Widgets: The 12 New Rules for Managing Your Employees As If They're Real People

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9780071847780: Widgets: The 12 New Rules for Managing Your Employees As If They're Real People
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New York Times bestselling author Rodd Wagner tackles one of the most destructive problems facing organizations today - the breakdown of the social contract between people and the organizations where they work.

"Your people are not your greatest asset. They're not yours, and they're not assets."

With this declaration, one of the leading authorities on employee performance rolls up his sleeves against the weasel words, contradictions, bad habits, and intrusions that reduce people to "human resources." To "FTEs." To "human capital." To flesh-and-blood widgets.

Armed with empirical evidence from the provocative studies he leads around the globe, Wagner guides you through the new realities of what it takes to get the highest levels of intensity from people in a more mercenary, skeptical, and wired work world. He explains how elements such as individualization, fearlessness, transparency, recognition, and coolness are reciprocated with loyalty, productivity, innovation, and - inescapably - corporate reputation.

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From the Back Cover:

Widgets is required reading for every leader and manager to shake off habits rooted in the past.”
New York Times bestselling author Curt Coffman, coauthor of First, Break All the Rules

"This book serves as a powerful countervailing force to the increasing momentum toward 'widgetizing' everyone and everything in the supposed interest of productivity. Given the increasing proportion of leaders inclined toward robo-management, Widgets should be required reading for anyone even thinking about managing real people."
Annette Templeton, former Global Chief of Principals, Gallup, Inc.

“Rodd is fascinated by people – what motivates them, how they think, how they learn, how they act. He’s also a great storyteller. He combines both in this book, and his spot-on observations are applicable in the corporate world, the military, and at home. Great read. Fast read. Invaluable read.”
Rear Admiral Dennis J. Moynihan, U.S. Navy (ret.)

“How to best motivate employees and teams is the eternal question we face as leaders, because motivated employees make the difference between companies that perform well and those that struggle. It’s clear the rules for bilateral loyalty have changed, and both employees and managers need to know how to adapt to the new environment. Rodd addresses those changes head-on. Widgets is a crucial book for executives to determine how they will lead in the coming decade.”
Pam Stegora Axberg, Senior Vice President, Optum

“If a highly engaged workforce serves as a protective moat that protects an organization from competitive threats, Rodd Wagner reminds us that a moat without water is nothing more than a ditch.”
Robb Webb, Chief Human Resources Officer, Hyatt Hotels

“Rodd Wagner listened to the voice of the employee and faithfully defined what they need to give their best efforts. His focus on reciprocity as the key motivator is right on target. His challenge to leaders who have talked the talk, but not walked the walk, is passionate and insightful. Widgets is an important book.”
Leigh Branham, author of The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave and coauthor of Re-Engage

“A highly readable, research-grounded, and relevant approach to employee engagement by one of the most respected thinkers on the subject. This is a frame-breaking book that puts people first and opens an important new chapter in management and leadership. A fascinating, thought-provoking, must-read book.”
Ken Bartlett, Ph.D., Professor of human resource development, University of Minnesota

"Widgets is a captivating book with important and actionable insights into the psychological and behavioral drivers of employee engagement. A must-read for executives and anyone else who seeks to engage, motivate, and positively affect employees and people in general.
Dr. Ran Kivetz, The Philip H. Geier Professor at Columbia University Business School

About the Author:

Rodd Wagner is the New York Times bestselling author of three books, most recently Widgets: The 12 New Rules for Managing Your Employees As If They're Real People. A contributor to Forbes, he is one of the foremost authorities on employee engagement and collaboration. Wagner's books, speeches, and thought leadership focus on how human nature affects business strategy. He is currently working on his fourth book, to be announced later this year.

Wagner is a confidential advisor to senior executives on the best ways to increase their personal effectiveness and their organizations' performance. His work has taken him around the world, to the executive suites of major corporations in nearly every industry, to the Pentagon, and to the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz.

Wagner is lead author of the books 12: The Elements of Great Managing and Power of 2: How to Make the Most of Your Partnerships at Work and in Life. His books have been published in 10 languages and his work featured in The Wall Street Journal, ABC News Now, BusinessWeek.com, CNBC.com, and the National Post of Canada, and parodied in Dilbert.

Wagner holds an M.B.A. with honors from the University of Utah Graduate School of Business. He was formerly a principal of Gallup, the research director of the Portland Press Herald and WGME-TV in Maine, a reporter and news editor for The Salt Lake Tribune, and a radio talk show host. When not writing or consulting, he enjoys fly-fishing, and snowboarding.

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