Own Your Day: New light on the mastery of managing in the middle

Own Your Day: New light on the mastery of managing in the middle

Author: Diana Marsland & Julie Nerney
Review by: Dani Bacon

No two ways about it, being a middle manager is tough and it can feel like a constant juggle to manage and support your team and meet the expectations from your own boss.  Own Your Day is a great guide for managers in this position.

The book is spilt into two sections – part 1 all about the operating context  and covers taking ownership, preparation, influencing and managing change.  Part 2 is all about people and covers managing authentically, getting the best out of others, having difficult conversations and meetings.

Each section has questions to reflect on and links to some great external resources to take your thinking and learning further. There are also case studies and quotes from managers though the majority of these are anonymous.  The advice and suggestions are grounded in reality so feel achievable and the authors clearly have hands on experience of working in management roles.

The book is easy to read and it’s easy to absorb its key messages.   It would be a great read for someone already in a middle management position looking for ways to improve what they do and how they work with their team.  The authors say in the introduction that curiosity is one of the most powerful and effective self-development tools and what this book does well is help the reader reflect on how they are working and evoke curiosity about how they could adapt their approaches. Probably more suited to those relatively new to management but there will be nuggets that everyone can take away irrespective of experience.

The ‘Getting the best out of others’ section is particularly strong and the case study about joining a new organisation and working with a new team will resonate with many leaders. Some sound advice that we can all learn from.

Published by ‎ Practical Inspiration Publishing

Dani Bacon is an organisation development consultant, co-founder of Distinction Business Consulting and co-host of the Distinction Podcast