A lot of people arrive at a management position without learning how to be a manager. That includes me. This is especially true in small to medium-sized companies with little or no budget for management training or enhancement. An exemption would probably be the government, which is a hulking institution tasked at not only serving a whole nation but managing hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of employees. Employee skills upgrades and enhancements are de facto in this institution.
Being a manager becomes, more often, an on-the-job journey for many especially if the person rose from the ranks, again, like me. If a manager, new or otherwise, does not have training or mentorship from someone more experienced, stumbling will surely happen. If the person who stumbles is not strong, the question will now be, “Will he stand up?” and when he does stand up, what has become of him? Is it better or worse?
A lot of companies trumpet that their greatest resource is their employees, but what are they doing to keep and maintain a valuable resource? More often, training will be prioritized on skill building or seminars that will upgrade the core skill of the employee. Add to the fact that most companies are deadline-filled environments, trainings, if any, get sidelined for more important business matters or opportunities. The result? A burned-out, trapped-in-a-rut, depressed manager.
That is why Ms. Yay Olmedo-Padua’s book, “Now That You’re Boss, Timely and Timeless Lessons for New (& Seasoned) Leaders” is an important and practical work that will rescue a lot of managers from their place of great distress: work.
To be transparent, I would like to point out that I have worked with Ms. Yay, as I fondly call her, as a contributing writer to the CBN Asia website (www.cbnasia.org) where she submits articles for its Lifestyle and Family sections.
Ms. Yay gave me the privilege to read an advance copy of the book to review before it was published. After my review, I provided a positive endorsement which should now be obvious in this article. It was not because I know her. It was because I was in a situation where I “felt” my way through being a manager. The book was tailor-made for me.
I became a manager over 10 years ago. We were still a small organization. I handled three departments. I was a hands-on manager. When I got promoted, I did not imagine how I would be a manager. I was ecstatic when I was handed the memo but it did not prepare me for the realities of actually being in that position.
What was good during that time was that we were a tightly-knit organization. Our founder, Gordon Robertson, who is now the CEO of the Christian Broadcasting Network, provided great mentorship and push to level-up my skills. Then he got called back to the US to assume his current position. Bitin.
Going back here, the organization was growing at an unprecedented pace. I had to keep up. I was managing 8 people during that time. I was preoccupied with meeting deadlines, mastering my craft, and learning new technologies and skills. Sadly, we did not have training in management.
I had a good relationship with my staff but I do not know if I made them better employees. Did I push them hard enough? Did their skills improve during my watch? Looking back, I don’t believe I was successful with everyone. A lot of people have come and gone and with those with whom I kept in touch with came some consolation, they got better after their tenure with us.
It would have probably been better if there was at least some kind of book like “Now That You’re Boss” earlier in my career. I spent a lot of money on design books, Photoshop books, publishing books. But I did not encounter a book such a Ms. Yay’s which is sensitive to our culture but also strengthens the spirituality of the manager, a critical factor in today’s world.
The book also points strategies to become a better manager but grounded on principles in the Bible. I would like to admit that Ms. Yay’s vocabulary is not for everyone. It is a book targeted primarily to those who are managers now and would have a better grasp of her words and would have higher learning. Ms. Yay does not lack humor I should say. A small smile comes out of me here and there. Not only because of how true it is in my life, but how she says it.
I would unabashedly say that I enjoyed reading her book. I should remind myself to keep this book with me always so I can refer to it from time-to-time. Oh, by the way, this is not a long book. It’s an easy and fast read if you have the time.
Now That You’re Boss is available at OMF Literature bookstores (OMFlit.com) and all leading bookshops.