Book of the Month for October 2017

The book that made my read pile for October is The First-Time Manager by Loren B. Belker, Jim McCormick, Gary S. Topchik. Many times, new managers, supervisors, and lead-persons are thrown into a leadership position with no idea of how they are supposed to manage. According to The First-Time Manager that is known as the sink or swim approach which makes this book an excellent selection for that newbie manager.

Title: The First-Time Manager

By Loren B. Belker, Jim McCormick, Gary S. Topchik

Paperback: 240 pages

Publisher: AMACOM; 6 edition (January 3, 2012)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0814417833

ISBN-13: 978-0814417836

Rating: 4/5

Wouldn’t you like to know how to manage people without being that Boss?

Come-on, we’ve all had one of those, that Boss in our lifetime. You know the one who never has anything good to say about your work performance and never seems to appreciate how hard you try to please the Boss. Is there more to managing people besides cracking the whip in hopes of getting a couple of extra completed orders out of them?

According to Belker, McCormick, and Topchik, there is more to managing people then telling them to move their hands faster than their mouths.

Loren B. Belker who is now deceased was an executive for a Midwestern insurance company for 30 some odd years.

Gary S. Topchik is a managing partner for SilverStar Enterprises, Inc. which is a consulting firm that specializes in management development. Topchick is also the author of The Accidental Manager and Managing Workplace Negativity.

Jim McCormick is not only an author, but he is also a speaker and a professional skydiver that is known for being an expert in intelligent risk-taking and innovation. He is also the founder of The Research Institute for Risk Intelligence.

Many leadership topics are covered in this book such as how best to respond to team members appropriately. Don’t be one of those bosses that correct their workers in front of everyone. Take them aside and explain in private without making a show of the incident. You will build more trust with your team members and not hurt department morale. Without spoiling the book, the information found in this book is well worth the read.

I did give this book a four-star rating only because some of the information sounded repetitive. However, that may have been the writers’ purpose since much of what is written in this book is helpful to all new managers and even some leads who have been in their position for some time would find this book useful if they want to learn to motivate their workers.

If you are looking at becoming a manager, supervisor, or lead-person soon, I highly recommend reading this book. Even if you have been in your position for some time, there is probably at least one chapter that would benefit your leadership role making this book well worth the time and effort for your next book to read.

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Book of the Month for September 2017

The latest book to make my read pile is The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace: Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People written by Gary Chapman and Paul White. Many times I’ve heard my co-workers complain that they don’t feel appreciated in the workplace which is why this particular book caught my eye and became my next to read selection and it offered a strong insight to why they were probably feeling this way for some time.

Title: The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace: Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People

Author: Gary Chapman and Paul White

Pages: 222

Publisher: Northfield Publishing; Reprint edition (September 1, 2012)

Publication Date: September 1, 2012

ASIN: B00887P9L2

Rating: 5/5.0

The title says it all. There are 5 languages identified for giving appreciation in the workplace. Employees need to be appreciated to be encouraged to perform at a productive pace. When they don’t feel appreciated production falls communication falters and the organization loses sales and profits.
Dr. Gary Chapman, one of the authors of the book, has a BA and an MA degree in anthropology from Wheaton College and Wake Forest University. He also has an MRE and a Ph.D. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and completed postgraduate work at the University of North Carolina and Duke University. His expertise is in marriage counseling which led him to write his first book in the Love Language series, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts. The series is a huge success leading him to write many others.
Dr. Paul White is a psychologist that graduated Magna Cum Laude from Wheaton College majoring in Christian Education. He then earned a Masters in Counseling at Arizona State University and went on to earn his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Georgia State University. He is not only a psychologist but also a speaker and “consultant who “makes work relationships work””.
The explanations of what the five languages of appreciation are and why they are so important is the greatest takeaway from this book. If you are like me, as you get deeper into reading this book you will begin to notice the different languages of appreciation your co-workers speak every day whether they are aware of it or not. Dr. White indicates that 75 percent of the population will use their main language of appreciation when giving appreciation to others. Many people, even when they are complaining will complain about not receiving appreciation will indicate in the complaint their main appreciation language.
The information given in the book makes sense after working in a positive workplace many years ago this sort of appreciation in the workplace was exhibited. Many toxic workplaces don’t provide any form of appreciation to their workers. Wage increases and bonuses only work short term to give employees a boost to their work productivity. But, when they feel they are appreciated in their workplace there is less bicker among employees, attitudes become positive, loyalty is created, workers are retained, and productivity increases across the board.
No one likes to be employed where they don’t feel they matter. No one likes to be just another number. We call employees resources when in fact they are more than just resources without them the company wouldn’t be able to function. No work would be done. No profits made. No sales taken.
When was the last time you felt appreciated at your workplace?
Do you know what your main language of appreciation is?
Mine is quality time!