The Effective Manager

Welcome to The Effective Manager summary and book review!

I read The Effective Manager by Mark Horstman in 8 days.

This blog will contain both my summary and review of the book The Effective Manager book.

The definition of an effective manager is one who gets results and keeps his people.

If you’re going to create trust and trusting relationships with your direct, then, you’re going to have to talk to them frequently about things that are important to them. (Loc 543)

The 4 Critical Behaviors (+ the tool to achieve it)

  1. Get to Know Your People – 40% – One-on-Ones
    1. Talk to your directs frequently about things that are important to them
  2. Communicate about Performance – 30% – Feedback
  3. Ask for More – 15% – Coaching
  4. Push Work Down – 15% – Delegation

One-on-Ones (scheduled, weekly, 30 minutes, held with each direct, direct’s issue primary, manager takes notes)


  1. Step 1: Ask
    1. Whether it’s positive or negative feedback
      1. Can I give you some feedback?
      2. Can I make an observation?
      3. Can I share something with you?
      4. Can I have a word with you?
  2. Step 2: State the behavior.
    1. Never attitude (because it’s unknown), always behavior
    2. Behavior can be one of five things: the words you say, how you say those words, your facial expressions, body language, work product (quality, quantity, accuracy, timeliness, documents)
    3. Always start with ‘When you..behavior’
      1. When you respond politely after the customer insults you…
      2. When you promise it to me yesterday but don’t delivery…
  3. Step 3: State the impact of the behavior
    1. I can focus on other areas that need my attention
    2. I have to rearrange my schedule
  4. Step 4: Encourage effective future behavior
    1. Just say thanks or
    2. Could you change that?
    3. What can you do differently?

Never give feedback if you’re upset. Remember, feedback is only to encourage future wanted behavior. You cannot change the past.

You are reading The Effective Manager book summary by Mark Horstman of Manager Tools podcast.

Coaching – a systemic effort to improve the performance of a direct in a specific skill area.

Coaching is for things that require 4+ months. If less, then it probably requires feedback. “Derek, I’m concerned that you haven’t X. I’ve given you several instances of feedback about it, and I’ve not seen you make much, if any change.

  • Step 1: Collaborate to set a goal (DBQ: deadline, behavior, quality)
    • By December 1, you will earn X degree/improve your written English as measured by X test.
  • Step 2: Collaborate to brainstorm resources
    • Just to get started. You can’t plan for everything.
  • Step 3: Collaborate to create a plan
    • For the first few weeks.
  • Step 4: The direct acts and reports on the plan


If you think of all of your tasks as balls, some large and some smaller, then you should always delegate the smaller balls because they will seem like large, more complex tasks/balls to your directs.

  1. State your desire for help.
    1. ‘Sarah, I’d like your help.’ It’s important to use this phrase exactly and not substitue need for like.
  2. Tell them why you’re asking them
      1. “You’re my best”
    1. Don’t think about yourself, and about what you want to get rid of. Think about them, and what they could benefit from.
      1. What they’re good at
      2. What they like to do
      3. What they need to do
      4. What they want to do
  3. Ask for specific acceptance
    1. Would you please X?
    2. If you hear an objection (not enough time, workload, ability) then you need to address that objection. “If I figure out your schedule or teach it to you, will you be able to do this work?”
  4. Describe the task or project in detail
    1. “Here’s what I do…”
    2. Include how long it takes you to do it.
  5. Address deadline, quality, and reporting standards

The following areas are ripe for delegation: reporting, meetings, presentations, projects

Good advice in terms of action, even if it turned out to be the wrong action:

It would be okay in a Manager Tools coaching engagement to have a task of reading a book which might be helpful but actually proved not to be helpful. You could say that time was “wasted” on reading that book, and in a way you’d be right. But to avoid doing anything that might e wrong, what most of us do is nothing at all. (Loc 2758)

This concludes The Effective Manager summary and review. I hope you enjoy it!

Did you know I’m an author? I wrote four books on real estate investing, travel, and language learning.

Thanks for visiting and thanks to Mark Horstman for writing the great book The Effective Manager!

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