by Edward M. Hallowell, MD

Harvard Business Review Press, $26.95, 197 pages

Managerial advice books tend to be a little boring, as they look towards the bottom line. Shine: Using Brain Science to Get the Best from Your People reverses that trend, it states that sometimes by ignoring the bottom line one can actually make it look better. Hallowell’s inspiration for this book comes from a shoeshiner in Boston’s Logan Airport who makes a point of reaching out to his customers. The advice he gives in his book echoes that, as he preaches that a manager’s job is to help his people do what they do.

The examples given in this book work well to emphasize his point, and make a strong case for managers who simply facilitate the work to be done rather than constantly looking over the shoulders of those that they manage. In some cases, this is simply a matter of making sure that the right person is in the right position, but it can also apply in other areas as well, such as making sure that there are areas filled with M&M’s. This is a great book with some great ideas on how to manage groups that aren’t just Dilbert clones.

Reviewed by Jamais Jochim