How to manage up

August 25, 2014

By Dan McCarthy via   Article

“1. Find out what’s important to your boss. … A lot of managers won’t come out and tell you – so don’t try to guess or wait and learn the hard way – proactively ask! …

2. Let your boss know what’s important to you. … Give them the “you owner’s manual”. …

3. Deliver on results and make your boss look good. This is by far the number one way to manage up – don’t give your boss any reason to need to “manage” you. …

4. Respond promptly to all emails, requests for information, etc… As a manager, it made me CRAZY when I would ask for something from my employees and the same ones would always seem to “forget” or “be too busy” to respond. …

5. Establish trust. Let your boss know that you can be trusted to watch their back and that you trust them to do the same for you. …

6. Reinforce desired behavior. If your boss does something that meets your needs (because they are attempting to follow “the book of you”), then let them know how much you appreciate it. …

7. Let your boss know about anything that could possibly come back and bite them. Don’t let your boss hear about a problem or sensitive issue before they hear about it from you. Give them an early warning “heads up”, and if you made a mistake, own up to it.

8. Proactively address anything that really bothers you. Don’t let it fester. Your boss may not even have a clue. If something’s that important to you, then be assertive and discuss it with your boss in a respectful, constructive way.

9. If you bring a problem to your boss, always have a recommended solution. Yes, while it may be a tired cliché, it’s still true.

10. Talk about your boss behind their backs. That is, be supportive of your boss in front of others, especially your bosses’ boss. When you talk about someone behind their backs, it usually gets back to them.”

With heart

August 25, 2014

By Dan Rockwell via   Article

15 Ways to lead with heart

“Leaders with heart:

  1. Say what they really think. Posturing reflects a closed heart.
  2. Remain predictable. Practice the ritual of touching base with teammates in the morning, for example.
  3. Reject the trappings of position. They won’t connect with you when you seem high and mighty.
  4. Live by values more than results.
  5. Create safe environments. Beastly leaders use fear to coerce compliance.
  6. Expose their own weaknesses that strengthen connection, but don’t foster entitlement or indulgence. Be “one of” not “one above.”
  7. Show interest in teammate’s family members. You connect with others by showing interest in their children, for example.
  8. Get out of your office.
  9. Honor the skills, passions, and strengths of others. Let others shine.
  10. Express tenderness toward others even as you expect excellence from them.
  11. Admit their own mistakes.
  12. Ask forgiveness for offenses.
  13. Stand with people who screw up.
  14. Express gratitude.
  15. Support the development of teammates and teams.

… All heart without results is weak. All results without heart is ugly.”

The same net worth: nothing

August 25, 2014

By Eric Ravenscraft via   Article

Too Much Planning is Indistinguishable From Procrastination

Procrastinating feels lazy. You know you shouldn’t, but you do it anyway because work is hard. Planning, brainstorming, and discussing feels productive because you’re talking about doing stuff. If you don’t move to action, though, there’s no difference between the two.

Your time is a bit like your money. You can spend it without actually gaining anything for it. Procrastination and excessive planning without action have the same net worth: nothing. As finance blog Free Spirit Finance explains, the productivity difference between planning and procrastination is a psychological one, not a tangible one:

You don’t need to do some complex retirement income calculation to take intelligent action today. Get your employer match, if you’re so lucky to have one, and save in a Roth IRA. Action! You’ll have a larger nest egg at the end of your career than someone who spent hours pouring over Money Magazine articles and watching CNBC while doing nothing.

None of this is to say that planning is inherently bad. Researching your options, talking about ideas with your partners, and writing stuff down are all great ways to move forward. But ‘moving forward’ on a project that doesn’t go anywhere is no more productive than watching Netflix.”

Stupid and cow-like and dead-eyed

August 25, 2014

By Suzanne LaBarre via   Article

Flowchart: David Foster Wallace On How To Live A Compassionate Life

David Foster Wallace‘s “This Is Water,” an essay derived from his 2005 commencement speech at Kenyon College, has become one of the most famous pieces of 21st-century writing on living a compassionate life. Over at Medium, illustrator Jessica Hagy has boiled down one of the most moving aspects of the essay into this poetic cyclical flowchart:

The section she illustrates is toward the middle of the essay, where, without an ounce of preachiness, Wallace considers the value of taking time to recognize the humanity of strangers in a crowd. These strangers might be in your way at a grocery store checkout line or in a traffic jam. They might appear, on the surface, ‘stupid and cow-like and dead-eyed and nonhuman,’ he writes. Such an effort requires challenging ‘the automatic, unconscious belief that I am the center of the world, and that my immediate needs and feelings are what should determine the world’s priorities.'”

The heat of the battle

August 18, 2014

By Pascal Finette via   Article

First principles

“We all can get caught up in the heat of the battle. We are so deep into the weeds of what we’re doing that we sometimes end up chasing rabbits down their proverbial rabbit holes.

It’s important to get your head out of this mode regularly and go back to first principles: A first principle is a basic, foundational proposition or assumption that cannot be deduced from any other proposition or assumption. First principles are the founding assumptions, believes, observations and insights which made you create your company or project in the first place.

Take some time off from your electronic devices, clear your schedule, have a good cup of coffee, go for a hike to clear your head, then come back to your kitchen table, pick a piece of paper and revisit your first principles, see how your current work and progress stacks up against it and if it needs modification.

I do this regularly (about every two weeks) and always find at least two or three things which I need or want to do differently.

Why not do this today or tomorrow?”


Before launching

August 18, 2014

By  via   Article

What You Wish You’d Known About Startups Before Launching Your Business

Sam Altman, president of seed accelerator Y-Combinator, recently asked a very basic question of his Twitter followers: What could someone have taught you in a class about startups that would have made you a better founder? Within half an hour, he’d received over 50 responses from entrepreneurs across the network. Some were concrete (e.g., “Taxes. How do they even work?”), while others were more abstract (e.g., “communication and empathy.”) Here are 10 of the most noteworthy answers, from business owners who learned the hard way:

1. How to network.

2. What “disruption” really means.

3. How to deal with the ups and downs (mental toughness), OKRs, and fundraising.

4. The importance of having separate legal counsel for each partner vs. legal counsel for the whole company.

5. How to hire and fire employees.

6. Taxes. How do they even work?

7. How fundraising works/Creative funding.

8. How to think about long-term strategy without derailing your focus.

9. Communication and empathy.

10. Get out of the class. Get your hands dirty. Start.”

Not enough

August 18, 2014