Will Roney

Book Review – How to Manage by Jo Owen

In Non-Fiction Writing on December 31, 2011 at 17:18

Management is one of the overlooked aspects of modern working life. Yet, it is probably the most important after understanding why you work for a business, or work to run a business. Management can mean the difference between whether you keep your employees or lose them to a volatile and disruptive marketplace.

The vision behind a business carries many forms. At the heart of it there is the idea, the product or the service, and the role of the manager is to deliver that idea, product or service in a way that benefits the company. It is, according to “How to Manage” by Jo Owen, the art of getting things done. In this book management is stripped back to basics and redefined in a way that makes the task more human, and more realistic about the pressures and challenges of doing the job properly.

Management is defined as the sum of IQ (Rational Management), EQ (Emotional Management) and PQ (Political Management). Those managers who can maximise all of these, tend to be the people that we remember as being those who got the most out of us, whilst we were dreaming of the lottery win that would make our lives complete. In the real world where lottery wins tend to be for other people, this book is a treasure trove of good advice and practical examples of why management is so important to the modern working world.

IQ – Rational management can be described as the art of arranging the hard cold facts to make the end result more likely – i.e. ensuring there are enough operators to make 500 widgets an hour, or to make sure that there are enough computers in the office to process all of the orders.

EQ – Emotional Management is about treating your employees, with all of their skills and shortcomings as productive people, and not as a numerical unit of resource. The soft skills required to deal with people have been lost in the past, or devolved away to faceless, outsourced HR departments, but a good manager can deal with all of this.

PQ – Political Management recognises that there is finite resource within a company and in order to achieve your personal vision it may require a little in the way of dealings to get what you want. This political side is often underlooked as well by managers who have been newly promoted and can be the undoing of many an ambitious person.

Jo Owen’s book is a tour de force of management in the 21st Century. By writing about management in such an accessible way, there is much to be learned by all managers both rookies and old hands. This is a book that I will be coming back to time and time again to understand how I can become a better manager.

This book review was originally published on Family Friendly Working, a site packed with advice on flexible work for mums and dads. Have you enjoyed this review? If you have, click through and buy the book HERE!

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  1. Nice review of “How to Manage”. As far as skills go, I have always been very good with numbers and logic, so IQ is my strong point. Unfortunately, I used to fall short on the human side. It was only after working for a terrible manager myself that I realized how toxic it can be to work for someone who views you as just another cog in the machine. That was my wake up call to slow down and focus on people first.

    My reading list is always too long, but this sounds like a valuable read. Thanks for the review.

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