To Be A Great Leader, Author Says, “Do Nothing!”
Okay, I’ll just get this out of the way so we can move on. While it’s an excellent book, I don’t like the title, Do Nothing!
On the other hand, the subtitle is perfect. It is, How to Stop Overmanaging and Become a Great Leader.
The book was written by noted consultant and award-winning professor, J. Keith Murnighan (pronounced, Mernyin) of the prestigious Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. His basic premise is that most leaders do too much actual work themselves. And, when they do, they cannot be as effective, thoughtful, or as strategic as they might otherwise be. More than that, their team members are underutilized and under-challenged.
This makes a lot of sense as many leaders, by their very nature, combine confidence in themselves with a lack of confidence – or trust – that others can do as good a job as they can.
Professor Murnighan suggests that instead, leaders should focus their attention on the areas that will leverage organizational success. He says they should think, make key decisions, help when needed and add some organizational control.
The result: team members reveal skills and performance that far exceed what others might think they are capable of. This increases morale, productivity, and… profitability!
Throughout the book, the author raises a number of fascinating insights regarding human motivation and the differences in thought processes. This allows some to find it much easier to succeed than others. I especially enjoyed learning about the differences in “fixed mindset” and “growth mindset.” Really, the more I think about it, the author is a master in terms of what moves people.
Enjoy the chat.
Keep in mind what Professor Murnighan calls, The Leadership Law: “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.”
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