"Fear...is a clue that you’re getting close to doing something important." —Seth Godin, Linchpin
"Most people are good at a handful of things and utterly miserable at most." —Tim Ferriss, The Four Hour Work Week
"Remember the guy in the '80s walking around with a boombox on his shoulder? Why'd he do that? Because it told a story about who he was. Expressing yourself is big business." —Gary Vaynerchuk
"How you do anything is how you do everything. Your "character" or "nature" just refers to how you handle all the day-to-day things in life, no matter how small."
"Managers make widgets. Leaders make change"
"Don't worry, be crappy. Revolutionary means you ship and then test... Lots of things made the first Mac in 1984 a piece of crap - but it was a revolutionary piece of crap." —Guy Kawasaki
"Businesses often forget about the culture, and ultimately, they suffer for it because you can't deliver good service from unhappy employees."
—Tony Hsieh, Delivering Happiness
“Whether you prevail or fail, endure or die, depends more on what you do to yourself than on what the world does to you.” —Jim Collins, How the Mighty Fall
"The opposite of love is indifference, and the opposite of happiness is—here’s the clincher—boredom." —Tim Ferriss, The Four Hour Work Week
"Simple and to the point is always the best way to get your point across." —Guy Kawasaki
On Web 2.0: "We are massively underestimating this culture shift... We are in the era of the humanization of business. We're living by small town rules again." —Gary Vaynerchuk
"For all their bitching about what’s holding them back, most people have a lot of trouble coming up with the defined dreams they’re being held from." —Tim Ferriss, The Four Hour Work Week
“Micromanaging is something we only accuse other people of doing. When we do it, we call it helping or clarifying. Right?” —Me
“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” —Alvin Toffler
"The creative person basically has two kinds of jobs: One is the sexy, creative kind. Second is the kind that pays the bills. Sometimes the task at hand covers both bases, but not often." —Derek Sivers
“Many accept a known devil over an unknown angel.” —Amy Moore
"You have everything you need to build something far bigger than yourself." —Seth Godin, Tribes
“Incentives are like [a] jet engine. There’s no question the engine will take you somewhere fast but it’s not always clear where. Or what you’re going to mow down on the way.” —Dan & Chip Heath
“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” —Wayne Gretzky
"Sliding headfirst is the safest way to get to the next base, and the fastest. You don't lose your momentum, and there's one more important reason I slide headfirst - it gets my picture in the paper." —Pete Rose
"The easiest thisng is to react. The second easiest is to respond. But the hardest thing is to initiate." —Seth Godin, Tribes
"Patience is the art of concealing your impatience." —Guy Kawasaki
The true definition of Art: "Art is a personal gift that changes the recipient." —Seth Godin, Linchpin
You say: "I'm bright and ambitious." Investor thinks: "That's a relief because I usually invest in stupid and lazy people." —Guy Kawasaki
"Good Artists Borrow, Great Artists Steal" —T.S. Eliot
"Acknowledge to yourself that the factory job is dead. Having a factory job is not a natural state. It wasn’t at the heart of being human until very recently. We’ve been culturally brainwashed." —Seth Godin, Linchpin
"I'm just like everybody else. I have two arms, two legs and four-thousand hits."
"A good idea is about ten percent implementation and hard work, and luck is 90 percent." —Guy Kawasaki
For me the most exciting thing to analyze in an organization is it's culture. I just love this sort of stuff, no matter what I hear about how successful (or unsuccessful) a non-profit or business is, I want to know what the culture is like. I want to know this because I truly believe there is a correlation between strong company culture and financial success.
I really like how Zappos focuses on culture first and then lets the success follow organically. Here are the fruits of Zappos' fun and zany culture:
- Outstanding and renown customer service
- Brand identity
- Less management
- Positive employee influence & friendships
- Great management & marketing ideas
Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh explains that the company's culture starts with the hiring process. A company must be willing to hire
for "Culture Fit."
I've come to agree that you can hire people with all the right qualifications and skill sets, but it has to be a culture fit
. Culture fit is far more important than qualifications and skills. When it comes down to it, people can become qualified and develop the right skills to do a phenomenal work, but you can't teach someone to have the right attitude. Make no mistake, experience and skills are critical, but culture fit must be weighted equally.
Sure there are many great companies out there, but they could be even greater if they did not compromise on culture fits and hire solely based on skills.
The great contemporary organizations of the 21st century all have strong cultures and values. Does it matter what your values are? No, just have them and commit to them. One way to commit to them is to interview for the values independent of job experience and technical ability. If the person you hire shares in the values of your organization, then you have a culture fit.
The threat of wage and hour lawsuits is troubling employers more and more these days. I know first hand about this issue. In 2006, I was working for Costco in Utah and received a letter from an attorney’s office asking me to fill out a questionnaire regarding my overtime hours and mandatory breaks when I worked for the company at previous location in California over a several month period in 2004. I filled it out truthfully, I did work a lot of overtime and Costco paid me well for it, but I did miss out on quite a few mandatory breaks that I was entitled to. Several months later, after I had completely forgotten about the questionnaire, I got a check in the mail for about $1000. I though to myself, “Ouch! This really hurts for Costco.” I spoke to several other coworkers about the award and most of them made out a whole lot better than I did.
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), scores of cooperative claims of employee misclassification as exempt or not exempt from overtime pay, like the one I was involved in, have spiked by an incredible 77 percent during 2000-05. What’s very interesting is that these figures have actually exceeded claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act for equal employment opportunity. It’s critical for an employer to be aware that these FLSA claims are yielding verdicts in the hundreds of millions of dollars for employees who were owed overtime pay or misclassified as exempt.
According to the US Department of Labor, as many as 70 percent of employers are not in compliance with the FLSA in some way. Employers, like Costco, need to find out where they are making their biggest misclassification mistakes and how to fix them without getting sued. In my case, it would have helped Costco a great deal to have invested in competent front-line supervisors who allowed employees to take their legally mandated 15 minute breaks every two hours. Because Costco’s management got sloppy, supervisors seized the opportunity to oppress and it came back to hurt the company's bottom line.
It's important to understand the Dreyfus Model of Skill Acquisition
. Why? Go ahead and treat an expert like a novice and find out. People are different so they need to be treated differently:
1. Novice (wants to be given a manual, told what to do, with no decisions possible)
- "rigid adherence to taught rules or plans"
- no exercise of "discretionary judgment"
2. Advanced beginner (needs a bit of freedom, but is unable to quickly describe a hierarchy of which parts are more important than others)
- limited "situational perception"
- all aspects of work treated separately with equal importance
3. Competent (wants the ability to make plans, create routines and choose among activities)
- "coping with crowdedness" (multiple activities, accumulation of information)
- some perception of actions in relation to goals
- deliberate planning
- formulates routines
4. Proficient (the more freedom you offer, the more you expect, the more you'll get)
- holistic view of situation
- prioritizes importance of aspects
- "perceives deviations from the normal pattern"
- employs maxims for guidance, with meanings that adapt to the situation at hand
5. Expert (writes the manual, doesn't follow it)
- transcends reliance on rules, guidelines, and maxims
- "intuitive grasp of situations based on deep, tacit understanding"
- has "vision of what is possible"
- uses "analytical approaches" in new situations or in case of problems
If I understand it correctly, leadership is fundamentally about designing a way for people to contribute in making something remarkable happen. Therefore, it would be wise to study up on some ways to get work done effectively.
In this video, Jason Fried
at 37signals shares some unconventional (yet very practical) insight into how he has designed a his company to get work done in the most productive ways possible.
Here are some key points I learned:
- Whatever gets things done is what matters.
- Work on increasing influence, not head count.
- Less structure is better.
- You don't need to be big to do big things.
- The internet is the new "shelf-space. Anyone can find you, and nowadays it's through non-traditional channels.
- Proximity is an invitation to interrupt someone.
- Interruption is the biggest enemy to productivity and destroys your Zone of Focus - this is your mindset of getting work done, this is where you get your best work done.
- Once interrupted, it takes a while to get back into your zone of focus.
- Getting together for a meeting should be the last resort, an exception and not the rule.
I love being and feeling productive! I love learning new ways to get more quality output in less time. This really helped me out significantly, I will think twice before interrupting someone while they're working.