illustration for The Elegant System of Management - with Will Larson

episode 53

The Elegant System of Management - with Will Larson

Joel Hooks

Everything is a system, and every system is a box in another larger system. It's up to managers to think in systems to make choices and understand their consequences. The manager has an obligation to their team. The decisions of managers make a tremendous impact on folk's lives.

But managers are only human.

"When we go into school there's kind of this sense that authorities are these all-knowing kind of perfect figures that are responsible for everything." The reality is that managers are humans that are dealing with their circumstances. It's easy to put all of the responsibility on them, but they need to be seen as people.

People fail. Managers aren't the only people burdened with responsibility. There's the "10x Engineer" or "The Hero Programmer," that end up with severe burnout.

Managing is an ethical and moral profession. Managers have to make ethical decisions in regards to deciding who gets promoted, fired, given a raise. How do we get justice and results? That's what makes management an elegant puzzle.


Episode Quotes

"At companies that are struggling there is a lot of opportunity. And sometimes it's not easy opportunity, and it's not structured super well it's not packaged up, or you just get to have an easy entry into management."

"There's not someone teaching you there's not an easy path. You just have to go learn by trying, thinking, um going back to the principles and trying to figure out how to make it all come together."

"When we go into school there's kind of this sense that authorities are these all-knowing kind of perfect figures that are responsible for everything."

"Really any fast-growing company is the best place in the world to learn quickly about systems and how they work in reality."

"if you get good at the cold email of asking one short, crisp question that's a good question you can meet anyone."

Resources

Will Larson

Joel Hooks

More Podcasts