There’s nothing new in regard to management, at least not for Bruce Tulgan (@BruceTulgan).
He’s the author of “The 27 Challenges Managers Face: Step-by-Step Solutions to Nearly All of Your Management Problems.” Over the last 20 years Tulgan and his company RainmakerThinking have asked hundreds of thousands of managers a single question:
“Which employee situations are most challenging for you as a manager?”
And “The 27 Challenges Managers Face” is the distillation of their answers. Tulgan says that more than 90 percent of the responses across these 20 years come down to these 27 issues. The good news for managers is that now you have them all in one book and covered in less than 230 pages.
I received a review copy of this book and was so struck by its usefulness and simplicity that I had to share it with other small business owners and managers. Hopefully you’ll get as much value out of it as I did.
Bruce Tulgan serves as an advisor to business leaders all over the world and is the author of several other management books: “It’s OK to Be the Boss”, “Managing Generation X”, “Not Everyone Gets a Trophy” and “It’s OK to Manage Your Boss.”
How “The 27 Challenges Managers Face” is Organized
Tulgan has written this book as more of a reference guide. You don’t have to read it from cover to cover, although I think you might want to because it does follow a management life cycle, so to speak. It covers everything from being a new manager to renewing your commitment and everything in between.
Tulgan has strategically arranged “The 27 Challenges Managers Face” into eight chapters.
Chapter One covers the fundamentals. Two tangles the rigors of being a new manager. This covers challenges of moving up into management and how to relate to peers, coming into a management position from the outside, creating a new team and adding new members to an existing team.
The third chapter covers challenges centered on helping employees manage themselves, their time and their resources. After that, performance issues are tackled. Here you’ll get insight into how to set standards and deal with employee productivity and motivation.
The chapter on managing attitudes and superstars is next. I love the saying that attitudes are habits of thought and this chapter deals with issues of conflict, attitude conversations and dealing with personal issues. So much is said about how to manage poor performers, but Tulgan has devoted an entire chapter to managing the superstar. This involves keeping them engaged, retaining them and developing them into leaders.
Then there are forces beyond your control. In Chapter 7, Tulgan addresses strategies for managing in constantly changing environments, how to deal with “resource constraints” or doing more with less and managing different languages and cultures.
“The 27 Challenges Managers Face” wraps up with management renewal. This involves re-engaging a disconnected employee and most importantly, how to re-energize yourself and renew your commitment.
“The 27 Challenges Managers Face” Isn’t Just for Managers
“The 27 Challenges Managers Face” is primarily written for managers but I would also recommend this book for small business owners and solopreneurs who are managing freelancers, 1099s, or virtual teams. The principles are the same — if not even more critical — because these virtual team members are not obligated to you and your business as employees.
One thing you’ll notice as you go through “The 27 Challenges Managers Face” is that solutions to these challenges aren’t complex or difficult to ascertain, but they can be difficult to implement. Tulgan writes that almost every management challenge occurs because of “low-substance, hit or miss communication.” And this is true regardless of the kind of employee or team member with which you’re dealing.