“The first step is to tone down the prophecies of doom, and switch from panic mode to bewilderment. Panic is a form of hubris. It comes from the smug feeling that I know exactly where the world is heading — down. Bewilderment is more humble, and therefore more clear-sighted. If you feel like running down the street crying ‘The apocalypse is upon us!’, try telling yourself ‘No, it’s not that. Truth is, I just don’t understand what’s going on in the world.”Yuval Noah Harari in 21 Lessons for the 21st Century.
Curious about managing teams while working remotely? Watch this free webinar for best practices.A Crash Course in Remote Management — The WordPress.com Blog
It is always hard to believe that the courageous step is so close to us, that it is closer than we ever could imagine, that in fact, we already know what it is, and that the step is simpler, more radical than we had thought: which is why we so often prefer the story to be more elaborate, our identities clouded in fear, the horizon safely in the distance, the essay longer than it needs to be and the answer safely in the realm of impossibility.
This very simple step is all that is needed for the new responsibilities ahead.From Consolations by David Whyte.
Still the best on-the-go notes app, clean and simple. Syncs instantly across devices, light/dark themes, always fast.
After a short hiatus, Simplenote is actively being developed again! We’ve been busy cleaning up the user interface, bringing old code up to date behind the scenes, and fixing some long-standing bugs. Check out the recent release notes below.
- Added search sorting by date created, date modified, and alphabetically with search history and suggestions.
- Added a resizable note widget to view a note and open it in the app from the home screen.
- Added an option to the Theme setting to follow the system day/night mode.
- Updated dark theme with darker colors for less eye fatigue and better battery life.
- Fixed multiple bugs with cursors for notes with checklists, syncing for deleting tags and emptying trash, and networking causing interface slowness.
- Added a sync indicator to show changes that haven’t yet been sent out to synchronize with the server and other devices.
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Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo.
My Goodreads rating: 4 of 5 stars.
This is a powerful, pragmatic, and motivational reference that I’ll revisit again each year.
The basic premise throughout is that any problem, dream, goal, or task are figureoutable. Meaning that if I break it down into achievable steps, face my fears about starting it, and truly want to say “yes” to it — and then take full responsibility for failing and learning from the experience — I can and will “win” because I learn and grow.
All you need is one core meta belief, a master key that unlocks every imaginable door in the castle of your consciousness. It’s like throwing a switch that instantly illuminates a field of infinite potential. If you haven’t yet guessed, the whole purpose of this book is to inspire you to adopt the supremely powerful belief that everything is figureoutable!Marie Forleo
The book is full of coaching tips, motivational stories, and testimonials from people who follow Marie’s teachings on MarieTV and her B-School course for entrepreneurs.
Read on Kindle, free from my local library.
View all my book reviews, and see my books on Goodreads.
Automattic is hiring engineers across mobile and web, frontend and backend. Recently we partnered with Key Values to highlight our top values, from open communication and open source all the way to flexible work location and a focus on teams.
Top values include:
- Open communication: As a distributed company, communication is our oxygen.
- Open source contributor: We believe open source is one of the most powerful ideas of our generation.
- Committed to personal growth: The first line of our creed: “I’ll never stop learning.”
- Flexible work arrangements: Set up remotely in a way that works for you — and take the time off you need.
- High employee retention: Automattic employees tend to stay at Automattic: Our retention rate for Code Wranglers and JS Engineers is 86% over the last 5 years.
- Heavily team oriented: Teams are how we organize our work, communication, meetups, and impact.
- Engages with community: We are more motivated by impact than money.
- Engineering-driven: First and foremost, we are an engineering company. Engineers are the ambassadors of our company and community.
In Brave New Work Aaron Dignan describes a wonderfully clear way to use an “advice process” to make better decisions.
Start with consent by asking for agreement. Get buy-in and move things forward. This not consensus or everyone is 100% happy with it, instead it means it is safe to try.
Use an advice process. Whenever you’re about to make a decision that’s irreversible or could damage things, go seek advice from those who’ve done it before. And, seek advice from those affected by it.
This replaces the waiting and expectation for a leader to do something—top-down decision making—with your own judgement and responsibility.
WordPress was my first introduction to the idea of distributed work — we didn’t need to live in the same place or work in the same office to build something that changes the world. So when I started building Automattic in 2005, we took the exact same approach. All you needed was good WiFi and a dream.
Fast forward to 2019, and Automattic remains a fully distributed company, with 900 employees working from 68 countries and no central office. Now that we’ve been working this way for over a decade, I wanted to create a podcast to tell the story of distributed work — not just sharing everything we’ve learned at Automattic, but speaking with other companies, executives, and creators who are pioneering the future of work. We’re going to learn about the practical application of distributed work in our daily lives, but also answer the bigger questions about why it’s important.Matt Mullenweg
Forward-looking new series about distributed work from the founder of WordPress and Automattic (my employer).
A quick-hit edition of Voices in Management…
Confidence isn’t optimism or pessimism, and it’s not a character attribute. It’s the expectation of a positive outcome.
I’m inspired by Rosabeth Moss Kanter’s work and philosophy on change management. The consistent message in her writing—many of her essays are in Harvard Business Review—is that a leader’s job is to “provide the tools and conditions that liberate people to use their brainpower to make a difference in a world of constant challenge and change.”
People are almost always confronting what computer science regards as the hard cases. Up against such hard cases, algorithms make assumptions, show bias toward simpler solutions, trade off the costs of error against the costs of delay, and take chances.
These aren’t the concessions we make when we can’t be rational. They’re what being rational means.Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths in Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions
The last chapter on computational kindness in Algorithms to Live By is worth the entire book.