"Managing is like holding a dove in your hand. If you hold it too tightly, you kill it, but if you hold it too loosely, you lose it."
Being a good boss is tricky. Even the best need a coach in order to gracefully juggle with everything thrown at them. And that's what Robert I. Sutton is trying to help with.
Robert I. Sutton is Professor of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford. And this book is based on the conclusions resulted from the large amount of academic studies completed during his thirty-year career as a researcher.
Straight forward, this is not the book for everyone. It's a lot to take in. But if you do find yourself in a position of management, read it. It will at least remind you to pay attention to certain aspects once in a while and teach you new ways on how to make your work environment a flourishing one.
It is stacked with real life examples, from both sides: the good and the bad.
It gives tricks for taking charge, the perfect recipe for an effective apology, explains the difference between a smart boss and a wise one...and exemplifies plenty of mistakes.
As Lady Eleanor Roosevelt is credited with saying: "Learn form the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself."
The author does admit that there is no universal formula of success. So you should take in whatever aplies best to your own business and mindset.
"Do what is right, not what everyone else does: mindless imitation is among the most dangerous and widespread forms of management idiocy. One of the dumbest excuses for screwing up is 'everyone else does it, it is industry standard'. It reminds me of something that one of my college friends likes to say: 'Eat shit. Ten billion flies can't be wrong!'."
There are few things that I personally apreciate more in a book than wittiness, no matter the subject. But especially when it comes to business books. And the good news is that this one ticked that box as well.
"The best bosses succeed because they keep chipping away at a huge pile of dull, interesting, fun, rewarding, trivial, frustrating and often ridiculous chores. [...] Devoting relentless attention to doing one good thing after another – however small – is the only path I know to becoming and remaining a great boss."
That being said, enjoy the read, take notes and become the boss that you aspire to be!
See you next week!