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Book Review Coaching Leadership

Managing Humans

This is Michael Lopp’s first book, now on its fourth edition. It’s sixty chapters, short pieces of advice, anecdotes and stories.

If you are familiar with the blog, then it’s very much like revisiting some old friends, but polished up and putting their best foot forwards.

It covers every core leadership topic, from how to hold a 1-2-1 to how to manage the rumour mill, and on to navigating reorgs and the politics that go with them.

I read through the fourth edition in couple of sittings, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of “just one more” as each chapter really is only a few pages long. However, I’d say the real value lies in dipping into a particular chapter that’s related to current concerns, absorbing the lessons and putting them to use in your context.

Not everything will be valid for you. If you are in a high growth tech start-up then a lot of it will be, in other organisations you might be able to take less overall. Lessons on individual leadership, meeting culture and the needs of people will be universal.

I found that the thread running though the book was less well formed than in The Art of Leadership, which Rands recognises as having the fuller arc.

As a leader, especially in a tech org, if you were only going to read one, I’d point you to Art of Leadership, but I really think you’d benefit from both!

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