Thinking About Writing the ‘Be A Better Manager’ Book

I have been wanting to write a book about what I have learned and teach about management for too long now!  The closest that I have got is a kind of outline/proposal which I am sharing with you here.

I’d be really interested to know:

  1. whether you might find it a useful book, useful enough to buy a copy
  2. what might make it better for you – different content perhaps
  3. what if anything I should drop…

I’d also really appreciate any advice regarding self publishing  or more traditional routes…..feel free to use the comments!

Be A Better Manager – Synopsis

Many people every year are promoted into management positions on the basis of their competence at doing the job of the people that they are being asked to manage. So good nurses become nurse managers, good salespeople become sales managers and good teachers become school administrators. This book will provide practical support to people making the transition to management , or already in management but looking to improve their own effectiveness.

Chapter Headings

What Makes an Outstanding Manager?

An outstanding manager knows how to help others to do their best work. This requires a set of skills, behaviours and attitudes that this book will teach. How to manage your own learning to become an outstanding manager. The importance of courage, experience and judgement.

Working Relationships

The difference between working relationships that work and working relationships that don’t! Working relationship as the pre-requisite for effective management. How to develop working relationships. How to repair relationships that are not working. Without a working relationship management becomes impossible. Managing overwhelmers, underwhelmers and whelmers.

Feedback and the Outstanding Manager

Feedback as information that helps to change behaviour. To get more of the behaviours that work and less of the behaviours that don’t. Feedback as a fundamental management tool and one that has to be used with power and skill. The importance of courage in sharing feedback. Contrast feedback with praise, thanks and criticism. Feedback in a hyperlinked world!

Getting Great Feedback

The focus of most managers is on improving the behaviours of others. The outstanding manager focuses on improving their own behaviours . The importance of an obsession with getting feedback. How to make it easy for people to give you feedback that you can use.

Giving Great Feedback

Understanding the behaviours that create or destroy value in your workplace. What do you need more of? Less of? Recognising labels (professional, unprofessional, caring, lazy) and how they can be used to provide feedback that will change behaviours and build working relationships rather than damage them. Using feedback to get more of the behaviours that create value. Using feedback to reduce behaviours that destroy value. How to give feedback to your boss too!

Manager as Talent Coach

Feedback is the answer to most of our performance management challenges. But sometimes it does not work because the person giving the feedback does not have the knowledge, skills or desire to change their behaviours. This is when managers have to be an effective coach. How to set up and manage a coaching contract including goals and milestones to improve performance.  How to coach every member of your team, all the time, without being overwhelmed.


Empowering others to develop their careers, take on new responsibilities and work at the leading edge of their abilities, retain talented people who might otherwise outgrow their jobs and create as much value as possible.  How to delegate successfully and avoid the trap of ‘its quicker to do it myself and I’ll do it better anyway’.

Time and Priority Management

The impossibility of managing time and the possibility and practicality of managing priorities. How to use the 168 hours in every week to achieve the things that matter most to you, your loved ones and your career.

Managing Different Personalities

This chapter will help you tailor your management behaviours to work well with a range of personality types. It will help you to recognise different types of personality and to change your approach accordingly for maximum effect.  If there were such a thing as ‘difficult people’ this chapter will give ideas about how to manage them effectively.

Putting it All Together – a month by month guide to becoming an Outstanding Manager

There is way too much information here to act on all at once. This chapter will provide an action plan spread over 12 months that will allow the reader to develop themselves in a logical progression to become and outstanding manager, making changes to their practice on a month by month basis that will allow them to learn and embed new skills before moving on to the next stage.

Possible additional chapters

Recruiting People

Managing Redundancies

Managing Innovation

Managing and Leading – not being ‘The Sticky Middle’

Managing Strategy


  1. says

    I suspect the purchasers would largely be people who have done the training and are looking for a handy reminder. I know a bit about self-publishing, though mainly second hand as I didn’t go that route

    There are lots of things on the market, it’s a very competitive arena so anything new would need to stand out to be successful. You need A LOT of sales to recoup the costs – not a commercial undertaking. more a labour of love


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