Management Podcasts

I listen to three regular weekly management podcasts:

Manager Tools is just great. It is easily the best management podcast I’ve come across so far. The two hosts, Mark and Mike, are good friends who have been managing for many years. Mark is a management consultant and Mike spent a lot of time managing at IT companies. The key to the show is pragmatism. Every podcast is centered around practically implementing one-on-ones, performance reviews, or expanding your network. And it’s not high level strategy, it’s tactical details like remembering to reserve a good conference room a month ahead of giving performance reviews to relying on paper when taking notes for one-on-ones because even writing on a Tablet PC can give the impression that your not fully focused–how does the employee not assume you’re checking your email? Enough said, this one rocks.

The Cranky Middle Manager show is another high quality management show. The format is traditional interview, and the host Wyane Turmel is sort of a standup comedian. Since it is an interview format a lot depends on the guests. I’ve really enjoyed some of them including one with David Allen of GTD fame. Since many of the interviewees are the sort of people who write the management books you find in the business section of your local bookstore there is the danger that the guest talks in pretty high level generalities without much substance. Wayne does try to at least ask all of them at some point, well how would I implement some of this or use it in my world? Unfortunately some of them have trouble answering those questions. Still there’s a lot more hits than misses on the interviews and heck it’s only half an hour anyway.

The Middle Management Lobotomy is put out by Kevin Williams who is feeling his way through his first management job. I’ve listened to about 4 or 5 episodes now and it has some aspects that keep me returning. One of the nice things is he’s pretty honest about how things are going. He’s even discussed hiring two people onto his team and dealing with one of the hires who ended up not being that great of a fit.