Author: Ann McMullan, Michael Barrett, Lisa Breshears (Design)
Genre: Nonfiction, Hybrid Genre.
Publishing Date: November 2016
Price: $14.95 for print book (no ebook is available)
Summary: light-hearted way to introduce management concepts
This clever and beautifully illustrated book tries to do the impossible: discuss the challenges of managing people in such elementary terms that even a kid could understand it. It’s a captivating collaboration by an educational consultant, a children’s author and a talented artist. The book is brief — it’s less than 20 pages — but it presents important insights about leadership that even the most book-averse could absorb without too much pain. I see the book as accomplishing three things. First, it facilitates discussion by providing silly (and imaginary) examples of well-run and dysfunctional organizations. Second it contains whimsical verse of clueless animal bosses (complete with cute drawings) which directly relate to the concepts described on the page preceding it. Third, it emphasizes the importance of soft management skills (like listening, giving credit and responding to conflict from a loving perspective). The whole book has a “maternal vibe” to it, and that is somewhat unusual for a book on management; this certainly is appropriate in some contexts (such as education and nonprofits), but in other business contexts, it may seem too touchy-feely and not goal-oriented enough. Still, the books makes a few points quickly and makes them well (and entertainingly). The book is a great ice-breaker for managers who are seeking a light-hearted way to introduce management concepts to staff.