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First Book of Common-Sense Management

First Book of Common-Sense Management

by Diane Tracy

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Diane Tracy's unique take on successful management showing how to motivate employees through greater sensitivity. This book reveals some precise, commonsense truths about people that are amazingly easy to understand and to apply.


Diane Tracy's unique take on successful management showing how to motivate employees through greater sensitivity. This book reveals some precise, commonsense truths about people that are amazingly easy to understand and to apply.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The latest in a trend toward management books that use catchy titles, are small in size, and have large price tags. This particular book sets out to provide guidance to the brand new manager and to give practical advice about the problems encountered on the job. Areas covered include the role of the manager in the organization, and how to be a good leader, teacher, and overall motivator. Several chapters are devoted to personnel issues such as interviewing, hiring, training, and evaluating staff. Overall, the book is simple, easy to read, and informative at a very basic level. While not of much value to the experienced manager, this might be helpful to someone beginning their supervisory career.-- Robert Logsdon, Indiana State Lib., Indianapolis

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
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Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.40(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

But What Does a Manager

    This morning your promotion finally came through. You have a title that includes words
    like group leader, supervisor, director, manager.

    Clearly it was a promotion; you can tell because you now have

    • more money—a little, anyway
    • a larger desk or office
    • a lot more responsibility

    What you don't have is

    • freedom to worry only about yourself
    • overtime pay
    • the right to forget about the job when you go home at night

    Why Are Managers Usually
    Paid More Money?

    And what does a manager do to earn it?

    Easy answer:

    • A plumber fixes pipes
    • A carpenter cuts wood
    • A bricklayer lays bricks
    • A salesperson sells things
    • An accountant counts things
    • A manager manages people

    It's harder to manage people than to fix pipes, cut wood, lay bricks, or count things because people are infinitely more complex.

    What's Involved in Managing

    To be a good manager you have to be a

    • psychologist

    ... and that's just for starters.

    Your First Days on the Job ...

    During your first days on the job we suggest
    you apply the first principle of good management:

    The Lay-Low Principle of Management

    Certainly for the first few days, and maybe
    for a good long timeafter that-at least until
    you know what the heck is going on

    • Stay calm
    • Listen to everything
    • Say as little as possible

    In short

    Keep your eyes open
    ... and your mouth shut.

    Be Warned!

    It is very easy to make a mistake, particularly during those -first few hectic days on the job, and then it may take weeks and maybe years to correct them.

    There are ten cardinal rules of what NOT to do during the first few weeks as manager:

    1. Don't Take an Ego Trip

    Don't come on like John Wayne, sweep away all the old rules and procedures, tell everyone that "Things are going to be DIFFERENT now that I'm in charge."

    Certainly some things are going to be different, but many others got the way they are for good reason. Until you know for sure why they are being done that way it makes sense to be very careful about changing them.

    2. Don't Make Careless Promises

    First, you can't buy friendship or loyalty. Second, never promise anything you aren't absolutely certain you can deliver.

    Third, rewards should be handed out very slowly, if at all, until you get your feet under you and you know exactly who is deserving of rewards.

    Fourth, rewards should be handed out only for what people may have done in the past and what they are going to continue to do in the future.

    3. Don't Play Genghis Khan

    Oddly enough, acting like a tyrant is more likely to reveal your insecurities than your strengths. If you start ordering people around as if they were slaves you are going to create enemies you don't need. In the extreme you will start a revolution-which is hardly a convincing demonstration to your boss that you are a good leader.

    Remember that true power is most often displayed in a quiet, firm manner that takes for granted orders will be followed. If you believe in your authority, so will everyone else.

    4. Don't Play Favorites

    One of the critical characteristics of a good leader is that he be fair in the treatment of subordinates. You know yourself that when you report to someone who praises or rewards only his cronies your morale drops, your interest in the job disappears, you get angry and frustrated. Why should you try to do your best if it will be ignored in favor of a teacher's pet?

    It's a basic law of human nature-everyone thrives on praise and recognition. We like feeling special and important and if that is denied us we usually stop wasting our time or energy in thankless effort.

    5. Don't Babble Without Thinking

    With a ready audience hanging on your every word it is sometimes easy to forget that your staff is responding to your power over them, not necessarily your brilliance. It is easy to be seduced by all this attention, particularly if you are a little nervous in the beginning.

    Next thing you know, you are babbling away. You can be sure that listeners are recording every stupid, thoughtless remark you make and that these remarks will probably come back to haunt you.

    6. Don't Hoard the Work

    The buzz word for this is delegation. Often out of nervousness or impatience, or simply because you don't trust subordinates to do the job right, you find yourself trying to do it all.

    Pretty soon your desk is stacked with memos waiting for your approval. Decisions don't get made. Work gets backed up and your group or department becomes the company bottleneck.

    This is by no means an unusual problem. Every manager who cares about the work feels an almost overwhelming sense of responsibility and it may seem easier and less time consuming to do it yourself than to show someone else how.

    But training and delegation are among your most important responsibilities as a manager. Neglect them and you invite disaster.

    7. Don't Pass the Buck

    The rule of good management is that when things go wrong in your area it's your fault; when things go right it's because of the people who report to you.

    When a manager tries to shift the blame to employees he ends up losing their trust and respect.

    Loyalty is a two-way street.

    Remember, credit multiplies, blame divides.

    First Book of Common-Sense Management. Copyright © by Diane Tracy. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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