For entrepreneurs

I sometimes get asked by entrepreneurs and colleagues “where do i start?”. This is my small effort to compile a small and honest tool-kit of things I try to use.

I will start with some simple observations.

  • There is a world of theories, frameworks and tools about how to manage companies. Management can be taught and learned, but most of it involves common sense. So a big part of managing has to come from you being reasonable and sensible just like with any other part of your life. Like waking up super early or maintaining a nice sports schedule.
  • In this sense, management is a big departure from more formal sciences as logic and mathematics, physics, chemistry, etc. It requires a complete difference skill set than to be a great engineer or a developer. Management sits closer to social sciences as psychology - or economics - than other functions in a company. You don’t have to be good at management, especially If you are extremely good at some specific skill, say being a coder or a singer. In that case managers will pile up to do all the 'dirty' work for you. These tips are not for the technical genius, but for the willing labourer who partners with him or her.
  • People who study management before they become top managers slightly over-perform those who did not get such education [1]. Still, many of the very best managers learn on the job. Like Jobs. A management education is not absolutely required, but a very nice to have.
  • Great management is filled with simple clichés. Clichés are easy to say, hard to internalise and extremely hard to execute to the necessary level. My top one is “stay focused”. If you want something which is common to all great managers, being focused is it. Stay focused.

Next, lets describe the prototype manager. What is he or she made of?

  1. A Feedback mechanism. You will fail many times, so your first skill is to to be aware of what’s going on and change it fast if need be.
  2. A way to form Decisions. Vision, strategy, business plans, tactics, campaigns need to be created and put in practice.
  3. Leadership skills. You will have to delegate and trust others. Be a resource to the team. Hire people better than you. You have to be a leader. 

This is why my texts are about these categories: Feedback, Decisions and Leadership. There's an extra category about sample Ideas at the end.

Texts are also separated between those talking about People, Process and Tools. One thing is to hire a BI manager, another is how he should be making decisions.

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  1. https://hbr.org/2010/01/the-best-performing-ceos-in-the-world/ar/1. However, performance is not an average, its a distribution, and at the very top we find people who rose without such education, like Steve Jobs who is "el numero uno”.