Do You Want To Be A (Better) Manager?
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Do You Want To Be A (Better) Manager?

About the Book



I. Alternatives to Management

   Motivated by Money?

   Are You Willing to Sunlight?

   How To Get Fired as IT Manager

II. Management Techniques

   Acts of Leadership

   Smart Manager Tricks

III. Common Difficult Situations

   Instant Reviews, Instant Tests


   Congruent Interviewing by Audition

   Dealing with Addicted Employees

IV. Management Traps to Avoid

   Technology Can Make You a Bad Manager

   Beware of QuickFixes


   Destroying Communication and Control

   Overstructured Management

V. Managing Yourself

   Anger Management

   Beyond Blaming: Congruence

   In Danger of Success

   Staying Young

About the Author

Gerald M. Weinberg
Gerald M. Weinberg

I've always been interested in helping smart people be happy and productive. To that end, I've published books on human behavior, including Weinberg on Writing: The Fieldstone Method, The Psychology of Computer Programming, Perfect Software and Other Fallacies, and an Introduction to General Systems Thinking. I've also written books on leadership including Becoming a Technical Leader, The Secrets of Consulting (Foreword by Virginia Satir), More Secrets of Consulting, and the nine-volume Quality Software series.

I try to incorporate my knowledge of science, engineering, and human behavior into all of my writing and consulting work (with writers, hi-tech researchers, software engineers, and people whose life-situation could require the use of a service dog). I write novels about such people, including The Aremac Project, Aremac Power, Jigglers, First Stringers, Second Stringers, The Hands of God, Freshman Murders, Where There's a Will There's a Murder, Earth's Endless Effort, and Mistress of Molecules—all about how my brilliant protagonists produce quality work and learn to be happy. My books that are not yet on Leanpub may be found as eBooks at <>; on Amazon at; and at Barnes and Noble bookstore:

Early in my career, I was the architect for the Project Mercury's space tracking network and designer of the world's first multiprogrammed operating system. I won the Warnier Prize, the Stevens Award, and the first Software Testing Professionals' Luminary Award, all for my writing on software quality. I was also elected a charter member of the Computing Hall of Fame in San Diego and chosen for the University of Nebraska Hall of Fame.

But the "award" I'm most proud of is the book, The Gift of Time (Fiona Charles, ed.) written by my student and readers for my 75th birthday. Their stories make me feel that I've been at least partially successful at helping smart people be happy.

Gerald M. Weinberg

Episode 82

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • I. Alternatives to Management
    • Motivated by Money?
    • Are You Willing to Sunlight?
      • Best operator
      • Rare attitude
      • Getting caught
      • Sunlighting on the job
      • Sunlighting managers
    • How To Get Fired as IT Manager
  • II. Management Techniques
    • Acts of Leadership
      • Open the discussion
      • Change the model they see
      • Compromise appropriately
      • Observe what is needed
      • Restructure the task
      • Restructure the group
      • Inventory the resources
      • Ask questions
      • Listen
      • Watch for misunderstanding
      • Empathize
      • Be ready to pitch in
      • Remain open to feedback
      • Encourage appropriate behavior
      • Withhold negative comments
      • Offer ideas without inflicting
      • Admit mistakes
      • Risk taking the lead
      • Risk following a lead
      • Let others succeed or fail
      • Set an example
      • Summary
    • Smart Manager Tricks
      • Take each encounter at face value.
      • Be realistic in your expectations.
      • Match people and work.
      • Get to know your people as people.
      • Avoid the negative.
      • Try low-tech and highly interactive.
      • Leverage diversity.
      • Employ the coaching model.
      • Don’t take your own authority too seriously.
      • Become a barrier buster.
      • Strive for consensus by creating a sense of safety.
      • Tell the new people where the bathrooms are.
      • Summary
    • What You Need To Know About Programming
      • What is programming, anyway?
      • Programming is foresight.
      • Programming is writing the recipe, not baking the cake.
      • The paradigm of programming, as of science, is “if-so-then-so.”
      • The programmer’s recipe must be unambiguous.
      • The programmer’s recipe must be complete.
      • The programmer’s recipe must terminate.
      • The program must be widely applicable.
      • The programmer’s recipe must be verifiable.
      • The programmer’s recipe must be created in a controlled way.
      • Large programs are mastered by successive refinement.
      • The programmer has many tools, some of them programs.
      • The team is the most powerful programming tool.
      • Programming is more than communicating with computers.
      • Programming is a political act.
      • Programming is a mirror of the mind.
  • III. Common Difficult Situations
    • Resisting the Sales Pitch
    • An Agile Project Start
      • Rule 1: Start with the people you have.
      • Rule 2: Never allow the problem to become undefined.
      • Rule 3: Invest early and keep investing in team building.
      • Rule 4—Let your technical leaders do technical leading.
      • Rule 5: Allow adequate time and space for learning.
      • Conclusion: Organize for self-organization.
    • Instant Reviews, Instant Tests
      • When to review quickly
      • How to handle blocking attempts
    • Reasons
      • Reasons why the tool was or wasn’t used
      • Reasons are meant to fool you.
      • Convert reasons to logic
      • “You’re right”
    • Congruent Interviewing by Audition
      • Hiring based on credentials
      • Hiring by audition
      • Will candidates take offense?
      • Audition mistakes
    • Dealing with Addicted Employees
      • What Is an Alcoholic?
      • Detecting addictions
      • Your responsibility
      • But the addict’s my friend
  • IV. Management Traps to Avoid
    • Technology Can Make You a Bad Manager
    • Beware of Quick Fixes
      • Little solutions
      • Lessons of history
    • The Sauerkraut Syndrome
    • Better Estimating Can Lead to Worse Performance
      • Estimates can become standards
      • Using estimates well
    • Preventing a Software Quality Crisis
      • Abstract
      • Symptoms of Overload Due to Poor Quality
      • Lack of Self-Awareness
      • Typical Behavior Patterns
      • Typical Feelings
      • The Software Dynamics of Overload
      • Time to Locate Problems
      • Management Countermeasures
      • Time to Fix Errors
      • Management Countermeasures
      • Creating Errors While Fixing Other Errors
      • Management Countermeasures
      • Effects of Shortcuts on Quality
      • Management Countermeasures
      • Staying Out of Trouble
      • References
    • Destroying Communication and Control
      • The First Law of Bad Management
      • Destroying Information
      • Requirements
      • Destruction of Information Infrastructure
      • Configuration Management
      • Hiding Information
      • Technical Reviews
      • Project Management Reviews
      • Quality Assurance
      • Degrading the Believability of Information
      • Testing
      • Inserting Misleading Information
      • Demonstrations
      • Risk Management Process
      • Conclusions
    • Overstructured Management
      • The Problem
      • The Approach
      • The DEAL Model
      • Sequence
      • Choice
      • Modularization
      • Iteration
      • Recursion
      • What is To Be Done?
      • References
  • V. Managing Yourself
    • Anger Management
      • What Is Anger, Anyway?
      • Why Anger Is a Poor Tactic for a Manager
      • Why Am I Angry?
      • Hiding Anger Simply Doesn’t Work
      • Identify and Interrupt Your Anger Sequence
      • Interrupt The Other Person’s Anger Sequence
      • Anger is a Luxury
    • Beyond Blaming: Congruence
      • The Blaming Style of Communication
      • What Is Congruence?
      • What is Blaming?
      • How Blaming Hurts a Project
      • What Incongruence Looks and Feels Like
      • What Congruence Would Look/Feel Like
      • Congruence in Large Systems Development Efforts
      • Achieving Congruence
    • Refusing to Hear the Truth
    • In Danger of Success
      • Foolish pride
      • Frozen knowledge
      • Failing to adapt
    • Staying Young
      • Peter Principle simulated
      • The Paul Principle
      • The Other Paul Principle
      • The Good Old Days
      • What was true back then
      • Buy or Build?
      • The real world
      • Your time dimension
  • What Next?

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