New FranklinCovey book outlines an effective manager’s mindset
For more than 20 years, Scott Jeffrey Miller, management training company FranklinCovey’s executive vice president of thought leadership, has witnessed good and bad leadership.
One thing he found out about the bad leaders was they lacked the training and mindset to become good leaders. This is why Miller, along with his co-authors Todd Davis and Victoria Roose Olsson, who are FranklinCovey’s leadership experts, published “Everyone Deserves a Great Manager: The Six Critical Practices For Leading a Team.”
Miller will do a free book signing at from 2-3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12, at Dolly’s Bookstore.
The book, which was released on Oct. 8, is based on one of FranklinCovey’s leadership offerings, “The 6 Critical Practices for Leading a Team,” Miller said.
The six things are: Develop a Leader’s Mindset, Hold Regular One-on-Ones, Set Up Your Team to Get Results, Create a Culture of Feedback, Lead Your Team Through Change and Manage Your Time and Energy.
“FranklinCovey has been in this leadership development business for 40 years,” he said. “We’ve interviewed, assessed and profiled millions of managers and leaders.”
The practices are explained in their own chapters, Miller said.
“This book isn’t ‘War and Peace,’” he said with a laugh. “These practices are fairly practical, because we just wanted to say ‘At the end of the day, the job of leaders and managers is to lead teams.’ And if you are focused on success at the team level, which is the heartbeat of every organization, these are the things you want to master.”
Miller said “Everyone Deserves a Great Manager” is written in a confident and vulnerable style to engage the reader.
“Too often these leadership books can read too academic and aspirational, and this book is not as forward,” Miller said. “It’s written for unit-leader managers; first-level managers who need encouragement. We wanted to let people know leadership is tough, and all three authors share some of the mistakes we have made and the things we did right.”
The average age of someone who is promoted to a first-time management job is 30, but the average age they receive their first leadership training is 42, according to Harvard Business Review.
“So there is a 12-year gap where people are wandering and doing damage to people and being that bad boss that we have all had,” he said.
Miller said the book wants to close that gap, and show these first-time managers that they need to change their way of thinking to be effective.
“Too often people are promoted into management roles because they were the best writer, digital designer or sales person, and rarely do those skills translate into becoming a good manager or leader,” he said. “In fact, those skills are often the opposite, because great producers are more likely to be the lone wolves; the mavericks who want the spotlight and win.”
While wanting to win is a good attribute, good managers need to turn the spotlight on their teams, and away from themselves, Miller said.
“The great managers have different skill sets,” he said. “They are good listeners. They are patient, and that takes a whole different level of maturity.”
This is what the book focuses on.
“When most people get promoted, they automatically think they can hammer their own skills into a team, and that’s when people start quitting and things implode,” he said. “As a manager, your job isn’t to be the genius, but rather the genius maker. You’re no longer responsible for your own results. You’re responsible for getting results with and through other people.”
Managers also have to be confident and humble enough to be vulnerable and allow their team members to give them feedback.
“Good managers have to take themselves seriously, but not so much where they think they have to be perfect,” Miller said. “You need to say to your team that you don’t have all the answers and can’t solve all the problems. Your job is to create the conditions where everyone in the group trusts each other, collaborate, work hard and forgive each other.”
“Everyone Deserves a Great Manager” not only opens a path for team leaders to be successful, it also provides space in the pages to write down notes and goals for self evaluation.
“We wanted our book to be as practical as possible,” Miller said. “We needed to include a feedback planning sheet to make sure anyone who reads a chapter can actually implement what they learned. If you follow these steps, you will not only transform your team, but your own management and leadership skills.”
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