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August 11, 2002

Jack Covert Selects: Jack Covert Selects - The 2R Manager

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 9:42 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

The 2R Manager: When to Relate, When to Require, and How to Do Both Effectively, Peter E. Friedes, Jossey-Bass Publishers, 200 Pages, $19.95 Paperback, July 2002, ISBN 078795893X
The innumerable books written about management range from 1st grade level primers to 467 ways to better management guides to the driest of theoretical compositions. When I got my copy of The 2R Manager and read the subtitle, I was pleasantly surprised to have found a book on management that resonated with my life experience. The premise of the book is that the 2 key approaches to managing are to Relate and to Require (hence the 2Rs). The better you balance these two approaches the better a manager you are. I went into this book knowing that I was a relater, perhaps to a fault. Boy, was I wrong. As a result of this book, my eyes were opened to the fact that how I regarded my management style was not how my staff regarded me as a manager
Early in the book, the author offers a forty-question which reveals how you catagorize yourself as either a relater or requirer. I sat down, took the test and came up with numbers that supported my initial thoughts on my management style. Then, the author offers a twelve-question survey to be given to the folks who report to you. Well, guess who was delusional? Yup, here I thought I was the brilliantly caring manager and that I did a poor job demanding anything of my employees. Nope, turns out that in my employees eyes, I have real relational issues that I need to work on, but that they accept most wholeheartedly the requirements I place on them. The rest of the book gives very specific guidelines to help you balance your styles.
This is not a book on the theory of management. It is about becoming a better manager. And, the author is not some ivory tower academic. Friedes is the former CEO of Hewitt Associates, where, during his twenty-three year tenure, the company grew over twenty percent per year. So the guy knows from where he speaks. I thought so much of this book that I have bought two copies to give to friends. Buy it and learn.