The Secret (Don’t Label the Technique)

When I come to a conversation without technique and provide the space to listen, I do so because I've failed at this a thousand times. I've planned and schemed and got lost in my own mind — missing the conversation, missing the moment, missing the person on the other side. This time I'm going to do … Continue reading The Secret (Don’t Label the Technique)

Maker Versus Manager

An oldie but goodie from Paul Graham: Maker's Schedule, Manager's Schedule. Posting this as a personal bookmark because it comes up often in conversations with new leads. When I talk to people new to management I highlight the mindset change from "just you" to "the team." The context of an outward mindset is important — … Continue reading Maker Versus Manager

The Unscripted Dance

A mental model that keeps coming up for me is "the unscripted dance." This captures the idea of going into a situation knowing you can rely on your skills to adapt to the other party. Even without knowing ahead. Even without preparing for each move, each step, or each word you'll use. In a work … Continue reading The Unscripted Dance

Slow Down to Find the Right Word

The patience and attention to find the right word inspires me. From Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami.

Without Naming It

A short thought experiment to kick off Friday and the weekend. Can you work without technique? Without naming who, what, where? Not everything we work on needs a label. Sometimes working without technique or a plan means we discover new things. Pathways emerge. Without naming it you can break free of limitations and boundaries.

The Real Reason People Won’t Change

I first heard the concept of uncovering competing commitments in a talk by Rich Sheridan of Menlo Innovations. On the topic of embracing change he pointed to the act of uncovering as a key activity when teams are blocked. And when addressing low performance. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hs11ltxEWBM In the Q & A of this session I asked: When … Continue reading The Real Reason People Won’t Change

A Conversation Shines the Light

When you need to find common ground, a conversation shines the light. Talking with Group A: “Oh, they’ll [the "others" in Group B] never go for that.” “Have you asked them yet?” “Well, no. We tried to get a meeting and they declined.” "What about just quickly posting your questions?" "Oh, OK." Later, talking to … Continue reading A Conversation Shines the Light

TOA (Thoughts on Acronyms)

Have you ever seen an acronym in a work chat or read it in an online article — or anywhere — and immediately had to Google it? “Like, ummmmmmm, WTH does this mean? SMH.” “Ohhhhhhh. I see. OK. TIL.” The utility of acronyms is proven when the resulting phrase is easier to parse. The details are … Continue reading TOA (Thoughts on Acronyms)

Synthesis: Navigating Levels Effectively

One of my favorite takeaways from Principles by Ray Dalio is the notion of above-the-line and below-the-line (hat tip: Matt). Dalio describes how to navigate both levels effectively in both work and life. To synthesize well, you must 1) synthesize the situation at hand, 2) synthesize the situation through time, and 3) navigate levels effectively. Synthesis, … Continue reading Synthesis: Navigating Levels Effectively