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 […]

I’ve Painted Myself Into a Corner!

I have an analogy I like to use a lot. Have you ever felt like you’ve painted yourself into a corner? Or you see someone who thinks they have? This is a well-known analogy, but I’m going to take it one step further. Frequently when I see people who are convinced they have painted themselves […]

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 […]