Summary of Managing

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  • Comprehensive


Managing, believes scholar Henry Mintzberg, must include leading, but the two are not the same. To study which skills are essential to good management, Mintzberg spent an entire day one-on-one with 29 managers from different kinds of organizations and from different sectors – including banking, retail, filmmaking, government, nonprofits and healthcare. Mintzberg looked at managers who worked in the executive suites as well as on the front lines. He learned that although managers differ considerably in their activities, the skills they need are surprisingly similar. Although quite general and not entirely new, getAbstract recommends this comprehensive guide to managers, executive placement experts, consultants, students and others who wish to get back to basics and to develop the traits essential to becoming an effective, able manager.

About the Author

Henry Mintzberg teaches management studies at McGill University in Montreal. The author of 15 books, Mintzberg has won awards from the Harvard Business Review, the Association of Management Consulting Firms and others.



What is Management?

If you ask managers what they knew about their function on the day they started their jobs, most of them say, “Nothing.” One day they “were playing the flute or doing surgery”; the next day, they were supervising others in these jobs. They had to learn by doing. Although people have characterized management as a profession, a science and an art, in fact, it is none of these things in isolation. Instead, it is a combination of them all. In other words, management is a “practice.”

Three Management Myths

Three myths distort people’s ideas about the skills managers need:

  • Myth 1: Management and leadership are independent skills – In reality, managers must also lead, and leaders must also manage. Broadly, leading is an aspect of managing. Unfortunately, most organizations “are now overled and undermanaged.”
  • Myth 2: Management is a profession – Rather, management is a craft. It is something people learn by doing, not by reading a book. The best managers have the experience to understand and appreciate the importance of context when they make their decisions.
  • Myth 3: Management...

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