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.