Be the Boss Everyone Wants to Work For, by William A Gentry, PhD

“Flip Your Script” is the most accurate subtitle for this excellent book for new managers and those seeking to improve their performance as a leader.

Be the Boss Everyone Wants to Work For: A Guide for New Leaders, by William A Gentry PhD, read by Tom DheereIf there’s one fault – and there is only one – it is that Center for Creative Leadership Senior Research Scientist, William Gentry, stays too much on task, becoming far too repetitive in expressing his mantra at every opportunity. It was almost my lid that got flipped by the end.

Read with clarity and purpose by Tom Dheere, Be the Boss Everyone Wants to Work For is a quality resource that covers many vital workplace and leadership issues. Gentry claims that his findings are based on extensive research which includes researching almost 300 new leaders. He uses his own experiences to complement the research findings, with the outcome being this compilation and exploration of leadership.

Early in the piece, Gentry explains that, for the past decade in the USA, 82% of frontline or new leaders have not been rated as having excellent skills by those working under them. 80% of frontline leaders are not satisfied with the job they are doing and 70% of their bosses agree. These are frighteningly high negative statistics for people in positions of power in a workplace.

The reasoning is that employees are promoted for their expertise in a particular role, however people management has not been a part of that role. Almost 60% of new leaders receive no training despite having the biggest impact on productivity, morale and staff retention. No other skilled job puts staff into a role without the necessary skills, training or development.

The lessons in Be the Boss began for me in the audiobook’s jacket summary which provided the first ‘light bulb’ moment by talking about the need for leaders to change their mindset from ‘me’ to ‘we’. In task-orientated jobs, the focus is on our own work and deadlines but, for leaders, the focus is on their team and the organisation as a whole.

Gentry continues this thought in his well-planned book by examining topics such as communication – including non-verbal messages like body language and grooming; showing empathy; the emotional affect leaders can have on staff; different kinds of influencing skills; balancing friendships with your new role as their leader; treating everyone fairly instead of equally; different forms of motivation; and so much more.

Whether the lesson is on learning to delegate, giving effective feedback, or showing integrity, Gentry is articulate, clear and offers practical advice. Tom Dheere’s narration is inspirational and equally articulate.

Although running less than five hours, Be the Boss Everyone Wants to Work For is quite comprehensive and filled with ideas and discussions worth revisiting time and time again. There is a companion website given early in the audiobook to providing additional information and tools.

Released in July 2016 by Berrett-Koehler Publishers, the research is still quite up to date making Be the Boss a worthy investment to download through audible.

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