Wednesday 26th September 2018
  • Lead, Follow or Get the Fuck Out of the Way - Mark Suster


    It's hard to be a real leader. Decisions are never black or white, so most people fudge. They straddle middle grounds to keep everybody happy. They make compromises to try and hold together constituencies. On business decisions they want to hedge their bets so they do a little bit of everything but nothing extremely well.
    As highlighted by Brad Garlinghouse years ago in the famous "peanut butter manifesto" - it's like spreading peanut butter evenly over a piece of bread. And of course fudging never produces world-class results, so many companies suffer from mediocrity.

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  • Table Stakes for Managing People - Blair Shane


    People build products. People build brands. People sell and execute. Enabling people to be successful is the most significant thing you can do for any company. If managing people has become part of your job then it is the most important part.
    Yet no one teaches this. Companies throw people into management positions with no preparation or playbook. Most merely improvise. You need more. This guide covers the table stakes of people management. These are practical best practices for the full lifecycle of managing someone, from finding the right person to helping him or her thrive. Nothing here is costly or complicated, and nothing matters more.

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  • How to Make Your One-on-Ones with Employees More Productive - HBR


    In the digital age, we tend to communicate with direct reports via email, IM, phone, and text. But nothing quite beats a face-to-face, one-on-one meeting, says Elizabeth Grace Saunders, the author of How to Invest Your Time Like Money, and the founder of Real Life E Time Coaching & Training. "One-on-ones are one of the most important productivity tools you have as a manager," she says. "They are where you can ask strategic questions such as, are we focused on the right things? And from a rapport point of view, they are how you show employees that you value them and care about them." In light of this dual purpose, running an effective one-on-one meeting "requires real cognitive agility," says Margaret Moore, CEO of Wellcoaches Corporation and co-author of Organize Your Emotions, Optimize Your Life.

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  • Plant Trees You'll Never See - Tom Tunguz


    The New Zealand All Blacks are the most successful athletic team perhaps of all time. A rugby outfit whose name originates from the solid black uniforms, they have won 79% of their international matches spanning 68 years. James Kerr followed the All Blacks, interviewed them and distilled his learnings into a book, Legacy. Kerr organizes the book into 15 life lessons, three of which stood out to me.

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  • Venture Capital Funnel Shows Odds Of Becoming A Unicorn Are About 1% - CBInsights


    Anecdotally, it's known that most startups fail. But looking at the data, we can see the hard truth in the numbers and better understand where in the funding lifecycle startups begin to lose traction.
    We followed a cohort of over 1,100 startups from the moment they raised their first seed investment to see what happens to them empirically.
    So, once you take your first bit of seed funding, what can startup founders expect? The data bears out the conventional wisdom: nearly 67% of startups stall at some point in the VC process and fail to exit or raise follow-on funding.

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  • Follow these seven rules to make tough choices from today - Sajid Rahman


    Do you often feel stuck? Overwhelmed? Not upto the responsibility you are given? Is it common for you to postpone decisions? Do you often feel like an impostor when faced with a tough decision.
    The good news is you are not alone. A recent study indicated that managers think "making difficult decisions" as the most challenging part in professional life.
    So, why we are afraid to make decisions? Specially the difficult ones?
    The reason is our instincts are conditioned to avoid "risk" and with every decision (and subsequent action) you are taking a risk... risk that may significantly change the course of your career.

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  • Why You Should Risk Sharing Your Idea - Scott Weiss


    One of the rookie mistakes first-time entrepreneurs often make is to be too guarded about their idea - in fact, many will actually spend their first $25,000 on patent lawyers without ever fully vetting their product. In order to gain credibility and attract investor attention, it's critical to aggressively seek out the most relevant people in the world and get their feedback. I believe most young entrepreneurs massively overestimate the chances of someone stealing their idea versus the benefits associated with sharing it.
    When my co-founder and I first had the idea for IronPort, an email security company, we triangulated a list of the 20 most relevant people in email - former CEOs, open source technologists, investors and thought leaders. After we had the target list, we got resourceful in getting to them - friends of friends, cold emails and FedExed letters. One of the tactics we used was trying to get a diagram of our technology into their hands - subject matter experts just couldn't resist correcting our analysis. Here are the huge benefits with taking the "sharing" risk:

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  • What Makes an Entrepreneur? (1/11)- Tenacity - Mark Suster


    As an entrepreneur people aren't going to respond to you and it's your responsibility to politely and assertively stay on people's radar screen. You no longer work for Google, Oracle, Salesforce.com or McKinsey where everybody calls you back. You had no idea how important that brand name was until you left it behind. Your customers don't care that you went to Stanford, Harvard or MIT. It's just you now. And frankly if you went to a state college in Florida you're at no disadvantage in the tenacity column. Persistence will pay off.

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  • This is what China's economy looks like in 2018- in 6 charts - WEF


    Here are six charts you need to know about this report.
    1. China's strong GDP growth continues
    2. A focus on high-quality growth
    3. Credit growth has slowed but remains too fast
    4. China, a global digital leader
    5. Rebalancing efforts should be accelerated
    6. The benefits of faster reform

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  • Stop Wasting Money on Team Building - HBR


    Most corporate team building is a waste of time and money. I say this based on my 25+ years of research and practice in the field of team effectiveness. Seventeen of those years were with Mars Inc., a family-owned $35 billion global business with a commitment to collaboration.
    Many companies, when they decide to invest in team building, decide to do offsite events like bowling nights or ropes courses. Sometimes these events get really elaborate. One sales and marketing executive I know told me how he was flown to London with 20 of his colleagues, put up in a pricey hotel, and then trained to do the haka, a traditional war dance, by a group of Maori tribe members from New Zealand. This exercise was supposed to build relationships and bolster team spirit, and, by extension, improve collaboration. Instead, it fostered embarrassment and cynicism. Months later, the failing division was sold off.

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