Friday, July 29, 2005

A secret handbook for CEOs?

This recent story by Paul Kaihla from Business 2.0 refers to a 76-page booklet compiled over many years by Bill Swanson, CEO of aerospace contractor Raytheon, under the title of Swanson's Unwritten Rules of Management. In Kaihla's piece, Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric, says nice things about it, as do many other prominent leaders from some interesting trenches. The manual is also cited as a key to setting the tone for Raytheon's impressive turnaround, which has led to growth in revenues and profits for six straight quarters.


Though Kaihla praises Swanson for making complex ideas easy to grasp, to help impart the wisdom from the story's subheads here, I've simplified them even more. Be sure to read the story for extended discussions from Swanson and other leaders on these keys to management success: You can't polish a (insert blatantly dull object of choice); Don't know something? Say so; Understand how people learn things; In troubleshooting, seek-out what's missing; Address criticisms directly to the source; Always respect your company's name; Enthusiasm is contagious; Evaluate decisions from a higher level; Criticism is a natural by-product of action; Confidentiality is temporary at best; Disrespecting anyone makes you a jerk to everyone; Big problems must be resolved simply and quickly. It's clearly no secret that good sense is the basis for extraordinary management.