Book Recommendation: The Empowered Manager
I haven’t finished a book this week that I want to recommend, so I went back to some older titles—this one from 1987. I enjoy reading the “classics” like “The Empowered Manager” by Peter Block. Reading these books allows me to think about which strategies have survived, and therefore are probably the ones that practitioners have found to be the most useful. On the other hand, sometimes those that were useful in the 1980’s are no longer useful today, but the ideas or thoughts have become the standard practice or legendary. By reading the older literature its often possible to see where our own opinions or way of doing things came from; to remind us that at one time our way of thinking was once a new idea too. This reflective activity is an opportunity to ask ourselves if we want to keep, toss or modify our way of thinking.
From there sometimes it is easier to understand the context for new management ideas written by more recent authors. For example, “The Empowered Manager” is one the first to introduce the Entrepreneurial Cycle (in contrast to the Bureaucratic Cycle). This type of management style, empowering employees rather than commanding employees, is the norm today.
Some selected “classics” you might consider:
- Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies (1994), by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras
- Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap … and Others Don’t (2001), by Jim Collins
- Emotional Intelligence (1995), by Daniel Goleman
- The Essential Drucker (2001), by Peter Drucker
- The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization (1990), by Peter Senge
- First, Break All the Rules (1999), by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman
- How to Win Friends and Influence People (1936), by Dale Carnegie
- Leading Change (1996), by John P. Kotter
- On Becoming a Leader (1989), by Warren Bennis
- The One Minute Manager (1982), by Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson
- The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People (1989), by Stephen R. Covey