The 27 Challenges Managers Face - Bruce Tulgan

The 27 Challenges Managers Face - Bruce Tulgan

Are you leading a team for the first time or facing managing problems? Find here powerful solutions to solve them.

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What are the main challenges you face when managing your team? You probably have imagined several, if not, Bruce Tulgan will help you remember the classics as what to do to motivate your team and retain your best people through the book "The 27 Challenges Managers Face".

Don't lose that good person, move from colleague to leader, deal with conflicts, increase productivity with limited resources, and build that team from scratch. These things will only be possible if you improve your leadership skills!

Got interested to develop your leader within? Stay with us and discover how!

About the book "The 27 Challenges Managers Face"

Published in 2015, Bruce Tulgan's book "The 27 Challenges Every Boss Must Face" seeks to provide real solutions for management issues through 240 pages.

The 27 challenges are grouped into 7 chapters according to the relationship theme. All content is based on over 20 years of research and Bruce's experiences, these challenges represent 90% of all leaders' problems, pains, and doubts.

About the author Bruce Tulgan

Born in 1967 in Massachusetts, Bruce Tulgan is a lawyer who graduated from New York University. He is also a business leadership consultant and speaker, is the founder and CEO of RainmakerThinking, a management training company.

In addition, he is the author of the bestselling "It's Okay to Be the Boss". Bruce Tulgan received the Golden Gavel Award in 2009, which is awarded annually to a single person who symbolizes excellence in communication and leadership.

To whom is this book indicated?

The content of the book is right for you who are an experienced manager or are leading the team for the first time. Also, if you want to be a better boss and consequently enhance your team's relationship and results, this book was made for you!

Main ideas of the book "The 27 Challenges Managers Face"

  • When you become a leader, the first step is to learn who is who and what is what;
  • Learn through questions, completed projects, and feedbacks;
  • To achieve self-management, it is necessary to train employees;
  • Present all expectations to your employees and hold them accountable;
  • Feedback should be based on behaviors, that is, what the person does;
  • Focus only on what you can control;
  • Whenever management changes occur, prepare mentally and strategically, and announce that change.

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[Book Summary] The 27 Challenges Managers Face - Bruce Tulgan

Overview: Challenges of becoming a new boss

Now that you have become a new leader, there are two steps that must be taken:

  1. Present yourself as a strong and highly engaged leader;
  2. Learn who is who and what is what.

According to Bruce Tulgan, this new status as a leader will revolutionize the way you relate to employees and colleagues. But this has to happen gradually, no matter how sharp the learning curve is.

To take charge of this craft, you must always be willing to learn to be able to meet the challenges in this new relationship.

Learning can take place through observation of activities and individual conversations with each other, gathering as much information as possible.

When you come from outside the company, this can be an even bigger challenge, as employees find it difficult to take on the format of the former leader. To solve this, you have to learn in several ways, the main ones are:

  • Search for examples of completed projects and reference materials;
  • Learn all about the people around you;
  • Gather feedback from teams;
  • Brainstorm for improvements;
  • Identify and prioritize the most important.

Also, throughout your journey as a leader, always educate employees and ask for feedback on each member's work.

Overview: Challenges of teaching self-management

In order to achieve the long-awaited self-management, it is necessary to train employees. But calm, it's not so complex, it's just the basic skills that should be awakened in them, such as:

  • Time management;
  • Communication;
  • Organizational skills;
  • Troubleshooting.

In addition, great leaders must have the ability to assist their team members in handling their tasks. Remember to always be aware of time, whether you are delaying or taking too many breaks.

A point made by Bruce is that you cannot charge your followers for what you don't accomplish. Therefore, you should:

  • Always plan before communicating;
  • Train your team;
  • Take responsibility for what you do and speak;
  • Establish a code of conduct for workers.

Finally, to insert a self-managed system, you have to let the employees themselves organize and manage their tasks. Those who perform well and adopt best practices should be rewarded, while those who don't achieve labor governance should be held accountable.

Overview: Challenges of managing performance

Be aware that behind great successful people there is always a great mentor. In your team, you play the role of a mentor, so you are responsible for helping each of your teams to grow.

Don't focus only on those with below-average yields, because medians and above-average also need attention.

That way, you as a leader have to intervene and assist your employees in their bad habits and their negative points. This can be done by a one-on-one meeting to set expectations, show greater engagement, and establish how actions will be monitored.

"We will rarely perform better if we keep doing the same things the same way."

It needs to be clear to the employees what is expected of them, and this will be highly evaluated based on all expectations presented. After all, you as a leader should be responsible for monitoring and evaluating this performance.

During this management, the authors suggest:

  • Focus on special points of individual performance;
  • Evaluate performance honestly and clearly;
  • Provide constructive feedback;
  • Show them the "next steps" of this expectation and talk about whether those expectations are compatible with them.

Overview: Challenges of managing behavior

According to Tulgan, talking about behavior is one of the hardest parts, as it may seem like something too personal.

"Feelings are inside, behavior is what you do outside."

We can divide behaviors/attitudes into two categories: positive ones, which lead you to a superior outcome, and the negative ones, which lead you to inferior results.

Therefore, the leader's job is to drive positive attitudes and quench negative ones. After all, when the negatives are propagated, they end up infecting other workers. With this, the author suggests talking to employees and make it clear to them about their attitudes and responsibilities.

If negative attitudes are still propagated by these employees, and they don't change, the author recommends getting rid of them. But in every organization, they also have those with exceptional attitudes and high performance. Therefore, they deserve your attention and respect.

"The 27 Challenges Managers Face" provides how you should manage these stars, how to value them more, keep them engaged, how not lose them, and then take them to a next level.

Moreover, we should be based on meritocracy, that is, when the employee has superior income, consequently will have a higher salary and rewards, as well as flexible hours. But don't just take it for that, you need to challenge them too, making them have ambitious goals and great team involvement.

To deal with the behavior of each employee, pay attention to the following tips:

  • Don't let the behavioral problem become a personal problem;
  • Never change an employee's spirit, just talk about their external behaviors;
  • Feedback on your behavior, even if it is excellent, good or bad.

Also, if employees' conduct needs to be adjusted, you must provide good feedback, here are some guidelines:

  • Specifically describe gestures, speech, and words;
  • Relate this behavior to the consequences of work;
  • Compare these attitudes with your performance and expectations;
  • Define surrogate behavior;
  • Keep track of your behaviors in your conversations.

Overview: Managing when there are forces you can't control

Most of the time, the leader will hear complaints from their employees, and many of them will be related to external factors that they cannot control.

So when you're in this situation, you should focus only on what you can control. When the problem is a lack of resources, Bruce Tulgan presents a series of 4 steps that will help to get around this problem:

  1. Search for an alternative source for the missing resource;
  2. Brainstorm possible substitutes for the resource in question;
  3. Innovate, consider alternatives to perhaps eliminate this feature or be replaced by another;
  4. If that doesn't work, the only way out will be to invest more time and energy into solving the issue.

Overview: Challenges in management renewal

This is not an easy step, but the good thing is that you can set new rules and change the current management structure. The first step is to get ready, so look at the instructions outlined in the book you should build on:

  • Psychologically, you have to be really willing to invest energy and time at work and dedicate yourself 100%;
  • Strategically, invest a good portion of your time in programming and planning;
  • Gather information about employees, harmonize with them and their roles, ask lots of questions and listen a lot;
  • Make a list of people;
  • Start setting parameters for tracking employee performance;
  • Start work with a tentative schedule;
  • Announce the change.

What do other authors say about it?

In the book "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team", author Patrick Lencioni cites that lack of confidence, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, lack of accountability, and lack of attention to results are the 5 challenges of teams. Thus, throughout the book, he develops strategies to identify and solve them in a leadership position.

James C. Hunter, the author of "The Servant", tells the story of John, an executive chef, husband, and father, who seeks to change the situation in his life. This way, he goes to a monastery and has the teachings of a successful former executive (now a monk), who abandoned everything to make sense of his career.

Going deeper into the question of how to motivate teams and develop leadership, the book "Start with Why", by Simon Sinek, is for those who want to inspire others and succeed at work. In this journey, the author highlights the importance of knowing your "why", that is, your purpose and your ultimate mission.

Okay, but how can I apply this to my life?

As we have seen, the solution to most problems is to maintain a high-quality conversation routine with each of your employees.

At first, it is very common for people to face 3 obstacles, which are:

  • Transition: You will need to find new sources of energy so that you can develop the habit of having effective conversations with employees;
  • Time: Be aware that this process is time-consuming, you will have to split the time well on the transition investment and the other time to put out the fires. Probably, in the beginning, you will work double;
  • Vicious circle: have the discipline and focus to apply the concepts correctly.

Follow these steps and within weeks you will realize that the situation will improve and your time will worth it.

Did you like this summary of the book "The 27 Challenges Managers Face"?

Are you ready to become a better manager after reading all these tips? Did you find this content useful? Leave your feedback in the comments!

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Book 'The 27 Challenges Managers Face'