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Management Mess to Leadership Success summary

Scott Jeffrey Miller

30 Challenges to Become the Leader You Would Follow

4.4 (240 ratings)
16 mins

Brief summary

Management Mess to Leadership Success by Scott Jeffrey Miller is a comprehensive guide for anyone struggling with their leadership style. The book offers practical tips and insights to help readers cultivate strong leadership skills and overcome common management pitfalls.

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    Management Mess to Leadership Success
    Summary of 6 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 6

    Lead yourself by learning to listen.

    Have you ever been at a party and got stuck in conversation with someone who constantly interrupts you? Maybe they’re polite enough to ask a lot of questions, but they fire off another before you even have a chance to answer the first. Or maybe you’re the person who does this as a coping mechanism for your social anxiety and deathly fear of silence. The fact of the matter is, the well-intentioned drive to fill space and create dialogue can sometimes backfire if you approach a conversation like a criminal attorney. Inevitably, your target – and they will feel like a target – will become defensive and shut down. Your rapport will too.

    Silence, if you remember, is golden. As important as it is to ask questions to engage someone, it’s just as important to give them enough space to consider and reflect, formulate a thought, and articulate it. Each person has their own vocal rhythm and pattern. Some people may be capable of responding at 100 miles per hour but others are slower and will feel rushed and not heard if you speed things along.

    So what characterizes a truly effective listener? Well, let’s first consider what not to do. Active listening doesn’t consist of evaluating – assenting or dissenting based on personal experience; counseling – giving advice; interpreting – drawing conclusions on cause or outcome; or probing – asking follow-up questions based on one’s curiosity, rather than allowing the other person to lead. 

    Let’s consider an example. Your friend calls you, very upset, to share the news that their cat has just died. An evaluator might say, “Chin up, mate! It’s not a tragedy in the grand scheme of things.” A counselor might say, “Why don’t you get your cat stuffed by a taxidermist?” A prober might ask, “Was she hit by the neighbor’s car?” And an interpreter might say, “Maybe you wouldn’t be so sad if you’d listened to the doctor about putting her down before it came to this.”

    While the responders in this scenario might be well-intentioned, the problem with all their responses is that instead of empathetically inviting the speaker to share their thoughts and feelings without judgment, they’re making it about their own feelings, needs, and pressures.

    Our culture doesn’t invest a lot of resources into teaching people to become strong listeners. Yes, we’re taught how to debate, communicate, promote, persuade, and present. But how many people have received formal training in the art of careful listening? In fact, listening is one of the most critical yet neglected communication skills. It requires an immense amount of attention, care, curiosity, and self-control.

    If listening is one of your weak points, here’s something quick to try out: count to seven before deciding to fill a silence. Filling silence is, after all, often just a euphemism for interrupting and not giving the other person enough time and space to respond. You might be surprised by how this pause can generate a profound positive change in your relationships!

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    What is Management Mess to Leadership Success about?

    Management Mess to Leadership Success (2019) is a guide to renovating and polishing your management skills. Through relatable, personal anecdotes of fumbles, missteps, and what not to do, it offers applicable challenges for you to revamp your team by providing a step-by-step guide on how to lead yourself and others and deliver results.

    Management Mess to Leadership Success Review

    Management Mess to Leadership Success (2019) is a book that provides valuable insights and practical advice on transforming from a manager to a successful leader. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Packed with real-life experiences and relatable stories, it helps aspiring leaders learn from the author's mistakes and avoid common pitfalls.
    • The book offers actionable strategies for building strong teams, fostering a positive work environment, and overcoming leadership challenges.
    • With its refreshing honesty and authentic tone, it keeps readers engaged and motivated, making it anything but boring.

    Who should read Management Mess to Leadership Success?

    • Team managers
    • HR professionals
    • Leaders in and beyond the corporate office

    About the Author

    Scott Miller is a leadership veteran who spent four years at Disney and nearly three decades with the leadership development firm FranklinCovey where he’s the senior advisor on thought leadership. He hosts the weekly podcast On Leadership with Scott Miller and writes for Inc.com and Utah Business. His previous books include Marketing Mess to Brand Success and Master Mentors.

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    Management Mess to Leadership Success FAQs 

    What is the main message of Management Mess to Leadership Success?

    The main message of Management Mess to Leadership Success is that leadership is messy, but by embracing mistakes and learning from them, we can become successful leaders.

    How long does it take to read Management Mess to Leadership Success?

    The reading time for Management Mess to Leadership Success varies for each individual, but it typically takes several hours. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Management Mess to Leadership Success a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Management Mess to Leadership Success is worth reading because it provides practical advice and insights that can help leaders navigate the challenges and messiness of leadership. It offers actionable strategies for personal and professional growth.

    Who is the author of Management Mess to Leadership Success?

    The author of Management Mess to Leadership Success is Scott Jeffrey Miller.

    What to read after Management Mess to Leadership Success?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Management Mess to Leadership Success, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Everyone Deserves a Great Manager by Scott Jeffrey Miller
    • The Leadership Challenge by James Kouzes and Barry Posner
    • Positively Energizing Leadership by Kim Cameron
    • Welcome to Management by Ryan Hawk
    • Strategic Project Management Made Simple by Terry Dean Schmidt
    • First, Break all the Rules by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman
    • Learning Leadership by James Kouzes and Barry Posner
    • The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management by Stephen Denning
    • The Daily Laws by Robert Greene
    • Smart Brevity by Jim VandeHei