J. Keith Murnighan was an American social scientist and author. Publishing more than seven books, he was best known for his work on, ‘Do Nothing! How to Stop Overmanaging and Become a Great Leader.’ Here is a look at some of the most memorable J. Keith Murnighan quotes to become familiar with.
“By not letting good performers do their jobs, on their own, leaders don’t allow their team members to feel proud of what they can do.”
“Doing too much is far worse than doing too little.”
“It is up to you as the leader to make sure that your team members feel safe. You must bend over backwards to make this happen, because team members know that their leaders are always evaluating them and they have perfectly natural fears about the outcome of those evaluations.”
“Leaders need to keep a singular focus, each and every day, on their ultimate goals; they need to keep them at the front of their minds as they choose their actions and strategies.”
“Leadership Law: Think of the reaction that you want first, then determine the actions you can take to maximize the chances that those reactions will actually happen.”
“Not only do we often find what we are looking for in people, we sometimes create what we are looking for in people.”
“Partial trust sucks in many ways: it is the reverse of flattery and respect and it stimulates lousy outcomes, for everyone.”
“People don’t know how much you know until they know how much you care about them.’ You could be the world’s greatest expert on something but if the people you work with don’t know that you care about them, they won’t listen to you much.”
“Stated succinctly, partial trust sucks. When we know we have been trusted only partially, we naturally wonder, ‘Why didn’t he trust me more?’ This natural question reduces our motivation to reciprocate and leads to less long-term commitment to a leader, to a team, and to an organization.”
“Thus, even something as simple as putting a Post-it note that describes your ultimate goals on the corner of your computer screen can help you keep focused and slow you down so that you can facilitate and orchestrate your team’s actions directly toward your ultimate goal.”
“When leaders do too much, they cannot be as effective or as thoughtful or as strategic as they might otherwise be. Even worse, their team members are underutilized and underchallenged.”
“You must make it eminently clear that you want them to participate, to question, to comment, and to disagree – and you need to reinforce them when they do.”
“You must work doubly hard to help them feel safe: you must treat your team members’ questions and observations as if you love hearing each and every one of them and you must entertain their ideas and even invite them to disagree with you.”
“You shouldn’t focus on outcomes so much. Focus instead on doing things right, on the best possible process, and on paying attention to what you can do rather than to what you can’t control.”
Keith Murnighan takes some time to talk with McGill University’s Karl Moore on how to handle ethical dilemmas.