Manager Tools Fan Club
Your Gateway to Becoming a More Effective Manager
"Manager Tools" is a free podcast and Web site focusing on the practical aspects of becoming a better manager. Hosted by consultants Mark Horstman and Michael Auzenne, Manager Tools is argueably the best business podcast on the Internet, having won numerous awards and consistently ranking at the top of business podcasts on sites like PodcastAlley.com.
This is an unofficial fan club. We have no affiliation with Manager Tools, except as satisfied listeners. This lens serves to orient newcomers and point managers to resources available on manager-tools.com, as well as to provide some color commentary and background about the show and its hosts.
How to Get the Most out of Manager Tools
Levels of Engagement
Manager Tools offers lots of FREE material, as well as other valuable training and services for reasonable cost.
1. Weekly Podcasts - Free weekly podcasts on a variety of topics available via RSS or iTunes. Each cast typically runs about 30 minutes, with longer topics split into two or more episodes. Mike is the program host, with Mark Horstman presenting the material, although sometimes they have switched roles. Each program has actionable points for the manager to apply and often build on concepts from previous podcasts.
2. Registered Member Podcast & Discussion Forums - Registered members receive access to the program's active bulletin boards, called the discussion forums. Registration is free.
3. Premium Content - For an annual subscription fee, one can be licensed to receive access to an RSS feed of transcripts and PowerPoint slides that accompany the podcasts. In addition, individual licensees are periodically invited toConference Calls in which Mike and Mark answer questions submitted to them. Furthermore, licensees get access to the "Interview Creation Tool," which helps amanager create a complete intervew, ready to be printed, with tips on analysis all in about 30 minutes. The annual subscription is currently $180. There is also series on interviewing skills that is available for a fee.
4. Overhaul Your Resume -- An excellent "Resume Workbook" is available that summarizes recommendations from various resume podcasts and provides clear examples of best practices for each section of your resume. Listen to the "Your Resume Stinks" podcast first for the flavor of the material. This material is also available for the Kindle through Amazon.com
5. Conferences - Generally limited to 100 participants, Manager Tools' conferences give hands-on training on the "management trinity," communication skills and other management skills. The conferences are held in various cities in the U.S. and abroad throughout the year.
6. Consulting Services - The podcast has never been a commercial for consulting services. Such services are generally only alluded to during the podcasts, but you can contact Mike and Mark using the contact options under the About tab of the Web site to learn more.
More about Mark & Mike
Co-founders and hosts of the weekly podcast
You can learn more about Mark, Mike and the Manager Tools Podcast on Wikipedia,or through some of these interviews and media coverage links:
Interview with Mark Horstman on the Struggling Entrepreneur Podcast - "In this interview, you will see why his co-host- as well as other authority figures and leaders in the area of Management consulting-refer to Mark as the next "Peter Drucker" when it comes to insight and vision for Management. Besides Mark's story of success and his recommendations to those who wish to become entrepreneurs, we included a spontaneous application of one of the key tools described in Mark's podcasts-namely, the Feedback Model."
Bradcast Interview with Michael Auzenne - "Business advice, management consulting and personal coaching topics have been flogged to near extinction in various books, courses and schools. Despite this, Auzenne and Horstman routinely provide fresh conversational insight on these topics. You won't agree with everything these guys say on Manager Tools but more often than not you will find yourself realizing that they have developed a conversational mentoring approach that makes you feel like you're there asking for help at Mark's office door."
Podcast 411 Interview with Michael Auzenne - Where Mike reveals that his first computer was a Commodore VIC-20 with total of 7K memory, as well as a list of podcasts that he currently listens to.
Mark's Equipment & Book Reviews on Amazon.com - Mark's a gadget guy, so you might enjoy these reviews of electronic accessories.
Mike's Book Wish List on Amazon.com - Remember, Mike managed restaurants at one time, so you'll find some unique, non-management books on this list too.
Mark Horstman LinkedIn Profile - Mark's public profile.
Michael Auzenne LinkedIn Profile - Mike's public profile.
The Show about Us - A podcast about Mark & Mike's background and their goals in founding Manager Tools (July 2005).
Network with Other Manager Tools Fans
Social networking options beyond the discussion forums and conferences.
Join the LinkedIn.com group - If you're a member of Linkedin.com, consider joining the Manager Tools linkedin group. Besides being able to see those cute little thumbnails of other listeners, you'll also get Manger Tool's neat litte oganizational chart icon on your profile listing.
Become a Fan on Facebook.com - You can also conect with fellow managers and conference attendees, check upcoming MT events and view testimonial videos on Manager Tool's Facebook Page. Click "Like" in the upper section of the page.
Also visit the "Meet-Ups" section of the discussion forums on manager-tools.com.
If you're totally addicted to Manager Tools and want to be updated as soon as a postcast is uploaded, consider following Manger Tools on Twitter (since good managers shouldn't be allowing Twitter interupt them for "unimportant" things).
Manager Tools on YouTube
Viisit on the Manager Tools' YouTube page, where you can favorite, comment or subscribe to new MT videos.
Axioms and Quotes
Great sayings and quotes you've heard on Manager Tools.
Axioms are "business proverbs" that condense learning and wisdom to nuggets that can be applied for future success. Here are some axioms and quotes that you've heard on Manager Tools:
If it's stupid but it works, it's not stupid. - The Second Rule of the Army
The things that get measured are the things that get done - A great insight from author Michael LeBouef.
Putting personal preferences ahead of organizational effectiveness - What many managers do when ignoring good advice or best practices (See also Galatically Stupid).
You can't manage time - We all get 24 hours per day; you can't change that. You can only manage priorities and behavior.
Typing is easy. Writing is hard. Good writing is harder than nuclear physics. - A good reminder of the importance of clear, concise writing for managers.
A decision is a choice, plus the plan to implement it - From Drucker, of course.
Race, Don't Chase - The proper approach to cost cutting in an economic downturn (See podcasts by same title).
Eat your own dog food - In other words, follow your own (hard) advice.
Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgement. - Listen to good advice. Don't make the mistakes I made.
Change when you want to, not when you have to. - Horstman's first law of job changing.
Go slow to go fast - For best results, don't rush people processes on the front end, such as in meetings.
Bloom where you're planted - This is not an axiom, it's a sentimental saying ripped from a Halmark card. We just threw it in here to make sure you were paying attention.
Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity - Generally attributed to Robert Hanlon and known as Hanlon's Razor. Sometimes, and likely less accurately attributed to Napoleon in the form "N'attribuez jamais a la malice ce que l'incompetence explique." The English version coined by Sir Bernard Ingham is more colloquial, "Cock-up before conspiracy."
Galatically Stupid - This is about as dumb as you can get, one step less stupid is "monumentally not effective." From Tom Cruise's character in the movie, "A Few Good Men."
You'd complain if they hung you with a new rope - If you're going to argue about something, argue about something you can have an impact on.
If wishes were horses, beggers would ride - A manager must deal with reality.
Never prohibit what you cannot prevent - Attributed to Napoleon.
The McGuire Hump of the Horstman Curve - The Horstman Curve is the sometimes painful and always difficult process of making positive changes in our lives or management skills (diets & implementing feedback are examples, respectively). The McGuire Hump is the apex of that difficult climb, named in honor of client Dan McGuire.
Your commitments are writing checks your behavior can't cash - Your commitments are important. You can't do well long-term if you don't meet your commitments. A play on a quote from the movie Top Gun.
The higher up the flagpole, the more your butt is exposed - Executives have more organizational risk than individuals at lower levels of the company.
Steel cage death match meeting - The meeting at which employees to be laid off are determined.
You're entitled to an honest answer to any question to which you're entitled an answer - Some things are confidential. You won't always get the answers to all your questions, nor should you.
Horstman-Christman Rule - If it's important to you and you do it rarely, you're not going to be very good at it. Often applied to interviewing.
Everybody has a plan until they get hit - True literally in boxing, figuratively in management.
Hope is not a strategy - Get to work creating a real plan.
Inch-by- inch it's a cinch; Yard by hard, it's hard - Break big jobs down into manageable pieces.
In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king - Being just a bit better than the crowd can get you ahead.
Great people talk about ideas, most people talk about things and people who are ineffective talk about other people -- Don't talk about other people.
Nothing is often a good thing to say, and always a clever thing to say - In other words, a closed mouth gathers no foot (or fist).
Walt's Rule - Spend most of your time on the most likely stuff. You might be wrong every once in a while, but you’ll save a lot of time, a lot of the time. Derived from a calculus trick by Mark's brother Walt Horstman.
Let us know your favorite axioms that you've heard on Manager Tools. Include the podcast title and date so we can get the wording exact because you know what a stickler for details these guys can be.
A Whole Book on Axioms - Axiom: Powerful Leadership Proverbs by Bill Hybels
This lensmaster recommends Bill Hybel's book for those who are interested more about how axioms can help us all become better managers.
Hybels is pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in Illinois, founder of the Willow Creek Leadership Summit and the best-selling author of more than 20 books including Courageous Leadership. Read a bio and view an introductory video clip about Bill Hybels.
The Effective Manager by Mark Horstman
The once and future book by Manager Tools co-founder Mark horstman
The Effective Manager is the working title of a long anticipated book by Manager Tool's co-founder Mark Horstman. Originally scheduled for the first quarter of 2012, publication has been delayed for business reasons; however, the manuscript is complete. When published, there will be an opportunity for Manager Tools fans to obtain signed copies.
Of course, we already know how Dilbert's boss will react to Mark's book once it is published.
The Effective Executive by Drucker - Probablly the most referenced book on Manager Tools.
An effective executive has the ability to "get the right things done," according to Drucker. This involves both doing certain things well and avoiding what is unproductive.
In this, the most frequently quoted management book on the Manager Tools podcast, Peter Drucker identifies five practices essential to business effectiveness. Start your management library here.
Recommended Management Books - Books you've heard mentioned on the podcast and in the forums
Sir Richard Steele said, "Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body." Becoming a life-long learner of management is certainly a Manager Tools emphasis. The definitive source for books recommended by manager tools can be found at www.manager-tools.com/favorite, and a section of the forums is devoted to "Our (and Your) Favorite Books."
For tips on developing a professional reading plan, we recommend this lensmaster's article on the subject, "Discovering a Key Strategy for Personal & Career Development" for your consideration.
Click on any title below to read full reviews and find new or used copies on Amazon.com. Plus, you can vote for your favorites by using the up and down arrows. Add your own books that you've heard mentioned on the podcast or in the forums by clicking the "Add to This List" button at the bottom.
Other Management Resources
Stuff other than books
The Marshall Goldsmith Library - Marshall Goldsmith is an author and executive coach known for achieving positive, lasting change in the behavior of executives, their people and their teams. Recognized by the American Management
Association as one of the 50 greatest thinkers and leaders who have influenced the field of management over the past 80 years, Marshall Goldsmith's Web site is filled with two hundred of his articles, interviews, columns and videos, as well as links to his 20+ books.
DISC Personality Profile System (Wikipedia entry) - Understanding people's personalities and adapting your approach to better communicate with them is the benefit of using the DISC personality profile system. Self assessment tools are available for purchase on the Manager Tools site, as well as podcasts on each of the four types: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness, and a DiSC summary sheet and tips on how to use the DISC system to be more effective every day.
Tools for Effectiveness from the Drucker Institute at Claremont Graduate University - A structured set of Interviews and articles to make yourself and your organization more effective.
Understanding Personalities - Learn more about the DISC personality profile through this children's book.
This children's book help you understand and appreciate the personalities in your department since it is based on the DISC personality profile system. This is a non-treatening way to introduce the DISC system to your collegues, and your children will love it too! Oops: You might need a copy for home and one to circulate at work.
Mark has developed a list of ten management principles referred to repeatedly on the podcast as "Horstman's Laws." You can download the first eight of Horstman's Laws as a nicely formated PDF file from the Manager Tools web site. An additional "hidden law" is "Relationships Matter."
We've never heard mention of any "Auzenne's Laws," but clearly there should be some, and they should include things about the penalty for getting on soapboxes and such.
Books Managers Read to Their Children - Extracurricular reading that your children will love
We admit, we're making book selections in this section up, but we know a manager like yourself will really enjoy reading these books with your family.
Everybody has bad days. Read this to yourself. Read this to your kids. Buy extra copies to hand out to staff who whine in your office (Really...I do). A classic picture book.
Talk about entrepreneurs! A delightful read-aloud chapter book for grades 4 through 6. We are not responsible for this book influencing your child's creativity and imagination.
The prequel to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in the Chronicles of Narnia series. Teach your children the concept of chronological progression by starting at the beginning of the story.
The companion podcast from the same guys that brought you Manager Tools.
So much to say about and so few podcasts. That's what lead to the launch of a separate podcast specifically about development of the manager's career.
Mark Horstman on Careers & Interviewing
Career Presentations at The Kellogg School
Review Mark's PowerPoint slides from career presentatations at The Kellogg School of Management:
Networking Techniques You Can Use
Mark on Interviewing
In this video clip, Mark explains the things to remember in order to be a step ahead of others interviewing for the position (Admittedly, Mark's not as handsome in this video as he looks on the podcast).
Visit the Manager Tools web site for information about premium services such as the video series on interviewing and the resume review service.
Let us know your thoughts. Comments, corrections and feedback welcome. If referring to a specific podcast, please include the name and air date.
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