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Managing Performing Living

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Managing Performing Living

Effective Management for a New World


15 min read
8 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

A manager has five primary tasks: develop goals, organize, make decisions, exercise control and promote people.

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable
  • Eye Opening


Fredmund Malik, an Austrian management expert, eviscerates much of common practice in large corporations without seeming angry, just a bit cantankerous. Malik’s take on meetings? Get rid of them. Performance reviews? Twaddle. Managers’ pep talks aimed at building enthusiasm? Don’t waste your time. Malik pokes holes in conventional wisdom and offers actionable, commonsense alternatives. Managers who’d like to rethink ordinary practices will relish his guide. The original edition, published in German, is a management classic.


Too often, managers emphasize workers’ weaknesses. To be an effective manager, focus on employees’ strengths.

Too often, managers emphasize workers’ weaknesses. Human resources managers  identify weaknesses that lead to mistakes and subpar performance, and teach workers to overcome them. Weaknesses are easy to find but hard to eliminate. To be an effective manager, stop complaining about employees’ shortcomings and trying to fix their flaws. Focus on their strengths. Assign people to tasks they’re good at, and they’ll do a great job. Few people are multitalented. The greats of music, the arts and athletics had talent primarily in one arena. 

An effective boss identifies employees’ weaknesses only in order to assess what sort of assignments to avoid. Find a worker’s wheelhouse, and keep the employee focused on tasks in that zone of excellence. A track coach wouldn’t put a slow runner in a sprint or a sprinter in a long-distance slog. The coach assesses each athlete’s strengths and weaknesses, steers the athlete toward a suitable event and provides training. Direct your staffers toward...

About the Author

Fredmund Malik is one of Europe’s top experts on management, leadership and corporate governance. He is the founder of an institution carrying his name. 

Comment on this summary

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    A. P. 3 years ago
    Great book. Nice summary. BUT: The German summary is much better & closer to the book.
    I was looking for the "Tasks of the Manager" - these are missing here, but are in the German version. Any chance of updating this summary to include what the non-German speakers are missing out?
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      3 years ago
      Hello Andrew, thank you for your comment. We have taken your suggestion and updated the summary. I have sent you the updated version via email.
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    E. D. 6 years ago
    This book is a keeper. It is something I will refer to again and again.
  • Avatar
    H. M. 6 years ago
    One of the best ‘read over and over again’ books. A guide to follow.

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