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My 9 take aways from the book Work Rules from Laszlo Bock

Part of my new morning routine is to read. In fact it was one of the main reasons to establish it in a new way for me 3 months ago.

It created the first results already. One of them is that I finished the book “Work Rules” from Laszlo Bock. And here you can find my 9 take aways that you can use when you are new in a management role or for your personal development.

In his book the former Head of People Operations at Google describes key strategies and key techniques on how Google recruites the best people on the planet, how they manage to keep and develop them.

Every chapter contains a summary of take aways, though I’ve created my own list of take aways. Some of them are useful for my personal growth, some have shaped and will shape a lot how I do my current job in Culture and People Development (in order of appearance in the book):

1. Think of yourself as a founder and act like one. This means: take ownership and responsibility of what you do as if it were your own business.

2. Give people slightly more trust than you feel comfortable with. For me this comes mainly down to empower the team members to take their own decisions.

3. Let managers NOT make hiring decisions for their own team. They will always be biased. Let always a committee decide.

4. Survey and measure everything. Throughout the book it became clear to me that without proper measurement of everything you do you won’t be able to properly tell if your are successful or not. This also applies for personal development. Set goals and measure if the actions you do to achieve them really bring you closer to your goals or if it is just a gut feeling.

5. The best have to educate the rest. It means that an organisation needs to learn from their own best people in the first place. Because they know how to be successful in the given environment. Following the book Google’s data shows that there is zero guarantee that people that have been successful in other companies will be successful in yours in the same role. This can be applied for personal development as well: always look for the best people around you, people that have achieved what you want to achieve and learn from them how they did it. One of my favorite Life Coaches, Tony Robbins, says that you have to find your role models and model their ways towards success.

6. Study the best people. Similar to number 5. above. But a different perspective. Also an organisation has to learn from their best people. They can learn the concepts and specific environments their best people live in to apply them in other parts of the organisation too.

7. Teaching scales geometrically. Letting your best people educate their colleagues takes away time but the educated people will pay that back geomatrically by their performance improvement. This way the whole organisation improves. And internal people can teach real-life experience collected in your company. Whereas external trainers mostly teach concepts rather than experience. And teaching gives your best people additional purpose.

8. Talents and performance in an organisation does NOT follow a Gauss distribution but a power law distribution. This means that 10% of your people deliver 90% of the outcome. Take care of those 10%. The impact when they leave is tremandous.

9. Innovation tends to occur in the structural holes between social groups. For example make an brilliant Engineer (one social group) work in HR (a nother social groups) and he will most likely come up with innovative ideas on how to solve problems. When you bring people from different social groups together, innovation will arrive automatically. For your personal development you can also use that. Make people from different social groups part of your network. And you will always have sources of inspiration. Because those people not belonging to the social group where the problem exists have an unbiased view on things and most of the time unconventional genius ideas how to solve those problems. Its the power of fresh thinking.

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