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First Among Equals

First Among Equals

First Among Equals

How to Manage a Group of Professionals

by David Maister & Patrick McKenna

Managing people is difficult, particularly when you are tasked with leading a group of confident, intelligent professionals — often used to working with a certain amount of autonomy — to accomplish some task or essential goal. Group leaders must be skilled not only in management basics (delegation, decision-making, running meetings, and so forth), but also in the “softer” skills of inspirational leadership practices.Crammed with concrete advice and practical applications and examples, First Among Equals, written by two leading experts in the field of managing professionals, will help you inspire, cajole and provoke your people to reaching their full capabilities and promise.

What You'll Learn

  • Get ready to lead. Before you lead, you must clarify the responsibilities and parameters inherent to your role as leader, to ensure that you add value to the group's activities. You also need to confirm your mandate to lead, then build relationships with each individual on your team - inspiring (not just managing) your people.
  • Coach your people as individuals. You must understand what coaching entails on a one-to-one basis - what things, both formal and informal, you can and should do to be most effective.
  • Coach your teams as a whole. Improving the performance of your group as a whole involves many things, including building trust within the team, selecting goals that challenge and energize your people, and acknowledging accomplishments (individual and collective) through recognition.
  • Build toward future successes. Maintaining a high level of efficiency in your groups is an ongoing process; you must build on your successes by nurturing junior members of your group, keeping membership to a manageable size and learning how to properly integrate new people into the collective whole.
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