Hard-Won Wisdom

True Stories from the Management Trenches

 Hard-Won Wisdom

Author: Jathan Janove
Pub Date: November 2016
Print Edition: $17.95
Print ISBN: 9780814437773
Page Count: 240
Format: Paper or Softback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814437803

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Back Cover Copy

How would you respond if you emailed an employee about subpar performance and he shot back with a tirade of recriminations? What if you jokingly told an employee to “flood the lobby”—and she actually did it? What if a dazzling new hire started to seem more interested in his office size than getting results for your organization?

For managers, even simple requests or basic expectations can quickly spiral out of control. Jathan Janove helps you anticipate and head off trouble so you don’t get blindsided by people problems. Drawing on years spent untangling tricky situations and fixing mishaps, Hard-Won Wisdom chronicles 46 eye-opening, often jaw-dropping stories that show you how to:

Defuse angry employees • Discipline without inviting legal action • Hire the best person for the job • Manage high-maintenance people • Make airtight promotion decisions • Give timely feedback • Avoid the penalties of lost trust • Protect against harassment and discrimination suits • And much more.


“If you want a front-row seat to observe workplace behavior in all its intricacy and variety, read this insightful book. Jathan Janove’s long experience in employment law, executive coaching, and management make for some compelling stories. Not only that, the specific, actionable advice he provides is sure to help anyone who wants to avoid career-derailing conflict.”— Marshall Goldsmith, bestselling author and world-renowned business educator and coach

“Jathan has seen it all. He’s defended employees against employers, litigated against employees for employers, and built a consultancy that helps everyone avoid employment-related legal problems in the first place. As a result of his hard-won wisdom, his invaluable tools, tips, and techniques, plus his highly entertaining stories, his book will help you successfully manage your employees and keep you out of trouble.”— Paul Falcone, bestselling author of 101 Tough Conversations to Have with Employees

“Jathan Janove has loads of stories to tell, and fortunately for us, he tells many of his best in Hard-Won Wisdom. By sharing his experiences, he creates a short-cut for us to the knowledge needed to become an empathetic, effective leader in the workplace. Let his wisdom work for you.”—Daniel H. Pink, author of To Sell is Human and Drive

“Jathan Janove’s title of his new book Hard-Won Wisdom is spot-on for the priceless wisdom he sets forth throughout every chapter in this book. I wish I had this ‘wisdom’ when I started my career 38 years ago! Rather than looking at human resources issues in the traditional legal way, we learn to look at these issues before they start in a humanistic manner so as to prevent the issues in the first place – what a concept!” --Charles Castner, Labor & Employment Corporate Counsel, Daimler Trucks North America LLC

“Every manager has the ability and the opportunity to step up his or her game, and Jathan Janove’s book will help you do so. With a series of interesting vignettes, lifted from his many years of experience as a labor lawyer and consultant, Janove draws the reader in. Each vignette ends with a crisp summary of the moral of his story, resulting in a wealth of useful advice and guidance, and making learning easy.” --Susan Meisinger, columnist for HRExecutive Online and former President & CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)

“Wow, I truly wish I had this book as a leadership manual when I started my senior management position. It is written like I am sitting with Jathan and over a cup of coffee discussing personnel and leadership issues. The book is a guidebook, a textbook, and an engaging read that would sit on the corner of my desk.” --Ken Couch, R.Ph., Retired President of Smith Drug Company and President of J M Smith Corporation

“We really value our employees at Ventas and want to make sure they know it. We also want to effectively assess, coach and develop our employees to bring out the best in them and create high functioning teams. Jathan’s vignettes and practical advice provide clear and easy ways to improve our day to day interactions with employees and re-frame our approach on key issues in the workplace.” --Debra A. Cafaro, Chairman & CEO, Ventas, Inc.

“Every human resources professional knows that how an organization responds to workplace behaviors can make or break a company. This is a must read for anyone looking to improve employee engagement and drive higher levels of performance within their organization. Jathan’s highly entertaining stories offer practical advice that helps you navigate the many landmines that exist in the workplace today.” --Tracy Stachniak, Director of Human Resources and Training & Development, Toyota Material Handling, U.S.A. Inc.

“As one who has experienced the benefits of Jathan’s wisdom throughout my organization for over 15 years, let me say that Hard-Won Wisdom walks the talk. From Star Profiles, to Same Day Summaries, Jathan’s practical approach, combined with Zen-like, out-of-the-box coaching, strengthens companies, people, relationships, and team building. Simply said, we are a better company, with better people, creating better results for our stakeholders because of his shared wisdom. Jathan is a testament to ‘real communication’ in the workplace, and Hard-Won Wisdom is an enjoyable read providing insight gained through decades of research, observation, experience, and trial. The stories will make you laugh, while at the same time, creating a number of ‘aha’ moments for anyone who is responsible for managing people and teams.” --Danuel Stanger, Chief Asset Officer, Bridge Investment Group Holdings, LLC

“Jathan Janove understands the intersection of engagement, accountability, leadership and results in the workplace. He appreciates the business of the workplace, the need for fun, and how to keep those intact while doing the right thing. Through good storytelling that is an enjoyable read, the book provides managers with practical methods to accomplish good leadership. Whether you are managing a large multinational organization, a small start-up, or a family, everyone can benefit from the Jathan’s book.” --Charlotte L. Miller, Chief Human Resources Officer, U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association

“I was pleased to see the word ‘Wisdom’ in Jathan’s book title. In the many roles Jathan has played for our company, his wisdom has positively impacted several decisions we’ve made over the years. Jathan’s management principles have embedded themselves as a core element in our company’s culture. His employment law counsel and his management training courses have effectively helped to shape 1-800 Contacts into a great work environment. If one observed the coaching sessions within our walls, Jathan’s terminology, such as ‘same day summary’, 'star profile' and 'EAR method' will commonly be heard. True-to-form Jathan’s book shares the compelling stories and management advice that we have come to rely on in an easy-to-read and enjoyable format. A must-read for anyone currently in, or aspiring to be in a management role.” --Rod Lacey, Chief People Officer, 1-800 CONTACTS, Inc.

“I’m in a unique position to comment on Jathan’s book since he reported to me when serving as managing shareholder of our Portland and Seattle offices. I can tell you first-hand that his stuff works—even on me!” --Charles B. Baldwin, Managing Director, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.

“We’re a $1B food manufacturer with 5,000 employees in 16 facilities in the U.S. and Mexico. For years, we’ve been applying Jathan’s lessons to great effect, especially the 'Same Day Summary.’ If you’re interested in stepping up the effectiveness of your management and HR teams, I strongly recommend that you read this book and apply its lessons. They work!” --Elaine House, Corporate HR Director, Reser’s Fine Foods

“Jathan experienced virtually every conceivable workplace dynamic, but what truly separates him from other consultants is his ability to tell a story in a way that resonates and keeps the reader’s interest. His experience within law firms and the very real stories he tells about those experiences, provide valuable tools for anyone dealing with some of the more challenging personalities within any organizational setting.” --Jeffrey G. Frank, Managing Partner, Foster Pepper, PLLC

“Jathan hits the nail on the head with a compelling strategy on wisdom in the workplace with straightforward examples of how you say, what you say, and the impact it has on your workforce. If you apply the wisdom found amongst these pages, you will not go awry. Jathan just ‘gets it,’ because he’s seen the workplace from so many angles, there isn’t a scenario he hasn’t had to maneuver.” --Brenda Rushforth, Chief Human Resources Officer, Pomona College

“This book will cause you to smile, furrow your brow, laugh, and learn critical leadership lessons from real-life scenarios that are far too common. Managers around the world could see millions of dollars in benefit, reduced stress levels, and a much happier workforce by reading and practicing the concepts laid out in such a fun and entertaining way.” --Paul A. Jones, Chief Financial Officer, USANA Health Sciences, Inc.

“As an executive responsible for $700 million in assets and over 100 employees, I’ve applied many of the concepts and tools outlined in this book with excellent results. They’ve proven invaluable in helping me step up my game as a leader and a manager.” --Bob Harding, President, Portland Greater Market, Pacific Continental Bank

“Our municipality has engaged Jathan in many different seminars where he’s taught tools and concepts in this book. What a difference they’ve made for our management staff!! Our management is now able to really articulate what employees' needs are and are much more engaged with them. This book takes it all one step further. A must read for those in middle to upper management.“ --Kimmberly McBeth - HR Office Supervisor, Salem, Oregon

Jathan Janove, J.D. is principal of Janove Organization Solutions. A contributor to HR Magazine and a popular management blogger, he has more than 25 years’ experience litigating workplace relationships as well as coaching executives and consulting with employers on employee relations issues. He is author of Managing to Stay Out of Court: How To Avoid The 8 Deadly Sins Of Mismanagement. Connect with him at www.jathanjanove.com.

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