Book review: Rip off Your Necktie and Dance

Emma De Vita reviews the new book by Leen Zevenbergen

Rip Off Your Necktie and Dance, by Leen Zevenbergen
Rip Off Your Necktie and Dance, by Leen Zevenbergen

This is the kind of book David Brent from The Office would love. The title is enough to conjure up the vision of an embarrassing middle-aged male manager doing the funky chicken in the centre of the accounts department. However, the terrible title and cheesy design don't do justice to the essence of what the author, Leen Zevenbergen, has to say about running an organisation. His argument centres on things that leaders should focus on. The three pertinent ones are: be creative, sparkle and inspire.

Let's take sparkle. "It's sad to think of the great mass of people who sit for hours in traffic jams and then troop into a building where they will spend eight long hours," he writes. This all changes if you inject a little pleasure into their days. This happens if, as a manager, you provide the leadership necessary to allow inspiration to take root and then give it direction.

Inspiration is the thing that enables your colleagues to make the conscious choice to do something together, and therefore become motivated. But it's your job to harness this in the right way. Essentially, it's all about making work fun, so come on, rip off your tie - or whatever else gets in the way - and dance!

Emma De Vita is books editor of Management Today

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