Practical Ways to Manage Yourself
Practical Ways to Manage Yourself
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Practical Ways to Manage Yourself

This book is 80% complete

Last updated on 2019-06-14

About the Book

Too few managers think about the first rule of management: If you can’t manage yourself, you can’t manage other people.

Modern work practices demand management excellence. Too few schools teach about management as managing humans. If you’re lucky, you had a great boss and you learned about excellent management from him or her. But, if you didn’t, you’re not alone.

In this book, you’ll learn to see how common—but ill-advised—management practices repel people, instead of attracting them. And, you’ll learn what you can do instead. 

Learn to build trust and respect with congruence, and practice management with integrity.

About the Author

Johanna Rothman
Johanna Rothman

Johanna Rothman, known as the “Pragmatic Manager,” provides frank advice for your tough problems. She helps leaders and teams see problems, resolve risks, and manage their product development. Johanna is the author of fourteen 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:

Johanna writes the Pragmatic Manager, a monthly email newsletter. She writes two blogs on her site,, as well as a blog on

Bundles that include this book

Practical Organizational Leadership
Practical Approaches for Managing Others
Practical Ways to Manage Yourself
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Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • About this Early Release
  • Management Starts with Managing Yourself
    • See Your Congruence
    • Build Empathy and Respect
    • Managers Coach and Delegate
    • Manage With Integrity
    • Build Your Management Excellence
  • How Often Do You Meet Privately With People?
    • Illusion: I Don’t Need One-on-Ones
    • One-on-Ones Help Refine Your Information
    • Privacy for Private Problems
    • One-on-Ones Help You Develop a Trusting Relationship
    • One-on-Ones Allow the Manager to Serve
    • What If You Don’t Have Time for One-on-Ones?
  • Does Your Team Need You So They Can Work?
    • Myth: I am Too Valuable to Take a Vacation
    • “Please Stay in Touch While You are Gone”
    • Do You Feel Indispensable?
    • Prepare to Delegate
    • Avoid Anyone Second Guessing Your Team’s Decisions
    • Take a Vacation
    • Consider What You Can Delegate
    • Options to Start Delegation
  • Can You Be Effective as a Player-Coach?
    • Illusion: I Can Still Do Significant Technical Work
    • Delegate Problems and Don’t Take Them Back
    • Do You Still Understand the Details?
    • Know What You Can Do
    • Consider the Role of a Technical Manager
    • Create an Environment Where People Can Solve Problems
    • Can You Contribute Technically?
    • Where Does Management Time Go?
    • But, My Manager Expects Me to Do Both
    • Frustrated By Management Work?
    • What if You Love Technical Work?
  • Are You Allowed to Make Mistakes?
    • My Very Bad-Manager Day
    • Rule: I Must Never Admit My Mistakes
    • Managers Make Mistakes
    • A Manager’s Mistakes Cascade
    • Managers Can Rebuild Trust
    • Wrong Decisions Happen
    • Ask for Help
    • Create Options to Make Mistakes Safely
  • Are Problems Bad?
    • Rule: I Must Always Have a Solution to the Problem
    • Managers Rules Prevent Easy Problem-Solving
    • Rules About Problems Won’t Make The Problems Vanish
    • Acknowledge Your Feelings
    • Problems Might be Possibilities
  • Can You Trust Your Estimation Gut?
    • Myth: I Know How Long the Work Should Take
    • How Long Will the Work Take?
    • Do You Still Know What to Do?
    • What Does the Manager Want?
    • Options for When You Don’t like the Estimate
  • Are You the One to Solve This Problem?
    • Trap: I Must Solve the Team’s Problem for Them
    • Managers Want to be Helpful
    • Encourage the People Who See the Problems Solve Them
    • Managers Can Help Unstick Problem-Solving
    • Let the Team Solve Its Own Problems
  • How Can You See State?
    • Illusion: It’s Fine if I Micromanage
    • Learn How to Delegate
    • Clarify Which Information You Need When
    • Offer Feedback to Managers
    • Check Your Micromanagement
    • Micromanagement Feels Terrible
  • When Do You Take Time to Think?
    • Myth: I Can Concentrate on the Run
    • When Do You Make Time to Concentrate?
    • When Do You Decide?
    • How Do You Concentrate?
    • Create a Structured Meeting to Think
    • Sitting Might Not Be the Answer
    • Make Time to Think
  • How Valuable Are Managers?
    • Trap: I Am More Valuable than Other People
    • Middle Managers Have a Difficult Balancing Act
    • Great Management Is Servant Leadership
    • Consider the Value You Offer
  • How Much Do You Trust the People You Serve?
    • Illusion: You’re Empowered Because I Said So
    • What Does Empowerment Mean?
    • Clarify Boundaries
    • Telling Isn’t the Same as Being
    • Trust Runs Both Ways
  • What Does “Indispensable” Mean?
    • Trap: You Believe in Indispensable Employees
    • What’s Wrong with Indispensable Employees?
    • What Do You Do with Indispensable Employees?
    • Consider the Growth Mindset
    • Avoid the Scarcity Thinking Trap
    • Origins Of This Thinking
  • Where Will You Start Managing Yourself?
    • Assess Your Behavior Now
    • Change Behaviors Before Mindset
    • Why Do People Not Know About These Ideas?
    • You Don’t Have to be Perfect
  • Annotated Bibliography
  • More from Johanna
  • Notes

About the Publisher

This book is published on Leanpub by Practical Ink

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