Talent

Do Your Managers Need Some Refresher Training?

Your managers are the keys to your employees’ productivity and engagement. How well are they doing? A consultant whose opinion we respect—Bill Lee of Lee Resources, at BillLeeOnline.com—recommends a book he thinks is the best manager-improvement product he’s come across.

It is The Control Theory Manager, by William Glasser, M.D. (HarperBusiness, 1994), and it’s short enough to be covered in an hour-long training session. The author contrasts what he calls “boss-management,” which he advises against, and “lead-management,” which he advocates. Here’s the gist of his guidance:

  • Boss-managers set tasks and performance standards for employees, usually without consulting them.
    Lead-managers have ongoing discussions with employees that encourage their input to improve the system or reduce costs.
  • Boss-managers tell employees how to do the work and seldom ask for input.
    Lead-managers show or model the job and works to increase workers’ sense of control over their own work.

You know your managers could do a better job if they were trained, and now there’s a convenient and reasonable way to get it done—BLR’s Leadership Library at the online, 24/7, TrainingToday. Get More Information.


  • Boss-managers or their designees inspect work and don’t involve employees in evaluating it.
    Lead-managers encourage employees to inspect and evaluate their own work.
  • Boss-managers’ primary technique is coercion to make employees do their jobs.
    Lead-managers promote continuous improvement, helping employees by providing good tools and a friendly, nonadversarial work environment.
  • Lead-managers avoid engaging in three destructive behaviors:
    1. Too much criticism of employees;
    2. Asking more of them than they can accomplish; and
    3. Trying to coerce employees to do what they don’t want to do.

Despaired of ever getting your managers and supervisors trained? It isn’t easy to fit it in—schedule-wise or budget-wise—but now there’s BLR’s Leadership Training for Managers and Supervisors. Train all your people, at their convenience, 24/7, for one standard fee. Get More Information.


In tomorrow’s Advisor, we’ll look at three more lead-manager rules—plus explore a comprehensive online training resource for managers and supervisors.