Weekly Newsletter: February 15

I collect articles from around the web for this weekly newsletter. It includes all the interesting things that I’ve seen over the week in management, leadership and strategy (plus any blog posts).

You can subscribe here.

Mark Suster

This week in Leadership

This Google exec’s success shows how it pays off to invest in talent
“Google is celebrated for its rigorously data-focused management and hiring culture. But the secret of one of its most successful executives, Sundar Pichai, lies in good old-fashioned team building.”

All Work Has Meaning (Almost)
“A great way to discover your work’s true meaning is to go deep with consumers with extreme behavior…. But companies routinely underestimate the meaning, purpose and significance because they don’t look hard enough at the diversity and depth of their consumers.”

How an Olympic Gold Medalist Learned to Perform Under Pressure
“It’s so easy and much more fun to work on your strengths. You get immediate positive feedback… But the thing you’re practicing, well, you were already good at it. So I think what you really need to work on is what you’re not good at. And I think that’s as true in business as it is in sport.”

The Vulnerability Decision: Why CEO’s Need a Coach
“In other words, [despite the benefits] most CEO’s frankly are concerned that their boards and key stakeholders will see it as a sign of weakness that they are in fact working with a coach.”

Complex Times Call for Connective Leaders
“The higher the technology in our world, the higher the human touch needed. The most sought-after leaders today are, by nature, connective. They become the glue that holds diverse people together.”

I Almost Died. And So Can You.
“Too busy for that morning jog? Too rushed for a homemade meal? I thought so, too–until I suffered a heart attack at age 43. Here’s what I’ve learned.”


This week in Management

I Filled a Job You Didn’t Know You Had
“The Job Proposal Memo is a summary of what a candidate will accomplish in the first 30-60-90 days in a given role at a company. It is similar to a cover letter, but focused more on what you can and will accomplish in this role.”

Why it’s more demanding to work for a company without a traditional hierarchy
“Working without a manager might sound like a dream but the reality is that it’s often much more demanding. As companies like Zappos and Medium adopt self-governing structures, flat management is piquing the interest of myriad organizations—though it’s not entirely new.”

The art of management
“Small steps … I believe that good management is based on steady and structured small steps over a period of time, rather than happening in giant leaps. It takes time to build a set of values that your people will live by (beyond just having them posted in your vision statement), and with them the culture and acceptable behaviours that are necessary to support these.”

16 Ways to Help Less
“Help done poorly creates dependency… Over-helpful leaders frustrate teams. Help done well strengthens. Help done poorly weakens.”

Stop “Fixing” Women and Start Fixing Managers
“The shift in all this is that after a few decades of asking women to adapt to organizations, companies are starting to adapt their organizations to women. They are asking managers to learn new skills to manage a new more gender-balanced workforce and customer base.”

Top talent walking out the door? Here’s how to get them to stay
“Want to prevent future flight of your top talent? Don’t wait until it’s too late: conduct a “stay interview”… Stay interviews serve two purposes: to let employees know how valued they are and to proactively identify problems that may lead to a team member’s departure.”

The Big Benefits You Can Get From Remaking Performance Reviews
“In 2012, [Adobe] moved from yearly performance rankings to frequent ‘check-ins’ where managers provide employees targeted coaching and advice… The aim is to give people information when they need it rather than months after teachable moments have passed.”

The complete guide to your insane working hours
“Why are we working ridiculously long weeks? Because of the way we measure work, our cultural history, and how constantly connected we are. Here’s how we can finally break free.”

Should office culture change to accommodate introverts?
“In a world designed for extroverts, quiet types are misunderstood as unambitious. Should the introverts change, or should their environment?”

Seeking Their Fortune: The Career Path for Top Executives in Big Companies
“Leaders “shot to the top fastest at Google,” where it took only 14 years to rise from an entry level position to the executive suite, while it took 32 years at Hewlett-Packard and ConocoPhillips.”


This week in Strategy

The Crazy Story Of How An Impulse Trip To Sydney Sparked EBay’s $US50 Billion Turnaround
“In a few minutes, Abraham and five of his coworkers from eBay would board a 14-hour flight to Sydney, Australia. Their plan was to spend the next two weeks re-inventing the eBay homepage… He had to move fast, he felt, because he feared that if he did not, eBay’s big-company processes and politics would suffocate his idea before it ever became a prototype.”

Inside AT&T’s Special Ops Team
“When the telecom behemoth opened two start-up style labs in Plano, it wasn’t just trying to change the way it does business with outsiders. It was trying to change its culture as well.”

7 predictions for the future of work
“We might not have holographic conference calls or teleporting commutes (yet), but corporate anthropology can give us a realistic glimpse of our futures in the workplace.”

Company Culture Is Part of Your Business Model
“I think leaders should think of their culture as the first and most important business model that they create.  It is the platform from which the more traditionally thought of business models emerge.”

Develop Strategic Thinkers Throughout Your Organization
“Provide information to your leaders on the market, the industry, customers, competitors and new technologies that influence your business. One of the key prerequisites of strategic leadership is having relevant and broad business information that helps leaders elevate their thinking beyond the day-to-day.”


Management.Disrupted is a blog about management beyond the production line. Thoughts on better management, leadership and strategy for knowledge work from Steve Pell.

Visit the website at www.managementdisrupted.com or follow me on Twitter @stevepell.

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