Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Clifton & Harter, It’s the Manager

From Gallup, based on its gargantuan global study of the future of work (37.2 million people surveyed), comes It’s the Manager by Jim Clifton, Gallup chairman and CEO, and Jim Harter, chief scientist, Workplace for Gallup. The subtitle says it all: “Gallup finds that the quality of managers and team leaders is the single biggest factor in your organization’s long-term success.” And so, in 52 chapters and five appendices, intended as a reference book, “not meant to be read cover to cover on a plane ride from Chicago to Los Angeles,” CEOs, CHROs, and managers can learn how to maximize human potential, which is now the primary purpose of all organizations.

Let me start with the first, nearly 100-page appendix, which describes the 34 CliftonStrengths themes. In the back of the book is a package with a unique access code the reader can use to take the CliftonStrengths assessment. The idea is to learn what your strengths are so you can lead with those strengths. Among the 34 strength themes are (without respect for parallel grammatical construction): achiever, activator, adaptability, analytical, arranger, belief, command, communication, competition, connectedness, consistency, and context. The list ends with woo.

The book covers a range of topics, from organizational culture to coaching to the future of work. Under the heading of the future of work the authors deal with such issues as diversity and inclusion, the gender gap, flextime, gig workers, and artificial intelligence.

It’s the Manager doesn’t break a lot of new ground. What it does is to provide a vast empirical underpinning for many of the management theories that have gained traction recently.

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