Last fall, when I was flailing about unhappily at my job, a friend recommended that I read this book about management philosophy. I’ve never been a manager, but she correctly surmised that I would benefit from thinking about how I’ve experienced being managed.

The message of the book is fairly easy to state, and it seems so obvious once stated. Great managers don’t buy into the idea that employees should focus on overcoming their deficits; they don’t try to change people. Instead, they aim to use each employee’s different strengths and to unleash productivity by aligning people’s talents with the type of work that requires those talents. Obviously that isn’t going to always be easy but great manager are oriented toward achieving that.

There’s more, of course, but the fundamental takeaway for me was the rejection of treating everyone the same in favor of tailoring your management to each person’s unique makeup.

So the message is good. As far as the writing style goes, my experience is that business/management popular press books are written on basically a 5th grade reading level, very clear but with tremendous amounts of repetition. No doubt the book could have been 25% shorter. But, that’s a small irritation.

Bottom line: recommended

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