I've read Rework (by David Heinemeier Hansson and Jason Fried) and found that it has some really good points about ASAP, meetings, etc. I've found that this book addresses many mistakes that are regularly practiced at my daily job.

My boss is hosting an annual BBQ party soon. Is it wrong if I give a copy of this book to my boss as a gift at the party? I'm afraid he might interpret it as an insult ("Hey, here is a management book! Go read it to learn how to manage us!"), but I feel that, if taken constructively, the book could be very helpful.

What is the best way to give the book to my boss (e.g., at the party, in the workplace)? Is there any way to do it such that it is not inappropriate?


5 Answers 5


Have you ever had a discussion with your boss about a management book you've read? If she was interested, you may have suggested letting her borrow it. That would give you an indication of how this person feels about business books or reading in general. An office full of them would be another indicator that they are almost a collector. I might give a copy as a gift to this person, but never without strong indications they wouldn't be offended or not interestd.


Directly suggest one process change at a time. Maybe tell him you read about it in that book. If he's not open to suggestions, he won't be open to reading a book either.


Many years ago, I gave my boss a copy of Peters' & Waterman's In Search of Excellence. I delivered it along with a recommendation - "They've got some great things to say about why the things we tried to do here didn't work." But he already understood that the things we were trying to do weren't working. If you're trying to tell your boss that he's doing something wrong, you're likely to be less successful than I was.


While it may be inadvisable to give a book like this to your boss, I think it depends on the type of person your boss is. If you know that your boss is someone who loves self-help management books and has "The One-minute Manager" and "Am I the only Sane One Working Here?" on his/her bookshelf already, this would be totally fine. If this is your way of trying to get him/her to change or improve management styles... then probably not.


This very much depends on your manager and relationship with him. If he's friendly, open to new ideas and unlikely to take things personally, you're probably okay - but I'd perhaps mention it to him first informally and see how he responds to the idea of "Loaning him your copy to read", as it has some techniques you really feel could improve processes at the company/within the team. If he responds well to this, you could consider giving him a copy, otherwise drop it.

Done wrongly, you will run a significant chance of offending your manager as you could be seen as suggesting he is doing his job poorly.

If in doubt, bring a bottle of wine instead.

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