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Andy Grove – High Output Management

I was very lucky to have worked at Intel. I started in 1982 and had the pleasure of watching Andy Grove in action. Intel as a company did very well. We had our share of hard times back then, but with the leadership of Andy Grove we made it! During my early years, Andy Grove wrote a book that was a must read for everyone that wanted to be a leader, High Output Management. With his passing last week, I brought out he book to re-read it again. Wow, did that book have a huge impact on me…

High outputThe following quotes hit home during my re-reading of the book.

  1. As a middle manager, you are in effect a chief executive of an organization yourself… As a micro CEO, you can improve your own and your group’s performance and productivity, whether or not the rest of the company follows suit.”  Being great at any level of the organization will make the organization better. You may not be able to change things at the highest levels, but make sure to do the right things at your level of influence.
  2. A common rule we should always try to heed is to detect and fix any problem at the lowest-value stage possible.”  Always fix problems when they are small. Don’t wait for a crisis or when your people are fed up…
  3. “Measurement against a standard makes you think through WHY the results were what they were.” Measure what is important and set a standard. You manage what you measure. From time to time you should review the “why” you are measuring. I always used to ask myself, “so what?” to all the indicators.
  4. The single most important resource that we allocate from one day to the next is our own time.”  If you cannot manage your time, how are you going to manage your team? Comes down to if you don’t manage your time you will always be a reactive manager. When you say “yes” to something, you definitely will be saying “no” to something else. Time does not grow on trees.
  5. “Values and behavioral norms are simply not transmitted easily by talk or memo, but are conveyed very effective by doing and doing visibly.”  Lead by example!
  6. “In almost all cases, the employee is quitting because he feels he is not important… If you do not deal with the situation right at the first mention, you’ll confirm his feelings and the outcome is inevitable.”  If you know someone is thinking of leaving – act immediately. A lot of things have to happen for someone to want to interview and change jobs. Take action. As questions and listen. If there is something that you can do – then try. Follow-up on what you committed to do. If that person still leaves, the actions take will be better of the team and the company.

The book is filled with more. I lived this for over 28 years. It has become second nature for me. I think the greatest gift I can give to someone that wants to lead is to give him Andy Grove’s High Output Management. 

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