Welcome to Management by Ryan Hawk
Interesting enough this book review has taken me more time than expected to put together. I guess it’s because I was struggling to put into words my thoughts on how I feel about the book without being too critical to the author. When I initially read this book, I couldn’t get over the fact that the author came across a bit cocky (I also heard the audio version which probably emphasized it a bit more) about his career and kept comparing everything to sports. I felt like the sports references were so prominent throughout the book, that if a reader did not have experience as a member of a team or group they would not enjoy, let alone, understand some of the references. In that struggle I decided to read the book one more time to give it the benefit of the doubt, and it actually worked. After giving the book a second read (including the audio version), I can have a clearer objective. I’m not sure if its because I was already prepared for all the sports references and focused on more of the actual content, but now I am able to put together this review with a better feeling about it.
Turns out, this book can be a used as a great operating manual for an individual that is a new manager or for someone that has less tenure as a manager (5 years or less as a manager). Within the content of the book, after you get passed the sports references, there are many lessons learned from all types of professionals in different stages of their career path you can relate and learn from. The author takes the approach of not only utilizing his own experiences in being a new manager and shares his lessons learned, he also shares important information from other professionals he has interviewed in his podcast series and adds those lessons learned throughout the book as well. He outlines struggles he went through, as a newly appointed manager, that can be relevant and implemented in a new managers role. The author’s approach is to be simple and not overcomplicate the information, pretty straightforward, therefore the language in the book is easy to read and follow.
The author divides the book into three sections because he realized that in order to be a good manager you need to:
- Start with understanding yourself first in the section he calls – Lead Yourself
- Then you can focus on creating the right team that will complement your ‘self’ in the section he calls – Build your Team
- In order to develop and learn the tools you will need to lead that team successfully in the section he calls – Lead your Team
It’s noteworthy because most of us know that the best salesperson is not always a good manager, and the top performer is not always the best candidate for leadership. They might be great at what they do because they are great individual contributors, however, that doesn’t automatically mean they will be a great leader. Nevertheless, this book allows you to be ok with that and teaches you its ok to learn some basics steps you can take to become a better leader as a newly appointed manager. Yes, it will be frightening at times and some of the decisions you need to make as a manager are not easy, but the book allows you to understand you are not the only person that is going through that experience and living through those feelings. There have been others before you that have faced some of the same challenges the difference is that you can use those past experiences that have been shared throughout the book to enhance your future ones. As a result, my final tip to all new managers, or less tenured managers, is to read what this book has to offer, after overcoming the sports references (haha!!), you will find it to be a great asset in your arsenal as a new manager.