Productive laziness

Will Manley promotes “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” as the ultimate management book in the column “Tom Sawyer and the Art of Good Management” in the July issue of Booklist Magazine. (sadly the current issue is not online yet) He says, “I routinely give Tom Sawyer to my new managers and tell them to throw away their management textbooks.”

Tom re-frames the “work” of white-washing a large fence as “creative play” to convince others to do what needs to be done. It’s difficult for those who have been trained to have a strong work ethic to understand how productive his laziness is. The job of a manager is not to do the job, it is to dream up ways to motivate others. The less work a manger does, the more effective they are.  Motivation is “nothing more than an advanced form of con-artistry.”

I seek to create order from the chaos of complex information. Join me at the Daily PlanIt to gain insights, inspiration, and information to increase skills for a better life. I unlock the power of teaching reading with phonics in the pursuit of literacy at In my spare time I explore books and movies, often choosing titles available on both screen and page.

Posted in productivity
One comment on “Productive laziness
  1. Reframing a problem/situation is a great skill, one I need to continue working on. My favorite observation: My wife bought a shampoo and conditioner called “Silver Expressions,” which turns on its head the idea that gray hair isn’t attractive (I’m 45 and getting plenty of it).

    In their book “Why Not?,” the authors give techniques for creativity, with one being SYMMETRY, via the question “Would flipping it work?” Neat! More at : Notes on the book “Why Not?” (How to Use Everyday Ingenuity to Solve Problems Big and Small),

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