Principles are ways of successfully dealing with reality to get what you want out of life.
Ray Dalio, one of the world’s most successful investors and entrepreneurs, cites principles as his key to success.
You need to know your people extremely well, provide and receive regular feedback, and have quality discussions. And while you don't want to get distracted by gossip, you have to be able to get a quick download from the appropriate people. Your job design needs to build in the time to do these things. If it doesn't, you run the risk of not managing. The tools I have developed give me windows into what people are doing and what they are like, and I follow up on problems.