I’m often asked for advice on conducting effective one-on-ones. I was recently speaking to Monisha Perkash, CEO of LUMOback, and she told me about a simple technique she uses for conducting one-on-one conversations with team members that I felt compelled to share. It’s called:
Happy / Worried / Frustrated Read the rest of this entry »
Happy New Year!
I committed to doing 31 days of kindness in December and reporting on it, and here’s my final report. From December 20th – December 31st, I did the following acts of kindness: Read the rest of this entry »
At the beginning of December, I decided to do 31 Days of Kindness, in which I would do at least one intentional act of kindness each day and then write about them every week or so. On December 10th, I reported in on the first 10 days. Here’s my report on days 11 – 19: Read the rest of this entry »
At the beginning of December, I decided to do 31 Days of Kindness, in which I would do at least one intentional act of kindness each day and then write about them every week or so. Here’s my report from December 1 – 10: Read the rest of this entry »
One of my core values is kindness. While I try to be intentional about being a kind and generous person, I’m aware of how often I get caught up in the everyday hustle and bustle of building a business, raising two young boys and trying to be a good husband, son and brother. I find I’m often and easily distracted from being the person I want to be by the incessant inner dialogue, which in my case tends to focus on whether I’m good enough (for what exactly, I’m not sure), what I really should be doing with my life, whether I’m living up to my gifts and potential, and how to make sure I’ll always be able to provide for my family. So… for the last 31 days of 2012, I’ve decided to step it up a notch and do at least one thing each day that is unusually kind; something that I would not otherwise do but for the intention of creating 31 days of kindness. I’ll write a blog post every week or so to share my acts of kindness from that week. If you feel so moved, I invite you to join me, and start your own 31 days of kindness. It can’t hurt, and it may just change your life.
Over the last year or so, I’ve developed and delivered what I call a ‘Startup Leadership 101’ program for some of the fastest-growing technology companies in Silicon Valley. I noticed that as startups grow, individual contributors with little to no management experience are often thrust into a leadership role, without the requisite skills and self-awareness to be great at that part of their job. One of the parts of the program that participants find most helpful is the segment on giving feedback, since this is such a crucial, and often botched, part of being a manager. Read the rest of this entry »
If you have the privilege of being a manager, one of your primary responsibilities is to ensure that everyone on your team knows where they stand. It’s the right thing to do, and even if it weren’t, it is the most effective way to develop and manage people. I’ve seen way too much needless suffering and lost productivity in startups resulting from managers not setting clear expectations and not letting people know how they’re doing relative to expectations.
We’ve all been told throughout our lives that communication is the key to making relationships work. And while that’s a nice sentiment and certainly true, it isn’t all that helpful in understanding what we might do differently to improve our relationships with the people we interact with everyday.
I’ve been spending a lot of time lately conducting trainings for startup leaders in the nuts and bolts of leadership and management (in essence, Startup Leadership 101). One of the concepts that seems to make the biggest differences for team members to get along and function well together is the idea of ‘Staying on Your Side of the Net’. I first learned this idea in Stanford’s Interpersonal Dynamics (AKA Touchy-Feely) class and while the concept may sound squishy, the results are anything but. Read the rest of this entry »
This morning, I randomly met an undefeated Welterweight boxer named Karim “Hard Hitta” Mayfield at a yoga class in San Francisco. Karim is 15-0-1 with 9 knock outs. We started talking, and I asked him whether the key to winning bouts was skill, strength or endurance. He said endurance wins over skill and strength, but the other factor that really matters is “a good chin.” Read the rest of this entry »
I just finished reading one of the most pragmatic and thoughtful books I’ve ever read about building companies (and I’ve read quite a few). It’s called The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business. In it, author Patrick Lencioni describes an organization as healthy “when it’s whole, consistent and complete; when its management, operations, strategy and culture fit together and make sense.” Healthy organizations have “minimal politics and confusion, high degrees of morale and productivity, and very low turnover among good employees.” He points out that most organizations are way too focused on being smart, and not nearly focused enough on being healthy. In his words, Organizational Health is “more than a side dish or flavor enhancer for the real meat and potatoes of business, it is the very plate on which the meat and potatoes sit.” Read the rest of this entry »