High Output Management

“You must compete with millions of individuals every day, and every day you must enhance your value, hone your competitive advantage, learn, adapt, get out of the way, move from job to job, even from industry to industry if you must and retrench if you need to do so in order to start again. The key task is to manage your career so that you do not become a casualty.”
“1. Are you adding real value or merely passing information along? How do you add more value? By continually looking for ways to make things truly better in your department. You are a manager. The central thought of my book is that the output of a manager is the output of his organization. In principle, every hour of your day should be spent increasing the output or the value of the output of the people whom you’re responsible for.”
“A manager’s output = the output of his organization + the output of the neighboring organizations under his influence.”
“I have seen far too many people who upon recognizing today’s gap try very hard to determine what decision has to be made to close it. But today’s gap represents a failure of planning sometime in the past.”
“Obviously, you measure a salesman by the orders he gets (output), not by the calls he makes (activity).”
“If you do not systematically collect and maintain an archive of indicators, you will have to do an awful lot of quick research to get the information you need, and by the time you have it, the problem is likely to have gotten worse.”
“Automation is certainly one way to improve the leverage of all types of work.”
“A manager must keep many balls in the air at the same time and shift his energy and attention to activities that will most increase the output of his organization. In other words, he should move to the point where his leverage will be the greatest.”
“How you handle your own time is, in my view, the single most important aspect of being a role model and leader.”
“The “delegator” and “delegatee” must share a common information base and a common set of operational ideas or notions on how to go about solving problems, a requirement that is frequently not met.”
“Picture this. I am your supervisor, and I walk over to you with pencil in hand and tell you to take it. You reach for the pencil, but I won’t let go. So I say, “What is wrong with you? Why can’t I delegate the pencil to you?” We all have some things that we don’t really want to delegate simply because we like doing them and would rather not let go. For your managerial effectiveness, this is not too bad so long as it is based on a conscious decision that you will hold on to certain tasks that you enjoy performing, even though you could, if you chose, delegate them.”
“Because it is easier to monitor something with which you are familiar, if you have a choice you should delegate those activities you know best.”
“And to monitor how good his thinking is, we ask him quite specific questions about his request during a review meeting. If he answers them convincingly, we’ll approve what he wants. This technique allows us to find out how good the thinking is without having to go through it ourselves.”
“Remember too that your time is your one finite resource, and when you say “yes” to one thing you are inevitably saying “no” to another.”
“How fast he can answer a question depends on how fast he can put his finger on the information he needs for a response. By maintaining an archive of information, a manager doesn’t have to do ad hoc research every time the phone rings.”
“A key point about a one-on-one: It should be regarded as the subordinate’s meeting, with its agenda and tone set by him.”
“So a business like ours has to employ a decision-making process unlike those used in more conventional industries. If Intel used people holding old-fashioned position power to make all its decisions, decisions would be made by people unfamiliar with the technology of the day. And in general, the faster the change in the know-how on which the business depends or the faster the change in customer preferences, the greater the divergence between knowledge and position power is likely to be. If your business depends on what it knows to survive and prosper, what decision-making mechanism should you use? The key to success is again the middle manager, who not only is a link in the chain of command but also can see to it that the holders of the two types of power mesh smoothly.”
“What decision needs to be made? When does it have to be made? Who will decide? Who will need to be consulted prior to making the decision? Who will ratify or veto the decision? Who will need to be informed of the decision?”
“Your general planning process should consist of analogous thinking. Step 1 is to establish projected need or demand: What will the environment demand from you, your business, or your organization? Step 2 is to establish your present status: What are you producing now? What will you be producing as your projects in the pipeline are completed? Put another way, where will your business be if you do nothing different from what you are now doing? Step 3 is to compare and reconcile steps 1 and 2. Namely, what more (or less) do you need to do to produce what your environment will demand?”
“As you formulate in words what you plan to do, the most abstract and general summary of those actions meaningful to you is your strategy. What you’ll do to implement the strategy is your tactics.”
“I have seen far too many people who upon recognizing today’s gap try very hard to determine what decision has to be made to close it. But today’s gap represents a failure of planning sometime in the past.”
“The idea behind MBO is extremely simple: If you don’t know where you’re going, you will not get there. Or, as an old Indian saying puts it, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.”
“Where do I want to go? (The answer provides the objective.) 2. How will I pace myself to see if I am getting there? (The answer gives us milestones, or key results.)
“When a person is not doing his job, there can only be two reasons for it. The person either can’t do it or won’t do it; he is either not capable or not motivated. To determine which, we can employ a simple mental test: if the person’s life depended on doing the work, could he do it? If the answer is yes, that person is not motivated; if the answer is no, he is not capable.”
“I’ll say again that a manager’s most important responsibility is to elicit top performance from his subordinates.”
“The review is usually dedicated to two things: first, the skill level of the subordinate, to determine what skills are missing and to find ways to remedy that lack; and second, to intensify the subordinate’s motivation in order to get him on a higher performance curve for the same skill level”
“Training is, quite simply, one of the highest-leverage activities a manager can perform.”
“Training is hard work. Preparing lectures and getting yourself ready to handle all the questions thrown at you is difficult. Even if you have been doing your job for a long time and even if you have done your subordinates’ jobs in great detail before, you’ll be amazed at how much you don’t know. Don’t be discouraged—this is typical. Much deeper knowledge of a task is required to teach that task than simply to do it.”
“Guess who will have learned most from the course? You. The crispness that developing it gave to your understanding of your own work is likely in itself to have made the effort extremely worthwhile.”