Articles

Man trying to work out how to get a square peg into a round hole.

Have we been looking at 'cultural fit' all wrong?

February 6, 2014

Most of the time — especially when we are looking to hire someone — we put a lot of emphasis on cultural fit. We’ve got a round hole and we go looking for a round peg.

I’m afraid that we’ve got the idea of ‘fit’ backwards. You don’t go looking for someone who fits. You start by articulating what fit looks like on your team and then go looking for someone willing and able to adapt.

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A triangle of three people drawn on a yellow sticky note with a circle of arrows pointing to each one.

Advice to Writers (and Leaders)

January 29, 2014

Tim Siedell (aka BadBanana) is one of my favorite personalities on Twitter. His tweets are always good for a smile.

Last fall he was interviewed by Jon Winokur on a site called Advice to Writers. Tim’s insights strikes me as great advice for leaders too.

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Black vector diagram of a metronome in motion

The Rhythm of Productivity – Reprise

January 2, 2014

Happy New Year!

As the holidays wrap up this week, it’s time to start thinking about the year ahead.

A cycle of annual and quarterly planning sets the strategy that you execute with a weekly and daily rhythm. You think ‘big picture’ and chart your course broadly at the beginning of the year. Then, on a quarterly basis, you make more specific plans that help you reach those ‘big picture’ goals.

Next, every week you lay out specific activities that you are going to work on, and finally, every day you identify tasks that must be done.

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Silhouette of backpacker looking over trees

How To Take Stock And Plan For A Breakout Quarter

December 11, 2013

I love to hike. There is something deeply satisfying in loading a few provisions into a backpack and heading off into the hills. I have had the good fortune of hiking in the Colorado Rockies as well as the Smokey Mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee.

Hiking is both an exhausting and exhilarating activity. The pack is heavy and rarely comfortable. The trail is often steep, the terrain rocky. There are times when each step is a slog. You make progress by keeping your head down and putting one foot in front of the other again and again. You find your stride.

Eventually, it’s time for a break. You reach a vista where you loosen your pack and refresh yourself with water. And then you look up. The view is amazing. Looking back, it’s hard to believe how far you’ve traveled. Looking ahead, you see the path clearly in front of you. You catch your breath, revel in your progress, affirm your course, and don the pack for another march.

The rhythm of productivity follows a similar path.

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Pair of stylish quad roller skates on color background.

Lessons from the Roller Rink

November 21, 2013

I love to roller skate — indoor skating in a good rink with great music and a primo floor. There’s nothing like getting lost in a song while you glide effortlessly a few inches above the floor.

I’m pretty good at it too — or at least I was back in the day. During college I even taught classes. I still have the syllabus tucked away somewhere.

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A clock at 10:05 AM behind a nondescript calendar with a date circled in the middle

The Rhythm of Productivity — How To Get Stuff Done

October 9, 2013

Do you struggle to be productive? At the end of the day does it feel like there are more items on your ToDo list than there were at the beginning of the day?

There is no end to the articles and blogs and tools and apps that aim to help you be more productive. Many of them are even good. But in some ways, they’re all a bit of distraction for the task at hand: getting stuff done.

Being productive is hard. If it was easy — if an app could solve your problem — we wouldn’t see the proliferation of articles and blogs and tools and apps. 

Personal productivity is a Holy Grail: Many pursue it. Few seem to find it.

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Pictogram of a swimmer in open water

Never Give Up!

September 2, 2013

Diana Nyad has just completed an amazing feat of endurance and perseverance. To try and put it into perspective, imagine going without sleep for 53 hours.

Now imagine walking for 110 miles during those 53 hours.

Finally, instead of walking, imagine swimming 110 miles in shark and jellyfish infested, open ocean during those 53 hours. It belies belief.

And yet, Diana has just accomplished this historic feat.

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Logo from OnBeing.org

Growth comes in two ways …

July 10, 2013

Growth comes in two ways: from discovering something new … or rediscovering something that is essential and elemental that we have forgotten. — Krista Tippett

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Silhouettes of five people

The Business of People

June 22, 2013

Running a business with employees is messy and fraught with challenges, not the least of which is the challenge that so many employees are also people — people who have dreams, fears, families, loneliness, hope, illness, optimism, and all of whom want to be part of a successful endeavor.

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Quote that reads: The ideal organization makes explicit efforts to transcend the dominant currents in its culture.

Great Places to Work

April 26, 2013

For years I have been refining my thinking on leadership and vibrant organizations into a model that I call “Cohesive Leadership.” This month, HBR published an article that validates and reinforces everything I believe in. Sweet…

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