After spending my reading-time of more than half a year on all the 5 volumes of Song of Ice and Fire, I decided to read again some serious stuff (not saying that GoT would not be serious in many aspects, but still). The first piece I took was “First, break all the rules” with subtitle “What the world’s greatest managers do differently”.
First of all, the most notable thing about this book is that it dares to call managers managers. In spite of all the BS in corporate world about leaders vs managers, it is clear from this book that this naming question is not so important. Assuming that leaders just need to show the way and then the happy flock will follow completely autonomously and in full harmony is a fairy tale.
What I liked even more is that the authors are suggesting a better way, based on acknowledging diversity of talent and setting clear expectations for each individual, instead of micromanagement and standardization. This is probably where the book title is coming from. I think that rules should not be just broken (because that would mean an ongoing frustration and tension in the management system), but changed for the better as much as possible. I’m not saying there should be no rules, but as few as possible (and here I’m quoting again Henrik Kniberg who calls this Minimal Viable Bureaucracy).
Finally, what I found the best in the book is the emphasis on the importance of recruiting. It’s not possible to create talented and motivated people, but you can only hire such folks, and then do your best to further grow them.