Issue #317, 21st December 2018

This Week's Favorite


Subtract
2 minutes read.

"Subtracting reminds me that what I need to change is something already here, not out there." -- Derek Sivers with a great mindset we can apply deciding on which areas to focus in 2019. This approach fits well with the notion of we cannot really manage time, but we can manage our energy. Picking the right things to focus on (and what to subtract) will help you keep your energy high and your day effective.

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Culture


When Physicists and Engineers Get Drunk Together
1 minutes read.

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

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8 Ways to Be Resilient and Kind When Things Get Hard at Work
6 minutes read.

Many useful tips by Leslie Yang on how to keep your sanity during the ups & downs we all face at work. Many of these tips are as relevant to our personal life just as they are to our professional life. My favorite takeaways were: "Ask for help and input from more experienced people, inside and outside the company. (You’ll be surprised how common your problems are.)" and "If you act angry and frustrated, your team will model your behavior, which will ripple and amplify across teams."

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First Round's State of Startups 2018
6 minutes read.

Over 57 insights from First Round on startups and the eco-system around it. Reading the sentiment in the market and the challenges (& growth opportunities) people point at can provide you with a few reference points when you're looking into 2019.

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How Hiring Entrepreneurs Enabled Airbnb’s Success (And Launched a New Generation of Founders)
5 minutes read.

I'd read the section "Challenges of Entrepreneurialism and Big Thinking" a few times as I believe the approach Jonathan Golden is describing can work well in all organizations - the makers vs. menders ratio may differ, but you want to celebrate and incentivize both skills for the long run (with existing and new hires).

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Peopleware


20 Years of Data, 10 Conclusions
3 minutes read.

I think that Kim Larsen's writing is so concise that I'll just put my favorites here: "[1] The workplace is a microcosm where small issues get magnified and blown out of proportion. As a leader it is your job to put things into perspective — not fuel the fire... [2] If you’re building a team, hiring must be the first priority — all the time. No meeting, code, analysis or slide deck is more important than getting key talent on your team. Play the long game... [3] No matter what your role is — technical or non-technical — learn how to communicate. If you can’t communicate your ideas effectively, you won’t realize your full potential. It’s that simple."

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Have the Courage to Be Direct
4 minutes read.

I often discuss with my teammates who is it that we actually protect, and who is it that we hurt more when we avoid direct feedback. While the tendency to avoid conflict is that we might harm the other side ("I don't want to tell them as it might hurt their confidence, I'm not sure they can do any better"), we actually increase the likelihood of them being blind-sided. When someone is surprised like that, it's very hard to create trust again ("why nobody told me I'm lagging behind?"). There is a way to provide constructive and direct feedback, and you have to make sure there is good trust in-place first, but avoiding feedback is in a way signaling that you don't care about them. You're on their side, and you want to see them grow.

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The Goldilocks Rule: How to Stay Motivated in Life and Business
4 minutes read.

"In order to reach this state of peak performance, however, you not only need to work on challenges at the right degree of difficulty, but also measure your immediate progress." -- having an immediate feedback loop is one of the hardest parts in the work of leaders. This is why having a support group inside and outside of the company is critical, as you can bounce dilemmas and struggles with them, to learn from their questions and get their feedback.

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Inspiring Tweets


@DrSepah: The Secret to Productivity Is Managing Energy Not Time. You Can Get More Done in Less Time Using the Mental Equivalent of High-Intensity Interval Training: Alternating Between Eustress Sprints (Hyperfocus, High Arousal) and Recovery (Inward Focus, Low Arousal) to Prevent Burnout.

@CoachMotto: Always Told My Players There Are 5 Things EVERY Player Can Control That Has ZERO to Do With Talent. 1. Be on Time 2. Play With GREAT Effort 3. Maintain Good Body Language 4. Bring Positive Energy/Attitude 5. Be Coachable. – Gene Chizik

- 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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