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A Review by Chris Clarke FISMA
Review for ISMA news
I have reviewed a couple of books in the “Derek Mowbray’s Guide to ….” series of best practice management guides before and found them to be excellent pocket book sized publications which every person working in an organisation should read and practice. Even the self-employed, working in a partnership or even sole trading, could find a great deal of useful information and guidance about how to set up a healthy and productive culture.
After all, sole traders have to manage themselves and frequently become the worst kind of managers to themselves. It was with great anticipation that I sat down to read this continuation of the series, and also to measure my past performance as a manager, which now seems to be of another era. I did try to be a fabulous manager but having this guide available would have resulted in my whole career in management being of a very different style (if my boss would have let me). As Derek points out, “…… when managers reach senior positions they forget how important the workforce is to their overall success.” Derek even suggests a way of implementing change in a covert manner when senior managers are resistant or indifferent to managing in a more productive and healthy manner.
After an introduction of exploration on the whole subject and culture of resilience amongst managers, the guide then moves on to a section of self-exploration where managers are invited to reflect on their own performance and culture, their attitude to their staff and themselves. The aim is that managers become prepared to make changes necessary to form strong and positive attitudes in themselves and their staffs and that their staff are already positively pre-disposed towards their manager, and are incentivised to achieve sustainable peak performance. Questionnaires and assessments are provided so that the manager can keep a check on their progress and get to know themselves, as often we are complete strangers to ourselves. To become self-aware instead of self-obsessed. To know what they expected of their staff and what their staff expects of their manager. In a nut shell, to form a fully functional team where everyone knows what their responsibilities are, and what support they need, can expect and will receive. In Derek’s words, “to become a fabulous manager.”
Having prepared the ground, and developed a resilient , healthy and productive relationship with themselves and their staff, the remainder of the book deals with how to instil this culture of being engaged, motivated, and enthusiastic such that peak performance and health are maintained and that managers see their role as cultivating a culture where the need for resilience is almost negated. This section is concerned with prevention of difficulties, generating an adaptive culture, shared responsibility, cultural values, adaptive leadership, the working environment, productive meetings, health and nutrition and working practices. Every section is complemented by questionnaires and assessments so that the reader can positively assess whether each topic is working for them or whether something can be improved and how to make those changes. It is emphasised that making and maintaining a healthy culture isn’t a one off exercise and that the whole process has to be regularly assessed and readjusted. This guide also suggests that the manager gets their staff to read the book and take responsibility for their own input into the culture.
I perceived this guide to be so much more than a “manager’s guide” and believe it has many excellent messages for us all whether we are management, staff, or even self employed. From my own current employment status as “retired,” I have found a great deal of benefit in this book. We all need to give ourselves a critical inspection from time to time and developing resilience to help us through moments of difficulty, and then develop robust processes so that we don’t need to use our resilience all the time, makes life so much more productive and pleasant.
Chris Clarke FISMA
Every manager should have this comprehensive and step by step guide to ensure they create a working environment where they and their staff can Flourish. We know that great managers have a positive and lasting impact on the resilience and performance of the people that work for them, but with line managers experiencing ever greater challenges this is becoming harder to achieve. This new guide helps them identify where they are performing well, and where there are areas for improvement, with clear and simple solutions to help them achieve their goals for themselves, their organisation and their staff.
Director and Specialist Advisor on work, wellbeing and health
Flourish Workplace Ltd
"The books for managers are great, to the point, easy to read and just perfect for getting the key messages across."
"We have previously purchased a copy of “Managers Role in Resilience UK”. My CEO was so impressed she would like all our managers to have a copy, could we please buy 7 more copies please?"
"I have recently purchased your 5 guides. Thanks for such great content - I'm finding the presentation of the concepts clear and really helpful."
MAS Guide Book Series
For further information about the guides, to purchase bulk copies or to enquire about purchasing branded copies to distribute within your organisation, call us now on +44 (0)1242 241882 for further information or make a book enquiry here