This is totally off-topic, but one of the managers I admire most is Chip Conley, founder of Joie de Vivre, one of America's largest boutique hotel chains. I've been lucky enough to get to know Chip and see his amazing ability to motivate people up close. As a relatively left-brained, emotionless geek, I sometimes find it hard to remember that I'm managing people, not robots. But in Chip's new book--Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow--he offers a neat, almost algorithmic, way to figure out what your employees (or customers, or investors) need to be happy. Here's my Amazon review:
How to bring the best out in people, October 27, 2007
You don't have to have an emotional bone in your body to find useful advice in this book. Chip Conley built a great company and weathered the dot.com meltdown by putting people first, both his employees and his customers. Sounds tough, especially for left-brainers, but the Maslow pyramid gives a framework that even the most rational mind can work with. Treat employees fairly, recognize their accomplishments and give them something to believe in. It's as simple as that.
Conley has good advice for pleasing customers and investors, too, but I found his technique for bringing the best out of your employees most useful. Despite the fact that most of his employees don't have college degrees and half don't speak English as their first language, he's managed to both keep them and keep them happy. Those same techniques can work for any company. The point is that people are people everywhere and Maslow brilliantly realized what motivates all of us. Conley maps this to today's business environment with great examples and explanations.
Simply put, this book will make you a better manager. Get it!