Summary of Do Nothing!

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Do Nothing! book summary


7 Overall

7 Applicability

8 Innovation

7 Style


Does managing or leading others have to be a chore? Not if you don’t do it, says Northwestern University management professor J. Keith Murnighan. Imagine coming back from vacation or a day of meetings to find no office crises, no emergencies and no pressing issues. Murnighan’s chatty, smart management guide – which will be particularly effective for those who are leading small groups – can be a little repetitious and a bit cloying. Even so, getAbstract recommends his manual particularly for its brevity. Murnighan makes his point about light-handed management and then he goes home, where, presumably, he can contentedly do nothing.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How doing less as a manager helps you accomplish more;
  • Why you should trust your employees, focus on long-range goals, ignore performance measurements and use “backward induction”; and
  • How leaders succeed by doing nothing.

About the Author

Corporate trainer and consultant J. Keith Murnighan is a professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL.



Do Something by Doing Nothing
When most managers confront an office challenge, their typical reaction is to work harder. But “conscientious leaders do too much.” Even nonworkaholic leaders can feel that everything their subordinates are supposed to do is still their personal responsibility...

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