Thursday, September 30, 2010

17 things Bob Sutton believes in...

Bob Sutton was my MS&E 280 (Organizational Behavior) professor at Stanford. Probably one of the most enjoyable classes I had, and the final assignment was probably one of my best pieces of fiction (Don’t ask, it was that kind of class).. Bob is also the author of many books on Organizational Behavior, including “The No Asshole Rule”, and his latest “Good Boss, Bad Boss”.

I recently stumbled upon his blog , and while he still has the same (sometimes irritating) boisterousness in his writings as he does in person, it’s also struck a chord somewhere. Would encourage everyone to go there once in a while. Everyone of us, is a boss somewhere, and has a boss somewhere.. So in his honor, I reprint something straight from his blog. I wanted to link to this part alone, but couldnt find someway to do that in the short time that I had. You might find yourself nodding in agreement (or in disagreement), but I have been thinking of writing something on these lines for a while..

17 Things Bob Sutton believes in..

1. Sometimes the best management is no management at all -- first do no harm!

2. Indifference is as important as passion.

3. In organizational life, you can have influence over others or you can have freedom from others, but you can't have both at the same time.

4. Saying smart things and giving smart answers are important. Learning to listen to others and to ask smart questions is more important.

5. You get what you expect from people. This is especially true when it comes to selfish behavior; unvarnished self-interest is a learned social norm, not an unwavering feature of human behavior.

6. Avoid pompous jerks whenever possible. They not only can make you feel bad about yourself, chances are that you will eventually start acting like them.

7. The best test of a person's character is how he or she treats those with less power.

8. Err on the side of optimism and positive energy in all things.

9. It is good to ask yourself, do I have enough? Do you really need more money, power, prestige, or stuff?

10. Anyone can learn to be creative, it just takes a lot of practice and little confidence

11. "Whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong."

12. If you are an expert, seek-out novices or experts in other fields. If you are a novice, seek out experts.

13. Sutton's Law: “If you think that you have a new idea, you are wrong. Someone else probably already had it. This idea isn’t original either; I stole it from someone else”

14. "Am I a success or a failure?" is not a very useful question

15. The world would be a better place if people slept more and took more naps

16. Strive for simplicity and competence, but embrace the confusion and messiness along the way.

17. Jimmy Maloney is right, work is an overrated activity.

NB: Also, would be very interested in knowing how many of these I practice ( or absolutely do not practice).. Maybe in private.. :)
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