Do Nothing!: How to Stop Overmanaging and Become a Great Leader

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Overview

Imagine you?ve just come back to work after a two-week vacation during which you actually relaxed, without calling in or checking e-mail. You discover that there are no pressing issues and that, on the contrary, your team scored a big new customer and fixed a nagging problem during your absence. No red flags or fires to put out.

 

Sadly, for most leaders this scenario is only a dream. They constantly check on what?s happen?ing because they expect the worst (and usually get ...

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Do Nothing!: How to Stop Overmanaging and Become a Great Leader

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Overview

Imagine you’ve just come back to work after a two-week vacation during which you actually relaxed, without calling in or checking e-mail. You discover that there are no pressing issues and that, on the contrary, your team scored a big new customer and fixed a nagging problem during your absence. No red flags or fires to put out.

 

Sadly, for most leaders this scenario is only a dream. They constantly check on what’s happen­ing because they expect the worst (and usually get it). But Keith Murnighan shows that not only is “do nothing” leadership possible, it is also far more effective than doing too much.

 

Great leaders don’t work; they facilitate and orchestrate. They think of great strategies and help others implement them. They spend their time preparing for the future. They take a comprehensive view of their terrain while also noticing key details so they can confidently choose the right forks in the road.

In other words, great leaders don’t do any­thing—except think, make key decisions, help people do their jobs better, and add a touch of organizational control to make sure the final recipes come out okay. In sharp contrast, most leaders are too busy actually working to do these things—and their teams suffer as a result.

 

Do Nothing!’s practical strategies and true stories will show you how to set high expec­tations for your team and watch it rise to the challenge. It will help you establish a healthier culture by trusting people more than they expect to be trusted. And it will help you overcome your natural tendencies toward micromanagement so you can let people do their jobs—even when you know you could do their jobs better.

 

As Murnighan writes, “My experience suggests that you will be surprised—wildly surprised. Peo­ple on your team will reveal skills you never knew they had and will accomplish things that go far beyond your estimate of their capabilities. They might not do things the way you would do them, but they will get results you never expected. Every­one has hidden talents, and most leaders never discover them. Before you reject this approach, ask yourself: what if you did nothing and it actu­ally worked?”

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Harking back to concepts similar to Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching, this thoroughly researched approach from Murnighan, a professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, advocates effective leadership via “doing nothing”—allowing and encouraging certain potential present in the members of a team. In addition to discussing the importance of dynamic interplay between a leader and her team, Murnighan offers techniques for leading a team to certain defined goals, including the potent idea of de-emphasizing profits. Murnighan contributes his ideas on the character traits of a great leader, which include transparency, trust, and proper values. This engaging and quirky book, with plenty of practical takeaways, will suit anyone in a leadership position. Agent: James Levine, Levine Greenberg Agency. (June)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591845300
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/14/2012
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 721,270
  • Product dimensions: 6.34 (w) x 9.18 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

J. KEITH MURNIGHAN is an award-winning professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and an active consul­tant and trainer for a host of companies around the world. His research has been cited in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Econo­mist, and Forbes. He lives in Evanston, Illinois.

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Table of Contents

Preface xi

1 Do Nothing! 1

2 Focus on Them 21

3 Start at the End 55

4 Trust More 77

5 Release Control (Deviously) 105

6 Bear Down Warmly 125

7 Ignore Performance Goals 137

8 De-emphasize Profits 157

9 Unnatural Leaders 171

Acknowledgments 201

Bibliography 205

Index 215

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2013

    Great Tips

    Not all applies but some ideas are extremely good, i will definetlybstart applying.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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