Force is all-conquering, but its victories are short-lived…Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.
“The major benefit of self-education when working with others is knowing what skill looks like.” (276)
Avoid bloated committees – keep your teams “elite and surgical.”
“Effective communication can only occur when both parties feel safe. As soon as people start to feel unimportant or threatened in a conversation, they start ‘stonewalling,’ shutting down communication. The threatened party may continue to interact, but mentally and emotionally, they’ve withdrawn from the conversation.” (280)
Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do, and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.
-General George S. Patton
“Micromanaging isn’t simply annoying – it’s extremely inefficient. Not only does spelling out every single detail make people feel less important, it actually impairs their effectiveness. No set of instructions, no matter how detailed, is capable of covering every contingency. When something inevitably changes, micromanagement fails.” (284)
“Commander’s intent is a much better method of delegating tasks: whenever you assign a task to someone, tell them why it must be done. The more your agent understands the purpose behind your actions, the better they’ll be able to respond appropriately when the situation changes.”
“When you communicate the intent behind your plans, you allow the people you work with to intelligently respond to changes as they happen.
“The best way to eliminate Bystander Apathy in project management is to ensure that all tasks have single, clear owners and deadlines.” (286)
The way to get on in the world is to make people believe it’s to their advantage to help you.
-Jean de la Bruyere, seventeenth-century essayist
“Convergence is the tendency of group members to become more alike over time…Convergence also means that groups have a tendency to police themselves. The norms of a group work like gravity – if they are violated, others will exert an influence on the rebel to bring them back in line.” (291)
“The best testimonials don’t necessarily contain superlatives: amazing, best, life-changing, and revolutionary have been so overused that people expect them and discount their expectations accordingly. The most effective testimonials tend to follow this format: ‘I was interested in this offer, but skeptical. I decided to purchase anyway, and I’m very pleased with the end result.’
“The reason this format is more effective than a litany of people gushing about your offer is that it more closely matches how your prospects are feeling: interested but uncertain.” (294-5)
“People have an inherent tendency to comply with Authority figures. This tendency begins in childhood – we wouldn’t survive for very long if we didn’t obey our parents most of the time. As we grow up, we’re socialized to respect and obey other Authority figures: teachers, police officers, government officials, and clergy. As a result, when an Authority figure asks us to do something, we’re very likely to comply – even if the request isn’t appropriate or doesn’t make sense.” (295)
“Developing a strong reputation in a certain area confers the benefits of Authority.” (296)
“Obtaining small commitments makes it more likely people will choose to act consistently with them later.” (298)
“By compensating their salespeople on a salary basis and giving generous bonuses based on long-term performance, (Norm) Brodsky and (Bo) Burlingham encouraged (their salespeople) to focus on making profitable sales versus sales at any cost.” (299)
“In the case of conflict, Perceptual Controls win over incentives every time.” (300)
“The best way to avoid Modal Bias [the assumption that our idea or approach is best] is to use inhibition to temporarily suspend judgment. Part of the value of understanding cognitive biases is the knowledge that you’re not immune to them, and simply knowing they exist doesn’t make them any less influential. Modal Bias is automatic – we have to use willpower to overcome it.” (301)
High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation.
“In How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie recommends ‘Giving others a great reputation to live up to.’ ” (302)
“The Pygmalion Effect [the tendency of our expectations of others to become self-fulfilling prophecies] also features a paradox: having high expectations of people will produce better results, but it also increases the probability that you’ll be disappointed. The Expectation Effect means that our perception of the quality of someone’s work is a function of our original expectations.” (302)
“If you’re doing a formal assessment of someone’s performance, remember to judge performance objectively and quantitatively as much as possible.”