F1rst Among Equals: How to Manage a Group of Professionals

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Whether you have just been appointed as a group leader or you are a battle-scarred veteran, you know that managing professional people is difficult!

  • Intelligent professionals are often free-agents, accustomed to having autonomy to work on grueling assignments with little supervision, and always relentlessly demanding of themselves and others. How do you actually add value as a group leader, or even get these people to accept your guidance?

  • How do you deal with those oh-so-talented but oh-so-annoying professionals who exhibit attitude problems or are just exceedingly difficult to work with, when you need them but they needle you?

  • How do you avoid unsettling group meetings where you meet for no clear purpose; people drift in and out at random times; the power players dominate discussions; and everyone brings along their favorite axe to grind?

  • How do you actually inspire your group to bone-satisfying performance?

In this strikingly unique "playbook," professional service experts Patrick J. McKenna and David H. Maister provide real-world examples, a wealth of self-evaluation materials, and concrete advice on stressful day-to-day management issues that every leader of professionals will welcome. The authors offer penetrating insights into the basics of coaching, dividing their attention equally between energizing and guiding the individual performer and the group.

There has never been a book quite like this. First Among Equals is essential reading for practice leaders and group heads in the professional sector as well as managers of highly talented, technical knowledge workers anywhere. The lessons and learnings presented here will give you insights and action tips to help you provoke and inspire your people to their full potential.

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User Review  - shdawson - LibraryThing

I wish I had this book 30-years ago. Oh, how much easier my life would have been. Thank you for writing this book. Read full review

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About the author (2002)

Patrick J. McKenna is a widely recognized expert on managing professional service firms and a partner in Edge International in Edmonton, Canada, a consulting firm serving professional service firms throughout the world. Mr. McKenna is the co-author of two Canadian Top 10 management bestsellers, Beyond Knowing and Herding Cats.

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