Here is a review I found about the book.
Here is a second review I found.
Here is a brief biography of the author.
This book was originally published in 1970. It's sad to see that most of this wisdom is still not being followed in corporations. I wonder what he would say about Enron? This book is an excellent set of wisdom. It is a collection of pieces about various topics, in alphabetical order. You can read only parts of it, or use it as a reference on a particular topic.
The book was very inspiring to me and was an easy read. I was able to read it in 4 hours. However, I am going to read it multiple times to get the information to soak in as best as possible. The pearls in the book are timeless.
Robert's philosophy on people management matches very well with the philosophy from the Agile software development community (self-organizing teams). He boils it down to two theories:
- People hate work
- They have to be driven and threatened with punishment to get them to work toward organizational objectives.
- They like security, aren't ambitious, want to be told what to do, dislike responsibility.
- People don't hate work. It's as natural as rest or play.
- They don't have to be forced or threatened. If they commit themselves to mutual objectives, they'll drive themselves more effectively than you can drive them.
- But they'll commit themselves only to the extent they can see ways of satisying their ego and development needs.
Here is another great pearl of wisdom:
Promises: The world is divided into two classes of people: the few people who make good on their promises (even if they don't promise as much), and the many who don't. Get in column A and stay there. You'll be very valuable wherever you are.
This book is full of wisdom of this type. As I said, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and feel that RCT was a man ahead of his time. This book should be required reading for all executives, managers, and employees in general.
I highly recommend everyone who works at or owns a company to read this book and live by it.
Here is a link to some good RCT quotes.
How could you not love someone who said the following:
"If you don't do it excellently, don't do it at all. Because if it's not excellent, it won't be profitable or fun, and if you're not in business for fun or profit, what the hell are you doing there?"
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.