How much do I want to read more? 7/10
A clear style, simple to understand, straight to the point.
Almost every point makes sense here. We can quickly scan through and get the ideas.
The "shortcut" summaries at the end of each chapter are concise and pertinent. Very helpful book.
This book will help a wide range of people reflecting on their work: employees, boss, entrepreneur…
EVERYONE IS A FREELANCER
Today everyone is a freelancer. Even if you’ve got a salaried position with benefits, perks, paid vacations, and a fancy title, you’re still a freelancer. If you aren’t constantly selling and reselling your services, you’ll be unemployed faster than you can say pink slip.
YOU ARE YOUR BOSS
A boss is more like a client or customer, which means you must manage the relationship.
As a freelancer you must be capable of managing not just upward and downward, but sideways as well. You must influence and convince your coworkers to help you achieve your goals, usually by helping them achieve theirs.
Finally, and most important, you must learn to manage inwardly, controlling your thoughts, habits, and actions so they serve your greater purpose.
YOU MUST SELL YOURSELF
Because you’re now a freelancer and your own boss, you’re also a salesperson, whether you want to be one or not.
The truth is that selling is, and always has been, the soul of business.
CLARITY CREATES POWER
Since you’re going to be managing other people (upward, downward, and sideways) and selling your value to them daily, your most important management and selling skill is the ability to make yourself understood.
PEOPLE TRUMP TECHNOLOGY
Technology only increases the speed with which humans perform selected activities, an increase that may either solve problems or create new ones.
Because of this, my book focuses on human beings and human behaviors rather than on technology. While I discuss techniques for social media and e-mail, for instance, the emphasis is on using such technologies to influence other people.
COURAGE IS CRUCIAL
Courage means taking risks to get what you want. Courage means facing the reality that if you stand up for yourself, you might lose your job.
BELIEFS DRIVE RESULTS
Your beliefs, not the facts, determine how well (or badly) you’ll perform in any given situation.
For example, one person might interpret a slow economy as meaning that “it will be nearly impossible for me to find a job.” That’s a belief. Another person might interpret a slow economy as meaning that “companies need my help more than ever.” That’s also a belief.
This does not mean being blind to reality or looking at the world through Pollyanna glasses. It simply means choosing beliefs that let you interpret reality in a way that helps you achieve the results you want.
BUSINESS IS SIMPLE
[consultants, analysts, trainers] depends on keeping things complex, after all, once you realize that business is simple, why would you hire them?
I’ve gathered together the most effective techniques and tactics that I’ve discovered in my lifelong quest. And I’ve made them as simple and easy to understand as I possibly could.
HOW TO READ THIS BOOK
You can therefore turn to any chapter (or secret, as I call them) and immediately apply the techniques.
The first four parts thus provide what you need to know to get the most out of everyone you work with, including yourself.
The fifth part presents tools you’ll need to achieve clarity and sell your ideas and the value of your services.
PART I - How to Manage Your Boss
the relationship between boss and employee is symbiotic: to be successful, each of you needs the other.
SECRET 1 - The Twelve Types of Bosses
1. THE VISIONARY
Visionaries are more concerned with the future than with what’s going on here and now. They manage by creating (or trying to create) a reality-distortion field that makes people believe the visionary and his team can accomplish the impossible.
2. THE CLIMBER
Climbers are all about getting themselves promoted.
Climbers are master politicians. They never have colleagues; only competitors. They spend endless time and effort figuring out how to win status, claim credit, and build alliances.
With that proviso, if you’re working for a climber, do what you can to make him look good.
3. THE BUREAUCRAT
In the olden days, bureaucrats used to love endless pages of paperwork. Today they love endless screens of online forms. They also love meetings, especially those that review and discuss the activities of others.
Bureaucrats are predictable and easy to please. Document everything in detail and limit all your activities to what’s been done in the past, even if it no longer works. Warning: a bureaucrat boss can grind your creativity into dust.
4. THE PROPELLERHEAD
The propellerhead boss prefers employees who are experts in some technical field—the more obscure the better. They consider all nontechnical types (like MBA holders) equally stupid and useless.
The easiest way to get on the good side of a propellerhead is to become fluent in nerdy pop culture references.
5. THE FOGEY
Working for a fogey requires the patience to listen to the same “war stories” multiple times. Don’t assume the duffer is a doofus, though. Fogeys can be surprisingly shrewd, especially when it comes to political infighting.
Fogeys are mostly looking for two things: respect from the young’uns, and reassurance that they’re still relevant. They make great mentors, because they tend to be generous with their advice and time.
6. THE WHIPPERSNAPPER
Because that insecurity is so huge, follow two essential rules when working for whippersnappers: (1) respond positively to the energy they bring to their job; and (2) never, ever remind them of their relative inexperience.
However, depending on your level of tolerance for the whippersnapper’s learning curve, you may want to consider finding work elsewhere.
7. THE SOCIAL DIRECTOR
They consider the personal interactions that happen in the workplace as important as (and sometimes more important than) the actual work itself.
Social directors always try to manage by consensus. They call a LOT of meetings and spend a LOT of time letting people air their opinions and ideas.
8. THE DICTATOR
working for a dictator has some advantages. They make decisions quickly and efficiently, without over-analyzing everything.
The tricks to working for a dictator are (1) follow orders, (2) follow orders, and (3) be ready to jump to another job when you see the dictator driving your company (or your division) over the cliff.
9. THE SALES STAR
Sales star bosses tend to be self-motivated, aggressive, and good at building relationships, understanding needs, and generating workable solutions. That’s because they’re salespeople.
Therefore, the way to deal with sales stars is to encourage them to sell! Bring them into situations where a deal must be closed, or terms negotiated. They’d really rather be getting their hands dirty (as it were) than managing people anyway.
10. THE HATCHET MAN
Hatchet men (or women) are brought into an organization to fire people as quickly as possible
By the very nature of the job, such bosses aren’t likely to be filled with the proverbial milk of human kindness.
There are only two roles available for people who work for a hatchet man: henchman and victim.
The best way to deal with a hatchet man is to be long gone by the time he arrives.
11. THE LOST LAMB
Sometimes people who have no management talent end up in a position of authority.
Lost lambs have no idea what to do other than continue whatever policies and strategies were previously in place.
What these bosses want is for you to move your projects forward without bringing ANY difficult decisions to them.
The biggest danger with a lost lamb is that if you end up making the lamb too successful, top management may conclude that the temporary assignment should be permanent, and you’ll be saddled with the dead weight of the lost lamb for the foreseeable future.
12. THE HERO
There are indeed men and women in this world whose personalities and characters make them well suited to manage other people. They’re the fabled “natural leaders,” and they’re as rare as diamonds in dunghills.
Heroes prefer to coach others than to do things themselves. They have a knack for figuring out exactly what their employees need in order to do a superlative job and then how to get that for them.
Heroes always give their teams credit for the wins but take personal responsibility for the losses.
There are two problems with working for a hero. The first is that the hero will probably get promoted or be recruited to work elsewhere. The second is that once you’ve worked for a hero, it ruins your ability to work for a bozo.
SHORTCUT - THE TWELVE TYPES OF BOSSES
- VISIONARIES are inspiring assholes so drink the Kool-Aid.
- CLIMBERS want to get ahead so expect no loyalty.
- BUREAUCRATS hate change so document everything.
- PROPELLERHEADS love gadgets so become an expert.
- FOGEYS want respect so recruit them as mentors.
- WHIPPERSNAPPERS are insecure so be enthusiastic!
- SOCIAL DIRECTORS love consensus but may explode.
- DICTATORS make fast decisions but cause disasters.
- SALES STARS would rather be selling so let them sell.
- HATCHET MEN execute layoffs so leave now.
- LOST LAMBS need your help but may get dependent.
- HEROES are rare so enjoy them while it lasts.
SECRET 2 - How to Keep Any Boss Happy
1. KEEP YOUR PROMISES.
Do what you say you’re going to do. Never over-commit, and avoid hedging your bets with vague statements like “I’ll try” and “Maybe.”
More than anything else, you want your boss to see you as reliable.
2. NO SURPRISES, EVER.
What keeps every boss awake at night is the secret fear that employees are screwing up but aren’t saying anything about it
To avoid “being shot,” give your boss constant updates on your projects before they metastasize into huge problems.
3. TAKE YOUR JOB SERIOUSLY.
bosses appreciate employees who truly care about what they do and are willing to take the time to do a job well and thoroughly.
Bosses are particularly annoyed by employees who treat work as an extension of their personal lives.
4. ADVISE, THEN OBEY.
When you see your boss about to make a foolish decision, it’s also your responsibility to attempt to convince him or her to make a better one.
However, once your boss has made a decision, stop second-guessing and do your best to implement it—regardless of whether you think that decision was the best one possible.
5. PROVIDE SOLUTIONS, NOT COMPLAINTS.
As a general rule, never bring up a problem unless you have a solution to propose or are asking for the boss’s advice.
If you’re proposing a solution, your boss would far prefer that the solution be something you plan on doing, rather than something you’d like the boss to do for you. Bosses hate it when employees “upwardly delegate.”
6. COMMUNICATE CLEARLY.
When dealing with your boss, speak and write in short sentences, use the fewest words possible to make a point, and make that point easily understandable.
7. DO YOUR BEST WORK.
Fortunately, it’s very much in your own interest to excel at your job, because scuttlebutt travels so quickly.
In the same way that the quality of a product creates that product’s brand image, the quality of your work creates your reputation. More important, that reputation—immortalized on the Web—now follows you around forever.
8. MAKE YOUR BOSS SUCCESSFUL.
Regardless of what it says on your job description, your real job is to make your boss successful. It doesn’t matter what type of boss you’re working for, rest assured that there are no exceptions to this rule.
SHORTCUT - MAKING YOUR BOSS HAPPY
- DO what you say you’ll do.
- KEEP your boss in the loop.
- CARE about your quality of work.
- ACCEPT decisions when they’re made.
- SOLVE problems without whining.
- BE concise and clear.
- DO the best work you can.
- IMPORTANT: Make your boss successful.
SECRET 3 - How to Get the Best from Your Boss
1. EXPLAIN HOW YOU PREFER TO BE MANAGED.
Sometime during your first conversations with your boss (and ideally before you agree to work for that boss), explain to that boss what kind of management style works best for you, personally.
Deciding what works for you requires some self-reflection. If you’ve been in the workplace for a while, you may have been exposed to different management styles. If so, recall what management behaviors got your best work from you.
If you’re starting out in business, draw from your educational experience. Which of your teachers really inspired you and why? Which of them were difficult to learn from?
The clearer you communicate what you need, the better the relationship you’ll have, to the ultimate benefit of both you and your boss.
2. OVER-PREPARE FOR EVERY MEETING.
Most bosses live in constant fear they’ll be blindsided by incompetence.
Answer these queries with grace and aplomb and your boss will assume you’re competent.
3. REMIND YOUR BOSS WHY YOU’RE VALUABLE.
Worst case, this failure to communicate could result in you achieving goals and objectives that are no longer the boss’s priorities. If that happens, all your hard work will likely be seen as wasted efforts rather than accomplishments.
To prevent this, create a “core message” that lets the boss know what you’re doing, and work that message into every conversation, even if it’s only a hallway chat.
4. CULTIVATE YOUR BOSS’S PEERS.
When it comes to evaluating your performance, your boss listens to the opinions of others in the company. Therefore, it’s not enough to simply inform your boss what you’re doing. If you want to advance your career and your personal agenda, you must ensure that the other people spread the word.
5. SHOW INTEREST IN YOUR BOSS’S CAREER.
it’s smarter to get things moving more quickly by asking questions that will help you understand your boss’s way of thinking. As a side benefit, your boss may be flattered that you’re interested.
Apart from the fact that most people enjoy talking about themselves, bosses find this kind of inquiry valuable because it provides them with opportunities to explain the logic of their decision-making processes.
6. CULTIVATE COMPATIBLE PERSONAL INTERESTS.
For example, if your boss likes to talk business while playing golf, learn to play. If your boss loves science fiction, ask which books are his or her favorites and then read them.
It helps if you remember that bosses are human and, as such, truly want you to understand what makes them tick.
SHORTCUT - GETTING YOUR BOSS WORKING FOR YOU
- COMMUNICATE what you need in order to do your best.
- KEEP your manager informed of your progress.
- MAKE a case that you’re doing a useful job.
- ENSURE that everyone knows how you contribute.
- UNDERSTAND your boss’s goals and desires.
- FIND and cultivate a common interest.