Book review: The Essentials of Management

Emma De Vita reviews the new book by Andrew Leigh

The Essentials of Management, by Andrew Leigh
The Essentials of Management, by Andrew Leigh

Your first day as a manager can be a daunting one, particularly if you have been thrown in at the deep end. That's where this book comes in handy. Written by the consultant and business journalist Andrew Leigh, and first published 30 years ago when shoulder pads and Filofaxes were de rigueur, this manual has been updated frequently and still stands the test of time. In fact, the wisdom that held true in the 1980s is just as applicable to a manager's life today.

Leigh divides management life into three performance areas: the self, others and the organisation. The "self" section covers subjects such as emotional intelligence, the importance of active listening and delivering under pressure.

The last of these is something many squeezed managers want help with, and Leigh's secret to success is "to be assertive about managing personal energy". This means saying "no" to wasteful demands on your energy, keeping yourself fit and healthy, staying focused on your tasks, working efficiently so that you don't work silly hours and stopping yourself succumbing to "busyness".

This book is stuffed full of practical advice, and it is a great place to start when you find yourself in the boss's chair.

Emma De Vita is books editor of Management Today

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