By John Mayfield Jr., broker-owner, Mayfield Real Estate Better Homes and Gardens, Flat River, Mo.
Reflections for Managers: A Collection of Wisdom & Inspiration From the World’s Best Managers, By Bruce Hyland and Merle Yost (McGraw-Hill Inc.) $14.95.
Each day managers face a double-edged sword, one with an s on each side. The s of success on one edge is the reward and gratification we get from leading salespeople toward our company’s goals.
At the same time, we face the s of struggle. We struggle with salespeople and employees. Are they reaching production goals? Picking up signs? Even just showing up for work?
Reflections for Managers: A Collection of Wisdom & Inspiration From the World’s Best Managers can help you address both edges of the sword.
The book is divided into eight topics, such as sensitivity, company politics, and leadership. Under the topics are various guidelines, each handled in about two pages. The 64 guidelines are easy to read, beginning with a description of the guideline, followed by an explanation of the concept and the actions you can take, and ending with questions to reflect on.
The book isn’t geared to any particular industry’s managers, but the topics translate well to the real estate industry. And although it focuses on problems, the book includes a positive side by revealing how managers have made changes necessary to achieve success.
The book has special merit for managers of large real estate offices because most of the guidelines relate best to organizations with many personalities. But as the manager of a small company, I still benefited from many of the issues discussed.
For instance, I appreciated the section that deals with being visible. Since I wear a lot of hats, I often find myself wrapped up in so many daily tasks that I might seem invisible. But one of the guidelines reinforced how important it is for me to be available to listen to my salespeople. Now I take care of paperwork early in the morning, before others have arrived, so that I’m more available during the day.
Although the book covers some excellent topics, I found myself losing interest because the format becomes stale if you read more than a few guidelines in one sitting. My suggestion, and what I do now, is to keep the book nearby and read one scenario each day.
Take the time to reflect on the statements and answer the questions that follow each section. Since the guidelines are only two pages, the time you spend will be well worth it.