Why it’s OK to Let People Fail

My first “real job”, part-time in high school, was at a pizza restaurant. I ended up working there for several years, even into college. I eventually was promoted to assistant manager! When I was working there in my early 20s I had reached a point where I could do any job in the store faster […]

Measurement and Metrics, a Cautionary Tale

In my last post, I talked briefly about measurement. I related a common management saying that goes something like this, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t tell if you are improving.” I don’t know who said it so I went trying to research and find out. Fascinatingly, I never did find the actual original […]

Communicating Vision as a Leader

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a fan of Management by Walking Around. One time, when I was a manager, I was wandering around doing my management thing and I was sitting at a desk with an engineer who was working on a project. As they showed me what they were doing, I realized the solution they […]

My New Favorite Skill: “Dealing With Ambiguity”

I heard about a concept this week that I like, which is the phrase, “Dealing With Ambiguity”. Now, this is a pretty straightforward phrase, but the context in which I heard was very interesting. It was the idea of this being a very specific skill that can be practiced and trained. In the area of […]

Growing vs Hiring

How many times have you seen this job listing? Hiring: Expert in Floobabig Version 56.3b. Must have 5+ years of experience. Must be able to hit the ground running. I’ve talked with hiring managers in scenarios like this, and their answer usually is some variation of, “I need someone to be doing the Floobabig Version […]

Play to Your Strengths, but Don’t Ignore Your Weaknesses

I always thought it was interesting when, from a people management perspective, there’s all this focus on finding your weaknesses and fixing them. For example, let’s say I took an ability assessment and scored super-way-high 10-out-of-10 on Coding, but super low 1-out-of-10 on Giving PowerPoint Presentations. What do you think a typical manager’s response would […]