The single biggest reason to set goals is that they improve your chances for success.” – Kevin and Guy in their new book Bud to Boss.

Who benefits from this book:

There are really three groups of people who will benefit the most from this book.

  • The first, as the title implies, are people in the transition, or have been living through the transition from being a peer to delivering a performance evaluation!
  • The second group is people who want to prepare themselves proactively for the role of leadership. These people are anticipating or planning for their first leadership role.
  • The last group is more experienced leaders who are preparing or helping new leaders to be more successful.

Well, that says it all – this book surely is for most of us. leadership is a valued skill and every employee can be a leader in his/her own domain. Read on to know more about this book through an interview with book authors Kevin Eikenberry and Guy Harris.

To be an effective leader – one needs to experience the “role” and be in it to lead and begin a change. What was your first leadership experience? What training/support did you receive in the transition?

(Kevin) – My first leadership role was on our family farm and related business.  Often when people were hired to a specific task or season, I was responsible for supervising them.  In many cases (as is the case for many who will read the book) I was much younger than those I was leading.   I didn’t have any formal training.  Dad didn’t give me any book to read.  He was an example and role model.  We did talk about how things were going and answered questions.   He would have been the first to tell you he wasn’t the perfect leader, yet he was extremely supportive and aware of the need to coach others.

(Guy) – My first leadership role was as a division officer on a submarine. I led a division of 8 or 10 enlisted personnel. One of them was a chief petty officer with more years in the Navy than I had been a legal adult. Several members of the division had been in the Navy much longer than me, and they definitely knew more about operating the engineering plant than I did. I did have some basic leadership training in Officer Candidate School, but it did not really prepare me for what I experienced as a new leader. The best support I received came from the Chief Petty Officer and senior enlisted personnel. They were never easy on me. They were honest, sometimes brutally honest, about my shortcomings as a leader. And, they helped me grow because of their honesty.

You book focuses on the most important competencies to focus on building leadership competence and confidence. What are the core skills people need in order to make a successful transition to leadership in their organizations?

(Kevin) – Beyond the skills and strategies of the transition itself, we believe there are five big competency areas that need to come first, and we built the book around them.   They are:  change, communication, coaching, collaboration and teamwork, and commitment to success (everything related to goals and goal setting).

These aren’t the only competencies of leaders and we believe they are of prime importance for two reasons.

  1. They are highly important and complex skills to learn
  2. When someone first becomes a leader these skills take on a very different meaning or level of importance in their work and life.

(Guy) – The core skills are reflected in the sections of the book. When you carefully examine the content of each section, you will see that our focus is primarily on the people side of managing the transition and to developing competency in each of the six areas of leadership included in the book.  Both Kevin and I believe that leaders need to develop understanding and competency in the technical or transactional aspects of their role, and that the people side of leadership is the more complicated and difficult side. This book provides a solid foundation in understanding the people skills so vital to leadership success.

What do you think is the biggest gap in new supervisor training?

(Kevin) – I think there are two gaps.   First, most new supervisor training doesn’t talk at all about the issues of the transition. How do I lead the people I am friends with?  How do I deal with the team members who applied for and wanted the job I received?  How do maintain and manage those expectations?  How do I build relationships with my new peers, new boss?  And much more.

Second, while there is lots of great training available publicly and inside of organizations, it is often available later than would best help the new supervisor, and far too often doesn’t focus enough on application.  Learning can’t happen just by attending class (or reading a book for that matter) we must take that new knowledge and use it.

What do you want people to do once they finish the book?

(Kevin) – Put it to use!  Try some of the ideas in it, applying them to their situation.  Once they have done that, we hope they will contact us through the Community or otherwise to let us know their questions, and to share their successes with us and others.

(Guy) – Like Kevin says: Put it to use! Look for opportunities to apply the concepts. We hope readers will review the Remarkable Principles, Bonus Bytes, and Now Steps to find the most important issue (or issues) that they confront and then get to work confronting them using the ideas we share in the book. From there, they can engage in the Bud to Boss Community to continue honing the skills they start developing by reading the book.

More Retargets:

GET MORE INFO at the Bud to Boss Community ( This free community supports anyone who wants to get better in these areas with free retargets, tools and ideas.

Guy and Kevin also wrote the book as a connection to the Public workshop – The Bud to Boss Workshop (  This allows new leaders to work on their skills with others in the same boat as they are.  They are currently delivering this workshop around the U.S. and on site for companies wherever they are located.