small medium large xlarge

Behind Closed Doors: Secrets of Great Management


Cover image for Behind Closed Doors

Behind Closed Doors

Secrets of Great Management


Great management is difficult to see as it occurs. Great management happens in one-on-one meetings and with other managers—all in private. It’s hard to learn management by example when you can’t see it.

Find out what goes on Behind Closed Doors and see how a skilled manager turns around a tricky management situation in seven weeks. You’ll learn how to provide and use feedback effectively, and become a better coach and mentor peers and team members. As you begin to build a cohesive, “jelled” team you’ll learn how to use your influence across the organization and make better choices daily to survive and thrive.

NEW: Join Esther Derby and Johana Rothman in an online course about one-on-ones. The course builds on material in the book, adding more depth. The course helps you see your options for how and when to conduct one-on-ones, especially if you’re using agile approaches. Once you enroll, you’ll receive an invitation to a dedicated Slack team. You can ask questions, offer your experiences, and learn from others.

For more information and to register visit their site at

Customer Reviews

Rothman and Derby bring a clarity and honesty to the craft of software-development management that I haven’t felt since first reading Demarco and Lister’s classic, Peopleware. Their story-based teaching style is engaging, and the tips contained provide a valuable reference for those who find themselves in the world of management.

- Bil Kleb

Research Scientist, NASA

I just wanted to let you know that the folks I support love your books so much that I signed up to get notifications of when any new books come out from you… that’s how I heard about the ones I just ordered.

The new management book that you just put out sounded so good that one of the directors I support had me order five copies for the managers under her and the other director just asked me to order four more for his team.

I also ordered a copy of Ship It for each of them to check out and I’ve recommended to our Offshore team that they should check out My Job Went to India.

- Carrie Renda

Five Star Review: All the great stuff is here… Easy to read and understand.

- Robert Pritchett

, macCompanion

See All Reviews

Choose Your Format(s)

  • $19.50 In Stock
  • Ebooks are DRM free.

  • Ebook delivery options.



Johanna Rothman consults, speaks, and writes on managing high-technology product development. She’s helped managers, teams, and organizations to become more effective by applying her pragmatic approaches to their issues of hiring, project management, risk management, and people management. Johanna is the author of Predicting the Unpredictable: Pragmatic Approaches to Estimating Project Schedule or Cost, Manage Your Job Search, Hiring Geeks That Fit, Manage Your Project Portfolio: Increase Your Capacity and Finish More Projects, Manage It! Your Guide to Modern Pragmatic Project Management, Behind Closed Doors: Secrets of Great Management, and Hiring the Best Knowledge Workers, Techies & Nerds: The Secrets and Science of Hiring Technical People.

Esther Derby is one of the rare breed of consultants who blends the technical and managerial issues with the people-side issues. She is well known for her work helping teams grow to new levels of productivity and is recognized as one of the world’s leaders in retrospective facilitation. Esther’s articles have appeared in Better Software (formerly STQE), Software Development, Cutter IT Journal, and CrossTalk. She writes regular columns for and, and publishes the quarterly newsletter, insights. Esther is also a host and session leader at the Amplifying Your Effectiveness (AYE) conference.

Upcoming Author Events