One type of manager triples employee performance: Which type are you?

The “Always-on” manager represents the preferred coaching approach for many organizations, but this approach — providing continuous coaching and feedback across a broad range of skills — actually degrades employee performance.

On sale September 17, 2019.

Published by Penguin Random House

The four manager types

The “Connector” manager is based on a Gartner study of 9,000 managers and employees. We found that all managers tend to follow one of four dominant approaches for how they coach and develop their employees. The four types are the following:

  • Teacher managers — who develop employees’ skills on the basis of their own expertise and direct their development along a similar track to their own
  • Cheerleader managers — who give positive feedback while taking a general hands-off approach to employee development
  • Always-on managers — who provide constant, frequent feedback and coaching on all aspects of the employee’s performance
  • Connector managers — who provide feedback in their area of expertise while connecting employees to others on the team or in the organization who are better suited at addressing specific needs

About the authors

Jaime Roca is Senior Vice President at Gartner, managing the global Research & Advisory team that serves and advises HR executives. He has more than 20 years’ experience as a business and thought leader, helping Fortune 500 companies, C-level executives and investors achieve exceptional results.

Sari Wilde is Managing Vice President at Gartner Research & Advisory, managing global teams focused on creating research and products to improve human capital outcomes. Ms. Wilde has been studying organizations for more than 15 years, advising executives at hundreds of Fortune 500 companies on their leadership and talent management practices.

Book reviews

“A compelling case for why old-school, top-down management simply doesn’t work anymore — any aspiring or seasoned leader can learn something from this book.”

Laszlo Bock
Co-Founder and CEO of Humu, Former SVP of People Operations at Google, Author of “Work Rules!

“Here’s the bad news, managers: You can’t do it all. But here’s the good news: Jaime Roca and Sari Wilde say you don’t have to. This book shows how to get the most of your people by connecting them — to each other and to new opportunities. If you’re looking to do less and accomplish more, ‘The Connector Manager’ is your roadmap.”

Daniel H. Pink
Author of “When,”  “To Sell Is Human” and “Drive”

“A much-needed reexamination of management — every manager should read this aspirational and actionable book.”

Amy C. Edmondson
Professor, Harvard Business School; Author of “The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation, and Growth” 

“A great boss recognizes that they are not the expert on everything, and that their team’s skills and talents are often greater than his own. How can they harness and grow those talents for maximum effectiveness? ‘The Connector Manager’ offers a compelling answer.”

Sydney Finkelstein
Steven Roth Professor of Management at Dartmouth College, Author of “Superbosses” and “Why Smart Executives Fail,” and the host of TheSydCast podcast

“Everybody knows that the best managers are the ones who deliver ‘always-on’ feedback. But what if everybody is wrong? In ‘The Connector Manager,’ Roca and Wilde deliver a death blow to the conventional management wisdom, arguing with convincing quantitative and qualitative data that always-on feedback isn’t just an unproductive management approach, but a counterproductive one. This is a head-snapping and hugely engaging book that will make even the most seasoned leaders and management gurus question what they preach.”

Matt Dixon

Chief Product & Research Officer at Tethr; Author of Best-Selling “The Challenger Sale,” “The Challenger Customer” and “The Effortless Experience”

“In today’s complex world, connections are more critical than ever. ‘The Connector Manager’ uses data, insight and stories to create a compelling case for why the best leaders leverage critical connections to build their teams. This book is a great resource to enable a high-performing team.”

Michael Arena
Former Chief Talent Officer at GM, Author of “Adaptive Space”