Principles

Written on April 26, 2018. Written by .

Although a fairly dry read, I found this book valuable for providing a counterargument to some other management theories. Many people advise others to pick their battles and let people get away with being irrational if the decision is not obviously critical to the big picture. Furthermore, people often assume that this advice is objectively optimal/correct and not a cultural or personal bias. This book explicitly recommends not picking battles, fighting all of them, and not letting people get away with irrationality. It is interesting in how explicit and extreme it is; you can’t really reinterpret what he’s trying to say as you can with many other sources that have enough qualifications so that it can be reinterpreted to mean almost anything reasonable. Given that this management style underlies one of the most successful investment firms in the world, it provides strong evidence that there is more than one option with regards to these questions, and should instill doubt in those who think that it is objectively wrong or suboptimal. Some parts of the book made me a bit concerned about the psychological implications of working in an environment of always being judged and under threat of termination. I don’t think the book addressed these psychological concerns, so I have a suspicion that the culture described in the book might not work well for all types of people, but may work particularly well for some types.

★★★★★

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