Managing – Henry Mintzberg

Everyone knows the answer to the question.
“what is the meaning of life” ( 42, duh )
But what is the QUESTION!? Elusive.

Let me preface this post by saying, I’m no management smartypants,
no MBA application here, frankly I’m not that smart. I’m just one of the monkeys with a bone trying by God and man to achieve results.

No one is a prophet in his own home.
That’s why of course I read about “Canadian Management Guru” Henry Mintzberg
in a list of Management Experts by McKinsey

Just finished his most recent book.
Which is good because six others came in from the library and this is the only one I can get through. I just can’t get through books that are all text wall to wall.
I’m not one of the sleepless elite.

First pitch and Mintzberg knocked it out of the park.
He proposed the ONE question:
WHEN YOU BECAME A MANAGER, WHAT CHANGED?

I asked several hundred of my business mentors this week.
Not even 10% got a verbal primer, talking to or training.
Not even 2% of my non-profit leaders got anything at all.

Do a little online research and you’ll find most tips on becoming a manager are about how to wear a suit, talk to the boss, navigate politics and get ahead.

This book was of value because of Mintzberg and his multigenerational experience I loved this book because of two little things:

1) He bolds key ideas and phrases to help non-MBA’s get the picture
2) He references about 100 of the top management thinkers of the past 60 years
And yet he remains rooted in the very front line of the bloody battles fought today.
Who can quote from 1916, speak from the book of Drucker and comment on the internet?!

He will call out every problem you face. I won’t tell you he’ll solve it
but you’ll understand the roots of it and ways for you to solve it yourself.

Also the concept of following around 29 business leaders for the day
to actually learn from how they really walk their talk.
Sorry Mr. Mintzberg, he hates the term “leadership”
Which is great because he chose CEO’s, Presidents and for profit Directors
as well as Not for Profit leadership and Government bureaucrats
Ended up in its’ own website, 29 Days of Managing

And here’s the kicker
At the end of the book are four full summaries of these days.
Just gold. I’d summarize more goodies but there’s too many.
Too many notes, golden nuggets.
There are days of reflecting on the ideas he put forth

Best seller, winner of multiple awards if you’re a student of the ACT of managing and not just the title – this is a must read.
I wish there was an audio book though.

I wish that those who promote would actually ask the question: “Are you ready to lead, coach, teach, think, strategize, question, decide and act?”
before bestowing this title. Until then, we’ll always have Henry.

Thanks Report on Business TV for this great interview on the book:

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