J. Keith Murnighan – Do Nothing

In Do Nothing! How to Stop Overmanaging and Become a Great Leader award-winning business professor J. Keith Murnighan challenges his readers: “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.”

Dream or reality? It appears managers can do a lot less, let alone nothing to make things happen and get people strive for great results. Focus on them, the people, give them trust, release control, show integrity and start with the end and plan backwards. For me a major takeaway: Think of the reaction that you want first, then determine the actions you can take to maximize the chances that those reactions will actually happen.

Common sense, lasting truths, maybe the one insight you need right now, because business as usual stepped in again. Murnighan values active listening, de-emphasizing performance goals and short term profits. And if you’re fed up with theory alone, the author has some contemporary examples of unnatural leaders testifying the book’s principles:

Stop working and start leading (again).