Work Rules by Laszlo Bock – Canadian Government Executive

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Bookshelf with Harvey SchachterLeadershipManagement
March 8, 2016

Work Rules by Laszlo Bock

Bock says the best way to get to the essence of great management is to strip away all the tools on which managers tend to rely, notably power. Bock says a large training budget, however, is usually a sign that you failed to hire the right individuals to begin with.

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If you want to improve your management procedures, search Google. No, don’t put those words in the search engine’s magical white slot. Instead read Laszlo Bock’s Work Rules. The head of Google’s people function shares insights gleaned from the company’s rapid growth and its many experiments with different procedures, to see what works best.

Of course, you may have to breathe deeply and take a risk to follow his rules. Google believes in empowerment. Perhaps you do as well, or claim to. But it takes more than mere rhetoric to accomplish it.

“The power dynamic at the heart of management pulls against freedom. Employees are dependent on their managers and want to please them. A focus on pleasing your manager, however, means it can be perilous to have a frank discussion with her. And if you don’t please her, you can become fearful or resentful. At the same time, she’s accountable for you delivering certain results. Nobody produces their best work entangled in this Gordian knot of spoken and unspoken agendas and emotions,” he writes.


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About this author

Harvey Schachter

Harvey Schachter

Harvey Schachter is a writer, specializing in management and business issues. He writes three weekly columns for the Globe and Mail and The Leader’s Bookshelf column for Canadian Government Executive, and a regular column and features for Kingston Life magazine. Harvey was editor of the 2004 book Memos to the Prime Minister: What Canada Can Be in the 21st Century. He was the ghostwriter on The Three Pillars of Public Management by Ole Ingstrup and Paul Crookall, and editor of Getting Clients, Keeping Clients by Dan Richards. A McGill commerce graduate, Harvey spent more than 15 years in a variety of positions at The Kingston Whig-Standard, including editor and planning and promotions manager. He won two National Newspaper Awards for his writing and a national Owl Award for a marketing program he created at the newspaper.

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