The Manager’s Dilemma, a new book by Jesse Sostrin
The Manager’s Dilemma: Balancing the Inverse Equation of Increasing Demands + Shrinking Resources (Palgrave Macmillan; July 7, 2015) offers solutions to anyone feeling undermined by the impossible expectation of producing more and better work with less time and fewer resources to get it all done. Whether you feel the slow burn or acute pain of this inverse equation, the book’s insights and tools offer a path to a happier and more productive working life, however you define that. Drawn from Sostrin’s vast leadership coaching and consulting experience, the book includes compelling stories and vivid cases that bring hope – and a serious game plan – to managers who are rapidly moving from ‘overwhelmed’ to ‘burned out’ by the impossible condition of the manager’s dilemma.
When 80% of managers say the demands they face are increasing—but the resources to meet those growing responsibilities are not—it signals a dangerous and unavoidable problem for the millions of managerial professionals embedded within every sector and industry of our economy. But there are no simple solutions to reduce the gap because this is no ordinary challenge.
The Manager’s Dilemma reveals how the tension between shrinking capacity and increasing demands forces managers into an unwanted status quo where they constantly struggle to make progress, but never really catch up. Which important goal rises above other priorities? Which “fire of the day” gets extinguished while others are selectively ignored simply because they can’t all be put out?
When your dilemma sets in there is always unfinished business. In an effort to keep pace, you inadvertently begin to work against yourself in counterproductive ways that reduce your effectiveness and make your already scarce supply of time, energy, resources, and focus even more tenuous. The harder you struggle, the more you lose the very performance edge you need to break the cycle.
The good news is that the dilemma’s triggers are swinging doors and within each one there is an alternative path that acts as an escape hatch. The heart of the book includes a series of eight principles and related tools that reveal the dilemma’s core challenges and show managers at every level how to move beyond them. The poignant stories and vivid case examples bring hope—and a serious game plan—to any leader who is tipping precariously from overwhelmed to burned-out by the impossible conditions of their manager’s dilemma.
You can read more about The Manager’s Dilemma and download a sample chapter here.