Issue #353, 30th August 2019

This Week's Favorite


Reasoning About Leverage in Engineering Organisations
7 minutes read.

Bill de hÓra discuss the terms Leverage and Lift as a way for engineers to suggest technical decisions, framing it to the potential impact on the organization. Lift can be: time saved, cost reduction, employees' happiness (e.g. eliminate tedious or error-prone work,) etc. - all worth guesstimating when offering your idea, and measure as you promote the initiative to validate the actual impact. As Senior ICs, speaking that language and presenting a strong case for Leverage and potential Lift can drastically increase the ratio of approved ideas from suggested ideas.

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Culture


Live Footage of Me Cutting Out Toxic People and Negative Energy
1 minutes read.

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

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Opinions
4 minutes read.

"Our opinions are like the debt we carry on our backs, wherever we go. They are useful until they are not. I remind myself that, to be comfortable with not having opinions, I must be comfortable with saying that I don’t know, yet." -- Subbu Allamaraju made me think about how I set limitations on my personal growth because of strong (often false) conviction in my ideas.

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Playing Rock–Paper–Scissors With 500 People
5 minutes read.

I'm going to steal this idea and try it out on our next company's event as it sounds like a lot of fun! The brilliant twist, no doubt, is this: "Every loser of the first round joined their opponent (the winner) as a fan." -- you get to see people cheering others while the crowd gets bigger and bigger. 500 people playing Rock–Paper–Scissors in less than 7 minutes to get a single winner and 499 fans. Magical.

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Stories as a Vehicle for Learning From the Experience of Others
3 minutes read.

Lorin Hochstein writes so beautifully about the power (and where to focus) in stories we share at work, to maximize learning from others - "Given these opportunities abound, the challenge is: how can we learn effectively from the experiences of others? One way that humans learn from others is through telling stories. [...] When we want to use incidents for second-hand experiential learning, it shifts the focus of an incident investigation away from action items as being the primary outcome and towards the narrative, the story we want tell."

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Peopleware


The Insights I Have Gained From Lines of Communication Model (Thread)
5 minutes read.

Andrew Certain, an early Amazon employee, with so many insights worth thinking about (with the tradeoffs they have) as the company grows. This one is my favorite: "For more-senior people, especially, it can be hard to let things go when you think the path being proposed isn't the best. But try to ask yourself whether paying the cost of consensus delivers more than letting the less-senior person try it their way. You might be surprised!"

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How to Discover Your Unknown Knowns
7 minutes read.

Alon Kiriati's "Practical Ways of Revealing Your Unknown Knowns" is excellent, as it will get you thinking which to try out that is more suitable for your style. I'm still a big fan of "Write More" as a method to practice your thinking, collecting feedback, and iterating on your mental models.

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Leadership Lessons From Bill Campbell, the Trillion Dollar Coach
8 minutes read.

The book "Trillion Dollar Coach" is on my queue to read, so I plan on using Steve Glaveski's notes to decide how to read the chapters based on needs, interests and challenges I have today. This advice is one of my favorite ways to get people to control their time and create an internal sense of urgency: "Don’t tell people what to do, tell stories and help guide them to the best decisions for them."

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Inspiring Tweets


@JamesClear: Results = (Hard Work*Time)^Strategy Working Hard Is Important, but Working on the Right Thing Is More Important. A Great Strategy Can Deliver Exponential Results. of Course, the Best Strategy Is Worth Nothing if You Never Get to Work. Zero to the Millionth Power Is Still Zero.

@ndwignall: 🔥🧠Tip: Never Worry in Your Head. if You Must Worry, Do It on Paper—literally Transcribe Your Worries. Constrain Your Worry to the Speed of Writing and You’ll Rob It of 90% of Its Power.

- 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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