Sunday 21st October 2018
  • Mike Christian on Mindfulness and Mental Energy


    We've all come to work exhausted, or under the weather, or while experiencing some sort of physical pain. We power through it as best we can, unaware that our brains are redirecting critical resources to manage these issues. It's a process that enables us to cope. But as Mike Christian, an assistant professor of organizational behavior at the University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flagler Business School, has found, these efforts take a toll on our performance. When our mental energy is depleted, we are less able to exhibit control over our emotions and behaviors - and are more likely to be disengaged, break rules, take part in deception, or even act unethically.

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  • How to say you're sorry - Jason Fried


    There's never really a great way to say you're sorry, but there are plenty of terrible ways.
    One of the worst ways is the non-apology apology, which sounds like an apology but doesn't really accept any blame. For example, "We're sorry if this upset you" or "I'm sorry that you don't feel like we lived up to your expectations." Whatever.
    A good apology accepts responsibility. It has no conditional if phrase attached. It shows people that the buck stops with you. And then it provides real details about what happened and what you're doing to prevent it from happening again. And it seeks a way to make things right.

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  • How to Build Culture in a Remote Team - Wade Foster


    With a distributed team you know going in that culture will be hard to build. As a remote team, you don't delude yourself thinking that culture will magically happen. You go in eyes wide open. If a strong culture doesn't develop it's not because you didn't try, it's usually due to another reason.
    With that in mind, how can you go about building culture when there are thousands of miles between teammates? Here are seven principles that work for us at Zapier.

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  • How Men Can Become Better Allies to Women - HBR


    Women's conferences and employee resource groups (ERGs) are increasingly inviting men to attend. By creating events aimed at men, they hope to include men in discussions around gender equity in the workplace, and make organizational diversity efforts more successful.
    The evidence shows that when men are deliberately engaged in gender inclusion programs, 96% of organizations see progress - compared to only 30% of organizations where men are not engaged. But today, too many organizations still miss the mark on gender equity efforts by focusing gender initiatives solely on changing women - from the way they network to the way the lead. Individualistic approaches to solving gender inequities overlook systemic structural causes and reinforce the perception that these are women's issues - effectively telling men they don't need to be involved.

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  • Why your company needs grouchy misfits - WEF


    In modern-day management, there's a whole lot of hoopla around mission statements. Your mission should sit alongside unique values that together offer a vision for a world changed, however narrowly, by whatever your company makes, sells, or promises.
    Believing in a mission is insufficient nowadays. Your employees (each and every one of them!) should ingest, live, and breathe said mission- preferably so much so that given one year left to live, they would choose to spend it working at your company, as Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky has suggested. If your mission fails, you fail. And if an employee doesn't rally around your mission, they'll hold you back.
    Not so fast, says Adam Grant, the organizational psychologist and Wharton professor, and author of Originals: How Non-Conformists Rule the World.

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  • What Sets Successful CEOs Apart - HBR


    The chief executive role is a tough one to fill. From 2000 to 2013, about a quarter of the CEO departures in the Fortune 500 were involuntary, according to the Conference Board. The fallout from these dismissals can be staggering: Forced turnover at the top costs shareholders an estimated $112 billion in lost market value annually, a 2014 PwC study of the world's 2,500 largest companies showed. Those figures are discouraging for directors who have the hard task of anointing CEOs - and daunting to any leader aspiring to the C-suite. Clearly, many otherwise capable leaders and boards are getting something wrong. The question is, what?

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  • The Focused Leader - HBR


    A primary task of leadership is to direct attention. To do so, leaders must learn to focus their own attention. When we speak about being focused, we commonly mean thinking about one thing while filtering out distractions. But a wealth of recent research in neuroscience shows that we focus in many ways, for different purposes, drawing on different neural pathways--some of which work in concert, while others tend to stand in opposition.
    Grouping these modes of attention into three broad buckets- focusing on yourself, focusing on others, and focusing on the wider world--sheds new light on the practice of many essential leadership skills. Focusing inward and focusing constructively on others helps leaders cultivate the primary elements of emotional intelligence. A fuller understanding of how they focus on the wider world can improve their ability to devise strategy, innovate, and manage organizations.

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  • How to Avoid Startup Suicide: Indecision - Terry Lee


    Startups are more likely to die from suicide than homicide -Paul Graham
    The above quote is so powerful and so true - most companies die from self-inflicted wounds than from an external force (competition, economic downturn, etc.). To expand upon this further, I believe there are two main types of startup suicide: toxic founder relationships and indecision.
    In my post about toxic founder relationships, I shared how we cultivate a healthy relationship among the founding team at Panacea. In this post, I'd like to dive into the perils of indecision and how it leads to startup suicide.
    Indecision leads to decision-making by consensus (only making decisions when everyone agrees) and as a result, slow decision-making. This ethos is magnified at a startup because speed is a true competitive advantage that is vital for success.

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  • Read like you're on a diet - Cody Musser


    Whoa. Wait. Don't get so salty. I apologize, Mr. Burton. Let me elaborate.
    Stop reading so many of these posts. These posts, written by folks just like me, saying things just like this, about this-or-that design system or startup secret trick or sharing entrepreneurial experiences from every person ever to kinda start a business.
    (And then try and promote that business by writing about things online.)
    See, that's the real secret trick. Everyone here is platform-building to sell their product or service. And there are tens of thousands of us. And as much as a post might help you, it's often written by and for the creator because it helps them more.

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  • How to Reverse-Engineer a Unicorn - Why A Personal Board of Advisors is the Key to Your Success


    There's only one CEO in a company, and it can be a lonely gig. When product-market fits seems like a pipe dream, it's on you to inspire your team to find a path forward. When you start to see traction at the exact moment that you're rapidly running out of cash, it's on you to figure out how to extend your runway. When your head of sales leaves just before the end of an important quarter, it's on you to pick up the pieces and pull off a miracle.
    If you're lucky, you have a passionate, productive, collaborative, healthy management team (too many companies don't). If you're really lucky, you also have an incredibly supportive board. But no matter how good you have it, there are complicated dynamics at play on any executive team, and there are just some things you aren't ready to share with your board.
    At the end of the day, you're the only person in the CEO seat - that's an awful lot of weight to carry on your own.
    Your Board of Advisors is Your Life Raft

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