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Rabu, 01 Agustus 2012

Do Nothing! by J. Keith Murnighan - Book review

Do Nothing!

How to Stop Overmanaging and Become a Great Leader

By: J. Keith Murnighan

Published: June 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover, 240 pages
ISBN-10: 1591845300
ISBN-13: 978-1591845300
Publisher: Portfolio/Penguin

"Most leaders clearly try to do way too much at work; not only that, because they try to do too much, they perform worse than they otherwise could - and their teams don't perform as well as they could either", writes award-winning Professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, J. Keith Murnighan, in his insightful and very practical book Do Nothing! mHow to Stop Overmanaging and Become a Great Leader. The author describes how managers attempt to do too much, causing them to fail to perform their real role as leaders, while stifling the efforts of their teams at the same time; and instead offers the counter-intuitive but highly effective advice of doing nothing.

J. Keith Murnighan understands that the first impulse of most managers is to do something in what they perceive to be a crisis; whether one exists of not. Instead of trusting their team members to do their jobs, the tendency of the over managing leader is to try to do too much. The author points out that this urge to action is precisely the wrong approach to management. It results in two problems that harm the organization. Instead of performing the role of leader, and devising strategy, developing plans, and making important decisions, the micro-manager under-utilizes team members and reduces their level of trust. Instead, J. Keith Murnighan recommends focusing on the job as leader, trusting the staff to do their job, and building team morale and productivity.

J. Keith Murnighan (photo left) recognizes that simply working is not synonymous with leadership. Indeed, the author makes clear that doing the wrong things, or the jobs of team members, actually makes things worse. When tempted to micro-manage or over-manage, the author recommends doing nothing at all. While doing nothing may seem anathema to many driven managers, J. Keith Murnighan provides evidence that instead of the anticipated disaster, good things follow the inaction. Team members feel more trusted to do their jobs and to make decisions, they exceed all expectations including their own, and productivity and morale increase.

J. Keith Murnighan recommends the following strategies for leaders to strengthen their teams, remove their own fear, and build trust:

* Do nothing
* Focus on them
* Start at the end
* trust more
* Release control, deviously
* Bear down warmly
* ignore performance goals
* De-emphasize profits

For me, the power of the book is how J. Keith Murnighan addresses head on the ubiquitous managerial problem of over-managing, and provides practical and actionable solutions to achieve superior results. The author diagnoses the problem the challenges facing leaders who feel the urge, through fear, to do something or anything, when the optimum solution is to do nothing. Instead of micro-managing, the author presents a powerful process for trusting team members, so they can display their true abilities.

The author bolsters his thesis with case studies of the concept of doing nothing in the real world. The results of changing the managerial focus, from the manager to the team, changes the overall dynamic improving both trust levels and net results. Instead of doing more, the concept of doing less is paradoxically more effective in achieving goals.

I highly recommend the transformational and idea filled book Do Nothing! How to Stop Overmanaging and Become a Great Leader by J. Keith Mornighan, to any leaders, managers, and entrepreneurs seeking an alternative approach to the failed techniques of over-managing and micro-managing. This book will change the way you manage your team, build their trust, and achieve superior results.

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