Practical Ways to Lead and Serve (Manage) Others
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Practical Ways to Lead and Serve (Manage) Others

Modern Management Made Easy, Book 2

About the Book

How can you be the best manager you can be, especially under all the pressure you feel? If you've never seen excellent management, you might not know what "best" looks like—and that's a problem. You are not alone.

Great managers create an environment where people can do their best work. These excellent managers lead and serve others—not control them.

Based on research and backed up by personal stories, this book will show you how modern managers lead and serve others.

Through questions and stories, learn how you can:

  • Use the seven principles of modern management to create an environment where the team functions as a unit.
  • Create more capability in each person and as a team.
  • Create an engaged team or workgroup.
  • Create an environment to support people as they manage their careers and eliminate the need for performance reviews.
  • Support teams as they can learn to manage themselves.
  • And, much more.

With its question and myth, each chapter offers you options to rethink how you lead and serve others.

You'll see how common—but ill-advised—management practices prevent great business outcomes. Instead, learn how to lead and serve your teams so they can deliver products and services your customers will pay for and use.

Become a modern manager. Learn to lead and serve others to deliver the results everyone needs.

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    • Agile
    • Management
    • Innovation Management
    • Teamwork
    • Engineering Management
    • Agile Enterprise
    • Leadership
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About the Author

Johanna Rothman
Johanna Rothman

Johanna Rothman, known as the “Pragmatic Manager,” offers frank advice for your tough problems. She helps leaders and teams do reasonable things that work. Equipped with that knowledge, they can then decide how to adapt their product development.

With her trademark practicality and humor, Johanna is the author of 20 books and hundreds of articles. Find the Pragmatic Manager, a monthly email newsletter, and her blogs at and

She is the author of these books:

In addition, she is a contributor to:

For fiction:

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Table of Contents

  • Praise Quotes
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • 1. Managers Lead and Serve Others
    • 1.1 Encourage Flow Efficiency
    • 1.2 Create a Culture of Psychological Safety
    • 1.3 Extend Trust
    • 1.4 Congruence Helps You Lead and Serve
    • 1.5 Environment Shapes Behavior
    • 1.6 Manage With Value-Based Integrity
    • 1.7 Examine Your Management Assumptions
    • 1.8 Managers Create and Refine the Culture
    • 1.9 Consider These Principles to Lead and Serve Others
    • 1.10 Lead and Serve with Excellence
  • 2. How Many People Can You Serve as a Manager?
    • 2.1 Myth: You Can Manage Any Number of People as a Manager
    • 2.2 What Do First-Line Managers Do?
    • 2.3 How Managers Serve Others
    • 2.4 What’s a Reasonable Number of People to Manage?
    • 2.5 Create Learning Opportunities
    • 2.6 Remove Yourself as the Expert
    • 2.7 Build Trusting Relationships With Your Team
    • 2.8 Focus on Serving, Not Controlling
    • 2.9 Options to Lead and Serve
  • 3. How Often Do You Meet Privately With People?
    • 3.1 Myth: I Don’t Need One-on-Ones
    • 3.2 Gather Data With One-on-Ones
    • 3.3 Model Behavior and Feedback in One-on-Ones
    • 3.4 Privacy for Private Problems
    • 3.5 One-on-Ones Allow the Manager to Serve
    • 3.6 Build the Relationship with One-on-Ones
    • 3.7 Structure Your One-on-Ones
    • 3.8 Decide When to Conduct One-on-Ones
    • 3.9 What If You Don’t Have Time for One-on-Ones?
    • 3.10 Options to Organize Your One-on-Ones
  • 4. Do I Really Need to Tell Someone How They’re Doing?
    • 4.1 Myth: People Should Just Know How They’re Doing
    • 4.2 Manage Your Feedback Words
    • 4.3 Practice Effective Feedback
    • 4.4 People Need Transparency
    • 4.5 Options to Start Effective Feedback
  • 5. Is Measuring Time Useful?
    • 5.1 Myth: I Can Measure the Work by Where People Spend Time
    • 5.2 Time Is Not Results
    • 5.3 How Many Hours in a Day?
    • 5.4 Manage the Work in Progress
    • 5.5 Which Meetings Can We Kill?
    • 5.6 What Does Your Day Look Like?
    • 5.7 When Do You Need to Respond?
    • 5.8 Measure Results, Not Time
    • 5.9 Create Experiments to See Where People Spend Time
    • 5.10 Experiment with the Number of Hours per Week
    • 5.11 Measure Outcomes Instead of Time
    • 5.12 Manage Your Timesheet Time
    • 5.13 Options For Measuring Outcomes or Results
  • 6. How Can You Tell if People Are Engaged?
    • 6.1 Myth: I Need to Know People Are Invested
    • 6.2 Management Work is Different From Technical Work
    • 6.3 I’m Invested, Why Aren’t They?
    • 6.4 What’s the Real Problem?
    • 6.5 Options to Increase Engagement
  • 7. How Do You Know People are Working Hard?
    • 7.1 Myth: If You’re Not Typing, You’re Not Working
    • 7.2 Trust People to Use Their Best Work Approach
    • 7.3 Recharge Yourself
    • 7.4 Extend Trust to the People Doing the Work
    • 7.5 Consider Team-Based Options for Work
  • 8. What Value do Performance Reviews Offer?
    • 8.1 Myth: Evaluation via Performance Reviews Are Useful
    • 8.2 Avoid Evaluation or Grading People
    • 8.3 Self-Assessment Doesn’t Work, Either
    • 8.4 Attention Works
    • 8.5 Feedback is a Culture Problem
    • 8.6 Consider This Design for a Feedback Lab
    • 8.7 Options Instead of Performance Reviews
  • 9. Do People Ever Need External Credit?
    • 9.1 Myth: People Don’t Need Credit
    • 9.2 Always Give Credit for Work Other People Perform
    • 9.3 Fix Miscommunications When They Occur
    • 9.4 Consider Formal Appreciations
    • 9.5 Taking Credit is Anti-Delegation
    • 9.6 When You Give Credit, You Look Like a Star
    • 9.7 Options to Start Offering Credit
  • 10. Who Deserves a Job Here?
    • 10.1 Myth: I Can Save Everyone
    • 10.2 Why Can’t You Save Everyone?
    • 10.3 Why Help an Employee Leave Your Team?
    • 10.4 Understand Team “Fairness”
    • 10.5 Consider When You Should Save an Employee
    • 10.6 Create Action Plans
    • 10.7 Help the Person Succeed Elsewhere
    • 10.8 Act Promptly
    • 10.9 Options to Decide Who Deserves a Job Here
  • 11. Do Hiring Shortcuts Work?
    • 11.1 Myth: We Can Take Hiring Shortcuts
    • 11.2 See Typical Hiring Shortcuts
    • 11.3 Offer a Candidate a Reasonable Salary
    • 11.4 Hire for Cultural Fit
    • 11.5 Hiring Shortcuts Don’t Help Anyone
    • 11.6 Options to Improve Your Hiring Practices
  • 12. Are People Resources?
    • 12.1 Myth: I Can Treat People as Interchangeable Resources
    • 12.2 People Accomplish Work
    • 12.3 Language Matters
    • 12.4 People Are Also Not FTEs
    • 12.5 People Are Not Resources
    • 12.6 Options to Move From “Resources” to People
  • 13. Do Experts Help Finish the Work?
    • 13.1 Myth: Only ‘The Expert’ Can Perform This Work
    • 13.2 Experts Cause Delays
    • 13.3 Understand the Root Cause
    • 13.4 Options to Reduce the Dependence on Experts
  • 14. Who Do You Promote Into Management?
    • 14.1 Myth: I Must Promote the Best Technical Person to Be a Manager
    • 14.2 Management Skills Differ from Technical Skills
    • 14.3 Differentiate Between Managers and Technical Leads
    • 14.4 What’s the Value of the Work?
    • 14.5 Managers Work Outside the Team
    • 14.6 Great Technical People Can Be Great Managers
    • 14.7 Consider Your Promotion Options
  • 15. Where Will You Start Leading and Serving Others?
    • 15.1 Visualize the System
    • 15.2 Assess Your Current Behaviors
    • 15.3 Change Your Behaviors First
    • 15.4 You Don’t Have to be Perfect
    • 15.5 Is Management For You?
    • 15.6 Our Journey
  • Annotated Bibliography
  • More from Johanna
  • Notes

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