Management Summary

Management SummaryManagement is a topic that is widely discussed and written about.

However, we are proposing that you drink the wisdom directly from the source: Peter F. Drucker, otherwise known as “the founding father of the study of management.”

Who Should Read “Management”? And Why?

Peter F. Drucker has written more than 34 works, 15 of which are on the science of enterprise management. So, it is safe to say that he is “the founding father of the study of management.”

We recommend “Management” to everyone wanting to learn about it. You cannot do better than Drucker.

About Peter F. Drucker

Peter F. DruckerPeter F. Drucker (1909-2005) was an influential writer and theorist on management theory and practice.

“Management Summary”

Management has risen to be an organizational discipline over the 20th century.

But how did the need for management appear in the first place?

Well, labor moved from manual work to “knowledge work,” so the need for skilled personnel grew.

Companies began to compete on another basis other than just cost. Hence, managers became the “competitive advantage” that distinguished successful from unsuccessful companies.

But what do managers actually do?

Their job is to make people more productive basically. They direct the efforts of the employees so that all actions lead toward accomplishing the organization’s goal.

Managers:

  • Contribute to creating a mission statement for the organization
  • Implement actions to achieve the organization’s purpose.
  • Guide employees to achieve corporate goals in a productive and efficient manner.
  • Help the organization meet its “social responsibilities.”

We can explain the role of management through five primary managerial functions which enable “the integration of resources into a viable, growing organism,” as well.

Managers:

  • “Set objectives” and establish the objectives that employees work to reach.
  • “Organize” tasks and coordinate their allocation, making sure that the right people get the proper roles.
  • “Motivate and communicate” and team employees up in a cooperative group.
  • “Establish targets and yardsticks” which measure outcomes, to continually check whether the company is moving in the right direction.
  • “Develop people” through nurturing and training employees, understanding that they are the firm’s primary resource.

In other words, managers gather information and check for progress, to make sure that everyone is moving in the right direction: toward the company’s goals.

But that is not all.

Managers should know not only how to make the right decisions but to communicate their reasoning and explain what has to be done and for what reason.

They are in charge of monitoring progress and sharing internal information so that all employees have the right data.

They also take care of securing external data, which allows for the company to be up to date and to stay competitive in the market.

Enterprises need to put enough effort into developing expert managers since so many things depend on them.

When defining a manager’s job, it is essential that the title shows the function the manager has. It has to be clear and concise.

Additionally, the job description should explain the exact contributions managers and their teams should make to the organization.

Furthermore, remember that a manager’s span of control does not depend on the number of individuals the manager manages, but on the “span of managerial relationships.”

In other words, a management job exists in a network of relationships: “upward, downward and sideways,” so it is important that the managers you appoint work well with their subordinates, superiors, and peers.

If his communication with all groups is not well, then he is not the manager you are looking for. You are looking for someone who can supervise, and be managed at the same time.

Moreover, you are looking for someone who is able to accept the opinions of others and access his own potentials.

Furthermore, you should regularly assess the managers’ performance, as well, in order to determine their capabilities.

As you can see from what we have already written about, the top executives are in charge of appointing and organizing managerial roles.

So make sure you make the right choices.

Choosing the right people to direct your other employees, will determine how efficient and productive people will be overall.

Key Lessons from “Management”

1.      A List of the Most Common Management Mistakes
2.      Seven Rules for Decision Making
3.      See the big picture

A List of the Most Common Management Mistakes

  • “The too-small job.”
  • “The nonjob.”
  • “Failing to balance managing and working.”
  • “Poor job design.”
  • “Titles as rewards.”
  • “The widow-maker job.”

Seven Rules for Decision Making

  • Make sure it is crucial to make a decision.
  • Understand the nature of the problem you face: Is it “generic” or “unique”?
  • Study the issue by asking: “What is this all about?” “What is pertinent here?” “What is key to the situation?”
  • Compromise, if needed, to come up with the “right” decision.
  • Secure that all the constituents who will have to implement your decision accept it.
  • Ensure that actions follow decisions: assign responsibility Spell out what needs to be done, and assign responsibility accordingly.
  • Monitor the results and get feedback.

How a Manager Can Manage Himself

  • Come up with a “boss list” that shows those to whom you report, those who assess you and your team, and those who have input into your work, or rely on it.
  • Ask each person on the list to tell you when your actions have helped, and when they have stopped progress. Reflect on the answers.
  • “Enable your bosses to perform”
  • “Play to the bosses’ strengths” and keep the focus away from their weaknesses, to establish trust.
  • Keep your manager informed about what you do, both to do his approval, and to build trust.
  • “Never underrate a boss.”

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“Management” Quotes

Managers are the basic resource for the organizational enterprise. Click To Tweet Without the institution, there would be no management, but without management, there would be only a mob rather than an institution. Click To Tweet Good decision makers don’t make many decisions. They make decisions that make a difference. Click To Tweet Even the most efficient business cannot survive, let alone succeed, if it is efficient in doing the wrong things, that is if it lacks effectiveness. Click To Tweet The impact of the manager on modern society and its citizens are so great as to require of the manager the self-discipline and the high service standards of the true professional. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

This version of “Management,” revised by Joseph A. Maciariello to include Drucker’s later writings, covers every aspect of management.

It also goes into a remarkably diverse range of topics such as corporate governance, nonprofits, and “knowledge workers.”

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Top Management Books

The discipline of management is “one of the greatest social innovations of modern times”. In fact, the idea of managing processes is so ubiquitous and pervasive, that Peter Drucker, “the founder of modern management,” considers managers nothing short of the present and future torchbearers of ethics and morality.

You can read why he thinks that in our review of one of the two books we included in our top management books list. We believe that the other thirteen are as important and famous, as influential and eye-opening.

And we don’t want to lose you another second of your time before we introduce our picks for the 15 best management books in history.

#1. “The Principles of Scientific Management” by Frederick Winslow Taylor

The Principles of Scientific Management SummaryIn 1913, V. I. Lenin, the man who would go on to start a bloody revolution four years later, wrote in “Pravda” that “the most widely discussed topic today in Europe, and to some extent in Russia, is the ‘system’ of the American engineer, Frederick Taylor.”

What Lenin was referring to was a 1911 monograph titled “The Principles of Scientific Management,” a highly influential work during the period of the Progressive Era (1890-1920), written by a man whose life mission was improving industrial efficiency, Frederic Winslow Taylor.

Even though the essay expounds theories which would grow obsolete in the meantime, generally the book’s influence is highly regarded even in the 21st century. In fact, in 2001, the 137 Fellows of the Academy of Management voted it the most influential management book ever written.

And some of its main ideas are still hotly and commonly debated. Such as the suggestion that shorter workdays may still increase productivity. What do you think?

#2. “The Functions of the Executive” by Chester Barnard

The Functions of the Executive SummaryDuring the same Academy of Management survey which voted “The Principles of Scientific Management” the most influential management work in history, Chester Irving Barnard’s 1938 classic “The Functions of the Executive” came in second.

Considered “the first paradigmatic statement of the management discipline,” “The Functions of the Executive” presents “a theory of organization and cooperation,” much in the same manner as Taylor. However, the big difference between them is that Barnard didn’t want to merely prescribe principles; he wanted to study those already practiced and compare them to each other to discover the best practice.

Divided into four parts and eighteen chapters, Barnard’s book is a somewhat difficult read. Just looking at the titles of the parts is enough. The first one, for example, is called “Preliminary Considerations Concerning Cooperative Systems”; the last one: “The Functions of Organizations in Cooperative Systems.”

However, have no doubts whatsoever that, in this case, looking past the “atrocious” style is more than worth it.

#3. “The Essential Drucker” by Peter Drucker

The Essential Drucker SummaryBorn in the Austro-Hungarian Empire few years before it dissolved, Peter Drucker, “the most influential and widely read authority on modern organizations,” had the invaluable privilege to be raised in a household where intellectuals, scientists, and leaders regularly met to discuss their views and ideas.

If you’re wondering about their names and reputations, just have a look at our top economics booklist: any Austrian you’ll find there (and there are few), Peter Drucker personally knew even as a child.

In the final Academy of Management list of most influential books, Drucker’s 1954 “The Practice of Management” was listed third and called a “seminal contribution” to the field. However, for our list, we opted for two different books, even though, really, Drucker is so omnipresent that we’ll always stand by our recent estimation that he is “as important to companies, as oxygen is crucial for our survival.”

The Essential Drucker” is a carefully compiled collection of the 26 most important writings by Drucker, and, as such, is an essential read for every manager.

#4. “Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices” by Peter Drucker

Management SummaryIf you’ve studied management at almost any university, the chances are this was one of the first – if not the first – book you were assigned as a compulsory read.

Originally published in 1973, “Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices” is still the best management manual almost half a century later. And it’s so all-encompassing and diligently organized that it’s difficult to see how any other book can take its place.

Developed and written during a period of over three decades, “Management” draws heavily on Peter Drucker’s experience as a management professor and consultant to government agencies, and large and small businesses. In fact, you can consider this book a distillate of his life. There’s everything here! From basic management tasks to best management practices.

But, don’t ignore Drucker’s pleas for business ethics either. “In modern society,” he writes, “there is no other leadership group but managers. If the managers of our major institutions, and especially of business, do not take responsibility for the common good, no one else can or will.”

#5. “What Management Is: How It Works and Why It Is Everyone’s Business” By Joan Magretta

What Management Is SummaryThe blurb to “What Management Is” may sound a bit pretentious, but, trust us, it exaggerates nothing. “Not since Peter Drucker’s great work of the 1950s and 1960s,” it says at one point, “has there been a comparable effort to present the work of management as a coherent whole, to take stock of the current state of play, and to write about it thoughtfully for readers of all backgrounds.”

And when it says “all backgrounds” – trust us yet again – it really means so! At no more than 256 pages, Joan Magretta has managed to achieve a rare feat. Namely, to write a book which may attract the interest of both novices and experienced managers; teaching the former the basics and providing the latter with encyclopedically organized body of knowledge.

The beginners will additionally love the simplicity with which Magretta explains complex management ideas; and, even more, the clear, concise, and straight-to-the-point style. As “The Econimist” review put it best: “a rare animal: a management book that is lucid, interesting and honest.”

#6. “First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently” by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman

First, Break All the Rules SummaryIn 2011, “Time Magazine” made a list of “The 25 Most Influential Business Management Books.” We bet few would have been surprised to see there Marcus Buckingham’s and Curt Coffman’s brilliant “First, Break All the Rules.”

Published by Gallup, the book is based on the largest management survey ever undertaken, encompassing 80,000 interviewed managers from over 400 successful companies. Buckingham and Coffman asked each of the managers 12 simple questions; then they thoroughly studied the answers. The results are staggering: almost none of the old management techniques actually work in practice.

What does work?

Well, first of all, treating employees like individuals capable of doing seriously difficult work; and focusing on their strengths rather than their weakness; however, all the while not believing that with training everyone can do what he or she sets his or her mind to.

It seems that setting specific outcomes works; but – believe it or not – refraining from setting specific processes does as well. Disregarding the golden rule – is the golden rule.

And much, much more.

#7. “Now, Discover Your Strengths” by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton

Now, Discover Your Strengths SummarySo much more, in fact, that Marcus Buckingham went on to write another work, a companion-piece to “First, Break All the Rules”. This time with a new co-author – American psychologist Donald O. Clifton, – but using the very same methodology. And, based on the titles, we have a feeling that this one’s was in preparation even before the first one was published.

We already featured “Now, Discover Your Strengths” in our top motivational books, but we think it belongs here as well. Based on a gargantuan survey by The Gallup Organization, the book quantifies the answers 1.7 million interviewees gave to several questions, and deduces the 34 distinct “talent themes” (or traits), the combinations of which can best describe an individual’s uniqueness.

And after helping each reader to find his specific strengths – via Gallup’s strengthfinder.com online resource – “Now, Discover Your Strengths” offers many practical advices on how to advance and employ them.

Updated as “Strengths Finder 2.0” in the meantime, this book can teach managers to get the best out of their employees, and employees get the best out of themselves.

#8. “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t” by James C. Collins

Good to Great SummaryIn our microsummary, we described “Good to Great” as “one of the best management books to ever see the light of day. So, obviously enough, we include it in our list of top management books in history.

Published in 2001, “Good to Great” tries to answer the question why some good companies succeed in becoming great, while others simply fail making the leap mentioned in the title. And, just like our two previous books on this list, “Good to Great” is not merely a theoretical exposé, but is based on an expansive 5-year study.

But, then again, if you know anything about its author, Jim Collins, you would have known that from the start.

Ultra-successful book and selling more the 4 million copies, “Good to Great” compares eleven great companies to their merely good counterparts (e.g. Philip Morris             vs. R. J. Reynolds) and discovers seven characteristics which the former had and the latter didn’t.

And let’s face it: who wouldn’t want to know them?

#9. “Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies” by James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras

Built to Last Summary“Good to Great” was published in 2011 and, as we wrote above, received enormous amounts of attention. However, it wasn’t without a precedent: by that time, in fact, Jim Collins would have already made his name as one of the leaders in the field with “Built to Last.”

Originally published in 1994, “Built to Last” is, once again, based on a wide-ranging six-year research project at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. Its two main goals – in its authors’ words – were ““to identify underlying characteristics are common to highly visionary companies” and “to effectively communicate findings so they can influence management.”

And “Built to Last” lives up to both of these high expectations.

By carefully studying the ideas and the practice of 18 widely admired companies founded before 1950, “Built to Last” provides valuable insights into the management habits of these great companies and deduces what made them so exceptional by comparing them to their top competitors.

Defining and seminal, “Built to Last” lives up to its title.

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#10. “In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America’s Best-Run Companies” by Thomas Peters and Robert H. Waterman

In Search of Excellence SummaryPublished in 1982, “In Search of Excellence,” brought Tom Peters and Robert H. Waterman Jr. so much attention that even though it was their debut book they quickly got nation-wide coverage and some flattering epithets of the “business guru” kind.

Three decades later, it’s obvious that the initial evaluations were correct. “In Search of Excellence” is still considered a management manual.

Started as a study of 62 businesses, it ended up as a thorough analysis of the management practices in the 43 best-run companies in the United States. By carefully examining the available data, Peters and Waterman discovered that the companies which succeed share eight common characteristics.

And “In Search of Excellence,” they dedicate a chapter to each. Unsurprisingly, in the meantime, these eight traits have become basic principles of management.

Dubbed the “Greatest Business Book of All Time” by “Bloomsbury UK,” “In Search of Excellence” is the fourth best-selling management book in history, trailing only Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” and the books at #4 and #8 on this list.

#11. “Competing for the Future” by Gary Hamel, C. K. Prahalad

Competing for the Future SummarySoon after its publication, in a review for “Washington Post,” Steven Pearlstein wrote that “if there is room for only one management book on your reading shelf each year”, “Competing for the Future” is his 1996 choice. “Business Week” backed Pearlstein’s decision, claiming that it’s “one of the year’s best management books.”

Exciting and profoundly valuable, “Competing for the Future” is written by two renowned thinkers on strategy, Gary Hamel and Coimbatore Krishnarao Prahalad. And it strives to give “would-be revolutionaries” the tools to challenge “the protectors of the past.

As any book written for rebels, it challenges many of the notions about management prevalent at the day; if you think that most of them are commonsensical now – well, you owe it to Hamel’s and Prahalad’s expertise.

And you certainly do think that strategic planning is a continuous process and that it is something that has to encompass the whole organization, and not just some sectors, right?

#12. “Six Thinking Hats: An Essential Approach to Business Management” by Edward De Bono

Six Thinking Hats SummaryYou can really argue that Edward de Bono is one of the most famous exports from the tiny island nation of Malta. Psychologist, philosopher, physician, and inventor, he is the man who invented the concept of lateral thinking, i.e. solving problems creatively.

And “Six Thinking Hats” is the book where he first proposed the idea.

Published in 1985, “Six Thinking Hats” devised a thinking system which strives to eradicate the most serious problem of thinking: confusion. De Bono demonstrates that confusion stems from the fact that we’re never thinking clearly, or, rather, that we’re always using many aspects of our being to think.

So, he suggests a role-playing method which clarifies how thinking works, by splitting the process into its six comprising elements.

The red hat is the emotional one, while the white one shows interest in facts only; the black one is the devil’s advocate, while the yellow is the optimistic hat; finally, the green hat is the hat of creativity, and the blue one – the hat of the manager.

Employed by many companies even today, de Bono’s three-decades-old tool has proved a lasting success!

#13. “The Great Game of Business: The Only Sensible Way to Run a Company” by Jack Stack

The Great Game of Business SummaryThis is a book about an inspirational story.

Springfield Remanufacturing Corporation was founded in 1983 by 13 employees of International Harvester. In an attempt to save 119 jobs, they decided to buy the part of the company which rebuilt truck engines. How? With $100,000 of their own money. And about $8.9 million in loans!

Led by Jack Stack, the employees turned the things around, and the initial stock price of $0.10 in 1983 had increased by almost 2,000 times and was worth over $199 per share in 2015.

And we still haven’t gotten to the most interesting part of the story! You see, Jack Stack had neither experience nor an idea how to manage a company!

So, how did he do it?

The Great Game of Business” explains what he did in detail, introducing to the world the fairly new concept of “open-book management.” Its main premise, especially in view of capitalistic doctrines, is staggeringly innovative.

Namely, Springfield Remanufacturing is not managed by one person, but by everybody. In other words, everyone has his or her say on each financial decision and all company matters.

And – well – somehow it works brilliantly!

#14. “Out of the Crisis” by W. Edwards Deming

Out of the Crisis SummaryOriginally published by MIT Center for Advanced Engineering in 1982 as “Quality, Productivity, and Competitive Position,” this W. Edwards Deming’s classic was republished in 1986 under its much more friendly current title, “Out of Crisis.”

The book, included in both “Time Magazine’s” “and Academy of Management’s” lists of top 25 most influential management books in history, is widely credited with introducing the concept of Total quality management, even though Deming never actually uses the term in the book.

However, he does offer 14 key principles to managers which articulate TQM in both simple and still operational manner.

Ranging from ideas about the necessity of improving constantly and forever to suggestions that breaking down barriers between departments is a must, from calls to put an end to inspections to requests to drive out fear from the workplace, “Out of the Crisis” has transformed many companies in the past four decades.

And will certainly transform you once you find the time to read it.

#15. “The One Minute Manager: The Quickest Way to Increase Your Own Prosperity” by Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson

The One Minute Manager SummaryThe subtitle of this book – “the quickest way to increase your own prosperity” – seems like an understatement when compared to the title – “The One Minute Manager.”

Of course, those who expect to become good managers in one minute expect a bit much. But, even they might be absolutely flabbergasted by the fact that Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson need no more than a hundred pages to expound upon a simple management concept which ended up influencing thousands of companies.

And especially by the main premise of the book: one minute to a manager may be an exaggeration, but three minutes is just about right!

A sleeper hit in the 1980s, “The One Minute Manager” is, in fact, a fable explicating a management-by-objectives type of managing which is based around the idea an effective manager sets one-minute goals, and sets aside one minute for praising and one minute for reprimanding his employees.

A business bestseller ever since its publication, “The One Minute Manager” is, both literally and metaphorically, a small wonder.

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Drive Summary

Drive Summary

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink

Thought you knew how to motivate yourself and those around you? Think again. As Daniel Pink explains in Drive, the old-school notion of motivation – offering rewards – is no longer relevant in today’s world. The secret to high performance lies in our innate desire to be autonomous, to discover and create, and to do better.  Continue Reading…

Mastermind Dinners: Summary of Jayson Gaignard’s book

Mastermind Dinners: Build Lifelong Relationships by Connecting Experts, Influencers, and Linchpins by Jayson Gaignard

“If you're the smartest person in the room you're in the wrong room.” @JaysonGaignard Click To Tweet

Mastermind Dinners is a no-nonsense, no BS, tried-and-tested, experience-based book. And I loved it. Jayson Gaignard wrote it in an honest, friendly tone and gave away the blueprint for how he used this exact method to go from a quarter-million US dollar debt to a successful business. Continue Reading…

The Effective Executive: Summary – Peter Drucker’s book

 effective executive

The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker

What will make you stand out from typical executives? Becoming an effective one.

Peter F. Drucker’s The Effective Executive is focused exactly on this topic, explaining how you can become a better executive for your business.

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Innovator’s Dilemma: A Quick Summary of Clayton M. Christensen’s book

The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail (Management of Innovation and Change) by Clayton M. Christensen

How can great companies fail when they get everything right? That’s the question Clayton Christensen attempts to answer in The Innovator’s Dilemma. Managers, usually those from big, serious companies, should read some Douglas Adams before answering, or put their reports and assessment results in files with covers that have “Don’t Panic” printed in large, friendly letters on them. GetNugget’s book summary will guide you throughout the “Dilemma Process.”

Initially, Christensen explains why certain companies collapse despite having an important role in their market. Many of them simply rely on the production and operational activities which is a dangerous strategy. That is not enough! The best firms must be able to compete on the stock market as well. “The Innovator’s Dilemma” is promoting a continuous innovation process within any industry.

The world is evolving; the customers are constantly changing their needs, wants and demands. This happens due to the vast technological changes that occur daily in today’s society. Never blame technology for your failure, a brand must be one step ahead at anytime! How can you become a capable innovator if you cannot foresee what the technology future has in store for us? This book summary clearly indicates the connection between innovation and success; be a part of it!

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Triggers: Summary of Marshall Goldsmith’s book

Triggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts – Becoming the Person You Want to Be by Marshall Goldsmith

Trigger → Impulse → Behavior.

This is usually the cycle for our spontaneous reactions.

Every day starts with the same question – What do I want from myself and others? If you want to become a better person or to become a better leader you have to transform your approach. Sometimes, people want to take advantage of others for their personal benefits leading to overall mistrust and anxiety. Your change will provide leverage for everybody else. Your resurrection should be visible for “many miles” – make yourself exposed to the true self. GetNugget’s book summary Marshall Goldsmith advise each to stop relying on other person’s opinion.

Despite having a good life, enriched in all areas – the negative environment can impose a depressive behavior. Even these situation can have a positive effect if the person is willing to see beyond the challenging nature of things. The cause of pain is often self-created, don’t become a victim to your insecurity – be a wolf! “Triggers” is a representative of the relative nature of things, which can drive your life back and forward.

This book summary covers triggers that occur on a daily basis. We as people handle these beliefs without questioning – which is bad. Your result and judgment should be based on many different perspectives. Don’t allow triggers to have total control over you!

There are plenty of facts, events, and circumstances in our lives that powerfully impact how we act and react.

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The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing Summary – Al Ries & Jack Trout

MicroSummaryHave you ever wondered if there are fundamental marketing principles that can be followed by anyone that allows them to create winning companies? Two of the world’s most renowned marketing consultants and authors came together to try to outline them and turned it into a book that is a masterpiece for all those who want to work in the field. Al Ries and Jack Trout in The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing have captured a compendium of best practices for the ultimate success of the modern marketer. Violate these laws, and you will be out of the market.

Should we begin?

Violate Them at Your Own Risk!

Are you working in Marketing/Management/Branding? Are you an entrepreneur or maybe you have an idea/a small business which you want to transform into a BIG idea/GREAT company?

If the answer is “YES” for at least one question from above, then “The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing” is one of the first books you MUST read and take notes!

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