Everyone Deserves a Great Manager: A book review by Bob Morris

Everyone Deserves a Great Manager: The 6 Critical Practices for Leading a Team
Scott Miller with Todd Davis and Victoria Roos Olsson
Simon & Schuster (October 2019)

“So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work.” Peter Drucker

Written by Scott Miller with two FranklinCovey colleagues, Todd Davis and Victoria Roos Olsson, this book explains how to develop effective leaders at all levels and in all areas of almost any organization. The foundation of the developmental process consists of “six critical practices.” None is a head-snapper; all are related, indeed interdependent. Miller devotes a separate chapter to each, just as Stephen Covey once did when writing his business classic, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (1989).

Keep in mind that in addition to their own wide and deep experience with executive development, Miller, Davis, and Olsson also draw upon what has been learned about the dos and don’ts of that process since Franklin Quest/Franklin International Institute (founded in 1984) and Covey Leadership Center (1987), were later combined in 1997.

As Miller explains, “Ultimately, we realized that a guide with real people’s experiences, combined with FranklinCovey’s research, could help a lot of managers with their leadership challenges. We’ve collected everything we’ve learned in the book, to help leaders lead with confidence. The book provides insights into how and why great leaders think the way they do and nuts-and-bolts best practices for confronting and overcoming the most common leadership problems managers face. It delivers the guidance that most managers hope for when they were promoted, but perhaps didn’t receive. It provides the support, understanding, strategies, and tactics needed to develop as a leader and to lead people to become an engaged, high-performing team.”

More than 35 years ago in Future Shock, Alvin Toffler made this prediction: “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”

At about that same time, the Franklin and Covey firms were founded and later merged. Then and especially now, the same habits and practices these firms so staunchly advocate are essential to personal growth and professional development in a global marketplace that seems more volatile, more uncertain, more complex, and more ambiguous today than at any prior time that I can recall.

Here are two additional points I presume to share. First, there are no leadership or management development issues. Rather, ultimately, there are only [begin italics] business [end italics] issues. Also, it is very important to think in terms of enterprise architecture as your organization’s primary strategy when attempting to accelerate personal growth and professional development.

Congratulations to Scott Miller, Todd Davis, and Victoria Roos Olsson for the abundance of valuable information, insights, and counsel they provide in this volume. I urge those who share my high regard for their book to check out It’s the Manager: Gallup finds the quality of managers and team leaders is the single biggest factor in your organization’s long-term success, co-authored by Jim Clifton and Jim Harter.


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