12 PM on December 14, 2007

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