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)

The People Business

My paraphrasing of Zeynep Tufekci's tweet from October 2017: Via Sara Wachter-Boettcher.

Radical Renewal

If this is something that comes up for you — I highly recommend John Gardner's "Personal Renewal" essay (via John Maeda). Powerful and resonant piece; one of the best I've ever read. Though written in 1990, it resonates with me today as if the words were spoken in my ear this morning. Radical renewal is personal renewal … Continue reading Radical Renewal

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

What’s Your Surfboard?

A thought experiment. No right or wrong answers. What grounds you? As you ride the currents of your day-to-day work — entering in and out of conversations with your team and with customers — or with your family and friends as your navigate your way through the world? What's the "surfboard" made of that you … Continue reading What’s Your Surfboard?

Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies

What Kind of Person Are You? The Four Rubin Tendencies. New to me, from 2013 — I love Gretchen Rubin's framework for sorting everyone into categories which describe how people tend to respond to both outer and inner expectations. (I'm an Upholder.) Via Cate.

Leader as Gardener, Not Chess Master, to Create the Space for Great Work

A frequent topic I talk to other leaders and managers about is how to influence change. This goes for anyone working in a team, of course — not just managers. I'd like to share how my ideas have evolved in the last year or so as I've scaled up my own role at Automattic across … Continue reading Leader as Gardener, Not Chess Master, to Create the Space for Great Work

Amazon’s Leadership Principles

Still haven't found a better list than Amazon's Leadership Principles. Concise, clear, ambitious. A benchmark. Bookmarked this in 2017, now printed it (on paper!) for a weekly read and review. Here are my favorites. Bias for Action Speed matters in business. Many decisions and actions are reversible and do not need extensive study. We value … Continue reading Amazon’s Leadership Principles