Managing To Be Human


Managing To Be Human shows that it is not only possible and rewarding to be fully human as a business manager, but that being so greatly improves one’s effectiveness as a manager, so contributing to the overall effectiveness of the organisation.

It argues that the root of many problems in organisations lays not so much in bad managers as in flawed and faulty notions around management in general.  Arguing that a new philosophy of management is required, it sets out an approach to achieving new and exciting levels of performance both for managers and those they manage.  The approach is based on many years’ experience  of working with and consulting to organisations around the world as well as major successes in the world of sport.

Managing To Be Human is not a typical management  book replete with theories and stretched case studies but an engaging and enjoyable collection of insights, examples, models and processes that work because they are based on fundamental human principles that go beyond trends and fads.


Brian F. Smyth writes from experience.  Experience from having worked with NASA in South America, General Motors in Ireland and as a consultant to companies and organisations in all five continents. But his experience also includes successfully helping sports teams and individuals reach new levels of performance and success. His book, Managing to be Human, offers practical insights on how to lead and manage organisations and people in new and better ways, truly human ways, based on what he calls a whole new paradigm of management. Brian says that there is nothing in the book that he does not live and practise and that does not always work for his many happy clients in different countries.  Brian’s latest book, Your Beautiful Life. A Gift has been published and will be available in the Autumn.


Larry Lumsden, VP Products, TECSYS Inc

Brian Smyth is the best management coach I’ve worked with – his coaching has helped me enormously. I’ve been reading his book “Managing to be Human” (on Kindle) and it’s a gem, practical ideas on how to realize the full potential of staff and managers.

Stephen Cotter, GM CIE Tours International

When I first picked up Managing to be Human by Brian F. Smyth, I thought it was going to be just another management book full of reported stories of what successful companies and leaders did, and therefore what we should do to be equally successful. Most times I don’t know if the stories are true, if the lessons are the right ones and if they are applicable to my world and organisation. Managing to be Human is very different in that it puts forward a new and different way to manage with very clear guidelines, models and processes for how to do so. But, the great thing is that it all works! I know it because I have applied, and continue to apply, the learning’s and principles from the book to my Organisation and how I manage and lead. And they have made, and continue to make, a remarkable difference. It is for this reason that I would recommend it to any manager. It offers insights on how to manage and lead people in new and better ways…and they do all work!

Denis Malin, SVP & CIO, Au Bon Pain

Initially, it is hard to get excited about yet another book on management and leadership that proposes to solve all your problems with its “secret recipe”. Fortunately, Managing to be Human by Brian Smyth is a fresh face in a crowded market… what Brian really points out is that to adapt the seemingly simple advice he offers you will have to think and act differently…to consider a paradigm shift in how you define leadership. And that is where the `simple’ becomes `difficult’. Managing to be Human is not a cookbook. It does not provide the ’10 Steps to Success’ or the like that is so common in managerial books. Rather, Brian asks us to treat our employees differently and recognize the benefits of managing their `human’ side not just their `task’ side.”

Paul Clark, Performance Conditioning Coach, Match-Fit Ireland

I was aware of the author’s work in both a business and a sports context and so being the owner of a sports performance business myself I was drawn to the book to take learnings from the world of business into the sporting arena. I wasn’t disappointed as the book is full of lessons, ideas, concepts and methodologies that can transfer directly into the world of sports coaching. The main premise is working with/coaching people to achieve the best for and from them…in essence to create continuous win/win situations; nobody wins unless everybody wins!!

Niamh Shiells, Former Chair of the Association for Coaching Ireland

I really enjoyed this book on how leaders can be the very best at what they do and enable all those around them to do so too. I found it informative, inspiring and packed full of lots of practical exercises and models. It left me with a renewed commitment and fresh perspective on being the best leader I can be! Brian’s humanity and authenticity brings a wonderful depth to his writing. Highly recommended!