Leadership Exposed! Managing “by the Book.”

The Unspoken Truth of Being a Manager

Juan Dellarroquelle
Published in
3 min readFeb 14, 2023

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I got my first PC for my 13th birthday. I remember that day as if it was yesterday. Unfortunately, my passion and curiosity for computers were matched only by my cluelessness about what they were, and how to make them work.

Back then, I did what everyone in 1991 in Argentina would have done: I went to a bookstore and grabbed the first book that looked like it would help me figure out how to use it. The Big Book of DR DOS 5.0 would kick off a lifelong journey of fun, learning, and growth.

Fifteen years later, working at a Silicon Valley startup, I had that same feeling when I was promoted to my first management position: excited but clueless. Here, too, I turned to books for help.

I remember picking up copies of Patrick Lencioni’s 5 Dysfunctions of a Team, The Arbinger Institute’s Leadership and Self-Deception, Marcus Buckingham’s First Break All the Rules, and Peter Drucker’s The Effective Executive. Instead of a bookstore, I bought these books on Amazon. Instead of asking a local clerk for advice, I guided my decision by the star ratings. These were the networked era’s early days when finding resources online was challenging, particularly if you were in the first steps of the management ladder. And although there is infinitely more information and access today, the experience has not improved much since my early days as a manager back in 2007.

Don’t get me wrong — books are still a great source of distilled knowledge. They contain well-researched frameworks, tried methodologies, and a plethora of stories to learn from and get inspired by if you’re a professional looking to succeed. But we’ve all been there when Monday morning comes, and you must face your team after your weekend of reading, a book in one hand and a bag of questions and self-doubt in the other:

“Does this framework apply to my particular situation?” “Most examples in the book involved bigger teams than mine.” “How am I going to answer questions when they arise?” “I should be getting help from someone, but I can’t afford it.”

Books take you from not knowing, to knowing. But from knowing to doing, and from doing to operationalization, there’s a big gap and little help to traverse the chasm.

Ever since I started my professional journey, I dreamed of a day when business books would have two things attached to them: an instant connection with every person that has tried and implemented the ideas in them, as well as an application that would make it dead simple to put those frameworks in action.

We started Blueprint to bring this vision to light. The HUB is a peer-to-peer learning network where members can learn and dialogue about frameworks found in books and benefit from crowdsourced best practices. In addition, there is a Marketplace for apps that help you easily operationalize proven methodologies.

Books and articles are great mediums to spread ideas and teach frameworks. As you spring from knowledge to action, we hope Blueprint will be the catalyst that accelerates your success.

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