“Arne Duncan, the US Secretary of Education, is one such listener. He believes that his listening improves when he has strong, tough people around him who will challenge his thinking and question his reasoning. If he’s in a meeting, he makes sure that everyone speaks, and he doesn’t accept silence or complacency from anyone. Arne explained to me that as a leader, he tries to make it clear to his colleagues that they are not trying to reach a common viewpoint. The goal is common action, not common thinking, and he expects the people on his team to stand up to him whenever they disagree with his ideas.”—The executive’s guide to better listening (via matthewhayles)
“A team is a small group with a leader (leadership can and does shift among the members in a real team), accountable for a specific and compelling performance purpose; it typically has a beginning and an end. In contrast, a network is a larger, informal, loosely defined group of people with various types of expertise, who can weigh in to solve different types of problems.”—Look Beyond the Team: It’s About the Network - Jon R. Katzenbach - Harvard Business Review
“A healthy product company is, confusingly, one at odds with itself. There is a healthy part which is attempting to normalize and to create predictability, and there needs to be another part that is tasked with building something new that is going to disrupt and eventually destroy that normality.”—Rands In Repose: Hacking is Important
“Yes, the marketing world and the business world continue to change. Rapidly, in fact. But there are a few facts upon which we can rely.
1. You still need to make sure you are making more money than you are doling out.
2. Branding encompasses your reputation, how you relate to your customers, what customers expect of you, and your message across any and all platforms.
3. If you do not understand basic business or marketing principles, you run the risk of trampling your business (or your clients’ businesses) into the ground.”—Why Are Marketers Hating on Traditional Marketing? | MarketingProfs Daily Fix Blog
“Change your language. Instead of saying “I don’t have time” try saying “it’s not a priority,” and see how that feels. Often, that’s a perfectly adequate explanation. I have time to iron my sheets, I just don’t want to. But other things are harder. Try it: “I’m not going to edit your résumé, sweetie, because it’s not a priority.” “I don’t go to the doctor because my health is not a priority.” If these phrases don’t sit well, that’s the point. Changing our language reminds us that time is a choice. If we don’t like how we’re spending an hour, we can choose differently.”—swissmiss | Change your language.
“Man, give it five minutes.” I asked him what he meant by that? He said, it’s fine to disagree, it’s fine to push back, it’s great to have strong opinions and beliefs, but give my ideas some time to set in before you’re sure you want to argue against them. “Five minutes” represented “think”, not react.”—Give it five minutes - (37signals)
we ignore all the cases where two PhDs from Stanford try to start a company and fail…
Conformity leads to average outcomes when we seek exceptional outcomes
The problem with giving and taking so much of the same advice is that ultimately it breeds conformity, which is another way if saying it reduces the variance in the outcome. And if you conform enough, you end up creating the average outcome:
The average outcome for entrepreneurs is, your startup fails.
“A great Board pushes the CEO and the company to make the most of the opportunities in front of the company. It makes sure that the CEO and the management team are pushed out of their comfort zone from time to time. It asks the hard questions that must be asked.”—A VC: The Board Of Directors: Role and Responsibilities
“My deep-rooted fear of becoming irrelevant is based on decades of watching those in the tech industry around me doing just that - siting there busily doing things they’ve convinced themselves are relevant, but are just Faux-things-to-do wrapped in a distracting sense of busy. One day, they look up for their keyboard and honestly ask, “Right, so, what’s Dropbox?”—Rands In Repose: A Precious Hour