HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Managing People: A book review by Bob Morris

HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Managing People
Various Contributors
Harvard Business Review Press (2011)

Why and how to manage yourself so that you can then manage others effectively

This volume is one of several in a new series of anthologies of articles that initially appeared in the Harvard Business Review, in this instance from 1980 until 2005. Remarkably, none seems dated; on the contrary, if anything, all seem more relevant now than ever before as their authors discuss what are (literally) essential dimensions of managing one’s self as well as others.

More specifically, how to get results, motivate employees, avoid or overcome the “Set-Up-to-Fail Syndrome,” save rookie managers from themselves, understand what great managers do, use fair process to manage in the knowledge economy, teach smart people how to learn, determine how ethical (or unethical) someone is, understand what “the discipline of a team” is and does, and finally, how to manage one’s boss (i.e. lead up).

Each article includes two invaluable reader-friendly devices, “Idea in Brief” and “Idea in Practice” sections, that facilitate, indeed expedite review of key points. Some articles also include mini-essays on even more specific subjects such as “Growing Your Emotional Intelligence” (Daniel Goleman), “The Elusive One Thing” (Marcus Buckingham), “Making Sense of Irrational Behavior at VW and Siemans-Nixdorf” and “Fair Process Is Critical in Knowledge Work” (W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne), “Are You Biased?” (Mahzarin R. Banaji, Max H. Bazerman, and Dolly Chugh), and ”Building Team Performance” (Jon Katzenbach and Douglas K. Smith).

These ten articles do not – because they obviously cannot – explain everything that one wishes to know and understand about managing one’s self as well as others effectively. However, I do not know of another single source at this price (currently $14.13 from Amazon) that provides more and better information, insights, and advice that will help leaders to achieve success in the business dimensions examined in this volume.


Posted in

Leave a Comment