Management Books

I came across “The 12 Simple Secrets of Microsoft Management: How to Think and Act Like a Microsoft Manager and Take Your Company to the Top.” Reading it now in 2010, I can’t help but chuckle at the wide-eyed fanboy writing. Then I saw “The Google Way: How One Company Is Revolutionizing Management as We Know It and it cemented my opinion that whenever a book endorses any particular “way” of management with the benefit of hindsight and makes a point that all it would take for your company to be similarly successful is follow the bromides in the book, it is a clear sign that the person writing the book has no clue what they are going on about.

This is what the people think matters:

smarts and skill

This is actually what matters:

Luck and skill

6 Responses to Management Books

  1. joel says:

    basic human nature…

    lets emulate the behavior of people who happen to have been successful.

    It’s like building a cargo cult, hey we have the lights and the runway, why aren’t the ships arriving?

  2. Matt Ringel says:

    Agreed. Trying to replicate a rose by its petals (instead of its roots) is generally doomed to failure.

    As an aside, one of the most useful management books I’ve found was only indirectly about management.

    It’s a clever little book that talks about how/why teams go wrong, and a few ways to think about salvaging them, if necessary. I can safely say that I’ve saved at least one team by using the lessons I learned in that book.

    • Will Charnock says:

      +1 on this book – I’ve had it given to me at 2 companies as part of management training and there’s good stuff in it.

  3. randy says:

    How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie is a phenomenal management book. It spans any industry in any time period. It cites examples from Abraham Lincoln to John Wanamaker and beyond. It’s not a user manaual for leadership, it doesn’t take a specific company’s success and extrapolate its model after the fact. It’s simply a bunch of ways to use gentle but effective techniques to simply get people to do what you want them to do, and for them to own it. Once the core of the company has the vision, it’s getting their workers to have that same passion that is the challenge.

  4. mo says:

    One of the most dangerous things anyone can do is confuse being lucky with being smart. Those lucky
    enough to survive in spite of such misapprehensions
    often have wisdom visited upon them with considerable vigor.

  5. Marty says:

    And that luck is usually guts more than anything.

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