15 Things Bob Sutton Believes

From Bob Sutton’s Work Matters blog:

15 THINGS I (Bob Sutton) BELIEVE

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. Learn how to fight as if you are right and listen as if you are wrong: It helps you develop strong opinions that are weakly held.

6. 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.

7. Getting a little power can turn you into an insensitive self-centered jerk.

8. 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.

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

10. The best single question for testing an organization’s character is: What happens when people make mistakes?

11. The best people and organizations have the attitude of wisdom: The courage to act on what they know right now and the humility to change course when they find better evidence.

12. The quest for management magic and breakthrough ideas is overrated; being a master of the obvious is underrated.

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

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

15. Jim Maloney is right: Work is an overrated activity

A fine list. What do you believe?