Why Can’t We Get Anything Done Around Here?
by Robert Lefton and Jerome T. Loeb
Many managers are promoted on the basis of their technical achievements, then fail to receive training around managing people. This book is a great resource for those individuals. In very clear, concrete terms, it lays out some easy-to-follow guidelines for assigning work to others and managing their efforts.
Authors Robert E. Lefton and Jerome T. Loeb focus on a productivity-oriented Task Management Model that requires managers to categorize employees along a spectrum of capabilities, including which jobs they like best and do well.
Then, the model helps managers understand their own leadership style and assign the right tasks to the right people to increase efficiency. The book cites examples of its model in use, but it is short on analysis, insights and detailed cases.
We weren’t thrilled with the management model (four types: hostile-passive, hostile-dominant, warm-passive and warm-dominant) because they were pretty negative and failed to capture some of the most important components of leadership. There are many other, more comprehensive (and positive) models from which to choose.
One of the most valuable sections of the book lists five fundamental behavior changes that occur during a crisis that account for the rise of performance: people focus on common goals, people display a refreshingly high degree of candor, the structural hierarchy of the organization is set aside, cognitive skills are enhanced and leaders assign tasks more effectively.
We still think the book is worth picking up because of the task assignment recommendations and the crisis management information.