Issue #64, 7th February 2014

This Week's Favorite


The Billion Dollar Startup Playbook (Slides)
5 minutes read.

You are going to love this one. Daniel Shapero from LinkedIn with 10 rules to apply for any company that aspires to be a billion dollar business while maintaining their start-up DNA. Rule #5 (Let talent flow throughout the company) is especially interesting. Amazon call these people the Bar Raisers and it's a great way to maintain your culture without forcing it. Obviously, it's also a great way to increase employees retention.

Read it later via Pocket or Instapaper.
Share it via Twitter or email.


Culture


The Most Revealing Job Interview Question
5 minutes read.

I love this post by Kevin Morrill. Having a baseline question for interviews is one of the most effective tools to look for a match both in technical fit and culture fit. I usually ask "Tell me of your toughest challenge in your previous workplace and how you handled it", then I try a few leading questions to see if the candidate is open for feedback or self-retrospection ("Sounds like you could do better, would you handle it differently if you were facing the situation again?"). Some people prefer technical challenge while other prefer communication or political one. Some find the question too limiting and try to change it to fit their point of view, while others make an extreme effort to make the problem clear and focused. What is your revealing question? Share this post at work and share your revealing questions with other interviewers, so you could learn from each other.

Read it later via Pocket or Instapaper.
Share it via Twitter or email.


A Simple Guide to Better Coaching and Feedback in Your Company
5 minutes read.

Joel Gascoigne shares how the team at Buffer conduct 1:1 sessions, making sure the focus will always be on the employee rather than the manager or founder. Their 10-40-10-10 structure is a great format you can use for your sessions. If I had to pick one critical point you should emphasis during these meetings is to start with acknowledging and celebrating success. Our tendency to work non-stop leads to burnout ("I did a lot today, but I've got so much work left..."). Don't let it demotivate your team, show them what they've managed to do and don't take it for granted.

Read it later via Pocket or Instapaper.
Share it via Twitter or email.


5 People Who Destroy Your Culture
5 minutes read.

Important read by Elad Gil: "With culture fit, you should never compromise. This bar should be the highest for the most visible and most productive of your team." I've seen managers delaying firing decision due to high productivity, and it was never the right call. These people eventually leave on their own terms, and the damage to the team and culture is always substantial.

Read it later via Pocket or Instapaper.
Share it via Twitter or email.


Peopleware


The Most Valuable Lesson I've Learned as a CEO
5 minutes read.

"Don't leave the pitcher in the game for too long." - Jeff Weiner shares his most valuable lesson as a CEO. Such a great insight by Jeff and great practical takeaways on how to handle this mismatch as a manager. It can happen in any position at the company. I've seen some amazing leaders such as Rand Fishkin (of Moz), Joel Gascoigne (of Buffer) and Tom Preston-Werner (of GitHub) firing themselves from the CEO position. The courage to take this action and also share it publicly says a lot about them and their companies. Are you in this situation today? Are you afraid or unsure of how to make the call? Highly recommended read!

Read it later via Pocket or Instapaper.
Share it via Twitter or email.


Interview With Raffi Krikorian on Twitter's Infrastructure
10 minutes read.

This interview with Raffi Krikorian (VP of Platform Engineering at Twitter) is mind blowing. When everything works these people running the infrastructure at Twitter are left in the shadows. When shit hits the fan, then we all tend to point fingers at them. Managing such team is a huge effort, especially from a management point of view. Protecting the team and celebrate success becomes a huge part of the role, so I really enjoyed reading Raffi's responses to some of the question, such as testing, deployments, dealing with failures, training classes (Twitter's university) and documentation. For the Engineering Managers among you, this interview is golden.

Read it later via Pocket or Instapaper.
Share it via Twitter or email.


The Most Productive Thing You’ll Do Today Is Practice
5 minutes read.

Laura Vanderkam is spot on. Delibertly practicing a new skill, or improving an existing one is a real productivity boost. It can do wonders to your state of mind and the way you feel about your learning. For example, in the past 4 months I've been using Grammati.com to practice my grammar (English is not my native language), and answering 5 questions a day really helps me to feel more productive and enjoy my progress. What do you want to learn this year? How can you break it into daily actionable steps?

Read it later via Pocket or Instapaper.
Share it via Twitter or email.


Inspiring Tweets


@bramcohen: You Don't Have to Love Every Minute of What You Do to Love What You Do as a Whole.

@paulocoelho: Every Time We Repeat the Same Mistake the Price Goes Up

- Oren

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

Subscribe now & join our community!