Review of "Behind Closed Doors – Secrets of Great Management"

I recently read the book “Behind Closed Doors – Secrets of Great Management” by Johanna Rothman and Ester Derby.

This book gives a good introduction into the world of management (not leadership though). You will find a good set of tools for your tool box as a manager. This it is particular useful if you have just been promoted and are in the transition from a “doing” role to a management role.

The book has two parts. First part is the story of Sam, a senior manager that has to manage the development department of a software firm. Part two gives more details on the particular tools in your manager tool box (don’t just use the hammer ;-)).

Here are some of the aspects and tools that are covered in the first part:

  1. One on ones (managing different people)
  2. Work portfolio (what not to do)
  3. Team building
  4. Management by walking around, coaching
  5. Influencing (management without authority)
  6. Delegation
  7. Managing yourself
  8. Managing your manager

For me it is quite helpful to review the tools from time to time as I tend to get sloppy on them.
Having said all this, a book in general (and this one is no exception) has certainly limits to teach you being a good manager (which is a very complex task). In practice you will face a lot of situations that can never be covered in a book. This book states (on the back cover) that it is for beginners up to intermediary. It gives you a start and hints for a lot of good tools. You have to use those that make sense to you and practice this stuff in real life. I would recommend to either discuss and practice that with your peers, find a coach in senior management or go out and attend some training with a good share of practice.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>