I did a post in my blog: that I want to sahre with you:

I like very much to study.

I started at school, then I went on in my professional life as a software developer and in the last years I'm fully devoted to management topics.

I'm studing especially about management, people management, communication, negotiation … in few words I'm studing the well known 'soft skills'.

What I see in this moment of my professional life is that it's HARD to apply what you are studing.

For the techincal stuff it was easier, at least for me. With soft skills or management skills in general, it's harder.

2 problems:

* the more frequent is 'remembering' what I studied in the moment I need it
* the less frequent is … I DON'T know what to do in that situation and I CANT find a solution based on something I trust on. It's more a standard 'reaction'.

I don't think it's a matter of time: I've been working in management positions for years.

Is someone having the same problem I have?


Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge


If I answer your question, when I come to Germany in October and make a trip south to Maranello, will you give me a tour? :wink: :D

There are 5 million someones facing the same problem you are! Addressing that issue completely is what Mike and I intend for the future of Manager Tools.

I have two partial suggestions. The first is to make your study slightly more targeted on [b]creating new managerial habits.[/b]

It's easiest to explain with an example. Suppose you are listening to Cialdini, and you find many things in his presentation that interest you and may give you value. But, you think, there's too much! I can't do all that! And I never think of it fast enough to use it... and a month from now, I won't have gotten it into my head deeply enough, and I'll be reading something else anyway.

In studying to [b]create new managerial habits[/b], we pick ONE THING to focus on and really learn. For instance, you like Cialdini's discussion of "reciprocity". So, rather than reading 30 more pages filled with other good ideas, you STOP.

Re-read the section on reciprocity. Take some notes. Try to highlight the 1-2 key points that teach it to you most clearly. Write them down, maybe on a 5" x 8" card. Think about recently occurred, and upcoming situations, where you might use your knowledge of reciprocity to be more effective. Not necessarily every day... just 1-2 a week, perhaps.

Leave the card on your desk. As you go through your day, refer to it... and ask when you might use "reciprocity". When you decide, refresh your memory, and then... TRY IT. SEE WHAT HAPPENS.

A HUGE part of the reason the "learning" you are trying to do and not feeling good about is that the Adult Learning Model tells us that we learn by DOING (not reading or listening alone).

You're gaining new knowledge... but you're not really learning until you DO something with what you gained.

Second idea: Mike and I have been thinking about adding a premium service to Manager Tools, allowing more immediate access to he and I for coaching and guidance. We'd probably price it on a monthly subscription basis, with a year paid up front. It would allow more direct contact, and greater understanding of your situation and targeted advice, including learning/study guidance. We haven't done it yet... but what are your thoughts?

See you in October!


PierG's picture

of course I'll be more then happy if you come and visit us. I'm not sure we'll be able to do a real tour and we'll need to work a little bit on the visit (finding a good reason ;) ) .. and I'm sure we'll find a solution. Let's talk about it in advance.

About the coaching stuff: well I'm still having my coaching. Moreover what you suggest I'm sure can be of grea help for MANY listeners and I might want to spend some more money in the future on this topic.



williamelledgepe's picture
Training Badge

What advice do you have to implement the immesity of recommended actions in the podcasts?  I'd like to be an expert manager before I retire.  

I was about to ask my question in a new forum post.  Searching for previous comments first, I found this post from 2006.  I have been listening to MT for about 2 years.  With 1000+ casts, there is a tremendous volume of information.  According to my iPad I have not yet listened to 145 MT casts and 351 CT casts.  I am still finding tremendous tools; I just listened to Feel, Felt, Found ( for the first time.  

With that volume of actions/behaviors/skills to be a better manager - what should I do to implement that advice?

I've summarized Mark's response above:

  1. Pick ONE THING to focus on and really learn.
  2. Read text (or listen to a cast) on the ONE THING.
  3. Take notes.
  4. Highlight one to two key points.
  5. Write them down, maybe on a 5" x 8" card.
  6. Leave the card on your desk.
  7. Once or twice a week, think about recently occurred and upcoming situations, where you might use your knowledge of the ONE THING to be more effective.
  8. As you go through your day, refer to the card and ask when you might apply the ONE THING.

Does anyone have any additional advice for implementing the volume of behaviors recommended?


mkirk's picture
Licensee Badge

Hey William,

I'm reminded of a quote I saw from another William, a software geek from California, to the effect that 'most people vastly overestimate what they can do in a day and vastly underestimate what they can do in a year'.

Perhaps this applies to your conundrum - if you learnt just one behaviour per month from each of the four basic tenets of MT management (Get to know your people, Talk about performance, Ask for more and Delegate), I think the people you work with would consider you an expert manager by the end of the year.

Yes, I accept that the bar is often quite low and that you might not think you're an expert manager after one year. Than again, is that really such a bad thing? 

Whatever you do, don't give up trying. That's an awesome goal you've got there.

Good luck


PS Oh yes, the software guy's surname is Gates.