Dangerous mistakes new managers make

July 16, 2018

By Linda Hardenstein via forbes.com  Article

Five Dangerous Mistakes New Managers Make (And How To Avoid Them)

“An engineer for eight years, Henry had been managed by plenty of people and had plenty of ideas about how — and how not to — manage people. Now was his chance. But what Henry didn’t realize was that stepping into management — especially if you’ve been promoted from within and are overseeing your former colleagues — isn’t easy. ….

Here are the five worst mistakes new managers make and how to avoid them.

1. You don’t recognize who you have to be. 

… relying only on yourself and just focusing on the minutia of a project will no longer cut it. … He would have to be comfortable relying on his team for results. He’d also have to anticipate the impact of his decisions on others and the organization as a whole.

2. You come off as authoritarian.

… The trouble was, he thought that as the boss, he had to have all of the answers. He told his staff not only what to do but how to do things. This will cause you to come across as an authoritarian and a micromanager. ….

3. You don’t give others a chance.

Not wanting any conflicts, Henry elected not to add to the workload of his overburdened staff. He was convinced he could do things faster, easier and better himself. As a result, he was keeping work on his plate that should have been delegated to others. …

4. You don’t follow up.

… he wasn’t checking in with his staff. Projects were getting behind, and he wasn’t aware that things were falling through the cracks. As a new manager, be more strategic than ever when planning your own workload and allow time for checking on the progress of your team.

5. You’re not clear.

… Henry learned a valuable lesson: Clearly communicate your expectations, using a timeline and describing what to do if the agreed-upon timeline isn’t met.”


Go fast and break things

July 16, 2018

Go Fast and Break Things: The Difference Between Reversible and Irreversible Decisions … via fs.blog  Article

“Many of the most successful people adopt simple, versatile decision-making heuristics to remove the need for deliberation in particular situations. One heuristic might be defaulting to saying no, as Steve Jobs did. Or saying no to any decision that requires a calculator or computer, as Warren Buffett does. … Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, has another one we can add to our toolbox. He asks himself, is this a reversible or irreversible decision?

If a decision is reversible, we can make it fast and without perfect information. If a decision is irreversible, we had better slow down the decision-making process and ensure that we consider ample information and understand the problem as thoroughly as we can.

… Let’s say you decide to try a new restaurant after reading a review online. … you use the incomplete information from the review to make a decision, recognizing that it’s not a big deal if you don’t like the restaurant. In other situations, the uncertainty is a little riskier. You might decide to take a particular job, not knowing what the company culture is like or how you will feel about the work after the honeymoon period ends. …

Reversable decisions are not an excuse to act reckless or be ill-informed, but is rather a belief that we should adapt the frameworks of our decisions to the types of decisions we are making. Reversible decisions don’t need to be made the same way as irreversible decisions.

… In his shareholder letter, Bezos writes[1]:

Some decisions are consequential and irreversible or nearly irreversible – one-way doors – and these decisions must be made methodically, carefully, slowly, with great deliberation and consultation. If you walk through and don’t like what you see on the other side, you can’t get back to where you were before. We can call these Type 1 decisions. But most decisions aren’t like that – they are changeable, reversible – they’re two-way doors. If you’ve made a suboptimal Type 2 decision, you don’t have to live with the consequences for that long. You can reopen the door and go back through. Type 2 decisions can and should be made quickly by high judgment individuals or small groups.”

Two things to aim at in life

July 16, 2018

“There are two things to aim at in life: first, to get what you want; and, after that, to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second.”

– Logan Pearsall Smith (an American-born British essayist and critic)


Make a dent

July 16, 2018


Making the Shift to Creative Leadership


“Leadership consists of two journeys. The first is the journey of self discovery, the personal leadership journey. The second, is the journey to creative leadership, to quote Steve Jobs, it’s the journey to ‘make a dent in the universe’. To reach their full potential leaders must make the shift from personal to creative leadership.

All leadership begins with personal leadership – the art and science of leading oneself. It’s the foundation, you must lead yourself first, before leading others.

Whilst a clear leadership philosophy is a required first step towards becoming a leader, it’s just a foundation for the next chapter of your leadership journey. Personal leadership is the preparation you need to act, it provides a strong foundation based on good character, proven principles and practices. The next chapter of your journey requires making the shift to creative leadership. It’s a shift towards creating. It’s a shift to making your own dent in the universe! Personal leadership journey is your preparation for the real journey of creative leadership. …

Great leaders have no inborn quality, they are ordinary people, like you and I, who’ve made a decision to do extraordinary things.

‘When you grow up you tend to get told the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family, have fun, save a little money. That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people who were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.’ -  Steve Jobs”

In just two words

July 9, 2018

By Thomas Koulopoulos via flipboard.com  Article

In Just 2 Words, Jeff Bezos Sums Up What Separates Winners From Dreamers

“In just under 23 years Amazon has soared from revenues of $500,000 to $178,000,000,000, from nine employees to over 560,000, and it’s stock has increased 1000 fold since its IPO. … there’s much we can learn from Bezos’ rise to the richest person in the world and Amazon’s spectacular growth. …


First, Bezos has always been unyieldingly customer focused. I love how he repeatedly refers to what he calls ‘divinely discontented’ customers. What a wonderful way to look at the friction and discomfort caused by customers who are always demanding more no matter how much time and effort a company puts into its products and services. … ‘One thing I love about customers is that they are divinely discontent.’ … ‘We have a relentless focus on customer service.’ …


Second is Bezos’s focus on operations and execution. Again, going back to Amazon’s early beginnings, Bezos is a firm a believer that ‘Ideas have very little value in business and what turns out to have huge value is execution.’ …


… Most of us would prefer to hire someone who has all of the requirements of the job. After all training, mentoring, and ramping up all take time. … he is in unwavering in his conclusion that an organization must focus on teaching skills as a core competency. … few organizations have the sort of obsession with teaching and learning that Amazon does.


… ‘Insist on the Highest Standards. Leaders have relentlessly high standards – many people may think these standards are unreasonably high.’ …

Bezos puts it in very direct terms:

‘…a culture of high standards is protective of all the ‘invisible’ but crucial work that goes on in every company. I’m talking about the work that no one sees. The work that gets done when no one is watching. In a high standards culture, doing that work well is its own reward – it’s part of what it means to be a professional.'”

Complaining is not a strategy

July 9, 2018








The worst lies

July 9, 2018

By Dan Rockwell via leadershipfreak.blog  Article

The worst lies you tell are the ones you tell yourself. Self-deception blocks authentic leadership.


  1. Grants permission to ignore tough feedback and propagates stagnation. You don’t have the problem, they do. ….
  2. Encourages superiority illusion. The Dunning-Kruger effect states that incompetent people substantially overestimate their abilities. Self-deceived leaders think they’re the most competent person in the room.
  3. Promotes blame. If you’re so competent, then someone else must be at fault when things go badly. Self-deception allows you to say ‘I’ when things go well and ‘you’ when it hits the fan.

7 answers for self-deception:

#1. Assume you are deceiving yourself. If you aren’t deceiving yourself, you aren’t human.

#2. Actively practice humility. The reason it’s healthy to practice humility is arrogance is a form of self-deception.

#3. Realize your strengths have a dark side. If you’re great at asking questions, you don’t give enough direction. If you’re great at getting things done, you unintentionally walk on people. If you’re great at follow through, you might be a stubborn jerk.

#4. Tell others what you’re learning. Did you learn something while reading a book? Tell your team.

#5. Use phrases that express vulnerability.

  1. ‘I didn’t know that.’ Don’t pretend you knew when you didn’t.
  2. ‘I was wrong.’ If you can’t remember the last time you acknowledged being wrong, you’re living in self deception.
  3. ‘I hadn’t thought of that.’
  4. ‘Wow! That’s a great idea.’
  5. ‘I screwed up.’ If you aren’t making mistakes, you’re playing it too safe.

… If you can think of five people who need this post, but you aren’t one of them, you’re telling yourself lies.”