The National Learning Institute

Monthly Archives: November 2008

Becoming a Manager: How New Managers Master The Challenges of Leadership

November 24, 2008 No Comments

This is the second edition of Becoming a Manager and although only three chapters have been added, their impact is considerable.

The original edition is based on interviews with 19 new managers and their thoughts on becoming a manager. As such, it was an interesting, but somewhat hard going (sentences and paragraphs are wordy), read. Although the 19 managers are all from customer service or sales, their stories translate well to other professions.

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Skills For New Managers

November 24, 2008 No Comments

I like the approach the author Morey Stettner takes with this book for new managers. As one would expect, it covers most of the topics a new manager would need – and they are handled in a clear and practical way that make it easy to absorb and apply. In addition to that, Stettner is a realist. He doesn’t presume to “know it all” and that his suggestions will fit every new manager’s style or needs. He asks new managers to try them out and adjust to suit. This is an unusual and unpretentious approach for a management “how to” book.

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National Institute Services


November 24, 2008 No Comments

How can managers be developed to their full potential?  How do our people develop?

Too often, organisations see management development as an “event” – a training course or program.  Such events, no matter how popular, well planned and facilitated, are most often not successful in changing behaviour over the longer term.  Our emphasis on management development is to assist organisations with the design and implementation of ongoing learning and development processes for their people. To be truly effective, such processes are integrated into the person’s day to day work.

Following is an example of a leadership development process designed to take place over a 12 month period:

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Rodney Gray

November 24, 2008 No Comments

rodney gray

Rodney Gray – Employee Communications & Surveys Pty Ltd

Specialising in . . .

  • Employee communication audits and research
  • Employee communication systems and strategies
  • Employee communication training workshops, talks
  • Employee surveys: opinion, climate, culture, values
  • Qualitative organisational diagnosis, focus groups
  • Internal service quality assessment, diagnosis

Rodney Gray is principal consultant and managing director of Employee Communication & Surveys Pty Ltd, a “boutique” consultancy specialising in employee communication audits and research; internal communication processes, systems and strategies; and workshops for internal communication specialists.

Read more about Rodney Gray’s skills and expertise, and hear what Bob Selden has to say . . .

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November 24, 2008 No Comments


Stucki Leadership-Teambuilding AG

Leadership is not teachable but learnable
Stucki has been conducting leadership and team-building seminars since 1984. Before that, founder Robert Stucki, an engineer by training, headed specialist teams as a corporate executive. A mountain guide in his spare time, he also had the chance to lead crack teams under extreme conditions. In doing so, he observed striking differences in team dynamics in terms of full use of potential, enthusiasm for the task at hand, and mutual acceptance and support of another.
These observations coupled with his awareness of the crucial importance of social competence for executives led him to develop leadership seminars that both demand and encourage an equal use of muscle, heart, and mind.

Read more about Stucki’s expertise, and hear what Bob Selden has to say . . .

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Getting Things Done When You Are Not In Charge

November 24, 2008 1 Comment

I first came across “Getting Things Done When You Are Not In Charge” when my wife started in a new, corporate, “no power” position. Her new boss said “Here, this book might be helpful”. And helpful it certainly has been for it provides so many strategies and suggestions for getting things done through others in a practical manner that can be easily implemented.

Apart from all the good advice and tips Bellman provides, his key message is that when you are in a zero power job, your main purpose in life should be “helping others succeed”. “Getting Things Done When You Are Not In Charge” sets out a strategy for becoming a leader when you are not in a position of authority – probably one of the most challenging roles any manager can take on.

Many chapters have a step by step approach for implementing this leadership strategy, so along with the various scenarios, these steps make it easy for any manager to understand and apply.

Although it’s aimed at the manager who does not have line authority, this book is recommended for all managers who want to increase their personal power.

Mallcity 14

November 24, 2008 No Comments

I don’t normally read books of this type, but a friend suggested I have a look at this one. I’m very glad that I did.
In Mallcity 14, Shaun Saunders paints a picture of life on earth as it might be … soon!

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Getting Things Done – The Art Of Stress Free Productivity

November 24, 2008 No Comments

David Allen’s premise (which is a good one) in “Getting Things Done – The Art Of Stress Free Productivity”, is that the skills needed to become more productive are not new to us. We know how to do the things we need to do. It’s more a matter of making a commitment, jumping in, and then having a system to ensure we keep it up. Allen helps us on all three challenges.

On making a commitment Allen provides ample and simple concepts, case scenarios and a good dose of common sense. The introduction and chapter one should provide enough push to get anyone started. For example, he suggests that for everything we think we need to do (or get done) we should:

• Clarify the intended outcome – “What do we really want to achieve?”
• What’s the next physical action needed to move us toward the outcome?
• Then, to maintain our commitment, put both the outcome and actions into a system – one that works for us (not a “one size fits all” approach).

I liked this book. It is well written and easy to follow. Everything he says makes sense. I particularly liked the core concept diagram which was repeated at the appropriate places throughout the book. What’s most important in a book like this, is that Allen provides enough tools, concepts and techniques for anyone to become more productive.

As a reviewer of a self-help book, it’s a good sign that I have implemented some of Allen’s suggestions.

Highly recommended.

Getting to Yes

November 24, 2008 No Comments

“Getting to Yes” is the benchmark by which all other books on negotiating should be judged. Authors Fisher, Patton and Ury have penned a book that has become a classic in its class as their negotiating principles have been used and quoted again and again the world over.

“Getting to Yes” is quite deceptive at first – it seems a little light weight as it is so easy to read. In fact one could read it from cover to cover in half a day quite easily. Yet, the four principles outlined in their negotiating method whilst simple in nature are comprehensive and effective. This is one of the first books on negotiating to break away from the “hard v’s soft” negotiating paradigm by introducing “principled” negotiating – ie. negotiating on the basis of both party’s needs, not positions. Fisher et al, also cover very well the “What if” situations where the other party maybe more powerful, uses dirty tricks or won’t play the game.

This book should be essential reading for everyone who has to negotiate with someone else over reaching a decision – and isn’t that all of us?

Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change

November 24, 2008 No Comments

In Managing Transitions, William Bridges sets out to help managers and others who want to introduce change – be it a total organisational restructure or simply trying to get people to do things differently.

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