Late last year I stumbled over a podcast entitled Manager Tools. I listened to the first few podcasts and then for lack of time I stopped listening. Time passed and for reasons I don’t fully understand I remember Mark (one of the two podcasters) stating how poorly most managers manage their time. I realized he was right. I also realized that while I dedicated a tremendous learning effort into my technical skills, I put almost no effort into my management skills. After some reflection, I noticed that I used my management skills more often then I used my technical skills. I am not sure why I had not realized it prior to that, but sometime over my career I changed from a developer to a manager. I still needed my technical skills, but I needed my management skills more. This was like an epiphany to me. I decided to reallocate some of my time towards improving my management skills.
This is where Manager Tools kicks in. I remembered the podcast, subscribed to it, and was truly impressed. I have gone back and started listening to it from the beginning. I am still playing catch-up on the podcast and the forums. I have also started going through their recommended book lists. This book list is superb. They have eliminated so much of the noise currently in the management book arena. The books from their list that I have read so far have already made an impact on how I do my job. Combine the impact of their podcasts, and I have been able to increase not only my capability and productivity, but my marketability.
Lastly, Mike (the other podcaster) & Mark are extremely responsive. They are truly passionate in their goal to improve managers through highly practical techniques. I highly recommend that anyone, in any stage of their management career, listen to their first three podcasts. These first podcasts cover One-On-One (O3) meetings between a manager and his directs. The impact of adding these to your standard regiment cannot be understated. Listen to the podcasts, read the forums, and then do it.
Eventually I will listen to all the podcasts, then I plan to start over at the beginning Manager Tools Podcasts.