A friend told me: Success covers a lot of sins, but when success fades, it reveals like a receding tide.
The iPhone of Cars
The future of transportation looks rosy, filled with technical marvels of your imagination. Unless of course, you’re a car company.
My number one rule for the workplace is: no surprises.
What Doesn’t Matter
A great leader knows what DOESN’T matter. Be ruthless in discarding the variables that don’t matter.
Born Leaders are a Myth
Leadership isn’t a genetic trait like brown eyes. Leadership is a skill. All leaders learn how to do it.
Culture is by Example
The only way to improve or change the culture of an organization that you lead is by living it.
Smart Leaders Slow Down
Smart leaders are often the calm ones, the ones who are slowing things down.
Words Not Lived Speak the Loudest
Words not lived speak the loudest.
• Quality is job one.
• Safety is our number one priority.
• Diversity is our strength.
• The customer always comes first.
They mean far worse than nothing if they are not lived.
Organizations don’t have Values
Organizations don’t have values, people do.
People have personal values.
Organizations have priorities.
Most Values are Useless
Most organizational values are useless.
Without contrast they are invisible.
Without edges they are unmeasurable.
Without order they are chaos.
Without use they are abandoned.
5 New Manager Don’ts
Any advice for a first-time manager? Sure, here are five important “don’ts”. 1) Don’t succumb to imposter syndrome Recently promoted managers often feel unworthy; question themselves or their abilities; wonder if they deserve it. It’s hard to be successful if you don’t believe you will be. The person who promoted […]
As the software world marks the 20th anniversary of the agile manifesto, it occurred to me that there is an entire generation of developers who know nothing but that world. They know little of the decades of work done prior, nor, it seems, can they imagine how any of it […]
The Need for an Enemy
Today, the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, is a time for many to reflect on the deeper issues of life. I’m no different.
Publicly celebrating promotions, in a genuine way establishes genuine connections and can have a positive effect beyond just the celebrant.
Are you a Manager or a Leader?
What distinguishes a leader from a manager? When asked, many wax poetic about passion, and charisma, and vision. But how can you tell the difference in a more empirical way?
Culture Chicken or Egg?
Do organizations bend and shape their cultures to match their target market? Or does the target market tend to favor organizations with cultures that match?
Not Always Right
Working around truly smart people, real geniuses, can be invigorating. But we often defer to them too easily. Are smart people really right more often? Do they really get more hits, or do they just take more swings at the ball?
As your career progresses up in an organization the most overt change is the expansion of scope. Scope in time, and scope in organizational perspective. What you gain with more scope is an invaluable asset: context. And the most important thing you can do as a leader is to share that context.
One Small Step
Common wisdom is that the first promotion from individual contributor to leader is the hardest. But it’s the second promotion that is the true turning point in a leadership career.
WFH Killer App
The next killer app is the one that figures out how to effectively replicate the brainstorming / bulls**ting / hallway moment session virtually.
The Gruntled Manager
There are a lot of “disgruntled” people around lately. But it’s not clear it’s all their fault.
Where’s Your Admin Now?
Whatever you do, if you’re going to learn one piece of technology, learn how to video conference. It will be how you lead. Now, and probably into the future.
Loyal to a Fault
Loyalty gets a bad rap. Rightfully so. Misplaced loyalty is too common. The best loyalty is that which is placed in a cause, in an institution.
Hire the Fisherman
There are a lot of ways to recruit people, and some of them are far better than others.