The Sophisticated Manager by Jack Litewka
The Sophisticated Manager belongs in the hands of every person in a new managerial job regardless of their experience or the level of the position. The book provides helpful concepts, checklists and the wisdom of a person who has managed, consulted, mentored and reflected on his experiences in each arena. Reading the book is like being in the room with the author as is written in a conversational way showing the author’s humor and thoughtfulness. Some of the ideas are new and others are helpful reminders. I will borrow key ideas from the book to use with my coaching clients.
—John Mirocha, Ph.D., President & CEO,
John Mirocha & Associates, Inc.
Anyone in a management position will outstrip their competition for promotions if they read and use the advice in the book if their competitors do not have this how-to book! This is the best business book i have ever seen or read and this is after 12 years of executive management in a Fortune 500 company and 15 years of successful executive consulting.
“The Sophisticated Manager” should become a unique and refreshing addition to every manager’s library. Whether you are seasoned in your role, or new to the experience, in this book you will find wisdom, insights and hands-on tools that will enhance your effectiveness in your role. Litewka offers perspectives that have utility in large, established corporations, smaller startups, and even non-profit organizations operating on a shoestring budget. It’s a book that you will return to again and again - and each time you do so, you’ll gain a new perspective on the job of being an effective leader.”
Deputy Director, Global Foundation
This book truly gives me pointers I can use to get the most from the people I work with. I am keeping it in my office as a permanent consultant.
—V.P., Research Technology & Services
“If you're looking for lol moments, superficial anecdotes or other entertaining fluff, this book is not for you. Mr. Litewka's book is packed full of helpful concepts, sage advice and specific examples and suggestions. It will be useful for all levels of managers and supervisors.
I confess to not reading the book from cover to cover. Instead, I chose chapters of interest and/or that caught my eye. Specifically, I appreciated his keen intelligent thoughts on moving from "good to great" managing, "cowardly" behavior when giving bad news, and on creating a strategic mission statement.
I highly recommend this book.”
—Steve Walch, Ph.D., Psychologist
Jumping around some from topic to topic gave me many “gotcha moments” thinking “wished I had known that then.” The book is applicable to both large and small business mgt as well as team creation issues. The author’s insight into dealing with people, esp. ‘top bananas’, to make both them and the business mission successful is clearly evident in his narrative.
—Thomas Resk, M.D.
Full of great manager tips! It was perfect to read a little each day during lunch and then return to apply what I'd learned. Get this book - your people will notice the difference...and your boss will, too! :)
I found this book incredibly valuable, even as a non-manager who has zero aspirations to become one. I work as a consultant, and I found a wealth of practical insights and advice that I can apply to client relations, project management, board and volunteer activities, and dealing with human beings in general. The author addresses situations that will be familiar to many readers—the person who dominates meetings, the team member who is in over his head, the project you’ve joined that turns out to be a huge mess—and offers specific techniques and strategies for dealing with them. Reading this book is like having a wise mentor by your side.
Jack embodies mentorship, and this book reflects his management philosophy as well as practical insight into how to hire and develop excellent managerial talent. He addresses what a great team is and how a great manager guides the team towards excellence.
Jack’s approach is to allow the reader to determine the pace and the sequence in how the material is consumed and applied. This book is not just about the manager, it is how a manager can facilitate the development of their direct reports and how to elevate them towards becoming exceptional contributors and managers themselves, managers who become exceptional stewards of the talent they are responsible for.
In preparation for becoming a people manager I read numerous books hoping they would provide me with the tips and tricks and the guidance and confidence so critical in those first few weeks managing a team. The Sophisticated Manager was the one book that provided me with such guidance in a no-nonsense type way. It also turned out to be extremely valuable in preparing for my job interview.
“I highly recommend this book. Litewka’s invaluable wisdom from many years of successful management is presented in an extremely accessible format. To be honest, I went through THE SOPHISTICATED MANAGER very quickly at first, thinking that many of the processes described were more appropriate for a larger corporate environment. However, as I’ve wrestled with personnel issues in my small organization, I’ve realized that I would have greatly benefited from reading this book carefully before I hired anyone. I didn’t know what I didn’t know. In particular, the discussion of interviewing, hiring, and supporting employees offers a professional path to successful management. If you are a new manager, entering a new management position, about to make a new hire, or doing anything managerial, read THE SOPHISTICATED MANAGER first!”
Two points of great interest to me were:
Colliding Principle #2 ("Don't believe everything you think"). This principle was a good reminder of how to keep my business self-awareness.
The 2/3 Rule for Presentations. My presentations frequently run overtime. After reading what you wrote, I got off my self-absorption notion that this was because my group couldn't get enough of me.
This book isn't only something a manager or aspiring manager MUST read for the sake of their success and comfort within such roles: it is something anyone who wishes to grow and better themselves simply AS A HUMAN BEING should read. Sure, the book is aimed at managers, it's tailored to the corporate work environment and caters to the needs and aspirations of those who lead staff and teams to success, but anyone could extrapolate these teachings and apply them to everyday life. Whether you have recently become a manager and need a little knowledge and confidence boost, or you are seasoned manager under stress who needs simple reminders and keys to unlock continued success, or if you are simply a human being living on planet earth wondering how to better organize, plan, anticipate, communicate, and execute in various aspects of life, this book has it all -- and it comes in the simplest and most familiar choice of words. A real secret weapon for anyone interested in both professional and non-professional self-empowerment -- could not recommend it enough!
One of the biggest causes of poor customer experience is unhappy employees, and their unhappiness is often caused by poor managers leading what end up being dysfunctional work teams. So if you are a manager, do yourself a favor and read this book. If you have managers who report to you, do yourself (and them) a favor and give them copies of this book.
The Sophisticated Manager is easy to read or skim. It is wonderfully practical in its advice for managers. It covers almost every situation managers have to deal with, from hiring and firing to building support among colleagues in different departments.
—Tema Frank, author of People Shock:
The Path to Profits When Customers Rule
© 2016 Jack Litewka