Great Managers Are Always Nice by Chip Averwater

Introduction

You don’t have to be a hard-ass to be a good manager. You don’t need threats or discipline to get cooperation. You don’t have to disown your friends to be their manager. You don’t have to be a bully to get results.

You can be the nice person you are—and get better results. Your employees will work harder, enjoy their work more, stay at their jobs longer, appreciate your style, and respect your leadership.

This little book is not going to tell you how. It’s going to show you.

We don’t really learn to manage by reading about management—we learn by watching managers. Some inspire us and make work fun; some suck the motivation out of us and make us want to quit. From managers, good and bad, we learn how—and how not—to manage.

In this book we’ll watch a legendary manager—Mike Mitchell of ABC Industries—as he handles all the challenging management situations. (No need to Google Mike or ABC—everything is right here.)

Mike, of course, gets extraordinary results; his team’s products are among the most innovative, reliable, and respected in the world. And, as you might guess, he builds great teams; ABC’s president, two vice presidents, and three division managers are former members of Mike’s teams.

But the legend of Mike Mitchell stems from something else. It seems no one at ABC has ever heard Mike say an angry, disparaging, or offensive word to a team member. Ever! You see, Mike likes people—and, as often happens, people like Mike. As a manager, Mike is truly, and amazingly... well... nice!

We’re going to follow Mike as he...

  • Creates a motivational environment (ch 7)
  • Makes his daily rounds (ch 8)
  • Conducts a team meeting (ch 9)
  • Delegates responsibilities (ch 10)
  • Coaches improvements (ch 11)
  • Corrects inappropriate behaviors (ch 12)
  • Counsels underperformance (ch 13)
  • Resolves disputes (ch 15)
  • Conducts performance reviews (ch 16)
  • Fires inappropriate team members (ch 17)
  • Helps his people advance (ch 18)

Yes, Mike is nice doing all these things. And, he makes it look easy.

Mike will be honored if you decide to copy his style—even his words, if you like. But, after you’ve seen him do it, you’ll have the hang of it and can be nice in your own way.

Perhaps the legend of the nice manager in your company will be your own.