When I was in my late teens, I deliberately told a lie. A young lady I was fond of asked if I had a girlfriend. I said no. But I did have a girlfriend. In fact, after months apart, I’d just fought hard to get back together with her days earlier.
Nevertheless, there I was. Just a boy. Standing in front of a girl. Telling her I was available. Even though I knew I wasn’t, and every bone in my body was dancing with wickedness.
It was a flipped and twisted version of the famous scene with Hugh Grant and…
Generalists are also found at early-stage companies where the most important thing is to roll up your sleeves. But as the company scales, generalists that do not have clear strengths are passed on for growth opportunities.
Generalists and specialists can also happily coexist.
I advise Startups to hire “athletes” for early hires. Folks who are nimble and flexible and who do well at almost anything they try. Basically, generalists.
Generalists don’t need a manual and can deal with ambiguity.
You’re right though — as startups scale, specialisation becomes a priority. Specialists, though, need much greater clarity, clear swim lanes, and an operational blueprint.
I’ve seen a pattern in startups where generalists build a team from scratch, get to the point where it has well-defined parameters, and hand over to a specialist. Then the generalists are redeployed to build the next new thing.
Always something new to build in a startup!
If Google’s search predictions (a.k.a. autocomplete) represents the human race’s collective consciousness, then you’d be convinced we’re horrible at being people managers.
Just type “my manager” into the familiar white box. In the predictions, there’s no “my manager is amazing,” or “…is a great leader,” or “…deserves to be nominated for an award.”
Instead, we get a peek at just the beginnings of many sad workplace stories. Tales of bullying, hate and gaslighting (see the feature image.) Are we really all deeply suffering at the hands of managers?
We’re more inclined to use Google as a painkiller than…
Starting something from nothing isn’t easy. Having the foresight to build something that will scale perfectly in the future? Even harder!
To be frank, “scale perfectly” is an unrealistic goal. Building the foundational elements of a team — or a business as a whole — shouldn’t be about perfection. It should be about experimentation: Implementing, measuring, iterating. Repeat.
It’s hard knowing where to start. I repeatedly crashed into dead ends when I was asked to build a global Customer Success team in a Seattle-based startup a few years back. …
Startup company offsites or retreats are often misunderstood. They’re mistaken as nothing more than an excuse for nerds to use venture capital money to fly somewhere exotic and drink Aperol spritzers by the pool.
I mean, it’s not like that’s never happened.
Like in October 2015 when young UK music tech startup, Crowdmix, flew their twenty staff to Amsterdam. A claim to “grow Crowdmix’s presence in the dance music community” resulted in a party where they hired in half-a-dozen top DJs and dance acts. The bill was reported to be as much as £200,000. …
“In business, we can’t fake our way through big moments. Being convincing by being prepared is way easier.”
When I was 13 years old, I played the tenor saxophone.
I was rubbish.
So bad, I could blow into either end of the saxophone with no real discernible difference in sound. One time rehearsing at home, I squeaked out “Ode to Joy” so gratingly, our pet fish died (R.I.P. little Bluey, I miss you.)
“Just fake it ‘till you make it,” everyone said. So, at my first proper school concert, I did just that. I faked it. With two other accomplished…
In 1930, influential British economist John Maynard Keynes made a bold prediction. He outlined how, within a century, technology would advance productivity so much that people in modern industrialized countries would work just three-hour shifts, five days a week.
He was wrong.
But, he was also kind of right.
Technology has advanced in leaps and bounds. We have access to tools that can make us more connected and collaborative than ever before. Many menial and laborious tasks have been reduced from hours to minutes. …
Despite what most people think, the ability to work from home isn’t a perk of a company culture steeped in trust — it’s a driver for it.
New York Times best selling author Daniel Coyle provides a valuable observation as to why.
“Vulnerability doesn’t come after trust — it precedes it,” he says in his book, The Culture Code.
Since March 2020, many employees have been more vulnerable than ever before. …
“The only way to win is to learn faster than anyone else”
Remember the time you experimented in high school? Behind the gym, with the kid selling “herbal cigarettes?” Yeah, well this article isn't about that kind of experiment!
I’m talking about experiments you can run in your business to test things, learn, and improve.
In high school, those life experiments were spontaneous, easy, fun, and required little planning. So why do business experiments seem so damn complex and scary — like a Dean Koontz novel?
Probably because there’s a lot more at stake than getting busted by the principal…
If you’re a fan of the TV series, The Office, I’m sure you can relate to working with a David Brent-type character at some stage in your career. A boss who creates an uncomfortable awkwardness. A boss you cringe at any time they speak.
If you could describe them as a sound, it’d be like fingernails on a chalkboard. Eeeeeeeekk.
Leaders who present this way can have a misguided sense of self-importance and entitlement. The David Brents believe certain tasks are beneath them now they’ve earned the right to be a “leader.” …