BUT WHAT IF EVERYTHING CHANGES?
You: We dealt with COVID-19 and its aftermath, and it felt like everything changed.
Us: It's true. Both immediately and long term, it seems that the coronavirus altered everything: aspects of how we live, work, raise our kids, care for our parents, travel, educate, celebrate, collaborate, and connect.
You: So then how does this book help me be a better manager in a dramatically altered situation?
Us: We've written six editions of this book amid economic booms and busts, talent shortages, and massive layoffs—and then, a global pandemic. How could the lessons be relevant in every one of these times? The lessons work because people basically want the same things, no matter the era or circumstances. This book tells you what those things are and how to deliver in your own creative, authentic way.
You: I'm a good manager. So should I just keep doing what I do?
Us: That depends. Are you listening more these days? Thinking more creatively about how your people can get what they really want and need? Especially in tough times, are you asking questions like "Are you okay?" "What can I do? What can we do to help?" If you say, "Yes," then keep doing what you're doing. If you say, "Not really," then take stock, care more, ask more, and really listen to your talented people.
Collaborate with them to find solutions to their unique challenges.
CLOSE THE GAP BETWEEN KNOWING AND DOING
As you read this book, you'll think, "I already knew this" or "I meant to do this." People say that knowledge is power. But not until knowledge turns into action is it power. Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert Sutton literally wrote the book on this topic. They say, "Managers who turn knowledge into action avoid the smart talk trap. Managers must use plans, analysis, meetings, and presentations to inspire deeds—not as substitutes for action." This book helps you close the knowing-doing gap. We challenge you to do just that.
GET WHAT YOU NEED FROM THIS BOOK
We wrote Love 'Em or Lose 'Em to serve as a user's manual—a guide to help make your life easier, in the moment, every time. We wrote it because you make such an impact on the lives of your workforce. That's an awesome responsibility that deserves all the help and support it can get. Here are some tips on how to use this book:
* Create and implement your own unique version of the love 'em practice.
* Use this as your guide—as you would use Siri or Google Maps.
* Return to it again and again. Highlight what matters most to you.
* Personally commit to implementing the key message of just one chapter. Start by reading Ask and Buck—then go anywhere you want.
The Love 'Em or Lose 'Em mindset and its 26 practices for engaging and retaining talent are not something you turn on and off, syncing to the latest economic blip and the corresponding concern about keeping talent. The approach works best when it's authentic and personal, when you clearly believe in it and demonstrate it daily in your actions with the people you want on your team.
START WITH A SELF-TEST
We suggest you check out your beliefs about managing, engaging, and retaining others by completing a manager self-test called the Retention/Engagement Index (REI). The results will direct you to chapters you need to read early.
Your perspectives and beliefs about managing others and the resulting actions you take can predict the likelihood that talented people will not only continue to work for you but bring their discretionary effort to work every day.
Evaluate your engagement beliefs and mindsets now by answering the questions in table I.1. (actual table not shown)