Manager Tools Podcast

Over the last couple of days I’ve been catching up on a podcast I found through iTunes called Manager Tools created by Michael Auzenne and Mark Horstman. Each episode is about 30 minutes or so and give advice and useful process around things you should be doing to improve your skills as a manager.

Over the last two days I’ve listened to about four episodes around the subjects of one on one meetings and effective delegation. Both subjects were made very interesting by the hosts. The great thing about this podcast is that each subject, by design, comes with actionable things you can do to begin implementing what they are talking about. The subject of One on Ones were split actually between three episodes, two on the subject and one on Q&A they received after the episodes were released. This was great content and the hosts give you tools for organizing the information with one on ones and some of the pitfalls you might run into while implementing them.

This is another one of those “niche” type of broadcasts that make podcasting so valuable. You don’t find this kind of programming on the radio.

I think the only negative feedback I have on the show is that their podcast RSS feed does not include all of the episodes, forcing me to go outside of the iTunes podcast interface in order to get older shows. This causes a little extra work in retrieving and cleanup of older episodes since these are managed outside of the iTunes podcast interface. I suppose this could also be user ignorance, but I prefer not to think about it that way … 😉

Aside from the limitation on the RSS feed though, the content is great and I highly recommend that you listen to these podcasts if you have direct reports. I read a lot of management books, and while I’ve read a few good ones, I haven’t walked away from any of the books I’ve read the way I’ve walked away from the morning drive listening to these shows. They contain a really good, practical, actionable, and surprisingly interesting content by a couple of guys who really like what they do and want to share what they’ve learned over their careers.

Am I getting the most out of my people?

Andy Kaufman of the Institute for Leadership Excellence and Development has a great blog entry on his blog on getting the most out of your people.

Some excellent points. I’m currently wrestling with metrics and how they effect productivity in groups. There’s a fine line between measuring the “convenient” rather than the “important”. The former can have really damaging effects on the morale of a team, if nothing else just because it doesn’t make sense.

I read Andy’s site religiously. He obviously spends a lot of time thinking about leadership and takes many things from his own life to illustrate the points he is trying to make.

I spend a lot of time reading business and leadership books. Some of them have a huge effect on me. Some sound nice, but you don’t know whether they will work or not. The nice thing about reading Andy’s stuff is that I have worked for him twice in the past and know he practices what he preaches. He is one of those managers that stick out in my career that I really admire for the productivity he was able to squeeze out of me during the times we worked together. Working with him was definitely the highlight of my career so far.

Give his site a read. You won’t walk away disappointed. You may also want to pick up his book, Navigating the Winds of Change if you get a chance.