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The Hour Guide to management
P.W. Irvine, author
What are the simple things you need to do to be a better manager? How do you go about having more time and less stress in your work life? In return for a little of your time, The Hour Guide to Management will give you the tools you need to be a confident, effective manager. In straightforward terms, with practical easy to follow steps, the book explores and answers the questions that challenge new as well as experienced managers: • The things you need to do to get people to follow you. • How to give negative feedback and get good results. • How to go about developing a high-performance team culture. • The key elements you might be missing that will allow you to work smarter. • How to keep getting better, including the one big thing that could be holding you back. The Hour Guide to Management provides a clear, basic understanding of what you should do to be a good manager. It condenses these topics into four guiding principles that you can start applying right now in your everyday work life.
Irvine’s concise, no-nonsense guide to effective leadership acknowledges the truth that, for managers and workers alike, time is often in short supply—and that a “pressured and anxious” manager, untrained in the fundamentals of leadership, can often without meaning to stir stress and anxiety in others. Enter workplace trainer Irvine’s highly practical book, featuring quick and clear lessons and models drawn from issues faced by real workers and designed to be read, in total, in about an hour. Within those parameters, The Hour Guide to Management packs significant knowledge, advice, and inspiration, with chapters like “How to Get People to Do Things” living up to their titles.

“The way we deal with our team directly relates to the results that are achieved,” Irvine notes, arguing that management should take care of staff, who takes care of customers, who in turn, satisfied with the service they’re receiving, take care of the shareholders. Irvine lays out different types of managers and workplace cultures, arguing the benefits of a “performance management” system of leadership that treats team members like customers, emphasizes a vision and clear procedures, emphasizes accurate, consistent, fact-based feedback, and calls upon management to model behavior and establish boundaries and consequences.

Despite this volume’s concision, Irvine still offers multiple methods of offering feedback and evaluations to workers, designed to encourage positive performance and, when necessary, address and correct problems. Quick introductions to delegating and time management (including the “80/20 rule”) may spark lightbulbs in some readers, though the brevity of these sections—and a dearth of real-world examples—may limit their utility, though even here Irvine’s emphasis is on the immediately actionable, offering steps to break cycles of becoming overwhelmed due to a lack of trust or time or other factors. Irvine’s time-efficient guide stands as a helpful, engaging read that offers more wisdom than books demanding many more hours.

Takeaway: Concise and actionable advice for managing teams, demanding just an hour of readers’ time.

Great for fans of: Julie Zhou’s The Making of a Manager, Brad Jackson and Ken Parry’s A Very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book about Studying Leadership.

Production grades
Cover: A-
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A