Cover Image: The Messy Truth About Leading People

The Messy Truth About Leading People

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Member Reviews

This is an interesting, creative, different book that follows the perspective of Micah who works with many other characters in regards to leading people. The description says picture a thought bubble, but honestly it was more like reading someone's journal or being part of their life. I’m not entirely convinced I got the whole point. The categories were a bit confusing (business investing and general fiction) but as it states it’s the messy truth, and it was an interesting approach.
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Thank you to Netgalley for an eARC for an honest review.
I was a little confused at the style of the book, as I thought this was non-fiction. This book follows the fictionalised leader Micah through their leadership career to CEO. The situations, friends, colleagues and staff were very simplistic and stereotypical. There was nothing new in this book with regards leading people. That said, it was a good way to give me to time to refresh my thinking as a leader and I definitely benefited from that. I would say there is emphasis on leaders having coaches and having offsite meetings lead by coaches. When I got to the end and read the authors biographies and they both appear to be freelance coaches, that made more sense.
If you are new to a leadership role or just need something that that will help you reflect, it’s worth a read.
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Navigating the complex challenges presented by coworkers and their humanity can make or break a manager. In The Messy Truth About Leading People: It Ain't Easy!, Nicki Roth and Gavin Fenn-Smith take us on a journey through a career's worth of leadership insights via a retrospective narrative in the voice of CEO "Micah." The book is structured like a novel, an unconventional choice for a business/self-help subject, but one that keeps the lessons fresh and memorable.

Micah's story is told in a series of vignettes containing characters you may recognize from your own career. We see Micah through numerous successes, but also enough "learning moments" to eventually ensure that they become an expert leader, with the ultimate conclusion that "Leaders lead people; not strategies or initiatives."

Many of the challenges that Micah describes are things that readers will experience at one time or another. While the authors (or rather, the people in Micah's world) suggest how Micah could handle most of them, they are subjective. They won't apply to every similar situation - any reader expecting a set of "If this, then that" rules will be disappointed.

Two aspects of the book spoil its message, in my opinion. The first is the "pithy" dialog, which - to be fair - is mentioned in a warning on the back page. Micah's natural voice is very accessible, but the overuse of swearing frequently detracted from the message, for me. The second is the overt promotion of career coaching as a primary strategy for success. The authors are both career coaches, so they have a natural bias, but I found the repetition annoying.

Like my favorite books about leadership and management skills, The Messy Truth contains lots that I had heard before, but with a new presentation. I recommend this book to managers at any stage in their careers to remember the importance of "soft" skills. These often suffer when we focus on using our "hard skills" to achieve urgent results and deliverables. I've been a manager myself for more than 20 years, and every one of the examples resonated with me, most from personal experience.

I wish that I'd read this at the beginning of my management career!
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Just sort of okay. The descriptions of leadership, common characters in contemporary workplaces, and common leadership situations are relevant and real, but ultimately the text fails to shine in an already crowded field of leadership books.
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This book reads as a novel with the leadership concepts explained in simple terms using the example of the journey of the protagonist Micah. This approach is refreshing and helps us absorb the insights with ease.

My one gripe is that all almost all characters in this book have gender neutral names and are also addressed as 'they' instead of he/she which is a bit frustrating to read. 

Overall, it is a good read for someone wanting to learn about leadership in today's day and age.
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I received this thorough Netgalley.
"The messy truth about leading people" takes us through Micah's leadership journey which is a totally relatable journey that most of us in the corporate world can associate with. Various situations on handling different people, bringing fresh perspectives in teams, leading change, accepting failures and bouncing back, firing and promoting people all have been explained very well indeed.
Highly recommend this.
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This title is not personally my cup of tea. It is in a writing style which I do not favor. Others may find it acceptable.
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This book is okay but I won't see the full effect at this point until I work on leading my team more.  There are lots of great points.
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