ForeWord Reviews

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Technical Minds

Leading and Getting the Best Work from Your Technically-Minded Team

Clarion Review (5 Stars)

A respected supervisor or manager does more than create work schedules and dictate assignments to staff. Instead, the best leaders are those that inspire, motivate, communicate, and lead by example. Leadership is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. Unique people and environments require savvy leaders to adopt different approaches. Ara W. Nazarian’s book focuses on the technical world: one where tech-minded individuals ultimately move into supervisory roles. Nazarian identifies exactly what is needed to create a work environment where employees feel supported and understood and thus, are better prepared to succeed. The goal, after all, is for the company or group to thrive.

The advice in this book is divided into ten sections. The writer explores everything from how a supervisor needs to inspire and appropriately reward staff members, to how one must always lead by example and sincerely explain the importance of every job. The heart of Nazarian’s message is that technical minds must understand their companies and their staff. He uses flashbacks from his own business life to accentuate such points. This allows readers to take a step back from the discussion to see how key concepts work in a real work setting.

Many of Nazarian’s flashbacks showcase what can happen when a leader successfully identifies the needs of his or her staff and inspires them through follow-my-example collaboration. However, some of his flashbacks might seem too shrill or bluntly worded for a few readers. For instance, when illustrating what not to do, Nazarian names the boss in question, Mr. Cause Pain. Though humorous, the name hits readers over the head and upstages the power of the main idea. The occasional use of less anecdotal examples, from other sources, would more effectively support Nazarian’s leadership tips.

Being promoted is every employee’s dream. However, the next step (into leadership) can be daunting. What does it mean to be a boss? This book helps would-be supervisors find their footing so they better understand how to lead their technical team. After all, becoming a great boss is far different than being a great worker. Much like dancing, a supervisor must always anticipate his or her next step. This book is not just for technical minds: instead, it’s for anyone who wants to learn how to be an effective and inspiring boss, supervisor, and role model.

Lisa Bower