I confessed to J. Keith Murnighan, Northwestern (Kellogg School of Management) Professor and author of the new book, Do Nothing! How to Stop Overmanaging and Become a Great Leader, that the title had me just a little bit worried. I learned once I began turning the pages, that this was an unfounded fear. There’s nothing trite here as a title of “Do Nothing!” might suggest.
Keith offers up some fascinating and occasionally counter-intuitive (and research backed) ideas in Do Nothing! on how we can improve our effectiveness as leaders.
Reading the book was like spending a few days in a Kellogg School of Management Executive Education program. You’re exposed to some of the sharpest minds in management offering up research-backed ideas and approaches that are immediately actionable. You leave the program inspired, motivated and a little out of breath, and Keith achieves this same effect in Do Nothing!
In addition to guidance on what effective leaders should be doing (hint: it’s not their old jobs!), to his guidance on giving trust to get it, setting high expectations instead of testing people, and his “Leadership Law” there’s interesting, actionable advice in every chapter.
And while the chapters titled, “Ignore Performance Goals,” and “De-emphasize Profits” might sound like heresy for a Kellogg Professor, you can be certain that Keith has some great guidance here as well.
The final chapter, “Unnatural Leaders” is worth twice the price of admission, and offers profiles of 7 leaders who have been successful and who in Keith’s view, both exemplify the principles in the book and, do things differently than most.
Bob Sutton, author of “Good Boss, Bad Boss” and “The No Asshole Rule,” offers up high praise with his jacket quote that the book is, “Among the most imaginative, fun and useful leadership books ever published.“ It delivers on all 3 counts: fun, useful and imaginative! It’s a great addition for your leadership library.
You can check out Keith Murnighan’s blog at http://keithmurnighan.wordpress.com/