Julie Zhuo, former Facebook vice president of product and design. Source: Wikicommons

SmartCompany Plus

The unwritten rules of management

SmartCompany Plus
8 minute Read

Management is not leadership (although it includes leadership). And it’s not tactics (although it involves tactics). Management is a process that runs organisations and parts of organisations. It’s that simple — and that hard.

Here, SmartCompany Plus distills advice from the most successful managers and business coaches in the world.

Manage the pieces with metrics

“Great managers are not philosophers, entertainers, doers, or artists. They are engineers. They see their organisations as machines and work assiduously to maintain and improve them,” writes entrepreneur Ray Dalio in Principles: Life and Work.

“They create process-flow diagrams to show how the machine works and to evaluate its design. They build metrics to light up how well each of the individual parts of the machine (most importantly, the people) and the machine as a whole are working. And they tinker constantly with its designs and its people to make both better. They don’t do this randomly. They do it systematically, always keeping the cause-and-effect relationships in mind. And while they care deeply about the people involved, they cannot allow their feelings for them or their desire to spare them discomfort to stand in the way of the machine’s constant improvement. To do otherwise wouldn’t be good for either the individuals on the team or the team that the individuals are a part of.

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