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Submitted by wendii on


Hi Everyone, We'd like to ask for some help. Many of you have posted on the forums or sent us private emails telling us how particular podcasts have helped you. We'd like to start a collection of those, so that new listeners can be reassured by you, rather than just us, that following our guidance will make a difference to them. What we'd like is something like this: Podcast: Calendar Changes and Your Admin How I used it: Let me tell you, I learnt this lesson the hard way. I was one of those guys who tightly controlled their admin. I hated it when she made changes and didn't get chance to approve them. I wanted to be in total control. After listening to the cast, and doubting it would work, I thought I'd test it out and prove it wrong :-). After 3 weeks though, holy Toledo have I noticed changes. My admin and I are in sync. I have more time to work on the real work and spend no time worrying about where I need to be and fitting things in. She does it all for me. She’s much more capable than I ever imagined, and she’s happier in her role too. We're going to leave this post at the top of the forums so you'll always be able to find it. We'll use your words and user names in various places including our newsletter. If you're willing, please include your real name. If you’ve already posted something similar else where on the website, feel free to link to it here. For this thread, please confine yourself to one podcast (or a set, such as the interview series). We'll have a new thread for more general testimonials. Thank you! Wendii

rachaelip's picture
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I have a few different examples here, but I will share the one that I think has had the most impact...

Podcast: Jump Starting Internal Customer Relations (Part 1 and 2)

How I used it: I am an in-house lawyer and in the last 5 years I used the tools from this cast in two different situations to build relationships with my clients (the business folks at my company). When I was relocated and given a new set of clients, I used the customer email template and monthly meetings to quickly get to know  who my clients were and what they expected from me. A few years later, I switched companies and used the same procedure to hit the ground running at the new job. I firmly believe that effective lawyers have a deep understanding of the businesses they support. These tools are a great way to get quickly get up to speed.

lindge's picture
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Podcast: Interviewing Series

How I used it: In 2008 I purchased the series & found it to be excellent.  I was living in London, UK and looking to obtain a job in Boston, US.  I did all the preparation steps using the series, and ended up having phone interviews, video conference interviews, and when I flew out to the US in-person interviews & interviews over lunch and dinner - all of which are covered in the series in detail and which meant I was very prepared.  For me the key thing was the series matured my thought process around being interviewed and gave me a resilient structure to which I could pretty much apply any interview question - increasing my confidence, and enabling me to provide effective answers to questions to which I hadn't prepared. I attribute my success in obtaining the position to the series (I'm still in the same firm and very happy here) and have recommended the series to friends since then.  This stuff really works - thanks very much! 

TroyQLII's picture

Mark and Mike, I got the offer.  I used the suggestions and recommendations the both of you made regarding interviewing.  Thank you.  Keep up the great work! 


mkirk's picture
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Podcast: Interview Close

How I used it: Just did what it says on the tin. Wrote it, practised it, delivered it  and FELT the smile come down the phone line from 200 miles away. The rest of the interview was OK, not great from where I was standing, but I'll bet the one thing the HR professional remembers about me is that close and the good feeling he had. Thanks, M&M.

mtietel's picture
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Podcast: Meeting Introduction Tool

How I used it: I've used the Meeting Introduction Tool several times with great success.  It achieved the most amazing results when I used it as we spun-up a new team half-way around the world.  It played a huge part in the success of the project and in me developing great relationships with the team members there (even several years later!).  I received fantastic feedback from a number of the participants, such as, "I've been working here for three weeks and didn't know anyone's name.  Now I finally feel like part of the team!"  I was initially skeptical and now I'm convinced; this is an absolutely fantastic tool!

SMcM's picture
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Podcast: Brainstorming

How I used it: I took on a temporary secondment in my company leading a very important area for income generation. My role was to lead this area and develop new ideas that would take us to the next level. I did my first brainstorming session at my bosses staff meeting. I circulated the question we were going to focus on and asked everyone to come prepared with a few examples. The session was OK. I ran it as close to how MT recommend as possible. My next brainstorm session was during my first full day meeting that I was chairing. I was already pretty stressed because I had only chaired 1-2hour meetings before - and a full day was pretty scary. Again I sent out information in advance and asked them all to come prepared. I did the ground rules and then went for it - we got loads and loads of brilliant ideas. Things I would never have come up with! I followed up by sending everyone a copy of all the ideas and asked everyone to get another 3 ideas to me by the end of the week - the majority of them did - and some of them were even better. The brainstorming session was by far the best part of my meeting - really interactive and fun. The session that followed was the second best - everyone was pumped up and keen to get involved. I now make sure I have one or two brainstorming sessions at each of my day long meetings. A number of the ideas from the sessions have been developed into large projects within my role and have resulted in me hammering my targets! Rock on!!!

SMcM's picture
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Podcast: Resolving Conflict

How I used it: One of my directs got into conflict with another of my directs DR's. The two in conflict are effectively the same level. I didn't know what to do but remembered I had listened to the resolving conflict cast a while ago - but couldn't remember the specifics. I would have done what M&M tell us not to do - sit them both down in a room and get them to "sort it out". A previous boss of mine made me do this once before - and now I look at it, I smiled and made up - just to get out of the meeting - but it didn't improve anything. The night before I was going to deal with this situation I couldn't sleep - I got up and listened to the conflict cast again just to make sure I knew what I was going to do. The next day I followed the cast - exactly - and it worked (as Mark and Mike would have known!)  I got my DR to apologise and everything is now great - in fact much better than before. Absolutely brilliant!!!


SMcM's picture
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Podcast: Creating a presentation

How I used it: I was presenting to the board of directors - summing up the work I had done over the last year while I have been on a temporary secondment. I think that the first thing I would have done for this presentation had it not been for this cast is go straight to power point and started creating slides. I know the guidance on 1 slide per 10minutes and would have made sure not to have to many - but being a high Di (7721) I would have gone for the exciting big stuff and not thought about the detail enough. The Director General likes details. So instead of power point I spent the first two weeks gathering information. I had been working on this  project for the last year so felt I knew everything about it - but by going through old notes and communications, reviewing other presentations I had done and looking in detail at the figures over the last year I was able to pull together a big load of data that helped me focus on the most important part. The best bit for me was when the DG asked me during the presentation how a particular metric had changed - I was able to answer the question without a second thought. I know that I would not have thought to prepare this information if I had not spent a good amount of time just looking and thinking about "stuff" in advance in this way. Thank you!!!

thebeezer's picture
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Podcast: How to Give a Decision Briefing

How I used it: I needed to convince my boss that we needed to take a more comprehensive approach to training across my department. In the past, I would start with the recommendation, downplay any alternatives, and always keep plenty of densely-packed slides handy for any objections. This never worked. I used this guidance and was amazed by how much more receptive my boss and peers were to my idea. I have since taught this to my directs and we have become much more effective in getting decisions made. Even when they aren't exactly what I'd prefer, the conversations are much more productive and the decisions that are made are more effective.

Mcheek's picture

How I used it:  I function as a coordination point for over 70 consultants in multiple cities throughout the United States.    When personal crises happen, the framework from Manager Tools gives me everything I need to support our people, our clients, and keep the work moving forward.  Having that printed out in a file folder near my desk alone is worth the premium content price. With it, I communicate and coordinate calmly and effectively through what otherwise would be a very rough patch.   As always, my gratitude to the Manager Tools team.    

Jason Slavik's picture

My staff meetings have become productive and collaborative after implementing your system.  I have had peers and even my superior remark to me that my meetings are the most engaging meetings they have ever attended at the company.  


The cast advice of being prepared, prewiring, sticking to agenda and firming up deadlines and deliverables have created an atmosphere of action and results.  It seems people want to be held accountable and more importantly, like knowing everyone is held to the same standard.


Thank you Manager Tools.

Jason Slavik

Saint Louis

Brian Hanks's picture
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Podcast: One on Ones

How I Used It: Time was tight - I only had one week to show results. As a precursor to an offer, I was assigned to be the manager of a group of 15 bank associates for a one week trial run. Two problems: I'd never met any of the 15 associates I needed to lead, and I'd never run a bank before. In my mind, my choice was between learning what I needed to do and getting to know the people I'd be leading. I chose to get to know the people, I my vehicle to do it was in one on ones.

A few eyebrows went up on Monday when I announced that I'd be spending almost 8 hours of the week in conversation with the team. But I diligently met with all 15 - I listened, uncovered goals and concerns that had been kept mostly quiet to that point, and got to know the team personally. That little bit of credibility and trust started showing in the behaviors of the team. By the end of the week, we had achieved 150% of three of our four weekly goals, and 110% on the fourth - a result that hadn't been seen by either of the last two managers in the previous three years they led the team. Performance and results happened, but only after I built relationships with the team.

And, I got the offer.  :)

Brian Hanks
Seattle, WA

trseattle's picture

How I used it:  How can something so simple be so absent if our every day business life?  We have one meeting every month that requires every 'manager' to attend.  We count on 90 minutes, but of course they would run on to 120-150 minutes as people interrupted, interjected, created new agenda items on the fly, etc... I let our president run the meeting (as CEO I sit on the other end of the conference table and try and listen without 'stealing' his meeting.  We have a great management team, but I was frustrated with the lack of effectiveness of this one very important monthly meeting.

After listening to the cast (several times), I approached our president with some ideas ("Jeff, may I give you some feedback?  :-) !!) and we discussed our meetings and how they might be more effective.  The meeting casts give point by point techniques on how to run an effective meeting, they provide the basic blocking and tacking to create success.

We started with creating specific agenda item starting times (and most importantly ending times) the 2nd meeting each briefer has made significant changes in their approach.  We discussed the reviewing of action items from previous meetings at the beginning of the next meeting (creating accountabilty on the part of everyone present), and most importantly we discussed the concept of 'parking lot'...something I had never thought of, but is probably the single most brilliant thing I have heard of regarding 'meeting management'.  Now, whenever we go off course - someone (or several people) are allowed to shout 'Parking Lot!!', which of course gets some giggles, but also keeps us well on track.

Our meetings now actually end early, we have a much more engaged management team who look forward to the meetings, and it allows us to also gain valuable informal social interaction without the pressure of having to meet an agenda deadline. 

This cast has directly influenced the morale and effectiveness of our management team.

derosier's picture
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"Your Resume Stinks" is an oldie but one of the best podcasts ever.  The first time I was laid off after hearing this cast, I redid my resume from scratch in the style recommended.  It was hard and took quite some time, but it was 500% worth it!  Every job hunt I've done after going to this format has been quick and efficient.  I get well better than a 50% call-back rate when I apply for jobs!  And my job hunt lasts about 25% the length as before.

Direct comparison: last job hunt that I used my resume format took me 10 months to complete and I got called in for interviews for about 4% of the jobs I applied for.  The most recent job hunt I used the Manger Tools format.  It took me less than 2 months to find the best job I've ever had, and I got phone interviews for about 70% of the jobs I applied for.  I know some of this is my experience and networking has significantly increased over the past 10 years, but the job market was much worse during the most recent job hunt.

The best thing is when I talk to a recruiter. Every recruiter seems to think they have to comment on my resume format:  "Hey, you could get more stuff in here if you went to two pages,"  "You know, if you just did it like this...".  I silently chuckle to myself when they do this. After all, my resume was good enough to get me in to see them.  An effective resume is more important than someone's pet design, and the "Your Resume Stinks" podcast and all the updates to that over the years gives me an effective resume.



- Steve

mtietel's picture
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Podcast: Jump Starting Internal Customer Relationships

How I used it: Last autumn I took over leading a team and used this tool as part of my ramp-up process.  The data gathered allowed the team to get a clear picture of of our customers' perceptions and, more importantly, quickly identify themes and act on them.  I received great feedback from our customers ("No one's ever asked me about this before!"); my boss ("Great approach to solve our issues!"); my peers ("Can I use that tool?"); and my Boss' Boss' Boss.  She was impressed when I presented the approach, themes, and accomplishments to her and said, "I love the synergy! These themes are our organizational goals for next year!"  The relationships I developed and strengthened through this tool have already proven invaluable, allowing me to take on a new role with additional responsibilities.

Thanks M&M!

jbancroftconnors's picture

Podcast: The D, S, I and C in DISC casts (Also the Greetings in DISC)

How I used it: I had never heard of the DISC model before listening to Mark and Mike. Just learning about DISC was a major help in how I interacted with people. This series of casts on the DISC model and using them in Greetings were specifically helpful in succeeding in a job interview that resulted in me being offered the job.

After finding out who I was going to be interviewing I researched each person. By looking at their LinkedIn profile and other online presence I was able to get an idea of their DISC profile. At the interview, I used the Greetings in DISC cast to approach each person in a way that would work for them (One person I guessed was a High S and I was calm and quiet as I greeted him. Another person was an obvious High I and I stepped right into the greeting). A little active listening and observation and I was able to then get a solid feel for their predominant DISC profile. I then used what I learned for the detailed DISC casts to tailor how I interacted with them in the interview. With the High S engineer I sat still, hands clasped and spoke slowly with a focus on team impact. The High D/I would have kept talking all day, so I stepped into the discussion and made my points. I ended up being offered the job, despite being the candidate with the least industry experience.

Joel Bancroft-Connors

gisla's picture
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Ok -- confession --  Many podcasts are my favorites. I hate to pick just one. I love the fact that I can search when confronted with a "challenge" at work and refresh my memory...

Recently -- I re-listened to the Ground Rules and used the practice *very* effectively in an all day meeting. I am a Program Manager so I have to influence. By forcing the room to create and buy into their own rules, we started a day that many said was the most effective they had experienced. (I used the quote from the slides about these rules being how we choose to behave and use our time today -- attributed) That quote started the conversation about how we wanted to behave during this & future meetings which in turn led to a great discussion as to what we wanted to get out of our 7 hours together.

During the hot wash at the end of day, people commented that the ground rules helped focus the meeting -- as did the enforced breaks & keeping to the published schedule. (3 other ideas from other podcasts)

THANKS EVERYONE for your hard work -- it really helps.

awalton's picture
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Podcast: The First Question in Your One on One

How I used it: I have had as many as 17 directs in my current position. This is my first position with over 10 directs, where I hold one on ones. Without having heard this podcast I often struggled with how to start the meeting effectively. Even though my directs knew the first 10 minutes where theirs, 95% of the time, they'd follow my lead. Generally, we'd engage in a few minutes of small talk.

After listening to the podcast, I started to develop my own first question, and now it's part of the routine. Team members come in, sit down, pull out their notebook or whatever they use to take notes, and I ask them how they are doing. That simple question provides a baseline for how they feel, and transitions both of us from whatever we were doing, directly into our one on one.

While "How are you doing?" is a simple question, the responses are often unfailingly honest. It's a great tool, and fantastically simple.

TimJones's picture

I feel this cast is very helpful for leaders that work in large companies where there are many levels of managment.  It was so good that I had my team of six managers listen to it together.  Understanding the importance of following the guidelines was understood by all and for me, it took away the pressure of supporting a decision that I did not entirely agree with when it came down from my leadership.  I make a point to come to the discussion meetings better prepared and I know have the skill to " murder the alternative", and to set my team on the path that leadership agreed to when making the decision. 

TimJones's picture

I feel this cast is very helpful for leaders that work in large companies where there are many levels of managment.  It was so good that I had my team of six managers listen to it together.  Understanding the importance of following the guidelines was understood by all and for me, it took away the pressure of supporting a decision that I did not entirely agree with when it came down from my leadership.  I make a point to come to the discussion meetings better prepared and I know have the skill to " murder the alternative", and to set my team on the path that leadership agreed to when making the decision. 

430jan's picture

I work in a local public health agency. I used this podcast to inform nurses and others that work with me in coalitions and collaboratives how to quickly read the behaviors of others and communicate more effectively with them.

Our nurses make home visits to young Moms with babies at risk for poor health outcomes. The visits are voluntarily, so the nurse has to make a favorable impression and be "invited" into the client's lives to continue a professional relationship. This podcast teaches how to apply a simple matrix and communicate in a way that will make sense to the client ...a high "C"? Then you address FIRST how often the baby is eating, how much, get the scale out and talk about measureables. Is the client a high "S"? You better ask FIRST how the family adjustment is going and how much support the client receives for the clients in her lives. Is the client a high "D"? The the FIRST discussion is how to speak to the doctor at the first well child visit so that the doctor understands the client's wishes and the client is able to quickly achieve a competent status with the physician. A high "I"? Well then you spend time FIRST talking about what the plan is for the weekend when they run out of food and diapers.

In coalition work this podcast helped us all understand how to see a collaborative member's communication style and communicate to them about the work of public health in the manner that will be most readily accepted. Numbers? Relationships? Community events/health fairs? Status in the community? It all made perfect sense as a very simple tool that was universally applicable.



uninet22's picture

Favorite Cast: One-on-ones

How I used it:

I used to practice the "Hold Your Breath, Then Explode" style of management.  It was killing me, and I can only imagine how my directs felt each day.  Then a colleague recommended the Manager-Tools website.  I listened to this cast and started doing weekly one-on-ones.  The first 5 weeks were difficult as we established the habit.  I started to wonder whether it was worth the extra time.  Then I saw that my directs were being more productive, and I didn't even have to say anything to them.  There were fewer conflicts for me to address, and that alone was worth the extra time. 

I give feedback as often as I can, but if I miss something, I make sure to bring it up in the weekly meetings.  The written documents I create each week give me a great foundation for my quarterly reviews.  I don't have to rely on my memory of events, and there have even been times where I remembered an event incorrectly and my one-on-one documents set me straight. 

This tool has made my top performers even better, and helped my most difficult directs be much more productive.  Other managers have commented on the change and have noticed how my "problem people" aren't a problem anymore.  Most of all, I don't stay awake at night trying to solve problems.  I don't have to, because this process helps them solve their own problems, or prevents the problems altogether. 

Because of this (and many other casts) I've become a Manager-Tools disciple.  My friends and family are probably sick of me telling them about these simple methods of great management, but I can't stop.  They work.  Everyone needs to know about and use them.  Spread the word!

pabloxiii's picture

 When I left my last job, I followed the advice in the How to Resign podcast. I documented my project status and a wrote a succession plan. I allowed sufficient time in the notice I gave to accomplish the tasks in the plan assuming my replacement would be found internally in a week. They did not hire someone to replace me until after I left. The project manager told another engineer that I had been very professional. I was happy to have done this the right way. I'm very happy in my current position and hope never to have to use this advice again until I retire. Thanks Mark and Mike for the advice!

fredique's picture

Favourite Cast: One on Ones (series)

How I used it: When I first started in the managerial position, it was a hard piece of work. There was not too much of the really good advice on how to manage out there (besides one good friend of mine with a couple of years of experience). I was younger than my directs, abroad and not knowing local language. Atter discovering MT and listening to the first casts, I tried O3's - it seemed obvious to do one on one meetings (until then I only had a staff meeting once in a while). At first It was a bit discouraging - people pushed back, wondered whether it's useful and often were not willing to share.

With time, it became more and more comfortable and people started to open up and share (it took rougly a year until that began to happen). After the first annual review I saw, how much it helped me to get to know my directs and them to know me. I was more comfortable in my position. Work was going on more smooth, delegation, feedback was no more a big issue. Knowing each other well helped us then to start really professional weekly staff meetings. Everyone were in the boat and we had a great time by the end of my work there.

Since then it's been 3 years and I am stil re-running the early shows and now rolling out the O3 wisdom to my new team. It works better every day.
Mark, Mike: thank you guys for doing this. In many ways your casts shaped the way I am doing things now. Thanks!

mcabelb's picture

How I Used It:

I have used the interviewing series to interview for internal promotions.  It works!  I followed all the advice in the podcasts.  I purchased the premium content so I could print out all the notes and I used the advice for every step:  phone interviews, live interviews, how to handle questions, how to close.  All of it WORKS. 

In my line of work I coach and mentor many people and have referred them to this series whenever they are planning to interview.  This series has helped so many others in my organization interview for internal promotions.  I've been very happy to "pay it forward" just like Manager Tools has paid it forward for me. 

In addition to the Interview Series, I've been able to apply many other podcasts into practice.  These casts have changed the way I manage people:  One on Ones, How to Run Meetings, How to Deal With Recruiters, the trinity:  Coaching, Feedback and One on Ones, How to Introduce People, How to Delegate, Career Crisis Email, Networking (I now think of my company as the "mother ship")... too many others.  Manager Tools has made a significant impact on my management effectiveness.  THANK YOU!!

DPWade's picture


Podcast: Do YOU Need to Apologize? (10/9/2006)
How I used it:  8 months ago my Boss pulled me in for Feedback behind his door.  " You offended _________ when you said (in front of my Boss) that their work on x project was no good.  I knew you meant the work of others they brought in, so you need to apologize and tell them you were taken out of context and make this right"   I said " Boss you're right, I will do that and let you know how it goes".
Back at my desk another MT Cast appeared to be in play and that was the Pinch-Crunch model.  Upon reflection of my dealings with said team member, it occurred to me they likely are carrying around more baggage from me.  Re-listening to the "Apologize" cast again I knew M&M were correct that an Apology ceases to be if it is qualified, IE. the out of context approach wont work even if I believe its justified. 
I prepared my Apology, walked in said Team Members office and eye to eye with sincerity conveyed my regret and asked for caviats. Since then we are solid and the effort thwarted an inevitable relationship Crunch I was building as well.  Thank you Gentlemen once again.



jhack's picture

The narrow answer:   Managing during mergers and acquistions

I've written about it here:   so won't repeat myself.  Suffice it to say that using this cast prevented me from failing, and having to leave a great company. 

The full answer:  All of them. 

One on ones were the first tool I implemented, and the results were great.  I strive to implement everything; there is so much to be done...

Manager Tools is more than techniques. The whole is much greater than the sum of the parts. There is an underlying philosophy based on behavioral science, ethical professionalism, genuine concern for people, and a pride in the craft of management. Faced with a novel situation, an M-T manager can observe behavior without jumping to conclusions, and then take ethical action while cognizant of the need for team performance in the service of the company. With this framework in place, an M-T manager operates on a different plane.

And that is what makes all the difference. 

John Hack

Mark's picture
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John gets a tip of my cap for perhaps my favorite post here of all time.

That second to last paragraph is better than I can say it.

Thanks John - you oughta work for us.


cstrasser's picture

 Hi All; I would like to share my story.

I have been an Mt manger for several years, regular one on ones, feedback, coaching, and developing a sense of team. 

My journey started recently (somewhat) when I was unexpectedly let go after 25yrs with my company. The moment the words hit my ears i expected to have quite a reaction. I didn't, why I wondered, I am as cool as a cucumber here. In a few long seconds it came clear. I was prepared, my contacts in the cloud, my network engaged, resume complete. I was confident and most of all I knew what to do.

During the initial weeks I told everybody, remained professional and worked my network. One of my network contacts was looking for a manager, that had my particular skill set, and I accepted the position.Here I am with a new job with more opportunity than I could have imagined at my old place. 

I use one on ones feedback  coaching, delegation and even the 'best predictor of future behaviour...' line from time to time. I have read countless books on management and have been a Drucker fan forever. The difference with manager tools is they have made it all actionable; MT has put all of the pieces of the management puzzle together for me. 

Thanks guys I use it all, mostly one on ones and feedback. Not really exciting, and doesn't in itself make a great story, but that's the way it is in management.



edzaun's picture

I recently received an urgent request from a colleague to step in and present his material at an industry conference. He became unable to attend and present his material due to circumstances beyond his control and I thought I could help. I got the request and the material on Friday afternoon and had to present on Tuesday morning. Having to travel and tie up loose ends for my own responsibilities, I did not have all the time I would have liked to study the material, which contained some opinions that were not my own, and I believed I should be true to the material prepared. Needless to say, I was somewhat apprehensive about the whole affair and professionalism dictated I step in and do my best. I rememgered the pointers and tips from the podcasts on presenting; how to behave, keeping everything set and with empty pockets, etc.. Knowing I had some proven advice to follow allowed me to relax and enjoy the challenge. It turned out well and the presentation went off without a hitch.  Thank you Mike and Mark. Your podcasts made the difference between a stop-gap measure and a successful event.

etapbeta's picture
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Mark and Mike,

Sorry to post again this comment. I had posted it a first time on the page on "How to get training budget", before I discovered there was a page for testmonials. 

I am a regular listener and user of your podcasts, which have helped me to improve a lot in my work. I am not a manager, but I listen to the career and the manager tools podcasts from a direct's perspective and find it very useful.

I work for a big international organization in the sector of development aid, so I don't really fall into your target audience, but I try to put your advice in my working context, and it works very well for me.

I also want to tell you that I have used this podcast and the soccer format to ask for training budget and... I actually got (a part of) it!

The point that really helped was to propose that my organization pays for my expenses as if I were going to one of our headquarters in-house courses (which generally are about very general skills and are useful only for new staff), and that I pay for the rest. It worked, and I am going this summer to a great US university for a one-week course!

So thank you very much, and keep up with your great work!


dtaylor333's picture
Training Badge

 I work for an offshore oil platform that rotates leadership and workers every 2 weeks.  I am always the engineer in the middle trying to execute the project, and it is difficult to get the two crews to agree on the color of the sky.  My projects as well as many of my colleagues would stall out for YEARS due to our inability to get people to agree.  

And  (my opinion) due to our inability to make simple, clear cases for our project decisions to management, we could never get any projects done.  And the ones we did do, turns out were not the best decisions after took a long look at it.  I listened to the Decision Briefing podcasts and decided to give it a try for my next project.  I utilized it with a pinch of DISC-based communication, as this was one of these urgent, need now, the feds are going to nail us type projects.  I developed a SOCCR presentation with no frills and did the pre-wiring and once it was all said and done, my bosses boss said it best: "I just cannot understand how it took all of us 8 months with no progress on this project, and in two weeks you turned it around and got us to a decision. This was perfect."  

A couple more rounds of the Decision Briefing techniques and I could drive ANY project to a fully informed decision point in RECORD time, with everyone agreeing to the point where I rarely had to give "The big presentation".  After one of my successful pre-wiring sessions my boss just said "I don't know exactly what you're doing, but could you present this to the rest of the team?"  I've since modified that Decision Briefing to work with Offshore platform (particularly how you work with rotating crews) and have given a number of presentations to my team.

The amazing success of this one podcast made me buy into Manager Tools 100% and within a 2 months I went from a stalled technical career to being promoted, huge raise, an office with a door, and several teams clamoring for me to join them and I truly believe this was what got me over the hump.  Thank you for the service you all provide.  


stringl's picture

DTaylor - I love the hashtag.


TNoxtort's picture

This podcast motivated me quite a bit since my job hadn't been that great. I have been good and building networks, but this and other podcasts has reminded me to keep up with my network. While I have not left my job yet, I have had plenty of calls and talked to plenty of other employers and believe this podcast was spot on about the things one must do to be ready for that.

hmcwheeler's picture

 As a Navy Medical Officer Recruiter I was preparing flyers and other marketing type documents and thought this two part series would be a great thing.  Imagine my surprise when I heard you bagging on our slogan "A Global Force for Good".  As I was driving to work, no less.  

Well, since I care more about results than my pride, I used the steps anyway.  They are making for great advertisements, so thanks for the Podcast, gentlemen.

fchalif's picture
Licensee BadgeTraining Badge

I will piggy back a little on John Hack's post of May 27th above. I have yet to listen to a Podcast that did not provide an action item. I recommend listening to all of the Podcasts.

I have found that the One on One is the most important and effective management behavior to implement. I suggest that no Manager consider listening to Manager Tools unless he or she is prepared to do One on Ones. I recently had a very difficult situation with a Direct and Mark & Mike have a very specific Podcast on that topic. The One on One is the means through which I was able to action the steps required.

The coolest part of Manager-Tools is that even though Mark and Mike provide very detailed checklists for approaching management issues, they do so while also expressing that this stuff is not easy and that it takes practice to really see the effectiveness. There is a great humility in how it is presented. I have practiced and continue to practice One on Ones. Some go well, some not so well, and the average is skewed more and more now towards those that go well.

I started listening to MT in July 2005. I have 2 Directs with whom I have now had over 250 One on Ones.  There are another 10 former and current Directs with whom I have had 150 or more One on Ones. The Division I am responsible for has tripled its sales in 6 years and now accounts for 65% of our firms' revenue, up from 35% over the same period.

I am about to be promoted........




arthurb999's picture

Interview Series

Had an internal interview.

I did exactly what you guys said from start to finish.  Closed on everyone (including 2 C-suite execs).  Send hand written thank you notes.  Absolutely nailed it.  Got the offer and accepted.

The best part was during the interview, I nailed a question so well the interviewer actually said... "wow... laughed a little... wow... that's fantastic."

When I closed on people their faced lit up, smiled and started selling me to me or said something like... oh yea you'll be hearing from us.

Worth every penny.

johnintokyo's picture

 I have used the ideas presented in this program to improve schedule management and increase awareness the demands on my time. This has resulted in more carefully considered request. An added bonus of using this system is that rather than everyone saying, "I need it now!" request are scheduled in advance.

I provide training to new hires in Fortune 500 companies and recommend Career Tools to each and every student. Most of these people have never worked before and the large amount of information you guys provide serves as a virtual library for the majority of the situations they will face.

wroschek's picture
Licensee Badge

 I recently delivered my first performance review as a manager to a direct who was receiving her first performance review ever. Without the podcasts from 2005 I think my anxiety (and hers) would have ruled the day. By organizing and planning for the review I was able to clearly explain to my direct all aspects of her performance and establish clear goals and performance indicators for improvement.

The most helpful part was delivering the written review prior to the face-to-face review. I believe this took all surprises off the table and dramatically lowered the "barrier of anxiety" we both had. I know following these 4 podcasts will forever improve the way I approach performance reviews and will improve the way my directs receive the reviews.

All of the podcasts have been helpful in many ways in my role as a manager, especially the "basics" series. The podcasts about the performance reviews are both timely and timeless.

markwalsh99's picture
Training Badge

I listened to the Develop a Sense of Urgency in Your Team when they were released, which was at exactly the right time. I was struggling to overcome a huge amount of inertia introducing a new initiative. It was a cross between herding cats and swimming in treacle. I listened to these casts on my drive to our HQ for an important meeting, and immediately applied what I'd heard. I'm not sure everyone else was ready for the change in me.

And, the interview casts...


maura's picture
Training Badge

Podcast: the Handshake cast

How I used it: 
Last night I had the opportunity to attend a corporate event featuring the CEO of one of the biggest and most powerful corporations in the US. This is someone who is in the news every week – in a good way -  and he’s something of a rock star in our industry. My colleagues and I were more than a little star-struck, and we got there plenty early to get a spot right up front. The event was fabulous, including informal speeches to a couple hundred top performers in the company, followed by a Q&A session. As the Q&A session drew to an end, the CEO thanked the attendees, and then walked right up to those of us in the front row, with his hand outstretched, making eye contact as he approached. I was the second person from the end of the row, and had only a split second to react. Despite my shock, I realized that I knew exactly how to “handle” the situation…thanks to the Manager Tools Handshake cast, I did a respectable job at the handshake. 
And guess what? The CEO executed his half of the handshake to perfection, PRECISELY as described in the cast. Web to web, firm grip, but not a death grip, etc. This *IS* how the big dogs do it folks, it’s true, and it’s effective.

P.S., if it weren’t for all the REST of the MT podcasts, I wouldn’t be one of the top performers who was offered a ticket to the event in the first place. Thanks for everything you do, Mark, Mike, and Wendii!

AmyKushner's picture

 Still in just keeps getting better.

Listened to all 3 swot casts..will relisten again at the gym or during my cardio I can't get enough..

I used LinkedIn- LOVE it- now I am learning to tweet better ( I made a post on another place here--under podcasts) and I have been "retained" as National Sales Manager for a start up ( still being looked at by another start up that I like BETTER)--the guy hasn't a clue and I know so much, pulling it all together is crazy, and unfortunately, I don't have 12 weeks or even 12 days- but the casts and the slides that I printed from the web that accompany the cast are my weekend reading fare- and I am confident that I will be able to pull something cohesive ( possibly adhesive) out to present the company owner with by middle of next week- or at least a general framework and reference point to work with to help the owner.  Best part, if I pull it off, ts repeatable and I can show it to the company I really want (or can apply to I have something that died a few years back from lack of budget and my unwillingness at the time to seek angel investors)...all good stuff.  I feel like I am sitting in a lecture hall listening to a business seminar ...the delivered content never ceases to amaze me and I am telling all my business and non business friends about it.  So much so, I ran into someone from "the industry" yesterday--and she was agog at what I was saying about getting ahead again ...she is still in the same place "career wise" as she was five plus years ago.  Boggles me.  I know I wasn't w/ a fortune 500 company, but I just feel some of the things I listen to are bringing me to a skill set and level of ( actually I did once work for a fortune 500 company, briefly- and as I think about it, the eight months of working my ass of f and being in the worst job EVER in that company was the best learning ground for me)--again, so lucky I fast tracked so quick as a single mom re entering the work force 10 years ago- something about wanting MORE...I am in no means daunted by a silly thing as a lay off and down size.  The casts are quite empowering, and the SWOT is now on my listen to all weekend list ( that and writing more effectively casts).  Its not strategy- its a plan!

bug_girl's picture

I think that Manager Tools may have saved my life--literally.  I inherited some troubled employees and a nature center in budget crisis. I'm a nerdy scientist that never had any training in management.

Because of MT, I was able to realize that it was OK that managing was hard for me. It IS Hard.  For everyone.
But there are ways that you can make things work better. And MT is a blueprint for that.

While I wasn't able to turn around the performance of one employee, who I eventually fired (more on that later), I was able to help my other employees realize their potential. We started one-on-ones, and things started working better. People tried new things. Two of my directs started evening Masters programs, and brought what they were learning back to the center.  We brought in more money in grants and fees.

When I fired my problem employee, it was Manager Tools forums that let me talk about how frightening that person was, and get advice on additional podcasts that would be helpful.  When the former employee began to break in and kill animals (!!),  MT helped me find resources to figure out how to be supportive to my team during a difficult time.

I had to move on due to budget cuts (and it was MT that helped me see that I was the cog that wasn't needed), but the team I left behind is not just surviving, but THRIVING. I was able to introduce another younger manager to the MT concepts, and she gobbled them up. I am so proud of them.

I <3 MT.

I haven't quite internalized it all yet, but I'll keep trying.

wanna_beco's picture

Wow, It's my 6th day today in my new job. It's funny, recalling all the casts that I listened to, it's as if Mike and Mark are inside my company. I spotted an issue on the company website. My trainer told me to email MR. X so and so about the issue. Well, why email someone who doesn't know me when he is in the same building with me! I would miss and opportunity to introduce myself and I would be sending basically spam... telling this guy that HIS website was wrong. NOT oh wait.. NOT!! 

Instead I went around and asked a few people that I already knew who MR. X was and where was his cube was etc...(get it I talked to more people) On my way to the break room on my lunch break I spotted someone at the desk with his name on it and approached.

I am 6'3" and 270 lbs. and this guy is bigger than me. He was sitting down. I walk with a purpose though and I went into his office (I was moving at my normal pace but as soon as I approached this rather large mid level executive I saw a subtle lean back. It was very subtle...BUT I NOTICED!! (thank you M&M) I kind of stepped back... pulled by shoulders down and completely relaxed everything about me... quieted my voice and slowed my speech. wow was it ever more powerful than I imagined it would be... CUZ HE MOVED FORWARD to talk to me. 

I explained the situation, and told him that I wanted to introduce myself before sending emails out. (believe me, this is an "email culture" yuck) Anyway, I made him smile and shook his hand as well as I could keeping my elbow in and I left.... not taking up too much of his time. He smiled very big at me today as we passed in the hall. Mission completed!

Those of you very familiar with the casts will notice several were used and needed for me today. I am working my way through first job fundamentals right now too.. but the DISC casts can not be missed. I like to listen to improve your feedback with disc on the way to work the most. Their energy is very infectious in that one and it really get's me going for the day as it combines valuable information as well as positivity..

tbcox's picture

I was interviewed for a podcast on Project Management, and about 1/3 to 1/2 of what I talked about -- what has worked for me -- was One on Ones.  I made a point of mentioning Manager Tools multiple times, too, so look for the HUGE influx of traffic. ;-)

Short version is, I've found O3s are the single most valuable tool for building a team, for creating trust, and for making progress in the workplace.  I would never go back.

  - Tom Cox

sbradford2's picture

PODCAST: "Your Resume Stinks"

I am currently restructuring my resume and when I showed your new format to a few friends that work in the hiring department mentioned how consise and "tight" my resume is getting. They eagerly wanted to know where I learned the new format and the logic behind it. I directed them to the podcast and they have been listening since.

It is always fun when things work out like the podcast predicted!


mrreliable's picture

 Podcast: One on Ones.

I started O3's a couple months ago, and they seemed a bit awkward at first (awkward for me, not so much for the directs). Last week I had a chaotic deadline breathing down my neck and I had to cancel the O3's. Just as the podcast had predicted, the response from the directs was disappointment. It was as if the balance of the world had been upset in some way.

We started up again today, back to the normal O3 schedule. The directs seem nearly giddy, all coming in with a long list of things they'd like to talk about. I yielded my time to them, so today's template is 20 minutes talking about what they want to talk about, and 10 minutes talking about the future.

I knew the directs liked the O3's, but I was surprised at how valuable they consider them. I shouldn't have been surprised. The podcast laid it out clearly.