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Bare Knuckle People Management: Creating Success with the Team You Have - Winners, Losers, Misfits, and All


One of your biggest challenges as a manager is getting the best out of each member of your team. If you want superior management results, you need to figure out what each person needs and deliver it. In Bare Knuckle People Management, authors Sean O'Neil and John Kulisek take a no-nonsense approach in showing managers how to push their teams to success, not by following traditional, fluffy leadership training principles but by using the skills that got them promoted in the first...

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Bare Knuckle People Management: Creating Success with the Team You Have - Winners, Losers, Misfits, and All

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One of your biggest challenges as a manager is getting the best out of each member of your team. If you want superior management results, you need to figure out what each person needs and deliver it. In Bare Knuckle People Management, authors Sean O'Neil and John Kulisek take a no-nonsense approach in showing managers how to push their teams to success, not by following traditional, fluffy leadership training principles but by using the skills that got them promoted in the first place.

Forget kumbayas or one-minute managing. The best people managers know approaches that work great with one employee will be lost on another. With the same irreverent and entertaining style they use in their management training workshops, O'Neil and Kulisek describe the sixteen basic worker types you must learn to recognize, from The Badass to The Burnout, and how to customize your management style for each.

Written in short, easily digestible sections, this take-no-prisoners guide is perfect for any manager pressed for time and in need of some practical, real-world help.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Intriguing new book…O’Neil and Kulisek take a refreshingly candid look at handling employees….It’s a welcome change from the pie-in-the sky ‘engagement’ and ‘empowerment’ blather we’re always hearing from the so-called management experts.”
—HR Morning

“Tired of the beat-around-the-bush, wishy-washy, walk-on-eggs approach to management that prevails in our politically-correct workplace? Replace it with common-sense, straightforward communication tailored to the personality types on your team.”
Dallas Morning News

“Great premise. Treat everyone differently.”
—Tom Peters, leadership and business expert, author of In Search of Excellence

"Bare Knuckle People Management is a clever, straight-forward, practical guide to understanding and managing each of your people to get the most out of them. A refreshing break from 'leadership books' that insist the key to management success is a one-size-fits-all formula. Finally, a book that speaks directly to the manager for the real world."
—Christopher Heck, Senior Vice President of the National Basketball Association

"The authors of Bare Knuckle People Management know successful people management is easier than a lot of managers make it. Kulisek and O’Neil’s no-nonsense insights are not only amusing but on the mark. If you are a manager looking to improve the performance of your team, someone who just became a manager or think you would like to become a manager, you will be glad you read this book."
—Paul Mott, Head of Club Services, Major League Soccer

"Bare Knuckle People Management is the top solution for the most common people-management issues. It provides the specific distinctions needed to turn our management into leadership. Read this book and watch your teams succeed!"
—Justin Sach, best-selling author of The Power of Persistence and Your Mailbox Is Full

"Forget Leadership Training! This is how to hit the ground running as a manager. Every sentence provides realistic, practical, and applicable advice for today.”
—Ivan Dunmire, EVP, Director of Human Resources, MPG

“Creating success with the team you have is probably the most problematical challenge for every manager. Say goodbye to cheesy team-building exercises and say hello to methods that truly work. Bare Knuckle People Management is an indispensable resource to taking your entire team to the next level.”
—Barry Moltz, Getting Small Business Unstuck Author, Speaker and Consultant

“Very entertaining and informative! Bare Knuckle People Management takes a hard fist to the soft science of management, giving the reader practical advice on how to get the most out of a team of differing personalities and skill sets. The characterization of the possible employees that could make up your team at work is dead-on, and anyone who has a bit of sports acumen or pop-cultural awareness will be able to identify with them with ease thanks to the examples in the book. Bare Knuckle People Management should be the foundation for any college’s Management 101 class.”
—Mike Gutch, CFO NewsCore

"Coaching a professional basketball team is not different from managing a team of corporate employees. You have stars, utility players and bench warmers, all of whom thrive when their coach tailors his approach to their unique talents, weaknesses and contributions to the team. No BS People Management speaks directly to managers who have been frustrated by the notion that all employees need to be treated equally and with kids' gloves."
—Mike D'Antoni, Head Coach of the New York Knicks

"Bare Knuckle People Management is a knock-out! Authors Sean O'Neil and John Kulisek deliver a writing style that entertains while providing useful insights on how to get the most from your team (of inevitably unique personalities). After reading this book, you will be better prepared to confront the 'people challenges' that often prevent managers from maximizing their effectiveness. Bare Knuckle is now a must read for anyone who manages people in our organization.
—Philip Pecora, President & CEO Genesee Regional Bank

"The school of hard knocks approach to the challenges of managing the team you are given. Bare Knuckle People Management helps you to develop strategies to optimize the performance of the team by applying assessing the strengths and weakness of each member of the group. The good news is that all of this advise is actionable now for managers-not just at annual reviews or after expensive assessment surveys!"
—Kevin A. Schulman, MD, Director of Fuqua Health Sector Management Program

“Unlike many management books, Bare Knuckle People Management treats the readers like they actually have brains. The authors, O’Neil and Kulisek, show managers how to use what they already know and listen to their gut instincts in order to best manage their diverse workforces.”
—Clifford A. Teller, Head of Global Investment Banking

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781935618485
  • Publisher: BenBella Books, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/3/2011
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 965,544
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Sean O’Neil is principal owner and CEO of One to One Leadership, a sales and management training and recruitment company. He presents regularly on sales management, leadership, sales and workplace dynamics, career development and communication issues at national and regional conferences. O'Neil has published or been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Selling Power Magazine, Executive Decision Magazine, Incentive Magazine and many others. His clients include the National Basketball Association, Major League Soccer, Royal Bank of Scotland, News Corp., ADP, Shearman & Sterling LLP and First Data.

Prior to starting One to One Leadership, O'Neil worked as a child and family therapist in the psychiatry department of Boston’s Children Hospital. It was there that O'Neil developed his keen observation of the inherent power of interpersonal dynamics. He subsequently worked as a real estate lawyer at the law firm of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, LLP in New York City.

O'Neil received a B.A. from the College of the Holy Cross, a MSW from Boston College Graduate School of Social Work, his J.D. from Duke University School of Law and his MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.
O'Neil, his wife, Erin, and four children, Matt, Ryan, Julia and Olivia, live in Pelham Manor, N.Y.

John Kulisek is President of The Norben Group, a sales and marketing firm specializing in the production, import and distribution of fine permanent botanicals that operates in the United States, China, and Hong Kong. Some of the many places his quotes and managerial philosophies have appeared in and on include The Wall Street Journal,, and ABC News.

He lives in Tenafly, N.J

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

Part I The People Principles 7

An Overview 9

People Principle #1 Team-Wide Rules Suck 11

People Principle #2 Own Your Own Shit 15

People Principle #3 Look for Leverage Everywhere … and Exploit It Like Crazy 19

People Principle #4 Talk Often about Large Pink Elephants 23

People Principle #5 Weigh Words and Tone Carefully 27

People Principle #6 Give Individual Feedback Frequently (and Remember That Point about Leverage) 31

People Principle #7 Apologize Well … and Then Move On! 35

Part II Your Workplace: Winners, Losers, Misfits, and All 39

An Overview 41

Section I Starting Five

Character Profile #1 The Franchise 49

Character Profile #2 The Legend 59

Character Profile #3 The Player 69

Character Profile #4 The Badass 79

Character Profile #5 The Future 89

Section 2 Utility Players

Character Profile #6 Steady Eddie 99

Character Profile #7 The Noodler 109

Character Profile #8 The Doer 117

Character Profile #9 The Whistler 127

Section 3 Benchwarmers

Character Profile #10 The ADHD Butterfly 137

Character Profile #11 Needy Ned 147

Character Profile #12 Mister Inappropriate (Yes, It's Almost Always 'Mister') 157

Character Profile #13 The Slacker 167

Section 4 Trading Block Candidates

Character Profile #14 The Burnout 177

Character Profile #15 The Retread 187

Character Profile #16 The Asshole 197

Part III The Teams 205

An Overview 207

Team #1 The Dream Team 213

Team #2 Hickory 219

Team #3 All Thumbs 225

Team #4 Wounded Veterans 231

Team #5 The Rookies 237

Part IV Getting the Call 243

Your First 30 Days as a Manager 245

About the Authors 254

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 1, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Training specialists Sean O’Neil and John Kulisek take an

    Training specialists Sean O’Neil and John Kulisek take an irreverent, entertaining approach to leadership advice. Despite some unnecessary coarse language, they often make a lot more sense than the pronouncements of lofty gurus. The authors offer seven “People Principles” and then profile 16 worker archetypes, such as the “Legend” and the “Burnout.” You’ll find specific strategies for training, monitoring and managing each type of person individually and in various team combinations. getAbstract heartily recommends this fun read to all managers who’ve ever wondered how to whip a ragtag team of “knuckleheads” into a smooth, functioning unit.

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