First Among Equals: How to Manage a Group of Professionals

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9780743267588: First Among Equals: How to Manage a Group of Professionals

Professional service gurus David Maister and Patrick McKenna have created a practical handbook on how to lead professional colleagues or peers when you lack formal authority. Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge calls it “a timely, easy to read work leavened with action plans and examples.”

Whether you have recently been appointed as a group leader or are a battle-scarred veteran, you know that managing professional people is difficult! In this unique handbook, Patrick J. McKenna and David H. Maister argue that leaders will best enable their people to achieve peak performance not by managing them, not by leading them, but by inspiring them.

The authors show you how to actually add value as a group leader or induce people to accept your guidance, even with intelligent professionals who are often free-agents accustomed to having automony to work on grueling assignments with little supervision. They also give advice on how to handle those oh-so-talented but oh-so-annoying professionals who exhibit attitude problems or are just exceedingly difficult to work with, when you need them but they tend to needle you.

The lessons and learning presented here will give you insights and action tips to help you provoke and inspire your people to their full potential.

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Review:

Competently managing a group of peers is unquestionably among the most difficult of workplace tasks, but key steps that produce success are laid out so clearly by consultants Patrick J. McKenna and David H. Maister in First Among Equals that even those who completely lack experience should find the process feasible and effective. McKenna and Maister focus on leading teams of professionals--often composed of people who don't feel like they are part of a team or in need of leadership--by transforming the way managers assume responsibility and direct members. "Success in helping your group succeed is mostly about you. Not them," they write. Their book starts by explaining how to prepare for the job ahead, for example, by meeting informally with participants and displaying sincere interest in things that matter to them. It then explores coaching the individuals involved (offering methods for gaining acceptance, building rapport, assisting underperformers and dealing with prima donnas) and guiding the collective group (by developing rules, building trust, invigorating meetings, and resolving conflicts). Finally, it proposes measures for continued success, such as integrating new hires and gauging performance. Dozens of self-assessment questionnaires and diagnostic tests help make this an exceptionally practical guidebook on a critical but oft-neglected topic. --Howard Rothman

From the Inside Flap:

ADVANCE PRAISE

"A unique and very useful contribution to the field of leadership and management of professionals."

--Jon Katzenbach, co-author of The Wisdom of Teams

"McKenna and Maister turn the often elusive and obscure concept of leadership into something tangible and accessible. With rich detail and straight talk they offer practical lessons, usable tools, and case examples from the real world. This is advice and counsel you can trust, and every manager of professionals (no, every manager in any setting) should take it to heart."

--Jim Kouzes, co-author, The Leadership Challenge and Encouraging the Heart; Chairman emeritus, tompeters!company

"This book is a unique combination of good business, understanding of people and applied wisdom."

--Regis McKenna, author of Total Access, Real Time, and Relationship Marketing

"This book is truly a fire hose of practical, proven, workable advice and counsel that is intimately sensitive to the very special demands of professionals. It may well become the most dog-eared book in every firm--and with good reason."

--Jim Shaffer, author of The Leadership Solution

"First Among Equals delivers for newcomers and old pros alike. McKenna and Maister--polished professionals both--know how to work with enormously talented people, and they write with the kind of reassurance and calm confidence a professional group leader craves. The book's hands-on checklists are flat-out superb."

--Nancy K. Austin, co-author, A Passion for Excellence

"This is a fast-moving, practical book, full of proven strategies and techniques that you can use immediately to manage a professional group more effectively. These methods will help you get better results, faster, with your colleagues than you ever imagined."

--Brian Tracy, author of Focal Point, Success Is A Journey and Maximum Achievement

"This book is invaluable. McKenna and Maister have honed in with laser precision on a desperately important yet vastly under-addressed topic, to provide eminently practical advice and prescriptions for every leader of professional workers."

--Ross Dawson, author of Developing Knowledge-Based Client Relationships: The Future of Professional Services

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Book Description SIMON SCHUSTER, United States, 2005. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. Professional service gurus David Maister and Patrick McKenna have created a practical handbook on how to lead professional colleagues or peers when you lack formal authority. Harvard Business School s Working Knowledge calls it a timely, easy to read work leavened with action plans and examples. Whether you have recently been appointed as a group leader or are a battle-scarred veteran, you know that managing professional people is difficult! In this unique handbook, Patrick J. McKenna and David H. Maister argue that leaders will best enable their people to achieve peak performance not by managing them, not by leading them, but by inspiring them. The authors show you how to actually add value as a group leader or induce people to accept your guidance, even with intelligent professionals who are often free-agents accustomed to having automony to work on grueling assignments with little supervision. They also give advice on how to handle those oh-so-talented but oh-so-annoying professionals who exhibit attitude problems or are just exceedingly difficult to work with, when you need them but they tend to needle you. The lessons and learning presented here will give you insights and action tips to help you provoke and inspire your people to their full potential. Bookseller Inventory # BZV9780743267588

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