So how is an IT Leader supposed to keep on top of his / her game? There were very few college courses that we had to take during our undergraduate years that dealt with management (or even better, leadership). Even if you’ve gone on and gotten an MBA, precious little time is devoted to the day-to-day skills that one needs to be a good leader.
That’s where books like Nick McCormick‘s Lead Well And Prosper come in to play. Nick reached out to me awhile ago and asked me to take a look at a copy of his book in order to get a bit of publicity for it. I agreed.
I’ve read a lot of management books in my time and I generally come away from them with mixed feelings. Books like Jack Welch’s “Jack: Straight from the Gut” always strike me as a good read, but don’t really provide me with any tools that I can use – Jack got lucky and did a good job.
There are a lot of other management books out there that read like a textbook because, in fact, they are. These always seem to be just a bit too removed from my reality to do much good.
Nick’s book, “Lead Well and Prosper”, attempts to strike a middle ground between these two extremes. By in large, he does a pretty good job. The one thing that struck me when I was reading this book was that Nick’s style of writing is very conversational. This means it feels like you are having a talk with the author when you read the book. This will work for some and won’t work for others who looking for books to be having a one-way dialog with them.
In the 15 chapters that make up the book, Nick starts each chapter off by presenting a fictitious scenario between two workers: Joe Kerr the manager (“Joker” – get it?), and Wanda B. Goode. After this scenario is presented in which Joe almost always makes a management mistake, Nick spends the rest of the chapter dissecting the situation and explaining what SHOULD have been done.
The scenarios are a little contrived, the analysis is a bit on the basic side, but I have to give to Nick – he hits most of bases in regards to what it takes to be a good manager.
So who should read this book? It’s a quick read at 75 pages and so it won’t take anyone too long to get through it. As I was reading it, I tried to think about who I would give it to. I came away with the impression that it would make an excellent gift for anyone who has been newly promoted. Yes, they probably already know many of the things that the book covers. However, when you are going into a new job is just the time to be reminded about what it takes to be a true leader.
Go out and pick up a copy of Nick McCormick’s book Lead Well and Prosper and when you are done reading it, pass it on to your next friend who finds themselves in a new position where they need to be reminded of what a leader really is.