28 Feb 2013, 09:44

Michael Talks (1 post)

It would be a gross mistake to look at this book and think it was one only for “management types”. In truth there’s a lot in here about anyone who has to interact with another person to get their job done in IT. These days that’s pretty much anyone.

I started reading the first half of BCD a few months ago and then put it on hold.  I kept it in the back of my mind, and watched how my meetings, esp my one-to-ones with my supervising manager went. It made me understand and respect his style a lot more, and where he was leading me to go.

As BCD talks about – leadership can be very subtle. It’s not about telling people what to do, ordering them around and shouting. It’s about bringing people out of themselves to harness their intelligence and build and mentor effective working groups.

It’s full of good stuff, but the real take home for me was about “if you are a technical manager, you can still help out your team , but you need to make sure you assign yourself only the non-critical path items”. When push comes to shove, if you attempt to handle a critical item whilst also managing, you are turning yourself into a bottleneck, and you have to compromise one or the other – and neither will be acceptable.

Rothman and Derby also introduce the powerful tool for individuals, to say “yes” to their superiors as a definitive commitment or to say “no”. But eliminate words like “could”, “might”, “maybe” - words where you think you are flagging how stretched you are, but are heard as a “yes” in some ears.

A wonderful book, enlightening to anyone who works in IT.

16 Feb 2014, 06:43

Mark Pearl (1 post)

Every once in a while when I start reading a new book I have this suspicion that it is going to suck, and then somehow during the process of reading it - it wins me over. This is how I felt about “Behind Closed Doors”.

When I began the first chapter it felt way to simple - and in some ways it was - but after working through the book I realize that in being so simple it put across a really powerful message on management.

After reading it cover to cover I would recommend this book to anyone working in management who wants to get a solid grasp of the fundamentals that will make you a great manager.

Because the book is written in such a easy to read format I would recommend that you read it end to end, but for me there were a few gems I would like to highlight.

pg. 50 - Explanation of Team vs a Workgroup pg. 79 - Defining career goals pg. 93 - Obligation to provide feedback pg. 102 - Emotions pg. 105 - Career Development pg. 110 - Digging yourself into a hole pg. 116 - What management is

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