Summary of The 27 Challenges Managers Face

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Over the course of 20 years, members of Bruce Tulgan’s management research and training firm, RainmakerThinking, asked “hundreds of thousands” of managers in seminars, meetings and interviews which employee situations they find most difficult. Based on that research, Tulgan identifies 27 common management challenges that he groups into seven areas: being a new manager, teaching employees self-management, managing performance, managing attitudes, handling superstars and managing “forces outside your control.” He offers practical methods and approaches to help leaders conquer those challenges. He says sound management depends on regular, planned communication with the people you supervise and lays out the most effective management techniques. He emphasizes conducting regular “high-structure, high-substance, ongoing one-on-one dialogues” with each employee that relate to that person’s responsibilities. getAbstract recommends Tulgan’s well-researched guidance to current and future managers.

About the Author

Management expert Bruce Tulgan, the founder and CEO of RainmakerThinking, also wrote the bestseller It’s Okay to Be the Boss.



Conquering “Undermanagement”

Poor management often stems from undermanagement, a direct result of inefficient and ineffective communication. Undermanagers’ conversations with their subordinates are either too unplanned and spontaneous or conducted too rigidly and by the book. These managers engage in structured conversations with their staff members only during formal performance reviews. Many employees resent those conversations, which often seem forced and artificial.

Undermanagers typically ask their employees: “How are you?” “How’s everything going?” “Is everything on track?” “Are there any problems I should know about?” These feeble attempts at conversation accomplish little. Instead of managing, undermanagers often end up spending their time trying to put out fires.

Managing isn’t easy. Technology makes the human interplay at work increasingly complex. Other challenges arise from employees’ growing interdependency and the faster pace of work. Change is an unsettling constant. Companies demand constant high productivity from their employees. These factors add to managerial pressures, particularly given constraints on resources. Most employees no longer feel...

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