Chief Pot Stirrer – Benevolent Dictator


After carrying The Benevolent Dictator around the world a few times due to my inability to actually finish read it, I’m happy to say I’m now in a position to post my thoughts.  Overall, after reading Benevolent Dictator I found myself agreeing almost everything in the book, and wanting to meet Michael Feuer and dig further into certain “Lessons”.  Hence, I can only recommend this book as a must read for anyone considering a start-up, or anyone wanting to assess the company they work for.  Usual style comments follow:

  • Page 30 – Inspector Clouseau routine.  “Most people don’t tell you what they mean, instead you have to translate”
  • Page 37 – “Notes are mandatory for every meeting, coupled with next steps”  How many meetings are you in where there are no meeting notes, no actions, but a lot of time is spent in the meeting?
  • Page 37 – “Don’t ignore me” rule.  Concur on this rule, its one of mine as well😉
  • Page 57 – Fail early
  • Page 83 – Equity, “Skin in the game”, and why team equity is important to motivate staff.
  • Page 93 – Interviewing.  “I’m not your father”, but “I set direction”
  • Page 98 – Executive Committee Management team meetings – its a scrum😉
  • Page 120 – “Make it mandatory that everyone knows what the expected return should be on the investment before allocating money to any new project”.
  • Page 129 – Best executives use their heads (analysis), hearts (passion and inspiration) and guts (intuition)
  • Page 131 – Be honest.  Infer “Please” and “Thank you”
  • Page 141 – Present bad news face to face.
  • Page 149 – Before making a hire, define: responsibilities, scope of authority, short term expectations, intermediate, and long term. Without a tight job description, all is lost!  Hard to disagree on this one.  Hate to think how many companies fail on this alone.
  • Page 153 – “Cut to the chase”😉
  • Page 156 – When people adopt your techniques to train their own subordinates and associates, things have to be going well😉
  • Page 156 – Micro-manager – get over it!
  • Page 160 – Ensure employees know how they contribute to the bottom line!  Another classic failure of companies😦
  • Page 165 – Pay for performance not perspiration!
  • Page 167 – Somebody needs to call the shots, else its game over.
  • Page 175 – “Employee back-talk time” – could not agree more.  I also like the attending only one Operating Committee meeting🙂
  • Page 181 – Respect.  Arrive at meeting on time, ending meetings on schedule.
  • Page 187 – Believing you can outsmart your customers is going to fail badly.
  • Page 219 – “Deal Inventory”: Do I really want this? Does it add value? The breakpoint to walk
  • Page 253 – Chief Pot Stirrer.

Worth a read is Mark Suster view of Benevolent Dictators.

~ by mdavey on October 30, 2013.

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