Behind Closed Doors: Secrets of Great Management By Johanna Rothman

Great management is difficult to see as it occurs. It's possible to see the results of great management, but it's not easy to see how managers achieve those results. Great management happens in one-on-one meetings and with other managers---all in private. It's hard to learn management by example when you can't see it.

You can learn to be a better manager---even a great manager---with this guide. You'll follow along as Sam, a manager just brought on board, learns the ropes and deals with his new team over the course of his first eight weeks on the job. From scheduling and managing resources to helping team members grow and prosper, you'll be there as Sam makes it happen. You'll find powerful tips covering:

Delegating effectively Using feedback and goal-setting Developing influence Handling one-on-one meetings Coaching and mentoring Deciding what work to do---and what not to do ...and more. Full of tips and practical advice on the most important aspects of management, this is one of those books that can make a lasting and immediate impact on your career. Behind Closed Doors: Secrets of Great Management


Johanna Rothman á 0 free read

This book is a good summary of many diversified books (about management, meetings, retrospectives, ...). It's a good start for a technical person who will have a management role soon, but if you're serious about management you also really need to read more complete books, like First break all the rules and The art of possibility. This book help you choose these other ones with a lot of references. English Overall, good advice. This review does a great job summarizing:

If I had to pick just one book on frontline management, I'd probably go with The Effective Manager by Mark Horstman instead. These books have some great overlap, but I prefer the approaches in Effective Manager (not to mention their data-driven approach to recommendations). English Very good refresher book for a lot of common sense behaviors and best practices that we all should keep in mind as managers. It's one of those books that I'll pull out again in a year just to thumb back through and get back on track where needed. English A really quick read. The agile bias of the authors shows when they limit planning to 3-4 weeks, or put emphasis on people rather than process.

More than two years later, the only thing that really stuck to my mind is that one-on-one meetings with managers should be more about career development than status reporting. English I've experienced good and bad managers during my career. If I try to figure out patterns the good managers I worked with had followed, that would almost match the contents of this book.

The book goes even further though. It provides ultimate guidelines for being a great manager. Plus it introduces agile management principles very gently without labeling them so explicitly. Thus it is a must read for managers who are skeptical about agile or anybody willing to introduce agile guerrilla-way.

Furthermore this book provides great advice on inter-people communication, coaching and working in an organizational context. I highly recommend it. English

Regarded by many as the best book about being an efficient manager and understanding your managers if you aren't one yourself.

Johanna follows the story of Sam Morgan who has just taken the new position of Director of Development in a high-tech organization. Sam is experienced and wants to help his new colleagues.

During the course of 'Behind Closed Doors' there are many scenarios where Sam interacts with his department's managers - Ginger, Kevin, Jason and Patty. Each of them have their pros and cons. Sam serves as the textbook example of a perfect manager and his interactions with the managers and how he handles different situations are teaching us the right manager behavior.

However Ginger, Kevin, Jason and Patty each have personalities everyone can relate to and understand their judgement. They aren't bad people. They have the potential for growth and Sam helps them..

The last chapter - 'Techniques for Practicing Great Management' is a summary of the techniques Sam used in his department. If you're limited in time, this is the chapter where you would learn the most. Still I suggest reading the whole book when you have time. It's really easy to read by non-managers. English This is a pretty good book for a new manager (note, that this definitely should not be the only one - it just doesn't cover enough). It gives a decent glimpse into the basic challenges of team/people management.

In that capacity and at that level, the book is great. The examples are fine at this level, but hopelessly simplistic if you try to get just a bit deeper. They also start showing their age: a strict hierarchy, where a Manager sits in his office and divines the decrees on their lieutenants is no longer as pervasive, especially in the technology field.

Still, it is a great tool for a new manager to avoid most common pitfalls when it comes to dealing with both a team of people, a bunch of projects and a product strategy. I cannot say I've discovered anything eye opening when reading it, but it was a nice refresher of the basics.

Bottom line: not the be all, end all books on management, but it gives a good advice and is a good starter for those new to management. English Another classic quick-read.

I've read it because some people (that I respect) have recommended it to me (You didn't read Derby/Rothman book? Never?! Really?! How is that even possible?) ... and the first impression wasn't that good - this book feels quite 'stiff'. I know it sounds odd, especially keeping in mind the fact that book focuses on interpersonal aspects of management (so it's not another PMI-like PM-bookkeeping type of book), but due to fiction insertions that are very 'artificial' & 'stock' (like stock photos) I couldn't help the feeling that it was written at least 20 years ago, in a completely different reality (which is not true, actually it's just 10).

But, if you overcome this aversion, the book is still relevant & it focuses on real problems in real world. It's not very sophisticated & it provides rather basic lessons, but I could easily recommend it to any fresh manager. English I would have loved to read that book two years ago. I could have prevented so many mistakes. English Pretty darn good, considering the astronomical aspirations of the authors. The format is wisely chosen, swinging back and forth between a fictional narrative of a middle-manager and topic-oriented discourses.

The problem is that most managers don't start in the middle, and by the time they get there, they've honed their chops as a lower-level manager, managing contributors directly. Most of the people reading the book, I imagine, are like me new managers of direct contributors, and many of the techniques (such as high-level portfolio planning) are difficult to torture into applicability when you're only managing a tiny number of engineers.

But all in all, a leap above most management secrets books. English