The Sophisticated Manager by Jack Litewka



n mentoring dozens of managers over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what undercut their confidence, what they felt unprepared to do, what issues caused them the most angst, what they saw as their biggest roadblocks, in what areas they had significant gaps in experience and knowledge, and what were the common mistakes they made.

Certain themes came up again and again as I listened to their painful tales of the crises they were facing – and those themes, those pain points, are the heart and soul of this book and what I focus on. The recurring thought I had was that if managers learned how to do some things that they now have difficulty with in a world-class manner, they would be able to avoid much pain, anxiety, and serious missteps – and that thought inspired me to write this book.

Here are some of the topics that you will read about in this book:

  • You will learn some of the positive things that are *must-do’s* if you are a recently-hired manager.
  • You will learn how to identify potential pitfalls and how to avoid them.
  • You will learn how to think about the depth and breadth of your role.
  • You will gain a deeper understanding of what you need to do to create a high-performance team.

And, of course, much much more…

Mentoring has been among the most rewarding activities that I have had in a career spanning 40+ years – and this book is a form of one-to-many mentoring. It provides not only the “what” to do and the “how” to do it, but also the “why to do it this way”. That deeper understanding of the “why” is one factor that sets this book apart from other management books.

I want to continue the tradition, begun long before me, of nurturing the next generation of Great Managers. The Sophisticated Manager: A Guide to Success is my offering to that tradition – a tradition that I hope you will honor when you feel ready to do that – by mentoring those who will want to benefit from your experience.

In The Trenches...

(aka Lessons from the Real World)


his is an “in the trenches” book, focusing on real issues that managers – first-time managers as well as experienced managers – grapple with when they take on a managerial position. This book tells you how to do certain things that managers struggle with (rather than just telling you, in general terms, what you’re supposed to do). I draw on my own experience and also on the experience of having both mentored and learned from many managers over the years, which made clear the ways in which managers get themselves into trouble.

This book contains real-life experiential “data” – hard-won knowledge about which soft-skill techniques and strategies are effective in the workplace.

This book does not try to cover everything that a manager needs to know. It does not list all the “should do’s” – lists upon lists of all the myriad activities that a manager must handle. Instead, it zeroes in on how best to accomplish certain difficult tasks in a world-class manner. It provides guidance on the best way to address dicey situations and how to avoid serious mistakes that I’ve seen managers make, again and again, that undermined their credibility – missteps that often took many months to recover from (and full recovery sometimes did not happen).

My hope is that the down-and-dirty discussions and how-to guidance in this book will increase your ability to deftly handle difficult situations and, perhaps more importantly, will also help you to avoid getting into trouble in the first place.

You have in your hands The Sophisticated Manager: A Guide to Success. Use it wisely – and you will reach your goals while avoiding unnecessary suffering.

Out-of-the-Box Press

© 2016 Jack Litewka