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Maister, David H. 1947-

MAISTER, David H. 1947-


PERSONAL: Born July 21, 1947, in London, England; son of Alfred (a retailer) and Bertha (a homemaker) Maister; married September 30, 1990; wife's name Kathleen. Ethnicity: "Caucasian." Education: University of Birmingham, B.S. (mathematics, economics, statistics), 1965; London School of Economics, M.Sc. (operations research), 1971; Harvard Business School, D.B.A., 1976. Hobbies and other interests: Collecting music and films.


ADDRESSES: Home—90 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02116. E-mail—[email protected]


CAREER: Business consultant and author. Bell Canada, Montreal, Quebec, statistician, 1968-69; Polytechnic of the South Bank, London, England, senior lecturer, 1969-72; University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, assistant professor, 1976-78; Harvard Business School, Boston, MA, assistant professor, 1979-85; D. H. Maister, Boston, MA, consultant, 1985—.


WRITINGS:


(With Daryl Wyckoff) The Owner-Operator, Independent Trucker, Lexington Books (Lexington, MA), 1975.

(With Daryl Wyckoff) The Domestic Airline Industry, Lexington, Books (Lexington, MA), 1977.

(With Daryl Wyckoff) The Motor Carrier Industry, Lexington Books (Lexington, MA), 1977.

Management of Owner-Operator Fleets, Lexington Books (Lexington, MA), 1980.

(With W. E. Sasser and others) Cases in OperationsManagement: Analysis and Action, Irwin (Homewood, IL), 1982.

(With W. E. Sasser and others) Cases in OperationsManagement: Strategy and Structure, Irwin (Homewood, IL), 1982.

(With W. Coxe and others) Success Strategies forDesign Professionals, Krieger (Malabar, FL), 1987.
Managing the Professional Service Firm, Free Press (New York, NY), 1993.

True Professionalism: The Courage to Care aboutYour People, Your Clients, and Your Career, Free Press (New York, NY), 1997.

(With C. Green and R. Galford) The Trusted Advisor, Free Press (New York, NY), 2000.

Practice What You Preach! What Managers Must Do to Create a High Achievement Culture, Free Press (New York, NY), 2001.

(With Patrick McKenna) First among Equals: How toManage a Group of Professionals, Free Press (New York, NY), 2002.


SIDELIGHTS: David H. Maister is a British-born, Boston, Massachusetts-based business consultant who has earned a "formidible reputation" as a consultant to professional service firms, according to Independent contributor Roger Trapp. With a number of books focusing on aiding management with maintaining a healthier work philosophy to his credit—including The Trusted Advisor, Practice What You Preach! What Managers Must Do to Create a High Achievement Culture, and True Professionalism: The Courage to Care about Your People, Your Clients, and Your Career—Maister stated to London Times writer Des Dear-love: "If I'm a guru of anything it is common sense."


In his books, Maister specifically addresses professional service firms, and he does so with practical, pragmatic advice that takes into account the vagaries of human nature. "It is not that companies are dumb," he explained to Dearlove. "It's about the human condition. I'm overweight and I smoke. If I go to a doctor he can tell me what I should do about that—stop smoking and start exercising. I know how to do it. It's not that I don't understand the benefits. But human beings don't always do what they know they should." Ultimately Maister believes that companies need to move away from the time-honored mentality that the more hours logged will result in greater profits. Instead, firms need to focus on employee motivation and customer satisfaction as the key to increased profits.


In his book Practice What You Preach!, which is based on surveys of over 5,000 workers in fifteen countries, Maister urges companies to focus on employee motivation and superior customer service in the belief that financial profits will undoubtedly follow. His study shows that achieving excellence is not a matter of creative management approaches, but simply requires managers to live by the standards that most of them already advocate. Superior returns are obtained, Maister argues, by having the courage to enforce high standards and resisting the temptation to compromise them in the name of expediency. Employee satisfaction is ultimately the key, it results in a higher level of customer service, which in turn results in customer satisfaction; ultimately customer satisfaction will lead to increased profits.

Other books by Maister include First among Equals: How to Manage a Group of Professionals, a guidebook for managers put in charge of groups where all members are on an equal footing within their corporate hierarchy, and interpersonal skills becomes the means by which group cohesion and effectiveness are established. In Partner-to-Partner Advisory, Bruce W. Marcus noted that business-group management is a "relatively new phenomenon" that has seen increasing use since the early 1990s. In its unique approach to addressing this technique—including interviews with hundreds of lawyers, accountants, journalists, academics, and other professionals and ending each section with conclusive summaries and a list of constructive solutions to the specific problem addressed—First among Equals "attack[s] a complex and difficult set of management problems with the several approaches of others with experience and wisdom. There is virtually no problem in . . . [business] group management that isn't covered." Noting that the book includes a seven-point roadmap for group "leaders to use when confronting prima donnas about their behavior," Fort Worth Star-Telegram reviewer Cecil Johnson added that coauthors Maister and Patrick McKenna imbue their text with a healthy dose of "cooperation and mutual respect."


BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:


PERIODICALS


Agency Sales Magazine, July, 2002 review of First among Equals: How to Manage a Group of Professionals, p. 59.

Booklist, May 15, 1997, Mary Whaley, review of TrueProfessionalism, p. 1548; May 15, 2001, David Rouse, review of Practice What You Preach! What Managers Must Do to Create a High Achievement Culture, p. 1715.

CPA Journal, January, 2001, Joseph E. Godfrey, review of The Trusted Advisor, p. 11; September, 2002, Thomas W. Morris, review of First among Equals, p. 19.

Fast Company, May, 2002, Alan M. Webber, "Are All Consultants Corrupt?" (interview), p. 130.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram, May 16, 2002, Cecil Johnson, review of First among Equals.

H.R. Briefing, January 15, 2003, review of First amongEquals, p. 4.

Inc., February, 1988, Tom Richman, review of Managing the Professional Service Firm, p. 60.

Independent (London, England), July 11, 2001, Roger Trapp, "Could Happy Workers Double Your Profits?," pp. 4, 22.

National Public Accountant, April, 2002, Marjorie Keeshan Nadler, review of First among Equals, p. 8.

Partner-to-Partner Advisory, May, 2002, Bruce W. Marcus, review of First among Equals, p. 11.

Physician Executive, August, 1994, Richard M. Burton, review of Managing the Professional Service Firm, p. 39.

Publishers Weekly, November 1, 1993, review of Managing the Professional Service Firm, p. 60; February 25, 2002, review of First among Equals, p. 50.

Times (London, England), July 19, 2001, Des Dear-love, "Why Happy Staff Are Key to Success," p. 7; March 19, 2002, review of The Trusted Advisor, p. 32.


ONLINE


David Maister Web site,http://www.davidmaister.com/ (March 22, 2004).

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