A seasoned executive and a psychologist who specializes in corporate coaching team up to advise newly-promoted senior managers on adjusting to their roles at the top of the ladder.
Wyche (Good Is Not Enough, 2008) and Booth divide their book into two sections, with Wyche drawing on his experience in managing several large businesses to share the crucial skills a leader needs to develop, while Booth addresses strategies for success and the personal aspects of being an executive. The book draws a clear distinction between the top level of management, its target audience, and mid-level managers, explaining that the two areas require different sets of skills for success. With its blend of advice and anecdotes, the book does an effective job of convincing the reader that executives need to turn their attention from the details of business operations to big-picture strategies, and to develop confidence in their judgment and decision-making without isolating themselves from useful criticism or accurate information, and it does so while largely avoiding the unpleasant jargon associated with many books on management. The authors stress the importance of making a distinction between personal and professional relationships, motivations, and actions, urging readers to maintain a sense of themselves that extends beyond the office. This is particularly relevant in the final chapter, which advises executives to prepare to leave their positions long before it becomes necessary to do so, arguing that one of the strongest forms of leadership is knowing when to walk away. The book goes beyond platitudes and overused generalizations, offering solid and substantial advice for becoming an effective leader and managing organizations for success. Wyche's willingness to share stories of his shortcomings as well as his successes—how he inadvertently turned grocery store bakeries into red velvet cake factories, or how a low-level employee taught him that his communication methods were ineffective—provides useful object lessons in addition to a fully-developed portrait of an executive who learned much of his leadership technique on the job.
A well-written guide to developing leadership skills that draws effectively on the hands-on experience of one co-author and the insights and coaching techniques of the other.