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Mind-Set Management: The Heart of Leadership

Mind-Set Management: The Heart of Leadership

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You can follow any business guru you want, be it Peter Drucker or Tom Peters. You can adopt any new management concept, from reengineering to "empowering people." But Samuel A. Culbert has one caveat: no matter what managerial "religion" you follow--and there are many sound ones out there--before you can lead, manage, or team up effectively, you must comprehend the mind-sets of the people with whom you deal. In Mind-Set Management, Culbert provides a model for thinking about other people--about their self-interested motives and about their biased views of work events--as he shows managers at all levels how to use psychology instead of manipulation to give more productive advice.

The essence of managing, says Culbert, is "staging the conditions for others to be effective," which today entails giving advice and feedback, not directives. This is particularly true with today's "empowering" management styles. But as most managers know all too well, advice is often resisted, resented, or ignored. The problem, Culbert contends, is that managers don't have the other person in focus, that when most managers formulate advice, they think they are attuned to the other person, but in fact the person they have listened to most is themselves. Mind-Set Management will help you focus on the person you want to advise, explaining what you need to learn and to know prior to giving advice and feedback. It will prompt you to ask yourself (and will help you answer) such questions as: Why do people insist on seeing events with their own particular biases and distortions? Why do others resist my best ideas and advice for how they can perform more effectively? Why can't I get them to change how they think? Why do people have so much difficulty putting internal politics aside?What's needed for people to trust one another and listen to advice? Why are some people blind to the obvious logic behind the feedback and advice they receive? Culbert has packed the book with vivid case illustrations and stories that people at every level, from CEOs through staff, will identify with, weaving the concepts and stories together to present evidence that makes the lessons compelling and personal. With these lessons, managers at all levels will view management as a psychological art. You willbe better able to see where the other person's interests lie and how they view the corporation and the task at hand, and you will be able to give great advice, advice that will be followed because it serves the interests of the person who receives it even as it advances the company's goals.

Today there are many new ideas about how to manage more effectively, but without the psychological component that Samuel Culbert provides in Mind-Set Management, these hot new concepts won't work any better than the old ones did. Thus this is an important, groundbreaking work. Indeed, Warren Bennis, in the Foreword, calls it "one of the lasting contributions of this decade to our understanding of corporations, the psychology of people who work in them, and perhapsmost of all, a contribution to understanding ourselves."