Management books you should read, and what to learn from them

I’ve been on a small bender on this, and this is what I learned, in short. Reading my summaries could spare you the time of reading the actual books, but I don’t recommend it — they are chock-full of useful language and terms to describe situations, which will help you apply the lessons better.

The Art of Action: How Leaders Close the Gaps between Plans, Actions and Results

This is the book about how you best communicate goals and plans to a team, so they can start working on them without being micromanaged. The trick: Explain the Why, then When, and the What (problem), not the How nor the What (solution), then have them repeat these things back to you in their own words to check for understanding and completeness (you might have forgotten something).

Getting Naked: A Business Fable About Shedding The Three Fears That Sabotage Client Loyalty

You want your clients trust. In order for that to happen, you need to be honest with them, especially when it comes to your own shortcomings. Let your successful work stand on its own. Don’t grandstand, don’t pretend your better than them, but don’t be shy to be firm on the things you know to be right.

Radical Candour

Feedback is important, especially negative feedback. It needs to be on time, absolutely honest, and to come from a position of kind caring. If you give feedback in order to belittle, demean or because you’re on a power trip, you’re an asshole. But you’re also an asshole if you don’t give any negative feedback when you see flaws, because then no one can get better.

Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage in Human Consciousness

This is a slightly esoteric book. Read on despite the woo, it gets rewarding. Organisations work better when you let them live like an organism, with purpose and innate reactions instead of programmed machine-like behaviors. When you truly empower people to take ownership of their work, they’ll do better. That means everyone basically manages themselves.

Strong Product People: A Complete Guide to Developing Great Product Managers

I don’t agree with a lot of the actual people managing advice. It is well-meaning, but putting it into action would throw diverse people of all kinds under the bus, as a lot of the advice subconsciously encourages group-think and only hiring people that are like everyone else in the team.

But the idea of defining your good, meaning „figure out what a good person for $Position really needs to be able to do“, and then coming up with a metric on how to measure this ominous „good“ is brilliant management advice, as it allows you to give useful and meaningful and above all, actionable feedback.

The Mom Test: How to talk to customers & learn if your business is a good idea when everyone is lying

Don’t ask leading questions. Don’t ask questions where any desire to please you could colour the answer. Ask open questions that give you useful insights regardless of the answer given.

The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

hah, gotcha: I haven’t actually read this yet. Come back later! :)

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