"Frank's skill in asking the right questions is un-mistakable, and is at the core of his leadership philosophy.

The power of these questions cannot be underestimated, especially if you want to lead and not manage."
—John Cave
Westhaven Worldwide Logistics

If not otherwise stated—all postings © Frank D. Kanu. All rights reserved.


Stop Telling... Start Leading!


To my dear and loving wife Ada, without
whom I would never have written any book.

To my children Harry, Hanna and Henry who missed more dad
time—every day.

To my boys René and Christian.

To Linda Leiter—a very special friend.

And last but not least to my parents.

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Table of Contents


Step 1 - Define!
    A Single Definition?
        Management and Management Functions
            To manage
    Short and Sweet?
        Smart And Lazy
        Smart and Diligent
        Dense and Diligent
        Dense and Lazy
    Only Two?
        The Bean Counter
        The Generalist
        Myers-Briggs Personality Type
            Dominant Introverted Types
            Dominant Extroverted Types
        Keirsey Temperament
            Dominant Introverted Types
            Dominant Extroverted Types
        To Summarize:
    Manager = Entrepreneur?
    Are You Managed?
    Ethics and Leadership?

Step 2 - Know The Sins!
    13 Deadly Sins
    Results-Oriented Instead of Goal-Oriented
        Open the Lines of Communication
    Overlook Setting Goals Together With the Employees
    Let Everything Go Uncontrolled
    Nobody Takes Responsibility for the Team
    Demand and Encourage
    Ignore Standards
    Tolerate Negligence
    Ignore the Different Personalities in the Team
    I’m Too Busy Right Now…
        Laid Back / Let Them Do It…
    Making Money Is Important.
        Pressing the Budget Too Tight
    Instead of Delegating You Do Everything Yourself
    Be Everybody’s Darling
    Only Give Tribute to a Chosen Few
    Minor Sins
    “I’m sorry.”

Step 7 - Bring the Fun to Work

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My sincere appreciation goes to everyone who has helped with this book. I couldn’t have done it without them. A few stand out: Tony Hilbourne, Steve Higgins, Rainer Mohr, Harry Schmidt, Gunnar Skeid, Rod Sloane, Bill Stewart, and Richard White.

My editor George A. Milite for his outstanding editing and his professionalism.

And Ada Kanu, my partner in marriage, business and life. I would be lost without her.

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Frank D. Kanu is the personification of the American international manager. Highly intelligent and experienced in the field of international business, he is very aware of the promise business has of bringing people closer together in the process of fulfilling the
business needs of peace and understanding.

    With this book, Kanu shows that managers need more than the predefined answers in daily business dealings and demonstrates how any leader can use a logical, step-by-step process to create and implement a powerful new sense of direction in his or her own organization, based on the Socratic Tradition.

    Why should managers use the Socratic Method instead of simply telling employees what to do or giving them direction? What would your reaction be if you were in a situation where you had a tough challenge, or needed a clear answer to a business problem and someone just walked up to you and told you the answer? I am sure that you would feel that you have been deprived and would be annoyed and discouraged. Giving someone the answer to a problem or question is robbing them of valuable educational opportunities, because in each of us, learning happens much faster when we solve managerial problems ourselves; and when we figure something out for ourselves, we are enthusiastic to go make it happen. In this book, Kanu shows in a most effective manner how a versatile manager can become a more creative leader who does not deprive people of the joy and energy of discovery, but rather helps them to move forward by asking Socratic questions. Managers and leaders at all levels can use these proven techniques, including planning, communication, and motivational tools, to support their employees in effecting the positive changes that will make the difference in achieving their organizations’ bottom-line goals. The definitional method of Socrates is a real contribution to the logic of philosophical inquiry. It inspired the dialectical method of Plato and exerted a considerable influence on the logic of Aristotle. Readers will find this book to be an invaluable resource to which they will often return to, to revise Frank D. Kanu’s practical advice as their business grows to meet the worldwide markets of the 2lst Century.

Dr. Jay-D Olivier
Professor - International Business Law
Amsterdam and London


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Flashback: a warm summer night, almost twenty years ago.

My best friend—financial director of a European trust—and I were drinking coffee and philosophizing about business. At one point he makes a statement that changes the mood and makes me pause: “People are born either as managers or as worker bees.”


    Is my friend right? Do you really have to be born a manager, or leader? Is it true that some of those skills can never be learned?

“Management is nothing more than motivating other people.”
Lee Iacocca
“I can do that!” many will answer. “I can motivate others.” But how?

    In 2004 Henry Mintzberg famously asked for “managers, not MBAs” in his book of the same name. In May 2005 the Harvard Business Review published “How Business Schools Lost Their Way,” Warren Bennis’ and James O’Toole’s take on managers failing because of the theoretical-centered education provided by most top business schools.

    Is there really anything new? Can any management guru teach you something that hasn’t yet been discovered and put into practice?


    In fact, when you encounter “experts” who claim they’ve discovered something new, my advice is, run! The truth is that it’s all about existing knowledge presented in new ways. More than that, it’s about teaching knowledge in ways the student understands—and uses.

    Everyone who teaches—and managers should teach their employees—ought to be able to recognize quickly how well the student is taking in the material being taught, and how to adjust the flow of information to each student’s needs. Among the essential components for a successful teaching experience are high standards and expectations, ongoing feedback, and a dynamic that engages both teacher and student. The problem is that too often the process becomes the focus instead of the results. How often have you watched a film touted as an action movie and thought “Come on—where’s the action they promised?”
  1. In today’s fast-moving world, managers have to stay on top of the game constantly if they want to remain an asset to the company. Not only that, they have to learn how to use a wider and more complex array of tools. Having so many tools is actually an improvement; remember the old adage, “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” But it’s up to the manager to choose the best tool to meet each specific situation.
  2. A successful manager will offer employees the support, encouragement, and resources necessary to get the job done. No true manager wants to be a puppet master. Support and encouragement are also important elements of implementing change. The successful manager understands that change works when the employees get positive reinforcement along with the proper tools.
  3. The manager’s primary duty is to strike a balance between the goals of the business and the expectations of the employees. We all know managers who only live on one side of the rope—hardliners who figuratively walk over bodies when it’s to their advantage, or sympathizers who listen to every side of an argument but who fail to set goals based on what they’re hearing. One-dimensional managers like these almost never win the confidence or respect of their employees.

    Manager or leader?

    There is a great difference between the ordinary manager and the leader. Managers usually live by the rules made by others. Leaders make the rules.

    Leaders will build up employees and help them grow, giving them real opportunities to one day become leaders themselves. They understand that those following them are not after their job. Leaders motivate, and they listen, so they know what their employees want and the tools they need to get the job done. Leaders also know how to balance between giving employees help and allowing them to make their own decisions.


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