Week 28

Every Monday, I’m going to post 10ish of the learnings I’ve picked up throughout the week in bullet point form. Hopefully they provide some value to start off your week 🙂

  1. Becoming Wise – Krista Tippett

    Generous listening is powered by curiosity, a virtue we can invite and nurture in ourselves to render it instinctive. It involves a kind of vulnerability–a willingness to be surprised, to let go of assumptions and take in ambiguity.

  2. Doing What Matters – James M Kilts

    Securing a long-term competitive advantage must drive all efforts. Your road map needs initiatives to achieve both lowest costs and top capabilities. One without the other isn’t enough. Low cost plus top capabilities are true differentiators.

  3. Essentialism – Greg McKeown

    Here’s another paradox for you: the faster and busier things get, the more we need to build thinking time into our schedule. And the noisier things get, the more we need to build quiet reflection spaces in which we can truly focus.

  4. Essentialism – Greg McKeown

    In my work, I have noticed two common patterns that typically emerge when teams lack clarity of purpose. … In the first pattern, the team becomes overly focused on winning the attention of the manager. … When we are unclear about our real purpose in life–in other words, when we don’t have a clear sense of our goals, our aspirations, and our values–we make up our own social games. We waste time and energies on trying to look good in comparison to other people. We overvalue nonessentials like a nice car or house, or even intangibles like the number of our followers on Twitter or the way we look in our Facebook photos. As a result, we neglect activities that are truly essential, like spending time with our loved ones, or nurturing our spirit, or taking care of our health. … In the second pattern, teams without purpose become leaderless. With no clear direction, people pursue the things that advance their own short-term interests, with little awareness of how their activities contribute to (or in some cases, derail) the long-term mission of the team as a whole. … In the same way, when individuals are involved in too many disparate activities–even good activities–they can fail to achieve their essential mission.

  5. How to Recruit – Rands in Repose

    For every open job on your team, you need to spend one hour a day on recruiting-related activities. Cap that investment at 50% of your time.

  6. A Manager’s FAQ – Henry Ward

    Start with the premise that your employee did his best. Then the question becomes why would a smart and capable employee who did his best screw up? … With genuine interest ask, “Why did you do (or not do) X”? Try to understand his thinking without criticizing. There are three outcomes:
    1. You realize he was right and you were mistaken. It happens to me all the time. This is the best outcome.
    2. He realizes the mistake on his own. This is the second-best outcome.
    3. He explains why but does not realize his mistake.
    The third outcome is usually because the employee didn’t understand what to do or he didn’t know how to do it. The first is a communication problem. The second is a training problem. Both are your fault as his manager.

  7. A Manager’s FAQ – Henry Ward

    I can give you a simple rule to decide what to delegate. Delegate the work you want to do. There are reasons to do this:
    1. Employees will love working for you. The work you want to do is probably the work they want to do, and they will be happy employees because of it.
    2. You will train future leaders. They will see you doing the hard, miserable work that nobody wants to do. One day they will want to do it too. Not because they enjoy the work, but because they see you doing it as their leader, and they want to be leaders too.
    3. You will grow. Most people want to do the work they are good at. If you delegate the work you are good at, the remainder will mostly be work you are bad at. You will struggle, suffer, and learn. That is where growth comes from.

  8. The New Manager Death Spiral – Rands in Repose

    Half-delegation is the act of giving them the work, but not full control nor context. They don’t need it, right? You’re the Boss. You’ll tell them when they need to know.

    Like you, they start to fail either because they feel they don’t have the authority to change the course of the project or their lack of understanding of the fun context around the project had them pointed in the wrong direction from day one.

  9. Organization Design @ Scale – Johnathan Nightingale

    Beware of tying compensation directly to ownership/results. It tends to backfire, and turns an intrinsic motivation into an extrinsic one.

  10. Peace is Every Step – Thich Naht Hanh

    We should learn to ask, “What’s not wrong?” and be in touch with that.

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