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On Feeling Dumb Whilst Building Something New

Dumb Ideas Look Dumb Early On. So Do Great Ones. Watching a Future Billionaire (or, Very Wealthy Person) I once watched a future billionaire (or, at least, very wealthy person), put together his company booth at a show. It was modest, maybe enough room for a couple of...

Process and Delegation – Links

Liberate Your Team with Clearer Processes www.strategy-business.com Love this. “At their heart, effective processes are not about adding red tape — they are about enabling ‘flow’” Yes. Exactly. The Subtle Art Of Delegating Work – The Startup – Medium medium.com A good...

Listening (And Not Listening) – Links

Etsy's Charter of Mindful Communication | Lara Hogan larahogan.me Very cool. Some simple techniques for better, more empathetic communication, couched in clear language. “Assume best intentions”, “Stay genuinely curious”, “Prepare to be surprised” - and a bunch of...

Incredibly Simple Rules for Story-Telling

Here’s a thing that happened: we were looking for a great engineer to work on device drivers (yes, this was a long time ago). D showed up, did a great interview, and I hired him. Here’s the story about the thing that happened: I was doing interview after interview for...

Use Radical Candor to Reduce "HR Debt"

(this is one of a set of notes from my work coaching founders, CEOs and technical leaders in the tech industry.  Originally published in the “Leadership, Management and Being Human” newsletter) I recently highlighted this rather terrific post by Jessica Rose.  It kind...

Incredibly Simple Rules for One On Ones

This post is one in the “Incredibly Simple Management” series, dedicated to stripping great management down to the fundamentals you need to get it done. As with any leadership activity, things are moving on two tracks: management – the art of controlling time and...

Incredibly Simple Meeting Rules

This post is one in the “Incredibly Simple Management” series, dedicated to stripping great management down to the fundamentals you need to get it done. Meetings are necessary. The purpose of an organization is to have people work together. The purpose of leadership...

Self-Awareness. What It Is. How To Get It.

We know it when we see it. We say “she’s highly self-aware”, and we mean it as a compliment. We mean that person is able to take criticism,correct her mistakes and learn as she goes. We can work with that person, tell her what we think and expect a reasonable...

Sometimes “Why?” Is the Wrong Question

Don’t Always Ask “Why?” This is a trick, but it works: don’t ask “why?”. I know - we love to ask “why?”. It’s the most fundamental of questions, the one that gets us to the bottom of things, the root. If we don’t know “why”, then we don’t know what we’re doing. So...

Curiosity: A Super Power That Gets Us Unstuck

We get stuck. Somebody won’t listen – they just won’t. We’ve tried explaining what we want, why we think they’re wrong, what they should be doing better, and nothing happens, nothing changes. The decisions keep being delayed, the advice ignored, the obvious (to us)...

Culture Notes 2: Your Culture Is You

Your Culture is Being Created Now.  You Might As Well Pay Attention. I was doing a Q&A at a startup incubator recently when I was asked: “when is the right time to start working on our culture?”.   I was pretty surprised.  The answer is of course: you start working on...