who knew harvard knew anything about good business practices?
on the recommendation of a coworker, i recently read an article in the october issue of the harvard business review: "seven surprises for new ceos." mentioned here not because i plan on becoming a ceo anytime soon — there's a thankless job — but because it's a primer on how to be an effective manager at any level, since the ceo is the ultimate manager in any org.
the main takeaway, as the bizskool kids would say, is this: the best managers are those who can enthusiastically endorse whatever gets put in front of them. successful management being about trust and guidance, as opposed to command and control. simple as that. the worst are those who confuse assertion with authority: they get involved in every decision, interfering because they think that's what managers do. whereas the best hire people they believe in, communicate strategy and goals to them, and make themselves available for advice and input when required.
doing more by doing less. fascinating, and obvious on the face of it — who hasn't had that awful experience working under a micromanager?
myself, it's been a long time since i've been managed. it's the reason i always give for starting companies: "i don't like working for other people." but it turns out i just don't like being badly managed. this kind of management, that's something i can live with, and something to aspire to.