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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking
Becoming a better boss looks at why so many bosses today are ineffective. Examining the gap between knowing best practise and putting it to work, Birkinshaw's book looks what has historically held bosses back from working with their employees better - essentially, understanding how to manage from their perspective.

Birkinshaw looks at ways of doing this, how to...
Published 8 months ago by Michael Sutherland

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars It has the potential to be very good!
I'll try to keep this short and sweet:

Pros:
The author knows his field well enough to be professing on what works and what doesn't in management.
Equally, he takes a more bottom-up approach of management, its failures and its opportunities, instead of the more conventional top-down approach of other books.
The book is not just about managers as...
Published 4 months ago by Eleimon Gonis


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4.0 out of 5 stars A better boss makes a better world., 16 Jan 2014
By 
Mr. M. A. Reed (Argleton, GB) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Becoming a Better Boss: Why Good Management is so Difficult (Hardcover)
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Being a good manager is one of the most difficult jobs there is. Some managers forget what its like not to be a manager. Or, perhaps, think it beneath them. No longer to worry, and be happy. There is a difference between a boss and a manager. A manager knows how to get the best out of himself, and his team. A boss just tells you what to do. A manager allows your best work to be your job. A boss makes your job into nothing more than work. In one telling early moment, he asks about the best and worst boss you ever had, and you know exactly why they were each. By clever use of example and applied psychology, anecdote and fact, the case is made for turning from a boss to a manager, a human being, and so forth. Sadly, mere argument alone isn't enough : the key skill is bravery, and that is something we are born with, not trained to have.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four star book, 5 Jan 2014
By 
Ms. C. R. Stillman-lowe "Cathy SL" (Reading Berks) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Becoming a Better Boss: Why Good Management is so Difficult (Hardcover)
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This book is described by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development as 'full of great case studies, models, and ideas about how to effectively manage and engage the workforce of today...he is able to bring new perspectives and insights and deliver these in a highly readable and engaging way...'. The book is dedicated, in a delightful twist, to 'all the bad bosses I have worked for. I couldn't have written this book without your help'.

The book makes good use of charts and diagrams and comes complete with detailed Endnotes. Recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Letting go ... and why it is so difficult, 1 Dec 2013
By 
Don Panik (Cambridge UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Becoming a Better Boss: Why Good Management is so Difficult (Hardcover)
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This book impressed me both in presentation and content. The USP is that becoming a better manager means seeing the world more clearly through the eyes of the staff being managed. Birkinshaw has the academic credentials to raise this work above the fairly low standards of so many management guides that try to simplify the world into 7 key ideas or similar. Much of the ground is fairly familiar - there are no startling insights, but instead that are a lot of practical ideas which have actually been applied in practice - and the outcomes researched. So that is a welcome change.

He is not afraid to adapt from a wide range of sources. For instance we see him using Kahneman's fast and slow thinking, to show how good management is a bit of an unnatural act, which requires slow and conscious effort to figure out what to do. He argues good management involves both letting go (giving power to others) and giving credit to others, within a framework of self control. Making the right management choices between competing alternatives is never easy, but this book is a useful contribution to the field and might make it just a little bit easier.

Well worth your time and money.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing special, 18 Feb 2014
By 
The Emperor (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Becoming a Better Boss: Why Good Management is so Difficult (Hardcover)
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Some quite decent advice. Most of which is pretty obvious. This is a very short book. Which means that you don’t have to trawl through loads of waffle but also means that it is quite shallow.

I do wonder exactly how much a business school academic actually knows about managing people.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A refreshing approach, full of ideas and advise., 15 Jan 2014
By 
Mr. Richard The book boy "Book boy" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Becoming a Better Boss: Why Good Management is so Difficult (Hardcover)
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Becoming a better boss - why good management is so difficult

The book.

It is written by Julian Birkinshaw who comes with impeccable credentials. So listen up and learn is the message in a nut shell and yes we do learn in this book.

Structure.

This book attacks the problem of what is a good manager using a bit of reverse psychology. Early on in the book you soon realise that this is not another dull interpretation of `What management is and what good management is' that many of the text book type management books pedal to us on those ever so dull courses we get sent on. This book is different and very refreshingly so. Really it is an ideal Christmas (or leaving) present for someone you hate!!! It tells them what they don't want to hear about how they perform etc. It is very cleverly written and at the same time very enjoyable to read.

Content.

There is plenty here from simple psychology to get the job done to how to motivate and praise staff without turning yourself into another David Brent and becoming the object of ridicule.
The book teaches you how to handle a situation without going in with both feet, there are lots of examples and list s of do's and don'ts along with scenarios. What this little book did where others had failed was to keep me reading and thinking at the same time - I consider that quite a feat for a management book.

Overall.

A different read and take on how to be a better boos./ But by tackling the problem for a different approach the book soon becomes very interesting and thought provoking. It works on many levels form a business with a few employees to multi nationals and global corporations. I got a lot from the book and found the style and presentation refreshing. It is also a good read to see how to tackle an already crowded book market and make an impression.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a dash of management, 31 Dec 2013
By 
J. DOUGLAS "Johnny Douglas" (Nr London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Becoming a Better Boss: Why Good Management is so Difficult (Hardcover)
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At the heart of this is a desire for an engaged-with employee culture.

There are roadmaps, insights and fresh business management approaches here. Author Julian Birkinshaw brings an engaging sense to management, where error has crept in and the resulting reflections.

This is realism, with a dash of inspiration aplenty here. Theory is well worked into this all, with the supplementary notes at the end of each chapter is extensive so this is a meaningful springboard for a more thorough literature search in this field. Greater pace and fuller content would have been appreciated.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A different take, 19 Dec 2013
By 
J. Baldwin "Reader" (Dundee, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Becoming a Better Boss: Why Good Management is so Difficult (Hardcover)
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There are many, many books on management but most of them take one of two approaches: the highly theoretical and idealistic, or the "inspirational" and idealistic.
Where are the ones that are realistic?

If you're fed up with seven different types of people eating your cheese in highly ineffective ways, this book may be of interest.
It looks at the problem from the other point of view: the people being managed. And that is why it's interesting. Unless you are The Boss, chances are you, as a manager, are also managed - and you see the things that your own manager does wrong. Do you then make an effort to be different from them? Or do you fall in to the same traps?

This book marries theory (some of which you'll have come across before) with insight from "the managed" to show what works and what doesn't, but more importantly *why* there is often such a gap between theory and practice.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of good advice and well supported with evidence, 28 Nov 2013
By 
F. Mccabe (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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I enjoyed this book. It is easy to read and although some of the concepts feel like common sense, it is good to have them clearly referenced in the literature. The notes section at the end of each chapter is extensive so this is a good jumping off point for a more thorough literature search in this field.

It's a shame not more managers have read it! :-)
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars being not too bossy, 9 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Becoming a Better Boss: Why Good Management is so Difficult (Hardcover)
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Whereas most books on managing people approach the subject from the perspective of a manager of an idealised organisation, Becoming a Better Boss takes a real-world approach, looking at the topic from the perspective of an employee in a real-world organisation--dysfunctions, warts, and all. Focusing on the choices individual employees make every day in getting work done, this book reinvents the practice of management one employee at a time.

Author Julian Birkinshaw stresses the importance of taking management seriously, reveals where management practice often goes wrong, and dives deeply into the worldview of employees. He then explores the common personal biases and frailties of managers and discusses the vital importance of experimentation to overcome the limitations and idiosyncrasies of a particular organisation. Throughout, he supports his assertions with case studies from a wide and varying range of management experiments and situations at real companies.
◾Written by a leading authority on strategy, management, and innovation who is also the author of eleven books, including Reinventing Management
◾Introduces a new approach to management focused on real employees and actual situations
◾Includes case studies from real organisations

Between the stress of deadlines and the demands of today's business environment, it's easy for managers to lose sight of the importance of people management. Becoming a Better Boss not only shows managers how to lead effectively, but why doing so is vitally important to every organisation's success.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not great, but a refreshing approach, 16 Jan 2014
By 
NeilC (Windsor, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Becoming a Better Boss: Why Good Management is so Difficult (Hardcover)
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With the plethora of management books out there on how to succeed at work, this book from London Business School professor Julian Birkinshaw takes a refreshingly different approach. Rather than learning from the bombastic, celebrity bosses (Jack Welch, Steve Jobs etc.) and how they were successful. It takes a simple premise. If you want to be successful you need your team to be successful. If you want your team to be successful, you should look at things from their perspective and act to get the very most out of them.

The book then looks at extensive survey data to point they way as to how your employees want you to act, what their fears and hopes are and how you can get the most out of them. Overall, all I found it an interesting read, but at times more on the dry, academic side than a more engaging colourful read. Generally useful for anyone needing a fresh perspective on being a manager at work and how to approach it.
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Becoming a Better Boss: Why Good Management is so Difficult
Becoming a Better Boss: Why Good Management is so Difficult by Julian Birkinshaw (Hardcover - 20 Sep 2013)
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