Tag Archives: Management

Lead Right: Management and Leadership Resolutions for 2017

New Year’s resolutions tend to be personal–lose weight, call your mother on the phone every week, read more books (we certainly won’t fight you on that one!)–but, as you’re considering how to make 2017 your best year yet, consider the atmosphere you create as a leader in the workplace.

How can you make 2017 a better year for those around you? Asking that question is the first step. Five of our authors, experts on leadership, management, presence, and all of the skills you need to propel your organization and your career forward in 2017, share their 2017 resolutions or suggested resolutions.


Kristi Hedges, author of The Power of Presence and the forthcoming The Inspiration Code: How the Best Leaders Energize People Every Dayout this June, knows that the key to motivating people is truly being there when you’re with them:

My resolution this year is to be present and fully invested in the conversations that matter, both at work and in life. Having spent the last year doing research and having conversations for The Inspiration Code, I am even more convinced. A few behaviors, applied with intent, have a remarkable impact on others. Be the spark!


Paul Zak, author of Trust Factor: The Science of Creating High-Performance Companies, knows that business leaders see results when they create a culture of trust:

I recommend shared leadership as a resolution.  Empowering colleagues to execute projects as they see fit fully engages those doing the work.  To share leadership, you have create a culture of trust and the freedom to fail.  In Trust Factor, I show how the neuroscience of interpersonal trust can be used to create a high-engagement culture in which colleagues are fully engaged and highly innovative.


Jathan Janove, author of Hard-Won Wisdom: True Stories from the Management Trenches, has a highly memorable and useful resolution for managers: Make 2017 The Year of the EAR!

George Bernard Shaw was spot-on correct when he said, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” However, you can change this sad reality by making 2017, The Year of the EAR. When engaged with your employees and colleagues, commit to following the EAR sequence: Explore, Acknowledge & Respond. And watch how quickly and effectively you break down the barriers to real and meaningful communication.


Alan Willett, author of Leading the the Unleadable: How to Manage Mavericks, Cynics, Divas, and Other Difficult People, is encouraging his mentees to resolve in 2017 to mentor an upcoming leader themselves:

The act of helping and coaching others pays the time invested back many times over. Through your mentorship of others, you learn about your own strengths and weaknesses, and you hone your leadership power in unexpected ways. It is also very rewarding seeing your mentees begin to thrive. Resolve in 2017 to grow more leaders!


For his resolution, Robert Bruce Shaw, author of Extreme Teams: Why Pixar, Netflix, Airbnb, and Other Cutting-Edge Companies Succeed Where Most Fail, focuses on the power of the group:

I will view and manage my organization as a collection of teams versus a collection of individuals. As a result, I am committed to experimenting with creative approaches to enhance team behavior and performance. This starts with bold innovations in how my own team operates–but also includes improvements in how we operate as a company to support team life. Only teams move the world forward.


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Random Quotes from New Books This November

The Gig Economy: The Complete Guide to Getting Better Work, Taking More Time Off, and Financing the Life You Want by Diane Mulcahy

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“Contract and part-time work without benefits used to be largely limited to ‘bad jobs’ in fast food, retail, and other service companies. Now that contractor work is infiltrating core middle-class industries, it’s gaining more attention. An executive assistant used to be a good middle-class job. Now we can hire a virtual assistant, in the United States, India, or anywhere else, by the hour. If we want an accountant or bookkeeper, we can automate most of that function on QuickBooks or hire a contractor via Upwork, LinkedIn, or FlexJobs. Universities already pay teachers by the course as adjunct professors, and those part-time, non-tenured faculty members (of which I am one) now make up a growing minority of teachers at many U.S. colleges and universities. How long will it be before this teaching model moves into our public school system? The more the Gig Economy demonstrates that white-collar and professional work can be restructured, contracted out, and purchased more cheaply, the more disruptive it feels(pages 9-10).

Hard-Won Wisdom: True Stories from the Management Trenches by Jathan Janove

Jacket cover of Hard-Won Wisdom

“I’ve heard many similar complaints about millennials from managers like Sam. They follow the same theme: millennials aren’t loyal, they’re too self-focused, their work ethic is problematic, and they don’t communicate well. My response is always the same: Don’t create self-fulfilling prophecies. The minute you indulge in the stereotypes, you’re doomed to experience what you don’t want. A better idea is to use your millennials as a test case for the concepts and tools I’m sharing in this book. Start with the What/Why Ratio: Every time you tell an employee what to do, explain why, the purpose served by the action. Think of the alternative reference to millennials: Generation Y (as in the one that followed Generation X. Only think of it not as the letter Y but the word why. Make the What/Why Ratio 1:1 and watch what happens to the relationship” (pages 32-33).

Jobs to Be Done: A Roadmap for Customer-Centered Innovation by Stephen Wunker, Jessica Wattman, and David Farber

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“Let’s look at the grocery industry. A few years back we conducted Jobs research for a client who wanted further insight into people’s decision making about what they took home from the store and why. Through the research, we noted that at least three stakeholder types would have distinct requirements in the shelf-to-table flow: the person buying the product, the person preparing the food, and the person eating the food. Certainly, there was often overlap…But this varied from scenario to scenario. If we had observed only the in-store shopper, we might have assumed that price and fit into established shopping patterns were the most important jobs to satisfy. Had we focused our efforts on the meal preparer, we might have determined that ease of preparation reigned supreme. Had we simply talked to someone who just finished a meal, the level of spiciness might have been top-of-mind insight. Looking too narrowly would have led to a new product that failed to satisfy important stakeholders” (pages 50-51).

Leading the Unleadable: How to Manage Mavericks, Cynics, Divas, and Other Difficult People by Alan Willett

Jacket cover of Leading the Unleadable

Note that you can have terrible form while serving a tennis ball. You might get an ace. However, without truly proper form and follow through, you will find the ace is just an accident.
Sometimes taking the actions prescribed in the previous chapter does work almost like magic. Things get better immediately and stay better. However, without follow through, you will find them to also be happy accidents” (page 83).

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Want to sample other AMACOM books? Check out our Random Quotes from New Books series.

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Podcast: Karin Hurt and David Dye on Winning Well

Jacket cover of Winning Well Karin Hurt and David Dye recently sat down with the AMA Edgewise team to discuss their book, WINNING WELL: A Manager’s Guide to Getting Results–Without Losing Your Soul, and how managers can beat the win-at-all-costs mentality in order to build a more humane and more successful workplace. They discuss what you can begin immediately to build a better workplace, what managers can do within an environment that doesn’t support their values, and far more.

At work there’s winning and then there’s winning well. What’s the difference? It’s about getting results without sacrificing your soul. Authors of the book Winning Well (published by AMACOM) Karin Hurt and David Dye are here to talk about how to maintain your core values while still getting great results at work.

Listen to Karin Hurt and David Dye on the AMA Edgewise Podcast.

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Karin Hurt is a top leadership consultant and CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders. A former Verizon Wireless executive, she was named to Inc. Magazine’s list of great leadership speakers. David Dye is a former nonprofit executive, elected official, and President of Trailblaze, Inc., a leadership training and consulting firm.

Listen to more interviews with AMACOM authors on the AMA Edgewise Podcast.

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THE RELATIONSHIP ENGINE Now Available on NetGalley

Cover art for The Relationship EngineWhile most leaders will acknowledge strong human relationships as key to business success, only a few take a structural approach to relationship development—and they yield exceptional results. In THE RELATIONSHIP ENGINE: Connecting with the People Who Power Your Business (AMACOM October 2016), author Ed Wallace shows business leaders how to cultivate the most effective relationships with employees, associates, clients, vendors, and the myriad types of people who drive a company’s success. Journalists, booksellers, book reviewers, librarians, and media professionals interested leadership and management are invited to request The Relationship Engine for review.

Relationships hold companies together and fuel future growth. From connecting with customers to forging high-performing teams, success depends on everyone working well together. Yet many leaders prioritize potential relationships and take established ones for granted. They shouldn’t. Research reveals that these core relationships are often the weakest…and can prove more vital than missed networking opportunities.

Whether working with employees or associates, vendors or customers, The Relationship Engine gives you the tools you need to become an intentional, masterful relationship-builder.

The book helps you establish common ground, focus on collaboration instead of command, put people before process, demonstrate worthy intent, and make every interaction matter. This insightful and practical guide includes:

A powerful RQ Assessment designed to measure and evaluate business relationships • A Relational Agility Action Planner • Lateral and vertical relationship strategy templates • And more

Even the best-laid strategic plans are worthless without caring, real-life connections. It’s time to invest in the bonds that will drive sustainable success.

ED WALLACE is president and chief relationship officer of The Relational Capital Group, a consultancy that serves many Fortune 500 clients. He is also on the Executive Education faculty at Drexel’s LeBow College of Business and Villanova University’s Human Resources Master’s Program. He’s the author of Business Relationships That Last.

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NetGalley is a service for people who read and recommend books, such as book reviewers, journalists, librarians, professors, booksellers, and bloggers.

There are a number of different reading options for this e-galley:

Find all of AMACOM’s e-galleys on NetGalley.

You can review how to get AMACOM’s digital galley request approval on NetGalley HERE.

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Books for Small Businesses

If you’re running or helping to run a small business, you’ve encountered unique challenges (and, we hope, many unique rewards!). It can feel like you’re doing it all yourself–which means you could use as much help as you can get from the experts. Below, check out some of our most helpful recent books for small businesses.

The Crowdfunding Handbook: Raise Money for Your Small Business or Start-Up with Equity Funding Portals by Cliff Ennico

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Until May 2016, the act of offering securities (stocks, bonds, and more) in exchange for investment was extremely limited. The arduous and expensive process for companies and the strict regulations for investors left countless hopefuls out. That has now changed with equity crowdfunding. This isn’t your average Kickstarter campaign–you’ll need Cliff Ennico’s comprehensive handbook–but, if the timing is right for your small business, you don’t want to miss out on this opportunity.

Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small by Nick Westergaard

Jacket cover of Get Scrappy

While Get Scrappy‘s digital marketing wisdom applies to businesses of any size, small businesses will find it especially crucial. Marketing without a significant budget may feel like an uphill climb, but you can see results without a gargantuan budget if you follow Nick Westergaard’s essential advice on constructing your brand, sticking to your strategy, creating content that answers your potential customers’ most urgent questions, measuring your results accurately to hone your tactics, and more.

75 Ways for Managers to Hire, Develop, and Keep Great Employees by Paul Falcone

Jacket cover of 75 Ways by Paul Falcone

Not all small businesses have human resources departments, but that doesn’t mean the procedures and issues that HR departments handle just disappear. HR rock star Paul Falcone‘s new book delivers key human resources strategies to managers and executives. Small business owners will appreciate Falcone’s attention to each step in the employee cycle, readable explanations of the legal implications of key management decisions, and focus on hiring and managing effectively in the first place (because it’s much harder for small businesses to bounce back when hiring goes wrong).

When the Pressure’s On: The Secret to Winning When You Can’t Afford to Lose by Dr. Louis S. Csoka

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Small business owners face an extraordinary amount of stress, and with the weight of a whole company on their shoulders, it’s not always possible to shrug it off. No one knows how to manage stress better than Dr. Louis S. Csoka, founder of West Point’s Center for Enhanced Performance and creator of the first ever Peak Performance Center for a Fortune 500 company. He shared his five-pronged strategy for performing under pressure–which small business owners face regularly–in his remarkable book, When the Pressure’s On.

Sell with a Story: How to Capture Attention, Build Trust, and Close the Sale by Paul Smith

Jacket cover of Sell with a Story by Paul Smith

Small businesses pitching products might not always be able to offer the lowest price right away, and they might not have the highest brand recognition–so what’s going to get their prospects interested? The most important tool in any salesperson’s kit, but especially that of a salesperson from a smaller firm, is the story. In Sell with a Story, acclaimed author Paul Smith details how to craft narratives that will strengthen relationships, make the product memorable, increase product value (really!), and more. When it comes to storytelling, small businesses likely have a leg up on the competition–take advantage of it!