The Book of Management Wisdom
edited by Peter Krass
John Wiley, 2000,492 pages,$29

The Book of Management Wisdom, Peter Krass's latest addition to Wiley's Wisdom Series, brings together the essays and speeches of more than 50 of the most successful business managers of all time, presenting their ideas, tips, and management secrets in their own words. You'll find expert management advice here ranging from Sam Walton on creating a corporate culture to Lee Iacocca on his famous skip meetings to Harold Geneen on the essential qualities of great managers.

Grove on Confrontation
In "How to Make Confrontation Work for You," for example, Andrew S. Grove, former CEO of Intel and Time magazine's "Man of the Year" in 1997, explains how to harness people's aggressive energy to solve problems in a more efficient manner using a process he terms "constructive confrontation." The essence of constructive confrontation, Grove explains, is attacking problems by speaking up in a businesslike way. Imagine you are in a meeting, he says, and a coworker is droning on about a clearly unworkable idea. Grove suggests that, when you fully understand his point, you interrupt politely: "I disagree with your proposed solution. It won't work because..." The key is to attack the problem, not the individual.

American Business, American Football
In another memorable essay, Klaus Luft, former head of Nixdorf Computer AG, once West Germany's high-flying computer and software manufacturer, weighs in on "What American CEOs Can Learn from German Management." Luft likens American business to American football.

He describes his experience watching an American football game where the crowd was in an uproar when the home team gained 10 yards. In European football, he says, the spectators scream when a player takes a shot at the goal, not when the team is at midfield. He believes this demonstrates the American philosophy that the plan is all-important. Everything is divided into small steps, and each step almost becomes more important than reaching the final objective. In Luft's opinion, companies must be more direct in their approaches. The reward comes only when the ball goes into the net, not before.

From conflict management to harnessing the power of technology to abandoning "burden sharing" in favor of "reward sharing," this collection offers solid advice, humor, strategy, and inspiration for any manager, new or seasoned.

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