Last week, I read Nick McCormick's book "Lead Well and Prosper: 15 Successful Strategies for Becoming a Good Manager." At under 100 pages in length, it was a quick read. Short though it is, I was pleasantly surprised by the concepts McCormick presents in the book.
This book struck me as a sort of "Cliff's Notes" for management and I think it provides a great reference resource, particularly for new managers who aspire to develop their leadership skills. In fact, I can see this as a very useful handout for companies that conduct any kind of new manager training.
Each of the book's 15 chapters deals with a fundamental technique or concept, often using hypothetical dialog (featuring recurring characters, some humor, and fun graphics) to illustrate the point. At the close of each chapter, there is a summary that includes Do's, Don'ts, and Actions to provide guidance for developing or improving your personal skills.
As I was reading the book I thought, "It might be cool to focus on one chapter a week to go through a cyclical improvement process." Then, lo and behold, I got to Appendix D where McCormick provides an action plan to develop your very own "Development Plan" complete with quarterly targets. Appendix E complements this with a tutorial on planning your week and weaving elements of your Development Plan into your weekly activities.
Oh - and be sure to take the "Am I A Good Manager?" test in Appendix F!