Very much like “The Manager’s Path”, this is another book you should keep on your desk and access randomly as you need it. Most of the “small things” target upper management but I recommend this book to line managers and individual contributors too as this is a good reference for what you should expect from your manager.

I’ll probably re-read parts from this book multiple times.


  • As a leader you are responsible for something: an area, a team, a project. A more productive mindset is considering you accountable. While Responsibility is more of a characteristic that comes along with your job, Accountability requires a willingness to justify (account for) your decisions.
  • Managers tell you where you are, leaders tell you where you’re going.
  • When in a new context, make a list of whatever seems off and commit to address all the points in the list. Address is not the same as Fix, some of them might you can’t/don’t want to fix but you still give them attention and explain why.
  • Management is not a promotion and you’re likely not equipped for the job at first. Three small things you can do:
    • Let others change your mind
    • Augment your weaknesses by building a diverse team (ideas don’t improve in echo chambers)
    • Delegate more than it’s comfortable