Whether you are starting out in professional life or have been part of it for some time, you have a boss and a responsibility to manage him of her like the other resources for which you’re responsible, according to William Smullen in his book Ways and Means of Managing Up: 50 Strategies for Helping You and Your Boss Succeed. The author has had 50 years of experience in managing others, most notably as chief of staff to former US Secretary of State Colin Powell.
Why do you go to work every day, and why travel somewhere at all? Is it necessarily the best place to perform the tasks your organization requires of you? What is the best way to design a workplace? How can flexible and work-from-home arrangements be effective for an organization? These and many similar questions are addressed by Guy Clapperton and Philip Vanhoutte in their book The Smarter Working Manifesto: When, Where and How Do You Work Best?
It turns out that becoming a leader and doing something amazing with your life hinge on what makes you different, not what makes you the same as everyone else, according to Sylvia Hewlett in her book Executive Presence: The Missing-Link Between Merit and Success. Executive presence is a measure of image rather than performance; it is the manner in which you signal to others that you “have what it takes” to be star material.
We have the wrong brain and the wrong education to get people decisions right, according to Claudio Fernández-Aráoz in his book It’s Not the How or the What but the Who: Succeed by Surrounding Yourself with the Best. We distrust people who are not similar to us, but to succeed in a globally minded environment we need to surround ourselves with people who have diverse backgrounds and complementary skills. And the vast majority of managers have not received proper training on assessing others and helping them reach their highest potential.
Even well-thought-out incentives lose effectiveness over time, and traditional practices of rewards programs often feel mechanical, manipulative and bureaucratic, according to George Langelett in his book How Do I Keep My Employees Motivated?: The Practice of Empathy-Based Management. Employees are influenced by emotions as well as logic in their decision-making, so managers need to develop their empathy skills to help employees make sound decisions and to influence long-term motivation.
Every career will have bumps and surprises along the way, but by building a plan for your trajectory you can mitigate those problems by moving through a series of manageable steps that are much more within your line of sight and immediate control, according to David Van Rooy in his book Trajectory: 7 Career Strategies to Take You from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be. The book provides a range of hints for managing a successful career.
Building a company inevitably leads to tight jams and tough times; there is no recipe for really complicated, dynamic situations, for building a high-tech company, for leading a group of people out of trouble, or for motivating teams when your business has gone bad, according to Ben Horowitz in his book The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers. The book describes the author’s story and the lessons he learnt along the way as a tech entrepreneur, CEO and venture capitalist.
Professional service providers such as lawyers, accountants and consultants soon discover that the secret to their professional success lies not just in mastering the technical details of their profession but also in establishing and maintaining strong relationships with clients and colleagues. Key principles for mastering professional relationships are described by Andrew Sobel and Jerold Panas in their book Power Relationships: 26 Irrefutable Laws for Building Extraordinary Relationships.
Over the long run information leaks and talent spillovers foster new levels of creativity and innovation that benefit not only the best and most fearless companies but also the economy as a whole, according to Orly Lobel in her book Talent Wants to Be Free: The Upside of Raids, Leaks and Free Riding. The book goes on to challenge conventional wisdom concerning human capital and the economic effects of the free flow of talent from one company to the next.
Marissa Mayer might have put an end to Yahoo’s work-from-home policy, but working remotely is alive and well in many other organisations, according to Jason Fried in his book Remote: Office Not Required. A company that embraces remote work gets access to the best talent and frees its workers from soul-crushing commutes, and if remote work is managed correctly the company can gain significantly increased productivity.