REVIEW: Pamela Hackett — Manage to Engage (BOOK)
With the publishing of her new book, Manage to Engage: How Great Managers Create Remarkable Results, Proudfoot CEO and expert strategist Pamela Hackett proves herself literarily to be many things in one. On the one hand, she’s a really good storyteller — if not the most viscerally engaging, then certainly the most proverbially succinct. On the other, with such aforementioned qualities she’s able to be an excellent instructor and communicator of ideas that, as the book itself demonstrates, don’t have to be complex to the common civilian. Really, she states, especially in unprecedented situations like the Covid-19 pandemic’s hit on industry, everything boils down to a base level of practicality and key decision-making. The book both highlights tips of the trade in this department, but also goes for the bigger picture — waxing intellectually as much on tactics as it does on mindset. Hackett says that negotiating the workplace in a post-Covid landscape isn’t so much a matter of changing key business attributes as it is about adapting to the context in which they fit.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: https://pamelahackett.com/
Again, this sort of thinking leads back to a core mindset. A mindset, Hackett argues, that has a critical universality regardless of situational or certain societal contexts. Probably the best articulated aspect contributing to the spine of this philosophy lies within the book’s ninth chapter, The Strength in Numbers Is Collaboration. A specified subcategory of the chapter’s content is subtitled, A Person Is a Person through Other People. “Ubuntu is a concept that says it is not just being among other people that makes us human, but our efforts to be humane and benefit others that defines our own humanity,” Hackett writes. “Ubuntu offers a powerful lesson on the road to engagement…It underscores our relationship with each other at work: (a person is a person through other people).” She goes on to clarify further along in the chapter, “(Collaboration) at its finest engages people and achieves remarkable results…Collaboration can…be a source of simplification — of cutting through organizational barriers and internal process complexity.”
Such a philosophy has only been further cemented as wholly relevant now, as industry has been forced to post-modernize. In an era where already budding entrepreneurs, experienced CEOs, and rising chapter presidents have wrestled with traditionalist, hierarchy-minded approaches to leadership, a world defined by necessity for certain levels of collaboration and compromise arguably has helped render a more democratic and morally conscious work environment. If nothing else, good communication, collaboration, and will serves a pragmatic purpose in an environment where unprecedented technological adaptation in the form of remote meetings and conferences, and indirect transaction are starting to become everyday normalities. Hackett stressing the timelessness, however, of such morals and tenets is refreshing.
The work as a result doesn’t feel disingenuous or coming from a place that could be interpreted as self-serving. Plus, the humor, wit, and conciseness with which she presents her arguments never make you feel talked down to. There’s a healthy amount of hard-earned knowledge and wisdom she packs top to bottom in each of the book’s pages, but it’s the humility that ultimately makes the entirety of the presentational aesthetics work.