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How Not to Manage People

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How Not to Manage People

The Leadership Mistakes Keeping Your Team from Greatness

HarperCollins Leadership,

15 min read
8 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Don’t become one of those horror stories about a bad boss. You can avoid common managerial mistakes.

Editorial Rating



  • Concrete Examples
  • Engaging
  • Inspiring


You can learn a lot from bad managers, as Mike Wicks shows with these instructive stories of managerial mistakes.He reveals that bad management practices are alarmingly common and shows how they harm organizations and employees. From sending catastrophic emails to withholding information or making hurtful assumptions, Wicks shows you what not to do if you want to be a better manager. His accessible, conversational and motivational guidebook will inspire readers to become more effective and empathetic leaders who empower others and build relationships grounded in trust.


Good managers prioritize team success over self-serving pursuits.

Good managers share a few traits: They’re fair, accountable, adaptable and empathetic. They have integrity. They’re strong communicators who turn mistakes into learning opportunities and empower those they lead. 

Unfortunately, bad management is quite common. More than half of the workers who responded to a 2019 survey by Mental Health America reported a lack of motivation at work. Only about half reported receiving sufficient direction from their managers to do their jobs effectively. Good managers offer guidance and help people feel confident about their work, but research suggests that many managers fail in this regard: 80% of the survey respondents felt strongly that their corporate culture eroded their confidence in their job performance.

Study the mistakes of bad managers so you can avoid them. One of the worst mistakes bad managers make is putting their ego-driven wishes above the needs of their team. To be an awful manager, do the following: Forget humility; don’t bother learning...

About the Author

Publishing consultant Mike Wicks co-wrote the bestseller Built Not Born: A Self-Made Billionaire’s No-Nonsense Guide for Entrepreneurs with Tom Golisano.

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    R. G. 1 year ago
    This is one of the most practical and realistic books about management.
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    J. C. 4 years ago
    Great summary, being more self aware of your own behaviours will help avoid the pitfalls of poor management