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Work Leaders

Thousands of business management books appear every year, ranging from academic textbooks packed with theory - but little practical advice - to the reminiscences of retired CEOs recounting how they saved XYZ Inc from disaster and made themselves millions in stock options.

But suppose you are a fresh new manager or supervisor. Where can you get some reassuring reading, offering practical management advice and based on real-life experience that relates to your situation? Theories can make sense in retrospect. They help clarify jumbled thoughts and experiences - after the event, especially after several years of hard-gained experience. And for the new supervisor or team leader, the problems of large organizations are too remote - you have a handful of people to look after, not tens of thousands.

Gerald M. Czarnecki's new book You're in Charge ... What Now? (Griffin Publishing) is a fresh attempt to clarify what it means to be a Work Leader, based on real-life experience. Czarnecki says that the book 'is the result of learning and leading. Sometimes I got it right; other times I had a "negative learning experience." In spite of either, I always tried to grow.' Czarnecki has "been there and done that" at every level in an organization from hands-on experience at the lowest level to the top jobs. And it shows. This book is different.

You're in Charge ... what now? is a digestible (171 pages) and carefully structured book packed with insights on what it means to be a Work Leader.

Leaders, managers and CEOs

Czarnecki argues that successful managers must be good leaders: 'People will not continue to achieve for a failed leader. For this reason, the practice of leadership is as important at the first level of management as it is at the highest - indeed, maybe even more so.'

He also identifies the crucial difference between leadership at the top and that at the 'coal face':

'The roles of CEO and a Work Leader are strikingly different but most books on leadership do not focus on the people who lead those who do the work. Work leaders must delegate tasks, but they cannot delegate the leadership. The work needs to get done and the hands-on leader must be there every day, helping the staff get the work done. There is no escape for the person charged with leading a work group that has daily deadlines and must meet daily expectations.'

Seven Essential Steps

The sub-title of the book is 'Seven essential steps for work leader success'. The seven steps are each given a chapter and focus on a word commencing with a letter

from 'Leaders':

Love - Friends Like but Leaders Love
Expectations - Setting the Bar Sets the Tone
Assignment - Square Pegs in Round Holes Never Fit!
Development - The Good Get Better, the Best Excel!
Evaluation - Leaders Succeed By Making Judgments
Rewards - An Organization Elicits the Behavior it Rewards
Self - Work Leaders Must Lead Themselves

Why 'love' you might ask? Czarnecki is not implying sexual or even brotherly love. Instead he advocates the qualities of a third type of love called agape by the ancient Greeks:

'... the fine art - and even emotion - of loving people as members of humanity. It means we have a sensitivity to them that exceeds being polite. It means we pay attention to them, beyond just keeping them from being angry with us. It means helping them just because they are people, not because they are nice people, and helping them even when they find accepting help difficult. It means telling them bad news with sensitivity, not being brutally frankand blunt. In short, it means being sensitive to their needs, feelings, and difficulties.'

You can love (agape) your people but you do not necessarily have to like them. Czarnecki provides an intriguing discussion of what it means to supervise people you don't like and the pitfalls of liking your staff, such as overlooking weaknesses. He also discusses the problem of working for a leader who does not show love and provides a succinct definition of the term 'tough love.'

Czarnecki's other essential steps are more easily grasped at first glance. But each draws on rich insights and practical experience. As with the first step, each chapter includes a set of practical tips, a closing case study and questions to test your understanding. But in each chapter, there are scores of sensible and thought-provoking suggestions, comments and criticisms of common practice.

All-in-all, a good buy for the new and aspiring work leader.

Read what others are saying about this book.

"Managers are a dime a dozen, but leaders are priceless.  Teaching principles as solid as setting expectations, and as radical as understanding love, Gerald M. Czarnecki's seven steps put the new leader's focus where it belongs--on finding, developing, and rewarding teams of outstanding performers.  Any manager aspiring to leadership would be wise to study Gerald's advice."

Jeff Taylor
Founder and Chairman
Monster.com

"Recently appointed to your first position leading others?  This book is for you!  It describes in concrete detail exactly what it takes to get those actually doing the work of the organization to perform at exceptional levels.  Powerful, accurate and, most importantly, eminently useable, Czarnecki's insights provide a concrete blueprint for managerial success."

Jerry I. Porras, Lane Professor of Organizatonal Behavior and Change, Emeritus
Graduate School of Business , Stanford University
And Co-author of Built to Last 

"You're in Charge." is outstanding reading for first time managers as they strive to expand their leadership capacity. Gerry Czarnecki distilled his years of experience at all levels of an organization into an easy-to-read, pragmatic primer on making the transition from supervisor to leader."

Edward B. Rust Jr.
Chairman & CEO
State Farm Insurance Companies

"If you are a working leader, and you want to get things done, this book is for you. This book is full of practical insights and tips to make you a more effective leader."

Ram Charan
Consultant to CEOs and Board of Directors and Co-author of Execution

"I loved this book. The concept of "work leaders" is the most compelling and effective approach to blending the role of managers and leaders. It is a practical, comprehensive approach that can truly help "work leaders" be successful in every organization. "

Rhoda Olsen
President & Chief Operating Officer
Great Clips, Inc.

"Gerald Czarnecki's excellent discussion of leadership fills the niche between the tomes of academic theory and the fast-food approach to instant managerial prowess. A serious and thoughtful work, by a successful businessman and entrepreneur, the book is a down-to earth, useful source of insight into what it takes to be a leader, not just a manager, at every level of an organization."

Gilbert E. Dwyer
Dean and Director of Business Programs, Wheeling (WV),Jesuit University
Former President and CEO, Southern Research Institute  

"Business executive-writer Gerry Czarnecki offers an engaging and provocative look at the fundamentals of effective leadership. Must reading."

David Heenan
Author, Double Lives; Co-Author, Co-Leaders

"A must read for front line supervisors and a concise refresher for all managers...very helpful for small business. I read the book...was going to read a few pages but couldn't put it down. I have pulled out several lines which I will be using in communications with our sales managers...like managers push and direct.leaders pull and expect"

S. Jackson "Jack" Faris
President & CEO
National Federation of Independent Business

"You're in Charge.What Now is a perfect textbook for a "rookie manager." The seven essential steps for Work Leaders Success are nicely organized to facilitate the learning process. Each Chapter has Tips to guide the learner, and each chapter ends in a case study with thought provoking questions. I could easily see this book being used to augment management training - with weekly reading assignments followed by group discussion."

Gary Davis
Executive Vice President
Chief Human Resources and Administration Officer
J.C. Penney Company, Inc.

"It has been my pleasure to observe Gerald Czarnecki's leadership skills over the years, and I am pleased to see that he has packaged a lifetime's worth of experience into a very readable and beneficial book. Gerald Czarnecki's book should be a welcome roadmap for the working supervisor, who often leads by example. Such a practical approach may be all these "hands on" managers need to rise rapidly within their given organizations."

Dr. Jerry C. Lee
Chancellor & President
National University System
San Diego , CA

"This book presents a unique perspective on leadership in a very 'hands on', operationally relevant manner.  It will appeal to organizations and CEOs who believe in devolving significant managerial decisions and responsibilities to members of their senior management team and of their executive team.  It provides very clear guidelines about leadership at all levels of the organization, but particularly in the often forgotten domain of middle management.  In short, I recommend this book highly as an extremely practical and relevant solution to a range of organizational leadership arrangements."

Professor Howard Thomas
Dean
Warwick Business School

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