Stop being an idiot. All that matters is growth.

February 26, 2018

By Jeff Haden via inc.com  Article

Sheryl Sandberg Says These 9 Words Are the Best Career Advice She Ever Got

“If you’re playing the ‘Who has the most impressive résumé?’ game, Sheryl Sandberg is hard to beat. Facebook. Google. The U.S. Treasury Department. McKinsey & Company. The World Bank.

Clearly, she knows how to build and grow a career — but that doesn’t mean her choices were always automatic. When Sandberg was offered the job to be Google’s general manager, she seriously considered turning it down.

So what advice did Google co-founder Eric Schmidt give her?

‘Stop being an idiot. All that matters is growth.’

Sandberg says that’s the best advice she ever got — partly because technology is a growth industry, but also because it meant Sandberg herself would grow: new skills, new connections, new perspectives …

That same advice applies to you.

Say you want to start a business. You may never create the perfect business plan. You may never find the perfect partners. Or the perfect market. Or the perfect location.

But you can find the perfect time to start — because that time is now.

By choosing to start, you choose to grow. You choose to grow more skilled. You choose to grow more experienced. You choose to grow more connected.

Consistently choose to grow, and in time you’ll have all the skills, knowledge, and connections you need.

Success is never guaranteed, but when you don’t choose to grow, you’re almost certainly guaranteed to fail.

Whenever you have a choice to make, choose to grow.

That’s one choice you will never regret.”

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My boss is a terrible leader

February 26, 2018

By Dan Rockwell via leadershipfreak.blog  Article

Hi Dan,

… I can’t help but compare so many of your posts to my own boss. He’s good at getting stuff done, but a terrible leader – practically non-existent. As someone who has no leadership roles in my company, how can I 1.) help my boss to be a better leader, when I have very little time with him, and 2.) practice being a leader myself, when I have no one to lead?

Sincerely, Leader Needer 🙂

3 specific suggestions:

#1. Don’t give your boss feedback on his poor performance.

You said you have very little time with your boss. You don’t have the ‘right of relationship.’ Effective feedback requires trusting relationship. Here’s an alternative. Suppose your boss is a terrible decision-maker. Present a situation that needs a decision and provide possible solutions. For example, ‘I think we need a decision on XYZ project. Here are a couple options. I think option A might work. What do you think?’

#2. Lead yourself.

Define self-leadership as expecting more from yourself than you expect from others. Self-leadership suggests that if you expect others to be proactive, be proactive yourself. If you expect others to communicate often, be a communicator. Leading yourself also means taking every opportunity to develop yourself. (#1. above.) I can’t emphasize this enough. Develop qualities that advance your organization, boss, and your career.

#3. Define leadership as influence.

Everyone influences others. You lead, even if you don’t have a title.

How are you impacting people and environments? Are people energized when you interact with them, or drained? How are you working to make things better without being asked? This person won’t be the last lousy boss you have. But I believe your passion for success will serve you well.

I hope you have the opportunity to become the boss you wish you had.

You have my best,

Dan”


How to know if you’re a leader

February 26, 2018

By Dan Rockwell via leadershipfreak.blog  Article

How To Know If You’re A Manager Or A Leader 

You’re managing when you:

  1. Plan and budget.
  2. Solve day-to-day problems.
  3. Track processes and measure results.
  4. Hire, fire, and concern yourself with job descriptions.

You’re leading when you:

  1. Set direction.
  2. Align people.
  3. Inspire.
  4. Seize opportunities.

Insights from Warren Bennis:

‘Failing organizations are usually over-managed and under-led.’

  1. You’re managing when you concern yourself with how and when questions.
  2. You’re leading when you concern yourself with what and why questions.

Over-led organizations end up chaotic. Over-managed organizations end up bureaucratic.

Which is better:

Leaders need managers and managers need leaders. It’s a matter of context.

  1. Leaders drive change.
  2. Managers require stability to deliver results reliably.

Small organizations in stable environments need manager-leaders. But you can’t manage your way out of a crisis. Chaotic organizations need management. Stagnant organizations need leadership.

Vision is a fundamental distinction:

Managers concern themselves with execution.

Leaders concern everyone with purpose and direction – vision.”


Employees leave managers

February 26, 2018

By  via linkin.com  Article

Employees don’t leave Companies, they leave Managers

“Employees join companies but leave managers. A Gallup poll of more 1 million employed U.S. workers concluded that the No. 1 reason people quit their jobs is a bad boss or immediate supervisor. 75% of workers who voluntarily left their jobs did so because of their bosses and not the position itself. In spite of how good a job may be, people will quit if the reporting relationship is not healthy. ‘People leave managers not companies…in the end, turnover is mostly a manager issue.’

Here are the four types of bad bosses that make employees want to quit companies:

1) ‘Marionette’ – In an age of uncertainty, many managers are yielding to this trap of just playing it safe to preserve their position and privileges. They just follow orders. They never stand up for their team or question policies. They are mere puppets and exude no loyalty to employees. …

2) ‘King Kong’ – Some managers when they reach to the top immediately forget where they came from. These type of managers possess a superiority complex and like to draw the distinction between management and staff. It is dreadful to work under a manager who is more worried about pushing their weight around than building relationships. …

3) ‘Superman’ – They think the organization revolves around them. Some start behaving like they are the owners of the company. This trap includes making all of the decisions soloignoring feedback and taking the credit. When employees don’t feel appreciated, morale and engagement plummets. …

4) ‘Taskmaster’ – Their sole focus is on the bottom line. Continuously drilling employees is a sure way make them unhappy at work. Micromanagement suffocates, demoralizes and kills creativity. If you hired someone, it means you believe they are capable of doing the job. A manager’s job is to motivate and provide guidance and support. It’s not constantly monitoring an employee’s every movement.”


Develop your risk-taking muscle

February 19, 2018

By Alastair Dryburgh via forbes.com   Article

Why You Need To Develop Your Risk-Taking Muscle, Now

“Consider a choice of these investment projects, each of which cost $1 million.

• Project 1 offers a 90% chance of a return of $1.33 million

• Project 2 offers a 75% chance of  a return of $1.866 million

• Project 3 offers a 60% chance of a return of $2.67 million

• Project 4 offers a 50% chance of a return of $3.6 million

• Project 5 offers a 25% chance of a return of $8 million

• Project 6 offers 10% chance of a return of $30 million

In most established organisations, project 1 would be the most favored, followed by 2, and then 3 and so on. Project 1 offers a reasonable return, and seems like almost a sure thing. As you move down the list, the risks become progressively less appealing. This is the natural, ‘human’ way of looking at things. However, these figures have been constructed in such a way that the natural human assessment is exactly the opposite of the rational. Look at the expected values of the projects – that is, the value of success multiplied by the probability or, if you prefer, the average return you would receive if you ran the project many times. This is what you see:

Project 1 – $1.2 million

Project 2 – $1.4 million

Project 3 – $1.6 million

Project 4 – $1.8 million

Project 5 – $2.0 million

Project 6 – $3.0 million

The order has been exactly reversed! The riskier the project, the more attractive it is, when you analyze risk and reward mathematically.

This bias can have different levels of consequences. If there are enough low-risk projects available, it doesn’t stop an organisation having a reasonable future. There are more exciting prospects, but if the low-risk strategy is good enough then life can be OK. …

The real problem arises when there just aren’t enough low-risk propositions available even to keep the business where it is. This can happen if the market moves and the business needs to follow it into new areas, or there is a change in technology requiring substantially new products. Or it might simply happen as the market becomes more competitive over time and the low-risk space becomes too crowded – too many people looking for the sure thing.”


What is your greatest weakness?

February 19, 2018

By Justin Bariso via inc.com  Article

How Should I Answer: What Is Your Greatest Weakness?’ There’s Really Only 1 Way

 “It’s the question millions of job applicants hear on a daily basis: What is your greatest weakness? … Not only is this question a fantastic interview tool, but learning to answer it effectively will also greatly increase your emotional intelligence–the ability to make emotions work for you instead of against you.

How to answer effectively.

… whether or not you’re interviewing for a job, answering this question can lead to amazing growth. Why? Because it promotes self-awareness, one of the core elements of emotional intelligence. Self-awareness is the ability to identify and understand your emotions and emotional tendencies. It lays the foundation for many of what I call the 10 commandments of emotional intelligence.

… it’s not easy to identify one’s own weaknesses. Doing so takes intense self-reflection, critical thinking, and the ability to accept negative feedback–qualities that have gone severely missing in a world that promotes instant gratification and demands quick (often thoughtless) replies to serious issues.

The key is to actually ponder this question-and to do so regularly. There are no microwave answers, and neither is it about making yourself look good. It’s about identifying your tendencies. … once you identify a major weakness, you can actually do something about it.

To illustrate, let’s say you discover that you’re a people-pleaser. Not only have you identified that, but you’ve also given it serious thought; you can even name specific occasions when that trait has harmed you–like the time it caused you to buy a product you didn’t really want, because you liked the salesperson.

As a result, you can take steps to combat that weakness. Now when you meet a salesperson you like, you ask for time to think about buying before making any rash decisions. When leading others at work, you’re quick to praise and commend, but you also force yourself to give the necessary critical feedback your team needs to improve. …

But learning to identify and combat weaknesses goes far beyond interviewing. And while this example can help you understand the process, it’s not a template for ‘what you’re supposed to say.’ Your answer should be born out of your reflection and experiences, gleaned from feedback you’ve received from others. And it should be accompanied by your own well-thought-out strategies.

So, when it comes to the question ‘What is your greatest weakness,’ don’t hate the player, or the game. Instead, embrace it. Ponder it. Learn from it. And use it to make yourself better.


To: All Tesla staff

February 19, 2018

By Chuck Blakeman via inc.com  Article 

An Email From Elon Musk Reveals Why Managers Are Always a Bad Idea

 “… Musk intuitively understands that managers add no value in pushing great ideas forward, but instead are more likely to slow down innovation, communications, and production. …

From: Elon Musk

To: All Tesla Staff

Subject: Communication Within Tesla

There are two schools of thought about how information should flow. By far the most common way is chain of command, which means that you always flow communication through your manager. The problem with this approach is that, while it enhances the power of the manager, it fails to serve the company.

To solve a problem quickly, two people in different depts should simply talk and make the right thing happen. Instead, people are forced to talk to their manager, who talks to their manager, who talks to the manager in the other dept, who talks to someone on his team. Then the info has to flow back the other way again. This is incredibly dumb. Any manager who allows this to happen, let alone encourages it, will soon find themselves working at another company. No kidding.

Anyone at Tesla can and should email/talk to anyone else according to what they think is the fastest way to solve a problem for the benefit of the whole company.

You can talk to your manager’s manager without his permission, you can talk directly to a VP in another dept, you can talk to me, you can talk to anyone without anyone else’s permission. Moreover, you should consider yourself obligated to do so until the right thing happens. The point here is to ensure that we execute ultra-fast and well. We obviously cannot compete with the big car companies in size, so we must do so with intelligence and agility.

One final point is that managers should work hard to ensure that they are not creating silos within the company that create an ‘us vs. them’ mentality, or impede communication in any way. This is unfortunately a natural tendency and needs to be actively fought. How can it possibly help Tesla for depts to erect barriers between themselves, or see their success as relative within the company instead of collective?

We are all in the same boat. Always view yourself as working for the good of the company and never your dept.

Thanks, Elon”