9 Management Lessons From the Book of a Legendary CEO

Levi Borba
6 min readOct 15, 2020
Andy Grove, Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore in 1978. Source: Intel Free Press

If you are reading this article on a computer, there are 80% chances that the CPU of it is powered by Intel. One of the main reasons for the overwhelming success of this American technology company has name and surname: Andrew Grove.

He was the third employee of a company that now employees more than one hundred thousand people, and became their CEO in 1987. He retired in 2005 and is considered one of the pioneers and builders of what is now the Silicon Valley in California.

He passed away in 2016, leaving a legacy of management improvement techniques and as a role-model in entrepreneurship. His book High Output Management, published in 1995, is still a best-seller and inspired this article. Here you will learn some of the greatest insights of the 1997 Man of the Year — according to Time Magazine — the legendary Andy Grove.

1 — Every Hour of Your Day Should Be Focused on Increasing Your Output

One of the central thoughts of Mr. Grove is that the output of a manager is the output of an organization. In modern verticalized corporations, middle and junior managers assume the role of merely passing information along.

The question that managers should ask themselves in this case are:

I) Are you adding real value? If you are only transmitting information and not aggregating any value, you are easily replaceable and your professional prospects are gloomy.

II) Are you trying new ideas, new techniques, and new technologies? Or are you waiting for others to figure out how they can re-engineer your workplace — and you out of that workplace?

Managers should continually look for ways to make things truly better in their departments. Every hour of the day should be used to increase the output or the value of the output of your team.

2 — How to understand why your team is not achieving good results.

When one member has a bad performance, make yourself the following question: if the person’s life depended on doing the work, could he do it? If the answer is “yes”, you have a motivational problem, because the capability is there, but lacks incentive to fully mobilizes it. If the…