The Sophisticated Manager by Jack Litewka
In the Trenches… (aka Lessons from the Real World)
How to Read This Book
Part One: The Meaning of “Great”
1 “Do I Have a Great Team Culture?”
2 Good Manager vs. Great Manager – the Differentiators
Part Two: Soft Skills… and a Manager’s Key Responsibility
3 What Types of Soft-Skill Mistakes Is a Manager Most Likely to Make?
4 What Is the Key Responsibility of a Manager?
5 Creating Conditions that Allow Your Direct Reports to Succeed
6 The Day Before You Start a Job as a Manager
7 Weekly “Mandatory Activities” (If You’ve Recently Stepped into a Manager Role)
Part Three: Every Meeting Counts
8 Your First Team “Gathering” (Not a Meeting)
9 Three Team-Meeting Fundamentals
10 How to Run Effective Team Meetings
11 Your First 1-to-1 Meeting with Your Manager
12 Your First 1-to-1 Meeting with Each of Your Direct Reports
13 The Art of Recurring 1-to-1 Meetings with Your Direct Reports
Part Four: Triaging Your Way Out of a Mess
14 What If You Learn During the First Week on the Job that You’ve Been Dropped into a Huge Mess?
15 Triaging Urgent Problems
16 Taking Control of the Triage Process
17 Developing a Realistic Triage Schedule
Part Five: Hiring Great People – The First Step
18 Hiring Is the Most Important Thing You Do
19 Great Hiring Begins with Top-of-the-Line Job Descriptions
20 Crafting a Top-of-the-Line Job Description
Part Six: Hiring Great People – The Interview Loop
21 An Interview Is Not a Conversation (Did You Think It Was?)
22 Strategic Planning for an Interview Loop
23 Whom Will You Choose to Interview the Candidates?
24 Thorny Issue – How to Deal with Internal Candidates
25 The Hiring Manager’s Laser Focus on Motivation, Team Fit, and Upside Potential
26 Who Asks Which Questions?
27 The Question-and-Answer Game
28 Warm-Up Questions
29 Follow-Up Questions (aka Penetrating the Façade)
30 Real-Time Feedback Is Critical
31 Did the Candidate Have Any Questions for You, the Hiring Manager?
Part Seven: Hiring Great People – To Hire or Not to Hire?
32 Try to Talk the Candidate Out of the Job (If You Want to Hire the Candidate)
33 Trust Your Gut
34 Going into “Sell” Mode
35 The Role of the Hiring Manager (That’s You!)
36 The “Chameleon Candidate” Nightmare (or: the Tale of a Bad Hire)
37 Beware “the Passion Thing”
38 Instant Prejudice
39 Hire People Who Are Smarter than You
Part Eight: Addressing Personnel Problems
40 Retaining Staff (or Letting Them Go Gracefully)
41 Dealing with Bad Apples
42 Team Destroyers – the “Greats”
43 How to SMARTly Manage a Martha or a Sheldon… or Worse
Part Nine: The Ties that Bind a Great Team Culture
44 Walk & Talk, and Lunch with You (If You Have a Large Team)
45 The Culture Gap… When You Are a Manager of Managers
Part Ten: Strategy
46 “The Vision Thing”
47 Creating a Powerful Vision
48 Criteria for Mission, Goals, Strategy, Success Metrics, and Tactics
50 Putting a Toe in Strategic Waters
51 Preparing to Open the “Wrong Strategy” Can of Worms with Your Manager
51 (Very Carefully, of Course)
Part Eleven: Additional Things that Every Manager Needs to Know
52 The OARP Model – For Keeping a Project on Track
53 Developing a Communications Strategy(Internal and External)
54 Which Member of Your Team Will Come Up with the Next Break-Through Idea?
55 “Managing” Your Peers… Effectively
56 What If Someone Makes You Angry? (Be Very Careful)
57 What Is the One Guaranteed Motivator?
58 The Difficult Dance of Opposing Principles
59 There’s Never Enough Time to Do It Right… But There’s Always Enough Time to Fix It
60 Perfectionitis (a Good Way to Lose Market Share)
61 LUTAS and Other Tips for Exec Reviews
62 Email No-No’s
63 “Isn’t It Enough to Be Fair?”
64 Delivering Bad News
65 What Is the Most Important Thing You Do as a Manager?
Part Twelve: Maintaining Your Sanity
66 Worry-Free Vacations (or Are You Constantly on Edge?)
67 What Is the One Thing that No One Can Take from You?
Part Thirteen: Closing Thoughts
68 Don’t Forget the Golden Rule… Revised
69 What’s Love Got to Do with It?
70 Congratulations ! ! !
Appendix 1: Week 1 – Mandatory Activities
Appendix 2: Week 2 – Mandatory Activities
Appendix 3: Week 3 – Mandatory Activities
Appendix 4: Week 4 – Mandatory Activities
Remembrances… of Mentors Past
About the Author
© 2016 Jack Litewka