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First Among Equals: How to Manage a Group of Professionals Hardcover – 7 May 2002

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press (7 May 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743225511
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743225519
  • Product Dimensions: 16.4 x 2.7 x 24.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,112,408 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Jim Kouzesco-author of "The Leadership Challenge" and "Encouraging the Heart" and Chairman Emeritus, tompeters!companyMcKenna and Maister turn the often elusive and obscure concept of leadership into something tangible and accessible. With rich detail and straight talk they offer practical lessons, usable tools, and case examples from the real world. This is advice and counsel you can trust, and every manager of professionals (no, every manager in any setting) should take it to heart.

About the Author

DAVID MAISTER is widely recognised as the premier expert on professional service firm management. Maister is British by birth but has made his success in the US where he founded the highly successful Maister Associates Inc. He is also the author of several books including THE TRUSTED ADVISOR (074320963X), TRUE PROFESSIONALISM (0684866250) and MANAGING THE PROFESSIONAL SERVICE FIRM (0684834316). PATRICK J. MCKENNA is a partner in Edge International, a management consulting firm serving professional service firms around the world.

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First Sentence
BENJAMIN HAAS is the managing partner in the Chicago office of the human resource consulting firm Towers Perrin, which has about 8,500 employees in seventy offices worldwide. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Keith Appleyard VINE VOICE on 22 Jan. 2004
Format: Hardcover
Gripe no. 1 : I hope its not going to become a common occurrence in business books, but there were 7 pages of 35 advance reviews (but 5 of them were only 2 lines which said little). Let me decide for myself if the book is any good – show me the product. Also, I work in IT, but there didn't seem to be a single reviewer with an IT background?
The book looks at the leader/manager/coach of a disparate group of professionals, assuming a mix of seniors & juniors.
I think the book isn't just for the leader/manager/coach – because in many such groups today, there can be rotation (time-based or task-based) where any of the group of professionals might be called upon to perform the leadership / coaching / mentoring role. So the book should be read by all members of the team. Also the leader is human – they might not be 'doing it right as per the book', and it could be useful for the others (they are all equals after all) to be informed to provide that guidance/correction.
The Sections are laid out well : getting ready; coaching the individual; coaching the team; building for the future.
It classes individuals into 4 styles : amiable, analytical, driver, expressive (I tend more towards the expressive), and how to work with each.
I also like the way it addressed underperforming members, how to correct the problem rather than try to rationalise it out of existence.
Because professionals jealously guard their autonomy, reserving the right to work as they see fit, professional groups have a greater-than-average tendency to become ill-disciplined – and thus a whole chapter is dedicate to how to run a meeting of such individuals.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Jon Jay on 20 July 2002
Format: Hardcover
The many testimonials quoted in the front of the book sum it up.
I am a Project Manager who is familiar with the challenges of building temporary teams. This book deals with it all - from building team spirit and motivation, to dealing with difficult team members and disputes. The authors show how to build up the trust and respect a team leader needs to head up people he has no real authority over. But the advice here is good not just for PMs but also for Supervisors, Team Leaders and other Middle Managers.
It's obvious that McKenna and Maister have done this in practice, not just in theory. Their style is sensible and mature. Where some of their techniques may not be completely appropriate for a British workforce, at least their realism provokes consideration.
This book should be read by anyone who takes "man-management" seriously. I want people to enjoy working for me and to walk away from my Projects feeling enriched and fulfilled. This book may well help me achieve that.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By AK TOP 500 REVIEWER on 26 Nov. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are two elements to assessing this book - as someone who has not read any previous work of the author, and from the perspective of someone hoping that the book will build upon, rather than just paraphrase what the author has previously published.

I will start with the positive version first - for someone completely new to Daivd Maister's books. What you will get is a fairly general and reasonably comprehensive collection of checklists, with some added detail and some anecdotes peppered in, which should in principle be a helpful guide to managing and / or coaching people, over whom you do not have direct seniority. It applies to leading projects, working in professional service firms or any type of company that uses a matrix structure. If The One Minute Manager - The One Minute Manager is your thing, you are likely to love the style. It will definitely not require you to work at decyphering any elements, uses massive amount of signposting and repetition and is generally written for allowing readers to dive in anywhere (it doesn ot require sequential reading). In this context I can imagine giving the book four stars, as a useful primer for people who never managed anyone before.

If, however you read works by Maister before, this book will probably come as a slight to heavy disappointment. In
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