Episode Thumbnail
Episode 182  |  15:09 min

#137: The Most Important Management Book Of All-Time

Episode 182  |  15:09 min  |  11.19.2018

#137: The Most Important Management Book Of All-Time

00:00
00:00
This is a podcast episode titled, #137: The Most Important Management Book Of All-Time. The summary for this episode is: On this episode of Seeking Wisdom, DC and DG discuss former Intel CEO Andy Grove and his book High Output Management – which just might be one of the most important management books of all-time. Plus DC shares one secret tell that will show you who your next great manager might be. Before you go leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review and share the pod with your friends! Be sure to check out more insights on the Drift blog at drift.com/blog and find us on Twitter @davegerhardt, @dcancel and @seekingwisdomio. In this episode: 0:47 - Introduction of the book covered in this episode, High Output Management by Andy Grove. 1:07 - How Andy Grove has made an impact 2:28 - Why it’s important to pair your learning with a moment in time 3:05 - Main lesson of the High Output Management: be conscious of how everything you do reflects on the people who work for you. 3:30 - Additional lesson: everything you do/don’t do counts and says something about you to your team. 4:17 - Be able to model good management and leadership for your team, as perception is reality 5:01 - “The streets are watching” - your team looks to you for cues on how they should act. 5:30 - Additional lesson: A manager’s output equals the output of his organization plus the output of the neighboring organization under his influence 6:27 - The secret to getting promoted is to go beyond doing 100% of your job 7:05 - DC and DG’s bonus tip on how to spot a natural born leader and your next great manager 8:15 - Additional lesson: saying yes means saying no to something else 9:30 - Be straightforward and leave the interview gimmicks alone so as not to leave the wrong impression 10:44 - Hiring is luck, so the interview process needs to be scientific 11:53 - Management should adjust based on talent and knowledge and the Task Level Maturity approach Books mentioned in this episode: High Output Management by Andy Grove
On this episode of Seeking Wisdom, DC and DG discuss former Intel CEO Andy Grove and his book High Output Management – which just might be one of the most important management books of all-time. Plus DC shares one secret tell that will show you who your next great manager might be. Before you go leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review and share the pod with your friends! Be sure to check out more insights on the Drift blog at drift.com/blog and find us on Twitter @davegerhardt, @dcancel and @seekingwisdomio. In this episode: 0:47 - Introduction of the book covered in this episode, High Output Management by Andy Grove. 1:07 - How Andy Grove has made an impact 2:28 - Why it’s important to pair your learning with a moment in time 3:05 - Main lesson of the High Output Management: be conscious of how everything you do reflects on the people who work for you. 3:30 - Additional lesson: everything you do/don’t do counts and says something about you to your team. 4:17 - Be able to model good management and leadership for your team, as perception is reality 5:01 - “The streets are watching” - your team looks to you for cues on how they should act. 5:30 - Additional lesson: A manager’s output equals the output of his organization plus the output of the neighboring organization under his influence 6:27 - The secret to getting promoted is to go beyond doing 100% of your job 7:05 - DC and DG’s bonus tip on how to spot a natural born leader and your next great manager 8:15 - Additional lesson: saying yes means saying no to something else 9:30 - Be straightforward and leave the interview gimmicks alone so as not to leave the wrong impression 10:44 - Hiring is luck, so the interview process needs to be scientific 11:53 - Management should adjust based on talent and knowledge and the Task Level Maturity approach Books mentioned in this episode: High Output Management by Andy Grove

Speaker 1: And we're back.

Speaker 2: Yes.

Speaker 1: We're back for an episode with the old donk, the young nephew and Gonzalo, who's wearing a mustache.

Speaker 2: Yeah, crosstalk.

Speaker 1: What are we talking about today?

Speaker 2: This is one of my classic tricks, which is you send me a book, and then a couple of weeks after I say," Look, we're going to talk about this book on the podcast." We're talking about a classic, a classic that has taken too long. Look at that apple watch. I talked about false beliefs today, and I used apple watch as an example, which is right now false beliefs-

Speaker 1: Okay, all right.

Speaker 2: ...are holding me back from buying apple watch.

Speaker 1: Oh, you've got to get it.

Speaker 2: But that's for a separate. That's for some secret.

Speaker 1: Look at that, look at that. You've got to look. crosstalk on the photos?

Speaker 2: Wow. 3: 43 PM, which means we've got to rock. So we're going to talk about one of the all- time classic books today, which is High Output Management-

Speaker 1: Why didn't you tell me that before?

Speaker 2: ...by Andy Grove. Because I think spontaneous DC is my favorite DC. I want you to-

Speaker 1: Ah, if you had told me I would've done jumping jacks.

Speaker 2: Tell me why this is such a classic book to you. crosstalk.

Speaker 1: I brought it out-

Speaker 2: Broke it out recently?

Speaker 1: Yeah. So Andy Grove, legendary CEO of Intel.

Speaker 2: Intel.

Speaker 1: Rest in peace, RIP, Andy Grove. And if you read a lot of the books that we've talked about in past, like Hard Thing About Hard Things from the homie Fen Harwoods. If you read some of the early tales of The Coach of The Silicon Valley, if you read some of the stuff that we've talked about in the past, then you'll know that a lot of the stories that they talk about come from the management secrets of-

Speaker 2: Andy Grove.

Speaker 1: ...Andy Grove, right? If you think about John Doerr and his book on-

Speaker 2: OKRs.

Speaker 1: ...OKRs, all of these things, they all make reference to one man, and that one man is Andy Grove.

Speaker 2: Yeah.

Speaker 1: So I've read this book a bunch of times in the past, a lot of the stuff that you could learn from this book in the early stages of Drift were not applicable yet. But as we always say, you have to revisit books. And I was in the library, AKA the library at home there.

Speaker 2: Okay.

Speaker 1: Uh- huh( affirmative). And I was looking through my perusing through my stacks and I came upon this book and I was like," Wait a second. Now's the time. Now's the time in Drift history where we're at the right size, where we can take actually lessons from this and implement them."

Speaker 2: Because I think when we first brought it at Drift, it was 2015. There weren't a lot of teams, there weren't a lot of managers.

Speaker 1: No.

Speaker 2: There were basically no managers.

Speaker 1: No managers.

Speaker 2: The only concept you could take from it was how to run a one- on- one.

Speaker 1: Exactly. crosstalk.

Speaker 2: That's an important one. We'll talk about that.

Speaker 1: Yeah.

Speaker 2: But yeah, you texted me a couple of weeks ago and said," Re- read this." So I said,"Oh, I read this one," so you said,"No, no, re- read it now-"

Speaker 1: It's time to re- read it.

Speaker 2: ...because it's time." And I think, man, that's why I want to do this podcast is because I think so much of what we talk about is, it's pairing your learning with the moment in time.

Speaker 1: Mm-hmm(affirmative).

Speaker 2: And so we talked on the last episode about seeking out what you want to go learn about. And so for this one it's like, if you're at a phase where you're at a company you're becoming a manager, your company's growing, scaling, and this is where I go seek out this-

Speaker 1: Totally.

Speaker 2: crosstalk.

Speaker 1: If you're working at a large company, if you're working with, like you said, teams and managing, this as the book that you want to read, High Output Management.

Speaker 2: Yes.

Speaker 1: So many lessons in this book.

Speaker 2: Well, I'm going to give you a couple of highlights like we usually do on these book reviews.

Speaker 1: Okay. Softballs?

Speaker 2: Softball you. One of the main lessons from Andy Grove, and this is something I learned from you a lot, which is be conscious of how everything you do reflects on the people that work for you. That means everything.

Speaker 1: You can't see me now, unless you're watching us on the YouTube.

Speaker 2: Which you should be.

Speaker 1: And by the way, Gonzalo needs some subs, so watch us there.

Speaker 2: Yeah.

Speaker 1: I'm leaning back in the chair, soaking it in. All right. This is an important one that I inaudible, which is that everything counts.

Speaker 2: Everything.

Speaker 1: Everything counts. Every move you make, the way you carry yourself, every piece of communication, the way that you organize the studio. All of these things, the way you organize your office, the way you organize your day, all of these things count and they say something about you to your team. And these are the subtle clues that people pick up on and they will follow you.

Speaker 2: This is one that I had to learn, for example, just to get to make it more personal, which is, okay, we had different conversations. I had different conversations with you throughout my progression over the last couple of years, which is," Okay, you want to be director? Here's what this means now." Then you'd say stuff like," Oh, you're a director now. That means you can't do this," right?

Speaker 1: Mm-hmm(affirmative).

Speaker 2: Then the next shift was like," Oh, you're a VP now, that means this." And I was like," Why the hell does he always say that?" And then when you read this, this is exactly a inaudible of how everything you do reflects on the people that work for you.

Speaker 1: Mm-hmm(affirmative).

Speaker 2: If you want to show other people on your team what management and leadership looks like, you have to be able to model that yourself. And that doesn't just happen at 2: 00 PM when we're in a meeting, but that's 08: 15 if I see you out on the sidewalk.

Speaker 1: Mm- hmm( affirmative).

Speaker 2: That's seven o'clock at night at a bar or whatever, right?

Speaker 1: Yes.

Speaker 2: That stuff has to go through all levels, which is, if somebody only sees you from 09:00 to 05: 00 as this professional person, but then you have after work stuff, president's club, all this other nonsense.

Speaker 1: crosstalk.

Speaker 2: You always say this to me, which is perception is reality.

Speaker 1: Yes, yes. And play it at the position that you want. So if you want to be in a new role, or if you're taken on a new role, the level of responsibility as the great Jay Z would say, the streets are watching.

Speaker 2: Streets are watching.

Speaker 1: Okay?

Speaker 2: Yeah.

Speaker 1: And what that means is that your team and the people around are watching you for cues of how they're supposed to act now.

Speaker 2: Yeah.

Speaker 1: And so how they're supposed to carry themselves. And they are doing something that we've always talked about, which is they're looking to you because they want to model the stuff that you're doing and reproduce it. So if you're modeling bad behavior, that's what they're going to model because they're going to think bad behavior equals getting me in the same role.

Speaker 2: 100%. And in the same vein of that, he also said," A manager's output equals the output of his organization plus the output of the neighboring organizations under his influence.

Speaker 1: Mm- hmm(affirmative).

Speaker 2: Okay?

Speaker 1: See, it all has been written.

Speaker 2: Explain that.

Speaker 1: It's been written.

Speaker 2: Explain that.

Speaker 1: This is the Bible crosstalk.

Speaker 2: Explain that.

Speaker 1: What this means is that... And this is why I care so much about all the details across the team. It's not only with single team and how they carry themselves that sets the tone for the group of the company or the greater team, but it's all those teams and other role models, right? Peer groups, we call them peer groups that you're surrounding yourself that actually model behavior as well. So even if you have a great running team and you're modeling good behavior, if you associate yourself, or if your company lets other peer groups model bad behavior, then your team is going to average down to those people around you.

Speaker 2: I think you also have to be... You say this a lot, which is, the secret to getting promoted is to not just do 100% of your job.

Speaker 1: No.

Speaker 2: 100% doesn't get you promoted.

Speaker 1: No. 100% is your job.

Speaker 2: 100% is your job. This to me means, you want to be great? You have to show you can influence other teams, right?

Speaker 1: Yes.

Speaker 2: Because if you're this, if you're this great marketing leader, but all you can do is influence the people in marketing, how far are you going to make it?

Speaker 1: Mm-hmm(affirmative).

Speaker 2: You've got to influence sales, customer success, product, all those people,

Speaker 1: 100%. And one thing, I'm going to give you a little bonus for all you listeners out there.

Speaker 2: Okay.

Speaker 1: Don't forget to leave a six star rating after you hear this bonus. The simplest way that you can go about by identifying which builds on this principle, you're the future leaders in your organization. Get your pens out. Get ready.

Speaker 2: Yes.

Speaker 1: Here's how.

Speaker 2: Okay.

Speaker 1: Look, observe your company and observe the team, and look towards the people and the desk that people naturally congregate around.

Speaker 2: Mm- hmm(affirmative).

Speaker 1: That is your next wave of leaders. So if you have people on your team who're yet not leaders, but people go to them all the time to get information, they hang around their desks asking questions-

Speaker 2: That's a next level one.

Speaker 1: That's next level judo.

Speaker 2: That's like the water test. That's real good.

Speaker 1: That a six star rating worthy right there. If they naturally go over there, that is your secret tell that person probably is exhibiting leadership, ability, without having the role yet and so you might want to double down on those people within your team. Those are your natural born leaders. Okay. Six star ratings only.

Speaker 2: How's that? The secret tell to finding your next great manager. Come on-

Speaker 1: Look at this. inaudible we give them one of the words.

Speaker 2: Come on. The secret to... That's going to be separate.

Speaker 1: Okay.

Speaker 2: That's pretty damn good.

Speaker 1: Sometimes I give too much.

Speaker 2: Ultimately you do-

Speaker 1: Sometimes, sometimes.

Speaker 2: Yeah, it's okay. It's give, give, give, give, give.

Speaker 1: Give. Eventually crosstalk-

Speaker 2: Then sometimes they ask. Maybe they ask. They want the flip. I don't want to give all the tips because we want you to go read this book. But there's a couple which is, saying yes means saying no to something else.

Speaker 1: Mm- hmm( affirmative).

Speaker 2: Default to no.

Speaker 1: Yeah.

Speaker 2: And one of the decision- making exercises that I've learned and observed from working with you, DC, is you always do this thing where you lay out... Before you make a decision, you lay out the guardrails.

Speaker 1: Yes.

Speaker 2: And say," I don't know what the decision is, but let's lay out the guardrails." Okay, we're doing hypergrowth.

Speaker 1: Mm-hmm(affirmative).

Speaker 2: We want it to feel like this, we want it to be this many people minimum, we want it to be this.

Speaker 1: Yeah.

Speaker 2: Then from there, we can start to figure out how we make the decision, or you've also done... I've seen you and Elise do. This is, what are the things that we're saying no to?

Speaker 1: Yes. Most important. crosstalk.

Speaker 2: And that's invert.

Speaker 1: Invert. That's one of the hardest things because we all, especially myself, analysts love saying yes to everything, but we have to start by saying no. That's why we believe so much in the book, The One Thing, why we give it out to every person who starts at Drift, because you have to figure out what are the real big rocks? What's the inverse of that, which are, what are the things that you're saying no to today in order to focus your time on the things that are actually going to move the needle forward for your business, for your life, for your love?

Speaker 2: I've got three more things that-

Speaker 1: Look at that.

Speaker 2: ...I can't skip any of them because they're all good. No Andy Grove, this was 1985 before all this stuff-

Speaker 1: Real G.

Speaker 2: ...Popped up with the Google interview and all this other stuff.

Speaker 1: Yeah, yeah, I know.

Speaker 2: No interview gimmicks. And you believe in this too. There were no interview gimmicks. Be straightforward. Gimmicks could leave the wrong impression.

Speaker 1: Totally. And so-

Speaker 2: So his whole interview process was no quiz, no trying to figure out the size of a manhole cover.

Speaker 1: Yeah, yeah, none of that Microsoft stuff.

Speaker 2: I'll never get a job anywhere.

Speaker 1: Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2: No interview gimmicks.

Speaker 1: Yeah. No interview gimmicks. None of that old Microsoft techniques that the round hole cover and all this stuff. And I used to be part of teams and companies where I would observe people using those things. But those things only screened for one thing. People who like to solve puzzles. So if you wanted to use a lot of puzzles in your interview, then you're going to get a lot of people who like solving the puzzle.

Speaker 2: That's so true.

Speaker 1: The problem with getting a lot of people who want to solve puzzles, and I've lived through this, is life is not a puzzle.

Speaker 2: Yeah.

Speaker 1: It's not a game. Most of coming in and doing and exceeding and doing the work as Bill Walsh would say, is hard work.

Speaker 2: Yeah.

Speaker 1: Very little amount of your time is spent on pure intellectual curiosity and solving puzzles and doing all of this kind of stuff. Very little of your work is that. So much of it is just moving the ball forward. And if all you care about is solving interesting problems, it's going to be hard work for you any place you go.

Speaker 2: You do the work. Second and last thing I want to talk about is he said," Hiring is luck."

Speaker 1: Mm-hmm(affirmative).

Speaker 2: "So therefore, the interview process needs to be thorough.

Speaker 1: Yeah.

Speaker 2: This is why we care so much about making the interview process scientific. You talk about this a lot because hiring is hard.

Speaker 1: Yes.

Speaker 2: The odds of people is going to be stacked against you.

Speaker 1: Stacked.

Speaker 2: So that's why you need to measure and track and be scientific in the hiring. Process.

Speaker 1: Yeah. And creating those guardrails for your hiring process, staying within those and repeating... Being repeatable in the interview process, it's also luck. So you're going to have to go into it understanding that there's going to be a high failure rate. You can try inaudible or at least a failure rate.

Speaker 2: Yeah.

Speaker 1: And that you never going to be perfect. And I think some people try to get paralyzed in the interview process because they want perfection and they want never to be wrong. But as Andy Grove has said," You will be wrong. You will have issues there. What you want to do is approach it in a scientific approach, have some guardrails. When you do have failures, learn from those failures. That's the hardest part. And if you're going to learn from those failures, optimize the process going forward, you'll get better little by little, but it's going to be an incremental approach to getting there versus a perfect solution."

Speaker 2: Last one, then we'll wrap. Management should adjust based on talent and knowledge. These are my rough notes so God knows what this means. Low, more hands- on and very specific. High, hands- off act as a resource to help.

Speaker 1: Yeah. You know what this is? This is the most famous part about this book and is it TRM or TLM. This is task level maturity, I think, is what he calls it. It's either task level maturity... Yes, it's task level maturity, and this is the most famous thing from this book. And we've talked about this. He coined this in'85, right? Because he's a G.

Speaker 2: Yes.

Speaker 1: But we've talked about this in the past and said... We've used examples like Colin Powell.

Speaker 2: Yeah.

Speaker 1: We've used other people. I would just exhibit-

Speaker 2: Bill Walsh's standard of performance.

Speaker 1: Yeah. And what he has with the TLM, the task level maturity thing is to say that every person who comes in takes a role and is doing some task. Depending on the maturity that they have in that task is going to determine how much in the weeds you're going to have to be with that person. And the more maturity that they get overtime with a specific tasks, the more you can pull away and give them more autonomy and control over that task. And so Colin Powell would say how he would train new chiefs of staff and say," Hey, this is my approach. When you come on, I'm going to be in the weeds, I'm going to be breathing down your neck for every decision. And as you gain experience, I'm going to slowly pull away until one point, you're going to notice that I'm not around anymore and that you're making all the decisions." And that's TLM, task level maturity. He had an approach to doing that, not only for chiefs of staff, but for every role within the company and teaching that inside it.

Speaker 2: It also gives context and makes it role more of an apprenticeship, which is, if you're not there yet, not a knock, but I'm going to be there with you until you get there.

Speaker 1: Yeah.

Speaker 2: Or as you grow and you hire more specialized people, you're a CEO, you're not going to know more about sales than somebody who runs sales, but that's going to be different.

Speaker 1: Mm- hmm( affirmative).

Speaker 2: Then you're hands on with somebody in the weeds in the early days.

Speaker 1: Yeah. The good thing about being a CEO is that I don't know more about anything than anybody. crosstalk.

Speaker 2: Right. But you have to be able to say," Well, I'm a resource."

Speaker 1: Totally.

Speaker 2: "Howcan I help? What are the potholes in your area, and how do I save them?"

Speaker 1: Absolutely, absolutely

Speaker 2: So, that's it.

Speaker 1: So, we have a huge shortage of six star ratings.

Speaker 2: It's like people forgot.

Speaker 1: Yeah.

Speaker 2: It's like a button is not working.

Speaker 1: Maybe the buttons need some checking.

Speaker 2: Is there a bug? Did somebody file a bug?

Speaker 1: Someone file a bug on Apple?

Speaker 2: Please.

Speaker 1: Maybe Apple's working against us-

Speaker 2: Please.

Speaker 1: ...or something. But we need six star ratings.

Speaker 2: Uh- huh( affirmative).

Speaker 1: Gonzalo has a little mustache, a big mustache, I should say, from around November.

Speaker 2: A big mustache.

Speaker 1: Big mustache. He looks like my dad. And he's sad though.

Speaker 2: Yeah.

Speaker 1: Even though he has a lovely mustache, he's very sad because he does not have six star ratings to look out all day long.

Speaker 2: Uh- huh( affirmative).

Speaker 1: He does not have inaudible shout outs. He's a young man. He needs a little love.

Speaker 2: Yeah.

Speaker 1: He needs more love than the two of us. So give him a little love, six star ratings only and subscribe on YouTube. Hit us up on the IG. That's what the kids call the Instagram.

Speaker 2: Come.

Speaker 1: Okay?

Speaker 2: Come to the IG.

Speaker 1: Come to the IG.

Speaker 2: We give away some books.

Speaker 1: We've got lots of stories, we give away books, follow us on Twitter, holler at us, and much love.

Speaker 2: See you.

More Episodes

#171: Working Backwards with Amazon's Colin Bryar and Bill Carr

#170: Avoid Consensus (Unless You Want Average Results)

#169: Introducing The American Dream with Elias Torres

#168: Seek Arbitrage Opportunities

#167: The Culture Episode

#166: Why DC Went on a News Fast and How You Can Too