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The Art of Leadership: Small Things, Done Well

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  126 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Many people think leadership is a higher calling that resides exclusively with a select few who practice and preach big, complex leadership philosophies. But as this practical book reveals, what's most important for leadership is principled consistency. Time and again, small things done well build trust and respect within a team.

Using stories from his time at Netscape,
Paperback, 198 pages
Published April 7th 2020 by O'Reilly Media
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Sebastian Gebski
Jun 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A very good read.
I'm not sure whether you agree, but IMHO books about management/leadership are rarely fun to read. They can be very informative, interesting, thought-provoking, but rarely "fun".
TAoL is "fun".

First thing - the language. It's very direct, informal. I'd call it: blog-post style. Sometimes funny, but always relaxed and approachable. It doesn't even feel like a "traditional" book.
Second thing - the structure. It's split into 30 chapters that do not try to present the whole topic
Dmitry Spesiviy
Jul 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed reading this leadership book. Picked up something for myself.

few of my notes:

1. Tasting the soup by asking small, but critical questions is important part of leadership
2. Delegate until it hurts
3. Say the hard things. Actively hearing the hard things.
4. Build your org chat not based on people, but build it around your product or technology.
People based org chats describes only power structure.
May 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a heartfelt and brilliant book.

If you, like me, have been reading the blog Rands in Repose for many a year -- or whether you're completely new to the mind of Rands -- a.k.a. Michael Lopp, you're in for a treat. I've been following the blog for something verging on 15 years but every "small thing" in this book is brand new.

The "small things" are like finely crafted gemstones -- faceted and polished to focus their light of wisdom. Each small thing manages to capture and distill an unspoken
Timon Ruban
Incredibly entertaining read. Lopp is a master at telling engaging little stories that demand your attention. Unfortunately many of the chapters, while well-written, were a little too fluffy for my taste. I am a fan of advice that sounds equally good no matter whose mouth it's coming from. I fear that for a lot of the advice found in this book, one's opinion on its quality hinges on one's attitude towards the believability of the author (which as far as I can tell is rather high). That being ...more
Miguel Paraz
Nov 28, 2020 rated it liked it
It unfortunately didnt teach me much and Lopps/Rands experiences did not sink in. Now it could be because Im not the target market since I am not in or aiming to be in software engineering management. ...more
Jan Gorman
Jun 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Déjà vu if you've read "Managing Humans"
Marcin Golenia
Sep 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The book is worth the money spent. I'm neither a manager, CTO nor director but I still found it valuable. As Lopp states - leadership can come for everywhere so most of the stuff still applies. Some of the practices can even be applied in your life! If you are interested in growing you and your team this is a must-read.
The part about "Hearing the hard thing" is just great, techniques like blue tape or instructions on saying good compliments are simple and effective. The language of the book is
Christof Damian
Jun 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the book.
I am familiar with his blog and podcast and some of the content also made it into the book.
I like the idea of "Small Things, Done Well", how he introduces a concept and backs it with reason.
His writing style is probably like his communication style, very direct and condensed.

I don't give the full five stars, because some of the later chapters in the Executive section seemed to be just fillers to get the book done. Some were straight copies from the blog and others
Jun 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: leadership
I am biased, I like the blog Rands in Repose and moreover his leadership style. You may afraid that it is just only distilled posts (it would be worthy to read anyway), but it is nicely shaped and extended (I guess, I do not remember every post word by word). Personally, I will be returning to this fount of wisdom.
Isaac Perez Moncho
Jun 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
As the previous Lopp's books, the book is made of short chapters with actionable insights and very useful information.
Max Pesce
Jun 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Same format as "Managing Humans", a series of interesting articles covering different situations you can learn from.
The writing is enjoyable and it doesn't feel an old school management book.
Aug 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Rands is a master in story telling. Experience and truth shared through good stories!
Alan Page
Oct 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm a huge rands fan, and this book is filled with nuggets of great information on management and leadership.
Kirupa Jayapal
Oct 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Good light read.
Michał Węgrzyn
Oct 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: leadership
I love Lopps style and the way he communicates. Out of millions of leadership books his are not only fun to read but insightful and deep.
Great book.
Nov 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I had to read this during a training session for work. However, I thoroughly enjoyed it. This book provides valuable insight from top down managerial perspectives that can be used in any team environment. There are good habits discussed and the shared stories and experiences can help any startup company or someone wanting to get into managing at a startup. The last chapter caught my heart as the author related his experience with a friend leading raids in an MMORPG (Destiny) with developing kind ...more
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