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Book Review - the Manager as Motivator

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I chose the book The Manager as Motivator by Michael Kroth. I wanted to see if I could learn anything that might help me with a manager that I work with that is not a motivator. I also wanted to learn how to be an efficient motivator myself.

This book was written to help the non-charismatic manager develop tools they would need to become an effective manager. All managers have the ability to create miserable or exceptional work places. This book is meant to give the manager the skills and teach them how to motivate the employees to reach their full potential.

By using examples and scenarios the manager will discover in the book the three qualities of motivation; energy, direction, and sustainability and how to use them. The manager will also see the four don'ts that must be avoided: don't treat employees like dirt, don't say one thing then do another, don't micromanage or abandon employees, and don't be unfair. They will also find three major do's: be explicit, be consistent, and be aware and make aware. In this book is also assessment and development tools that the manager can use to help develop motivational skill and knowledge.

Part one has an overview of the seven principles for motivating work. These are: organizational commitment motivates powerfully, the more you care the more they will care, the more you know about people, the more you will know what to do, do what you love, and the motivation will follow, belief in personal capability enable goal setting and pursuit, great goals get people going, and willpower is the engine for goal pursuit (Kroth, 2007, p. 32). These seven principles are broken down to the first four being explained under how to create a motivating workplace. The last three are explained under how to build and sustain motivation to accomplish workplace goals. Each principle is further broken down to include what the goal is of the principle and how to achieve it (practice).

In this section Kroth first introduces the topic of setting the environment He explains about a model that he helped develop to "create and sustain a passionate work environment" (Kroth, 2007, p. 28), calling it Occupational Intimacy. He believed that the qualities of occupational intimacy; meaningful work, enjoyable work, and a nurturing workplace could make a "difference in leadership development and organizational effectiveness" (Kroth, 2007, p. 29) creating a climate that encourages employee motivation. Per Kroth, most managers don't have the power to change policy but they can create a great work environment for their employees and this chapter tells them how to accomplish this (Kroth, 2007).

In this section Kroth also first introduces a topic he calls crossing the Rubicon. In this section, he explains how to create and sustain motivation to achieve goals using a model developed in 1993. He writes that making the commitment to set and keep a goal turns our thoughts to how do we make the promise come true (Kroth, 2007). He also writes that keeping employees motivated is important and it is the manager's job to provide the right support and direction (Kroth, 2007).

Part two of this book deals with the principles and practices. The first chapter is a more detailed explanation of setting the environment. He explains that a work environment is like an ecosystem, those managers that can adapt to change may survive and those that don't adapt won't. He further explains that the way an employee sees the organization is the organizational climate. Through research he believes that some characteristics of organizational climate such as supervisory support, concern for employee welfare, skill development, and performance feedback can predict productivity (Kroth, 2007). The first four principles mentioned earlier are believed to provide for top employee performance. In this chapter these four principles are spelled out in more detail and include activities to reinforce the concepts discussed. The next chapter is a more detailed explanation of crossing the Rubicon and involves the last three principles of motivating work. In this chapter Kroth explains that to create a highly motivated work environment one must be able to build self efficacy, set challenging goals, and sustain the motivation

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