The 27 Challenges Managers Face: Step-by-Step Solutions to (Nearly) All of Your Management Problems

Bruce Tulgan’s newest book from Wiley/Jossey-Bass is out! Order Now!

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The 27 Challenges are the problems with which managers most often struggle along with the best step-by-step solution, based on twenty years of workplace research conducted by RainmakerThinking, Inc.. The research shows that most of the challenges derive from or are made much worse by unstructured, low substance, hit-or-miss communication. Likewise, almost always the best solution comes from applying the fundamentals of management. The 27 Challenges are enumerated NOT in order of frequency or difficulty, but rather according to the bigger picture human capital issues in which the challenges fall.  Like a guidebook through the real life of a manager — from the “new manager” challenges, through performance management, retention, and all the way to the latter career stage when so many managers face the challenges of “renewal.”


The Challenges of Being the “New” Manager –  dealing well with leadership transitions:
Management Challenge #1: When Going From Peer To Leader
Management Challenge #2: When Coming From The Outside To Take Over Leadership Of An Existing Team
Management Challenge #3: When Bringing Together An Entirely New Team
Management Challenge #4: When You Are Welcoming A New Member To Your Existing Team

The Challenges of Teaching Self-Management –  how managers can help employees improve their basic work habits:
Management Challenge # 5: When Employees Have A Hard Time Managing Time
Management Challenge # 6: When The Employee Needs Help With Interpersonal Communication
Management Challenge #7: When The Employee Needs To Get Organized
Management Challenge #8: When The Employee Needs To Get Better At Problem-Solving

The Challenges of Managing Performance –  continuous improvement and innovation:
Management Challenge # 9: When You Have An Employee Who Needs To Increase Productivity
Management Challenge # 10: When You Have an Employee Who Needs To Improve Quality
Management Challenge #11: When You Need An Employee To Start Going “The Extra Mile”
Management Challenge # 12: When Your Employees Are Doing ‘Creative’ Work?
Management Challenge #13: When The Employee You Are Managing Knows More About The Work Than You Do?

The Challenges of Managing Attitudes – the intangibles of human performance that so affect morale, wellness, and human relations:
Management Challenge # 14: When An Employee Needs An Attitude Adjustment
Management Challenge #15: When There Is Conflict Between And Among Individuals On Your Team
Management Challenge #16: When An Employee Who Has Personal Issues At Home

The Challenges of Managing Superstars –  talent development, rewards and retention:
Management Challenge # 17: When There Is a Superstar You Need To Keep Engaged
Management Challenge #18: When You Have a Superstar You Really Want To Retain
Management Challenge #19: When You Have a Superstar You Are Going To Lose For Sure. How To Lose That Superstar Very Well
Management Challenge #20: When You Need To Move a Superstar To The Next Level To Develop As a New Leader

The Challenges of Managing Around Forces Outside Your Control –  adaptability and focus:
Management Challenge #21: When Managing In An Environment Of Constant Change And Uncertainty
Management Challenge #22: When Managing Under Resource Contsraints
Management Challenge #23: When Managing Through Interdependency
Management Challenge # 24: When Managing Around Logistical Hurdles
Management Challenge #25: When Managing Across Different Languages And Cultures

The Challenges Of Management Renewal –  accountability and behavior modification:
Management Challenge #26: When You Need To Renew Your Management Relationship With A Disengaged Employee
Management Challenge #27: When You Need To Renew Your Own Commitment To Being A Strong, Highly-Engaged Manager


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“Managing employees well is a skill, not an art. Bruce Tulgan provides a clear guide to all the important techniques needed to be an effective manager.”
Peter Cappelli, George W. Taylor Professor of Management, The Wharton School 
“In a large, complex organization a culture of strong, highly engaged and collaborative management is critical.  There are not too many management challenges that you will run across that are not addressed in this book.  Managers at all levels would be well served to have a copy on the shelf.”
David Zaslav, President & CEO, Discovery Communications
“As someone whose early management career was shaped by Bruce’s other books and programs, I’m not surprised to see this book applies to everyone, no matter what your position or stage in your leadership journey. This book takes his prescriptive approach to a new level of relevance with specific tips to address the most common management challenges – right on!”
Kat Cole, President, Cinnabon
“Bruce Tulgan’s decades of exhaustive research, and the collected works that have resulted from it, have had a profound impact on how I lead.  He has put together action-oriented ideas that have genuine practical utility for leaders in any organization.  The ideas in this book comport perfectly with what I call “engaged leadership” and serve as the perfect antidote for what Bruce calls the “epidemic of under management” in America today.  This terrific new book is a powerful tool for all leaders. “
Kevin J. Jacobsen, Brigadier General, United States Air Force
“Bruce Tulgan’s research and findings provide a blueprint for managers in the intelligence community to tackle problems and fully engage their employees. I highly recommend The 27 Challenges Managers Face to all—not just managers, or those thinking about moving into management positions—because it provides effective, step-by-step solutions to the most common and enduring management challenges.”
Kristin Bertelli, chief, workforce strategy and planning, Central Intelligence Agency
“Our Nation could save billions in productivity losses and lawsuits   resulting from poor management and employee disengagement if only it heeded the very practical step-by-step advice that Bruce Tulgan’s thoroughly researched book offers.  Every chapter contains real life challenges (all 27 of them!) with fundamental solutions that enlightened managers must practice.   Brilliant in its simplicity!”
The Honorable Cari M. Dominguez, Chair, EEOC, United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (2001-2006).  Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Chief Talent and Diversity Officer, Loma Linda University Health
“Bruce Tulgan’s latest work addresses the fundamentals of management which are undervalued in most companies today but essential to the successful operation of our complex businesses. Our highly integrated products demand accurate data, complete communication, concise direction, and timely decision making from typically segmented teams and systems. Use this great book to take advantage of actual “lessons learned”  and avoid the “lessons experienced” syndrome.”
Larry A. Lawson, Chief Executive Officer and President of Spirit AeroSystems, Inc.
“Bruce Tulgan’s latest book provides exceptionally practical advice on how to execute “the huge responsibility of leadership”.   The last chapter, renewing a commitment to effective management, will be particularly helpful to leaders who think they already know how to manage the first 26 challenges.”
Alan J. Kreczko, General Counsel and Executive Vice President, The Hartford
“Bruce masterfully delivers a simple, transparent and powerful message about the fundamentals of management. I have always been a fan of Tulgan’s work and we frequently reference his teachings throughout our training and development. 27 Challenges Managers Face, tackles everyday situations and provides powerful and effective solutions for producing winning results. It is a true must read for Professionals, Entrepreneurs and Students.  I am excited to introduce this leadership masterpiece to our team. “
Joe Mazany President Joe’s Crab Shack
“Whether you have been managing people for 27 days or 27 years, Bruce’s research and book will prove a practical and invaluable guide for meeting specific challenges and managing for success.”
Ray Kotcher, Chairman & Senior Partner, Ketchum
“At CBR, we were suffering from an under-management epidemic brought on by promoting from within and not providing management training.  Management is basic work, but hard work.  We applied Bruce’s principles of Management 101 to rapidly turn our organization into a focused execution machine.  In this book, Bruce provides both a pocket guide and a comprehensive overview of how to manage, every day, for business impact.  Whether you are an experienced manager or taking on your first direct reports, whether you are trying to be a better manager or improve an entire organizations ability to manage and execute, Bruce’s guide is the manual you need.  As a CEO I realized I could benefit from it.  More importantly I realized the entire Company, our customers and our investors could benefit by focusing my entire organization on the basics of management.”
Geoffrey Crouse, CEO and President, Cord Blood Registry
“THE 27 CHALLENGES IS one of those good reads for managers and people who lead people. Not only executives in the US, also managers in international  business settings will benefit from the practical and relevant advice based on two decades of workplace research.  Easy to use as a reference book to better tackle the recurring daily challenges of leading yourself and others by (re-)discovering fundamental principles of communication and management.”
Sylvia B. Vogt, President, Carnegie Bosch Institute, Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University

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Click here to download a digital sampler of The 27 Challenges Managers Face.