New book: Managing to Change the World
During a recent Building Better planning meeting, one of the folks brought forward a tool about delegation from The Management Center. That spurred me to dig into The Management Center a bit more. As a result of that, I also purchased Managing to Change the World: The Nonprofit Manager’s Guide to Getting Results.
I’ve not finished reading it, but what I can say after skimming the entire book and reading several chapters is this: I wish I had had this book and website when I was managing a conservation district!
Organization of the book
The book is organized into an introductory chapter and then three parts:
- Part 1: Managing the Work
- Part 2: Managing the People
- Part 3: Managing Yourself
Within Part 1 are chapters about managing tasks and delegation, managing broad responsibilities, building a culture of excellence, and managing the day-to-day work of your team.
Part 2 contains chapters on hiring, developing people, retaining your best people, addressing performance problems, and letting people go.
Part 3 covers how to exercise authority, managing your time, and managing up.
The conclusion to the book includes a concluding section titled: Personal Qualities of a Great Manager.
In my opinion, this book ought to be required reading for everyone in our conservation community who manages or supervisors others. It is packed with useful information, good examples, and practical tools.
Tools on the website
Additional value is added by numerous tools provided at https://www.managementcenter.org/tools/. The main topics in the extensive list of tools are:
- Equity & Inclusion
- Roles & Goals
- Developing People
- Performance Problems
- Managing Managers
- Time & Systems
- Managing Up & Sideways
- Other Topics
I’ve directly linked some of my favorite topic areas in the list above. The actual examples and worksheets provided are too numerous to list here. This is a rich resource and I encourage managers to review what is available from The Management Center.
I’ll call out just one item on The Management Center’s website: The Four Elements of Strong Relationships: The Manager’s Guide to Relationship-Building (click here for the PDF on this topic). If you are a board supervisor or a manager of people, and if you don’t have time to look at anything else on the website, do check out The Four Elements of Strong Relationships.
The Management Center describes this resource as follows:
This guide is for managers looking to build (more) supportive and functional relationships with their staff. We believe that relationship-building is a core competency for effective management (equitable, sustainable, and results-driven). This means that even though it’s a two-way street, it’s the manager’s responsibility to drive and prioritize the work of relationship-building.
If there was a single book to help conservation district managers and leaders navigate their complex roles, this might be it. I am finding great value in it.
Always yours for conservation,
Tom Salzer, WACD Executive Director