Summary of Simply Managing

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Best-selling author Henry Mintzberg describes the life of a manager as “a hectic pace, lots of interruptions, more responding than initiating.” His observation underscores what sets Mintzberg’s book apart from other management manuals. He takes a clear-eyed look at the frenetic pace of a manager’s life without promising to make it more orderly. Instead, he offers engaging illustrations to help readers understand various managerial roles. He argues that management and leadership are not separate realms, but go together to form “communityship” – engaging others in collaboration and helping them unlock their strengths. Mintzberg draws on his observations of the 29, mostly Canadian, managers he first described in his 2009 classic, Managing. Here, he distills that earlier work into an easy-to-read, useful guide. If you’re a manager with too much to do and too little time to think, getAbstract recommends turning to Mintzberg’s practical, concise primer.

About the Author

A founding partner of, Henry Mintzberg teaches management studies at McGill University and has written 16 books.



Why Managers Matter

What’s more important: leading or managing? Most business gurus prize leadership over management, but the roles actually work in tandem. Good leaders manage; good managers lead. Of the two skills, managing gets short shrift. People celebrate the visionary, long-view leader, but too many leaders are detached from the day-to-day, hands-on work. Managing is where things get done in today’s environment where companies are “overled” and “undermanaged.”

Management and leadership are not separate spheres. The two skills work together in the larger realm of “communityship.” As a manager, don’t aspire to create followers; learn to nourish “communities of engagement” that support your firm’s work by fostering mutual respect. Management isn’t a science – its primary goal isn’t to assemble knowledge through research. And it isn’t a profession – it cannot be taught. The only way to learn to manage is to manage. Think of managing more as a “practice” that blends “art,” “craft” and “science.” When you draw on your ideas and insights, you create art. When you build on your experience, you utilize craft. When you analyze what you know, you rely on science. When...

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