The one-sentence summary

Managing well is about getting things done, and displaying the right behaviour and emotions.


  • This is what you actually need to do to manage and succeed – the art of making things happen. Managing well is about getting things done, and displaying the right behaviour and emotions.
  • You need to be able to evaluate your own management potential, assess team members, and help them discover how they can improve.
  • These skills can be divided into three areas:

IQ: rational management (tasks and functions – solve the problem)

EQ: emotional management (individuals and groups – empathise)

PQ: political management (control, power and change – align agendas)

  • IQ + EQ + PQ = MQ: your Management Quotient (MQ)
  • Pattern recognition helps good operatives to recognise familiar scenarios and know what to do, faster.
  • Clever people make things complicated. Really clever people make things simple.
  • When managing budgets, apply the 48/52 rule (spend 48% but achieve 52% in the first six months of a year), and sandbag (know where you can cut).
  • Type X managers exercise close control and are tough
  • Type Y managers delegate and are trusting
  • Most people are biased to one type or the other, but the very best managers can apply either style depending on the context.


  • Nema-washi is Japanese for consensus-based decision making.
  • Squeezing the balloon creates the impression of change and/or gain – transfer costs between departments or fiscal years.
  • There is no point at which flattery becomes counterproductive.
  • An elder of the Bambara tribe in Mali explains the rhythm of life: the first 20 years are about learning, the next 20 about doing, and the last 20 about teaching the next generation. A metaphor for how to manage?
  • Change is the land of FUD: Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt.
  • The random walk of learning from experience can be great or awful, depending on what circumstances occur and how you cope.
  • 99% of managers fail to use books or courses to increase their wisdom, usually because they claim to be too busy. This is a mistake.
  • There are lots of checklists so you can enact what the author suggests.


  • Not much. It’s a good handbook written in a clear style.