13 January 2010

Great Books, Part 1

I got some great books for Christmas, and just finished (re)reading one of them.

It's titled Up The Organization, and it's a classic. First published in 1970, it's the leadership and management philosophy of Avis CEO Robert Townsend. He was a real Rogue Leader, and I'd read this book a few years ago, but it was a library copy. Now I have my very own, and I can write it in as much as I want to!

A few excerpts for your reading pleasure:

"Big successful institutions aren't successful because of the way the operate, but in spite of it. They didn't get to the top doing things the way they're doing them now."

"If you're going to function effectively in our organizational society, it's important that you have a healthy contempt for our major institutions, public and private - especially for their leaders."

"Too little is almost always better than too much... A tight budget brings out the best creative instincts in man. Give him unlimited funds and he won't come up with the best way to a result. Man is a complicating animal. He only simplifies under pressure."

Finally, here's the text of a memo he left behind every time he was out of the office for more than a week:

"I've gone away. Until I get back Henry is chief executive officer. Please don't hold up decisions. Anything you do in my absence will have my complete support when I return." [Note - it doesn't say when he'll be back or where he's gone off to. That's a deliberate omission].

1 comment:

Glen B. Alleman said...

Great book Dan. This needs to be sitting along side Norm Augustine's Law's book.