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Foreword by Marshall Goldsmith, Ph.D.

I had the privilege of serving on the Board of the Peter Drucker Foundation for ten years.  Peter continually reinforced the point that management is not an art and management is not a science - management is a practice.

Peter would approve of the fact that Roger Chevalier provides sound advice that managers can actually practice!  His tools are both applicable and useful.  Instead of being lost in complex theories – that sound good but don’t translate into daily behavior – he focuses on sharing applications that managers can immediately put to work.  Roger is not just interested in what managers should know – he is interested in what managers can do.

At the end of the day, a manager’s job is simple – improving workplace performance.  If managers are not improving workplace performance, why are they wasting the organization’s valuable resources? 

Roger’s quote – at the end of this book – says what managers should not forget, “Never lose track of the fact that you create the work environment for your people.  They will either excel or flounder based on the work environment that you create with your coaching, leadership, counseling, and team-building skills as well as the way in which you analyze performance gaps and causes, identify and implement solutions and measure results.”

Along with Peter Drucker, another one of my most important mentors has been Paul Hersey.  Ken Blanchard and he have developed Situational Leadership® and shared this fantastic model with millions of managers from around the world.  Roger is a world leader in understanding and teaching Situational Leadership.  A Manager’s Guide to Improving Workforce Performance builds upon the teachings of Paul and Ken and provides specific applications that relate to performance management.

I am best known as a leading executive coach.  For you, the reader, my coaching is simple – practice using the tools described in this book!  Share the ideas with your work team and involve them in your process of planning, coaching and feedback.

My partner, Howard Morgan, and I completed an extensive research study involving over 86,000 respondents and eight major corporations on the impact of leadership development1. Our findings were very compelling – yet not very surprising.  Managers that involved their people back on the job and actually applied the concepts they were taught were seen as becoming far more effective leaders – not by themselves, but by their co-workers.  Managers who didn’t apply what was learned didn’t get any better!

The tools in this book work!  But they only work if you apply them.  If you involve your people, practice what you learn and follow-up to ensure success – you will be amazed at the results!

If you don’t apply this material it won’t help you.   Some managers are going to find that this book makes a huge difference in improving workplace performance.  Some will say it makes no difference.  The change that is ultimately produced from reading this book will not be a reflection on the material.  It will be a reflection on you!

Marshall Goldsmith

Marshall Goldsmith has been recognized by the American Management Association as one of 50 great thinkers and business leaders who have impacted the field of management over the past 80 years – and by Business Week as one of the most influential practitioners in the history of leadership development.   


1 “Leadership Is a Contact Sport” M. Goldsmith and H. Morgan, Strategy+Business, Fall 2004.


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Last modified: 10/28/13