Review of It’s the Manager

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Gallup CEO Jim Clifton and Gallup chief scientist Jim Harter’s extensive best-selling manual is a solid reference work on “burning issues” in HR and a worthy introduction to concerns in modern-day personnel management. New HR leaders, executives and, especially, frontline managers will benefit most from this tight, if somewhat repetitive, overview of eight decades of Gallup research. A well-organized, readable reference, it offers 200-plus pages of appendices and access to strengths-assessment tests, adding value for those interested in a strengths-based approach to engagement and performance.  

About the Authors

Jim Clifton is chairman and CEO of Gallup and the best-selling author of Born to Build and The Coming Jobs War. Jim Harter, PhD, is a chief scientist for Gallup and has led more than 1,000 studies of workplace effectiveness. He is the co-author of the StrengthsFinder 2.0 book Well Being: The Five Essential Elements with Tom Rath.


Workplace productivity has declined.

Clifton and Harter report that new discoveries on enlightened management have emerged since 1990. Unfortunately, they find, only a small minority of firms put these insights into practice. New techniques for developing and engaging each worker must spread widely in order to revitalize the world of work and the economy.  “While the world’s workplace has been going through extraordinary historic change,” the authors write, “the practice of management has been stuck in time for more than 30 years.”

Among about 18,000 large firms in the United States – those with 500 or more employees – only about 20 practice modern personnel management. If thousands more CEOs and chief human resources officers (CHROs) developed their workers using contemporary methods, Harter and Clifton assert, companies could put the economy back into growth mode and improve peoples’ lives.

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