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Helen Bradley

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Book review: You can manage people


Title: You can manage people
Author: Kieran Maloney & Paul Stanford
ISBN: 978-1-905823-88-8


I read the reviews on the back cover and was pleased at the prospect of reviewing a “straightforward” book and “a very easy read, light and none of the fluffy stuff.” The only problem was that I am a manager with 18 years experience and this is a book specifically aimed at new managers. However I have had new managers working for me and I’m also involved in training new managers so am always interested in seeing what books are out there in the market that I can recommend.

Unfortunately this book wasn’t for me. I found the Sections each crammed full of different aspects which didn’t seem to logically flow. Some signposting for the reader at the start with some questions which directed you to the relevant Section / page would have helped. Indeed quizzes throughout would guide the reader to their successes and issues and indeed, where they needed to focus their reading. The text itself visually looked dry and would have benefitted from more tables, pictures or diagrams, templates, worked examples and thought clouds – just simple tools to reduce or break up the text. This seemed more prevalent in Section 1 than any other. In its favour there were some summary highlights at the end of each Section, however these could have been further enhanced with references for further reading.

I am concerned that if I handed this book to a new manager as a support tool, they would be as uneducated at the end as when they started reading, simply because the authors dip into too much content in too little detail. This book could be so much more and I would urge the authors to think again and create mass appeal eg by simplifying the areas a new manager has to focus on.

The content itself is valid and it is obvious that the authors want to share their extensive experience with their readers. However there have to be some simple techniques their editors should apply to make an ok book so much more useful to a very important potential readership who welcome all the support they can get.


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