Four principles of good management according to the Good book!

To manage has the following meanings: supervise; dispense; provide; put something into effect. The meaning of the word ‘manage’ is associated to the hand. The hand is very versatile as it allows us carry things, point to a direction, to caress, and to correct. The hand has the connotation of the human involvement; the concept of managing associated to a person is what we call manager. The concept without the vehicle is theory; it becomes practice just when there is an association between both.

From one ancient book, the Bible aka the Good book, we can learn four principles of good management:

 

(1) Speculation (take advantage of a disequilibrium between supply and demand; as an example, increasing the prices in view of lack of supply in the market) generates short term gains, but puts away customers in the long term. Not that this cannot be done, nevertheless one must reflect if the present gain (of the act of speculate) is superior to the gain that could be obtained in the short term. The same is applicable to individuals that in view of promised immediate gains invest in something that are not familiar with;


(2) Focus, or, allocating resources where one judges be the future of the business. The problem is that frequently the resources are “salomonically” divided among different products or services (or divisions) in name of prudence (or fear of choosing). And prudence can be fatal, if not immediately, in time;


(3) Diligence is fundamental to the continuity of any company. Diligence is the combination of three elements: attention, frequency and care. Attention is an eye to the detail being numbers, operation, people and agreements; frequency is to be constant, repetitive; and care is… being alert, vigilant. As we say in our country "the eye of the owner is what fattens the pig!"; and


(4) Understanding that businesses (as life) are of cyclical and not constant nature. Thus, one must “save” while living a virtuous cycle to be able to survive to a disastrous one. In business there is a saying that "cash is king" nevertheless, just a few, really put it to practice. I am not saying that one must accumulate too much cash in a business as this would be a demonstration of inefficiency. Nevertheless, a reserve for the “rainy days” is recommendable!


These 4 four principles – to not speculate (at least unconsciously); be focused; be diligent; and understand the cyclical character of business or life - reveals a good manager, at individual/private level (household) or at company level. “People curse those who hoard their grain, but they bless the one who sells in time of need.” (Book of Proverbs); “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!” (Saint Matthew)

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