I will starve

January 14, 2019

“Socialism states that you owe me something simply because I exist. Capitalism, by contrast, results in a sort of reality-forced altruism: I may not want to help you, I may dislike you, but if I don’t give you a product or service you want, I will starve. Voluntary exchange is more moral than forced redistribution.” – Ben Shapiro 

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10 impressive questions

January 14, 2019

By  via thecut.com  Article

10 Impressive Questions to Ask in a Job Interview

“As someone who has interviewed probably thousands of job candidates in my career, I’ve long been surprised by how many people don’t ask good questions when their interviewer gives them the opportunity. A surprising number of candidates don’t have many questions at all, or simply use the time to try to further pitch themselves for the job. To me, this is crazy — after all, this is a job that you’re considering spending 40 or more hours at a week, a job that might have a huge impact on your career and your quality of life for years to come. You should have questions!

But people understandably worry about what to ask. They stress about seeming demanding or nitpicky, or that they’ll be negatively judged for things they want to know. They also worry that they don’t quite know how to draw out the information they really want about the job or the manager or the company.

So here are the ten best questions to ask in an interview when it’s your turn to ask the questions — to both impress your potential employer and help you get useful insights into whether or not this is the right job for you.

1. ‘How will you measure the success of the person in this position?’ …

2. ‘What are some of the challenges you expect the person in this position to face?’ …

3. ‘Can you describe a typical day or week in the job?’ …

4. ‘ How long did the previous person in the role hold the position? What has turnover in the role generally been like?’ …

5. ‘What are you hoping this person will accomplish in their first six months and in their first year?’ …

6. ‘Thinking back to people you’ve seen do this work previously, what differentiated the ones who were good from the ones who were really great at it?’ …

7. ‘How would you describe the culture here? What type of people tend to really thrive here, and what type don’t do as well?’ …

8. ‘What do you like about working here?’ …

9. Ask the question you really care about. …

10. ‘What’s your timeline for next steps?’ ….”


You will become unstoppable

January 14, 2019

By Thomas Oppong via medium.com/kaizen-habits  Article

The Science of Marginal Gains (How You Can Achieve Big Results From Small Wins)

“I’m a big fan of micro habits. A micro-habit is a small, simple action that doesn’t require much motivation, but will help you achieve just about anything in life. … If you improve every area of your life in small steps, you will become unstoppable. The one percent margin for improvement in everything you do is one of the best ways to build new habits. It’s so easy to overestimate the importance of one defining moment and underestimate the value of making small gains on a daily basis.

Everything meaningful takes time

Overnight success is a myth. …  Almost every habit that you have built over the years — good or bad — is the result of many small decisions you have made over time. Improving by just 1 percent isn’t noticeable but it makes the most difference. …

The differences between expert performers, creatives, and normal professionals reflect a life-long persistence of deliberate, purposeful effort to improve performance. Tiger Woods started when he was 2 years old. Serena Williams started playing at 3, Venus Williams at 4. They committed to deep, sustained immersion in purposeful practice. Small gains every day. …

… Productivity is a process, not an achievement. The most productive people you know or have read about do not rely on huge bursts and then stop working. They grow constantly in tiny, almost invisible increments.

This is the Japanese process of kaizen, or continuous, gradual progress.

… Instead of trying to do everything within the shortest time, focus on 1% increments. Habits don’t change in a day. But 1% a day makes every habit work. Every. If you relax and give yourself permission to only improve a little each day, then a good habit works. ​Practice makes habits.​

If you insist the habit changes within the shortest possible time, you are bound to fail. Pick the easiest change, improve it each day by 1% and don’t stop until it’s routine. … remember the words of Karen Lamb: ‘A year from now, you will have wished you’d started today'”


Take the quiz

January 14, 2019

What is the ideal work environment for your personality? Take the quiz

 

 


Under-management

January 7, 2019

By Victor Lipman via hbr.org  Article

Under-Management Is the Flip Side of Micromanagement — and It’s a Problem Too

“Micromanagement gets most of the attention, but under-management may be just as big a problem.

This is the term I’ve given to a constellation of behaviors that I’ve seen occurring together often during my 24 years in management: weak performance management, a tendency to avoid conflicts with employees, and generally lackluster accountability. As the name suggests, there’s just not quite enough management being done—and results often suffer as a result. But under-management can often fly under the radar because the managers who have these tendencies aren’t necessarily incompetent; on the contrary, they often know their business well, are good collaborators, and are well-liked.

One HR executive I spoke with about the problem estimated that some 10% to 25% of her company’s managers were under-managing. And I well remember one of my own company’s Human Resource VP’s exclaiming in frustration, ‘The trouble with our managers is that too often they just don’t manage!’

Take Jamie, a product development manager (he’s not a real person, but a composite of numerous people I’ve known). He knew the technical details of his team’s products well and got along well with other department heads in his division. He was a good communicator—unlike several other product development managers in the division, who were stronger on the technical side than in dealing with human beings—and his team liked working for him. They reported above-average morale, unlike many teams in the company.

But his team struggled to deliver results. For example, on large projects they had persistent trouble meeting deadlines. When this came up with Jamie’s boss and peers during management team meetings, he maintained his team couldn’t be working any harder—though other managers didn’t always agree. When Jamie’s boss or other members of the management team pressed Jamie about members of his team who might possibly be weaker links, Jamie strongly defended them. There are no weak links on my team. In baseball parlance, Jamie was ‘a player’s manager.’

There are several intertwined causes behind this phenomenon. Too strong a desire to be liked can get in the way of fully productive management because it can make you reluctant to do the things you need to do. Conflict avoidance is a related element of the equation; conflict is inherently stressful and unpleasant, and it’s easy to think that if one can get by with less of it, so much the better!

True, pushing your people and holding them accountable for strong performance won’t win you any popularity contests, and it requires some level of comfort with conflict. But while maintaining positive relationships with your own employees is a good thing, over the long run your priority is to deliver results.”


FIRE

January 7, 2019

By John Johnson via newser.com  Article

‘FIRE’ Movement Grows: Live Frugally, Retire Early

“For years, retirement planners have typically advised people to save 15% of their incomes. Adherents of the FIRE movement would scoff at such a paltry goal. FIRE, as the Wall Street Journal explains, stands for Financial Independence, Retire Early. And while the concept of living frugally isn’t exactly a new one, a growing number of millennials and younger Gen X-ers are embracing the concept aggressively.

As in, they try to save as much as three-quarters of their after-tax income and go to extremes to spend as little as possible. One single woman interviewed, a 38-year-old lawyer in Seattle, details how she spends $75 a month on groceries, uses her friends’ Netflix passwords, and walks to work to save on gas. It’s all part of her goal to retire at 40 with $2 million—instead of working for another quarter-century.

As her example suggests, many of the adherents of FIRE work salaried jobs and make decent money, and they are supported by a cottage industry of podcasts, blogs, and conferences. A blog called Mr. Money Mustache, for example, racked up 2.5 million views in the last month.

The story also points out the risks involved with the FIRE strategy. For example, index funds are big among adherents, and market downturns could wreak havoc on well-laid plans; then there’s the inherent difficulty of trying to forecast living costs decades down the road.

But FIRE advocates aren’t cowed. ‘We live in uncertain times and financial empowerment provides a path out,’ says Grant Sabatier, 33, who writes the Millennial Money blog. (Click to read the full story, which takes note of an irony: Some of the biggest names of FIRE have become rich by preaching the merits of frugality.)”


Why Google’s employees walked

January 7, 2019

By Thomas Kochan via theladders.com  Article

Why Google’s employees walked out and what it could mean for the future of labor

Five demands

The brief walkouts took place in about 40 Google offices including New York, London, Singapore and the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California.

They followed a New York Times investigation that found that the search giant gave Andy Rubin, the creator of its Android mobile software, a US$90 million exit package despite a credible claim of sexual misconduct. The report said two other executives received similar treatment.

The leaders of the walkout presented a list of five demands on an Instagram page:

  1. an end to forced arbitration in cases of harassment and discrimination
  2. a commitment to end pay and opportunity inequality
  3. a publicly disclosed sexual harassment transparency report
  4. a clear, uniform, globally inclusive process for reporting sexual misconduct safely and anonymously
  5. promote the chief diversity officer to answer directly to the CEO and make recommendations directly to the board of directors. In addition, appoint an employee representative to the board.

The demands signal, in my view, a deep dissatisfaction with the lack of effective channels for reporting and resolving harassment claims, as well as a distrust of human resources, a department tasked with looking out for employees’ legal rights and enforcing company policies.

Workers losing their voice

The Google walkout has little precedent to help us understand what might happen next.

For one thing, it’s the first time employees at a high-tech company – with their free meals and on-site gyms – staged a public protest. For another, it spanned multiple countries, a feat that very few unions are able to pull off. Finally and perhaps most importantly, the demands put forward go well beyond those covered under U.S. labor law. …

[Google is an example] of outbursts of employee tensions that have long been simmering among the private workforce. In a recent national survey we conducted at MIT, a majority of workers said they don’t have as much of a voice as they believe they should on a range of issues, from compensation and benefits to protections against harassment and respect for their labor.”