Winning Well | Karin Hurt

Summary of: Winning Well: A Manager’s Guide to Getting Results—Without Losing Your Soul
By: Karin Hurt


Dive into the world of ‘Winning Well: A Manager’s Guide to Getting Results—Without Losing Your Soul’ by Karin Hurt and discover how to balance confidence, humility, results, and relationships in the workplace. This summary outlines a management model that encourages sustained excellent performance while fostering a positive work environment. Learn how to avoid pitfalls such as focusing too heavily on short-term results or engaging in office politics through cultivating healthy work relationships, clarifying expectations, and supporting employee growth. The Winning Well model will lead you to become more engaged and productive manager, ensuring the happiness and success of your team.

Breaking the Cycle of Disengagement

Despite tracking metrics and evaluating employees, Joe’s call center continually ranks last, leading to disengagement. This dynamic is common, with nearly 2/3 of Americans feeling disengaged at work. Joe struggles to push his team while feeling unhappy about upsetting them, causing him to consider giving up. This scenario is familiar to many managers, but it’s crucial to break the cycle of disengagement to achieve success and fulfill employee potential.

Winning with Confidence, Humility, Results, and Relationships

The Winning Well management model prioritizes sustaining long-term performance in a positive work environment without coercing employees. The principles of Winning Well are confidence, humility, results, and relationships. Managers should focus on Winning Well rather than winning at all costs. Confidence comes from understanding your strengths and talents. Humility involves leading with the goal of enabling others to succeed. Narrowly focusing on short-term results can lead to burnout and damage morale. Meanwhile, concentrating only on relationships can hinder staff performance. Striking the right balance is essential. To inspire your team, connect them to meaningful work that aligns with the organization’s objectives. Develop a straight-forward plan to achieve the desired results and hold yourself and the team accountable. Mutual goals require collaboration, teamwork, and commitment.

Management Styles

In “Winning Well,” the author outlines four types of managerial styles that identify the relationship between supervisors and their employees. The first type, “Users,” views employees as a means to an end and lacks trust. “Pleasers,” the second type, prioritize being liked over results. The third type, “Gamers,” play politics to gain status at the expense of relationships. In contrast, the fourth and ideal type, “Winning Well managers,” prioritize long-term shared goals, healthy work relationships, and support their employees’ growth and success. Successful managers ensure that they connect with their team members by treating them humanely and developing mutual respect and trust. Building relationships and capitalizing on employees’ strengths is crucial to achieving long-term success and should be prioritized instead of just focusing on the numbers. The book’s foundational principles suggest that confidence, humility, results, and relationships are not mutually exclusive but should exist together. High-performing employees are likely to feel less stress, be more productive, and be happier if given healthy work relationships, autonomy, and support to reach their potential.

Stay Productive, Be Intentional

In a busy work environment, it’s easy to become distracted and lose focus. As a manager, your role is to prioritize keeping your team on track by communicating clear expectations and providing resources to help them achieve their goals. Reinforce your priorities frequently and celebrate successes, but also hold team members accountable when they fall short. Avoid unnecessary meetings and instead, focus on building relationships and achieving results. Be intentional with your time and aim for productivity, not just being busy. Remember, telling a competent person how to do something they already know how to do is insulting and degrades trust. With the right approach, you can keep your team motivated and productive.

Employee Inclusion

Managers should involve employees in decisions regarding their work to ensure their buy-in. Even if employees don’t entirely agree with the decision, they’re more likely to support it if they feel heard. The decision-making process should be transparent, and managers should be clear about who will have the final say. The book explains that team involvement is crucial in making informed choices, and multiple approaches can be used to reach decisions, including individual input, group discussion, consensus, or a simple vote. The author emphasizes the importance of employee involvement in decision-making to increase motivation and buy-in.

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