Issue #257, 27th October 2017

This Week's Favorite


You Fired Your Top Talent. I Hope You’re Happy.
15 minutes read.

We're talking a lot about working with rockstars engineers that bring the team down, but do we have enough conversation about management who often bring those "rockstars" into that situation? I've read both posts and I believe reading them will make you think about the way your team operates, how much you invest in your high performers' well-being versus taking advantage of them.

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Culture


When You Spend Too Much Time Planning Your Launch
1 minutes read.

My humble effort to help you start the weekend with a smile on your face.

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1/ Leading a Fun, Professional, and Inspiring Engineering Team Starts With Understanding What Matters to Engineers. (Tweetstorm)
2 minutes read.

Well written thread by Steve Newcomb. This one is often overlooked: "Be present. As a leader, it’s your job to familiar with the code, architecture, and systems enough to make the tough calls." -- you cannot lead a team to accomplish a great vision without being able to pave them the path when they are stuck.

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General and Surprising
3 minutes read.

"I feel slightly bad when I find I've said something close to what I've said before, as if I were plagiarizing myself. But rationally one shouldn't. You won't say something exactly the same way the second time, and that variation increases the chance you'll get that tiny but critical delta of novelty." -- Paul Graham is insightful as always. Can you think of small variations you had in the past year around hiring or firing? What about your personal growth or helping others around you with theirs? What about your org structure or R&R definitions?

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Coaching Should Be the New Free Lunch in Tech
5 minutes read.

Setting an environment where coaching around different areas is available for your employees can be a meaningful differentiation in a world of ping-pong tables and Playstation rooms "perks." -- Lisa Nielsen (VP People at Keen.IO) found that having internal coaches available will "not only saved money compared to contracting external coaches, it lessened our need for other functions" -- This can save you a lot of money (and bureaucracy) while helping your teammates improve their skills.

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Peopleware


How to Write More Effective E-Mails in Less Time?
5 minutes read.

Julie Zhuo with helpful tips on using the right level of abstraction when communicating over email: "Know your end before you start... Think about your intended outcome. What questions do you want to ask? What points do you want to make? Quickly type this outline in plainspoken language. Sentence fragments are fine." -- one tip I'd add is to remember that emails are an awful medium for brainstorming or exchanging raw ideas. These become quickly too long to follow. When that happens simply say: "I'll set time for us to discuss points A, B and C face-to-face so we can make a decision."

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The Future of Management
4 minutes read.

Esko Kilpi writes so beautifully about the complexity of human-based systems: "What an organization becomes emerges from the sense-making relationships of its members, rather than being determined by the choices of few powerful individuals... The key management capability is not being in control, but to participate and influence the formation of sense-making and meaning. It is about creating a context that enables connectedness, interaction, and trust between people."

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Arrange Your Time and Tasks According to These Seven Categories, and You’ll Be a Creativity Machine
5 minutes read.

Having a newborn at home while trying to continue my habit of writing and playing with side-projects is hard. It's getting harder to sleep well and to capture my thoughts or getting some code written to put my ideas out there. If you're in the same situation, David Kadavy's framework will help you structure your week to extract the most out of it. I'd emphasize on creating a habit of tiny accomplishments: write 100 words, create 1 mockup, send 5 cold emails. Do this enough times, and some of them will translate into success.

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Inspiring Tweets


@farbodsaraf: "You Likely Have to Get Management Approval for a $500 Expense... But You Can Call a 1 Hour Meeting With 20 People and No One Notices."

@sehurlburt: Someone Told Me Feeling Emotions Is Bad Because Then People Act Emotional. No, Feeling Emotions Is Intelligent & Healthy. Their Action Was Wrong.

- Oren

P.S. Can you share this email? I'd love for more people to experiment and improve their company's culture.

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