Schulman’s management guide delivers practical advice for managers at any level.
What do roosters have to do with management? Quite a lot, according to Schulman, who likes his animal metaphors. The rooster is the employee who charges into every task with enthusiasm and determination. Schulman goes on to classify other employees, too: turtles, scorpions, mules, armadillos and so on. The list of potential animal employees and their traits adds a whimsical touch to an otherwise hard-headed review of management tips and tricks. Schulman starts with how to handle one’s first management position—including ways of coping with work acquaintances who are now direct reports—and moves up the corporate ladder all the way to advice for new CEOs. The book touches on classic management theory but primarily guides readers through the daily problems and pitfalls of life as a manager. After hashing out the ways and means of becoming a good manager and a good leader (two very different skill sets, in his opinion), he rounds out the book with a chapter on persuasion tactics, including a primer on negotiating with a variety of personality types. Schulman doesn’t hesitate to point out the drawbacks of life as a corporate leader, though, and he warns that anyone who’s uncomfortable with those issues might want to avoid the management track altogether. The book reads more like a collection of thoughts and suggestions than a coherent whole, making it sometimes difficult to follow as Schulman jumps from idea to idea. Nevertheless, anyone in a management position or considering a management career will benefit from his practical advice.
A highly useful, enjoyable read—a welcome combination in the management genre.