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7 Paths to Managerial Leadership

Put timeless management practices to work. The most important relationship is between a manager and a direct report. Studies confirm that the majority of people leave their jobs because they dislike their manager and the way they are supervised. After all, managers directly influence staff engagement and retention, along with the many performance factors in between. So what is a manager to do? 7 Paths to Managerial Leadership presents seven simple paths to an effective relationship between managers and staff. Each path offers management wisdom that focuses on action, not position, and inspires others to do their best work. Expressly written for middle managers, this step-by-step guide covers principles evaluated and fine-tuned over the course of several decades. Seasoned manager and management consultant Fred Mackenzie offers readers pithy self-assessments, a manager's checklist, and action plans for developing each path, regardless of which you choose to employ in your work. Use this guide to identify your leadership style, along with its benefits and shortcomings, and learn how to build on your strengths to inspire those you lead to have confidence in themselves. Be sure to read this one with a pencil in hand!
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Table of Contents

Introduction...vii 1. Managers and Their Direct Reports: A Dynamic Relationship...1 Middle Management Styles...2 Developing Effective Relationships...5 Checklist for an Effective Middle Manager-Direct Report Relationship...6 2. Why 7 Paths?...9 Organizational Structure...9 Human Forces Filter...10 3. Path 1: Managerial Planning and Task Assignment...15 Managerial Planning...15 Manager's Checklist...18 Action Plan...18 Task Assignment...19 Action Plan...23 What Is Situational Courage?...24 Action Plan...27 4. Path 2: Managerial Meetings...29 Content and Process of Meetings...31 Managerial Meetings Checklist...38 Action Plan...38 5. Path 3: Context Setting...41 Paying Attention to the Bigger Picture...42 Context-Setting Checklist...46 Action Plan...46 6. Path 4: Feedback...49 Giving Positive and Constructive Feedback...50 Feedback Reminders...52 Negative or Constructive? Understanding the Difference...55 Giving Feedback Checklist...56 Action Plan...56 7. Path 5: Performance Appraisal...59 Informal and Formal Appraisals...60 Checklist for Performance Appraisal...61 Action Plan...63 8. Path 6: Coaching Direct Reports...65 Coaching Growth Within the Role...66 A 5-Step Process for Managerial Coaching...69 Putting the 5 Steps Into Action...71 Checklist for Managerial Coaching...77 Action Plan...77 9. Path 7: Continual Improvement...79 Improving Processes, Systems, and Procedures...80 Example of a Continual Improvement Meeting...83 CI Checklist...85 Action Plan...86 Afterword...87 Appendix A: Establishing Key Accountabilities...91 Appendix B: Employee Document Comparisons...103 Appendix C: Sample Closure Verbs...105 Appendix D: Assignment Examples...107 Appendix E: Making Strategy WorkThe Linkage Process..109 Appendix F: Using the Practices Calendar...115 Glossary...117 References...123 About the Author...125

About the Author

Fred Mackenzie has decades of experience as an executive with Mobil Oil; Training House, a major publisher of instructional programs and assessments; and MLI, a contract manufacturer for GE, Kodak, and IBM. His consulting experience is in three major areas: managerial leadership, succession planning, and strategic planning. Fred has undergraduate degrees in psychology and geological engineering, master's degrees in personnel psychology and micropaleontology, and a PhD in psychology. He has served on the faculties of Cornell University's Advanced Management Program, Oxford University's Institute for Advanced Managerial Studies, and Henley Management College, U.K.

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