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Introduction > For Senior Managers, HR, and Professionals

For Senior Managers, HR, and Professionals

This book will be of interest to senior management and human resources as well as to those with a difficult superior. It is built on an understanding of organizational dynamics and the business environment. It discusses how rigid, unethical, and aggressive behaviors affect productivity and retention and explores what HR and senior management can do to contain this behavior in their organization. In addition, by helping the reader to understand different personality types it enables managers to more effectively motivate, persuade, and develop all of the individuals they work with. The more you can tailor your management style to each individual, the more success both you and those who report to you will have.

Many researchers on organizational productivity and success have argued that the key to success lies not in having the perfect strategy, nor in being in the right industry, nor in having an ideal change management plan, nor in charismatic leadership. Rather, the key to success is growing your human resources. Jim Collins writes in Good to Great: “We expected to find that good-to-great leaders would begin by setting a new vision and strategy. We found instead that they first got the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and then the right people in the right seats—and then they figured out where to drive it.” Charles O’Reilly and Jeffrey Pfeffer in Hidden Value discuss how companies have gotten extraordinary results out of ordinary people and how this is the key to success in today’s economy.

These researchers focus attention on the crucial role of leadership concentrating on the organization’s values and culture. These are very important. But, there is another crucial part of the equation that is less talked about: dealing with the toxic managers who damage the productivity of those under them and above them. Toxic managers interfere with the development of social capital and with the ability and desire of people to trust each other and to be willing to go out of their way for each other. Social capital is very important in improving productivity. In addition to motivating and guiding workers through a strong culture, companies need to remove the obstacles to their performance by decreasing the toxic behavior they face and improving their skills to deal with difficult bosses. Intensive efforts in this area are as yet an unexplored but potentially fruitful area for organizational improvement. It holds tremendous potential for unlocking blocked productivity and for improving the company’s ability to hire and retain the best people. Working on the company’s culture is an important lever in improving how people treat each other. It is not, however, the only lever. The book discusses many different levers to building organizations in which people can grow and give their best.

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