Profit and Loss: My definition of a business and the role of leaders

"Business" is just a made up word for a group of people who decide to work together towards a common goal that they feel will help them achieve their own personal goals. This collective pursuit is only possible if the common goal of this group produces some product or service that meets the collective and … Continue reading Profit and Loss: My definition of a business and the role of leaders

Born Lucky: Playing Warren Buffett’s Ovarian Lottery

Warren Buffett says he was born lucky. Being born in America, in the 1930s, without having to overcome barriers of race or gender, combined with the power of compound interest, allowed Buffett to amass one of the greatest personal fortunes in the history of mankind (which will be almost entirely given to philanthropy). As Buffett … Continue reading Born Lucky: Playing Warren Buffett’s Ovarian Lottery

Management Skills: Praise and Positive Feedback

The other day I read this Wall Street Journal article called "Smarter Ways to Discipline Children." The article advocates the parent management strategy outlined by Dr. Alan E. Kazdin in his famous book The Kazdin Method. Basically the doctors and researchers discussed in the article have found that the only effective way to get desirable … Continue reading Management Skills: Praise and Positive Feedback

Career Survivalism: A guide to surviving an economic apocalypse

None of the unemployed people I have met over the past few years expected to be unemployed. They didn't think their company would ever go out of business or their boss would actually fire them or the new job they had lined up would fall through after they already burned their bridge behind them. Some … Continue reading Career Survivalism: A guide to surviving an economic apocalypse

Having Kids Won’t Kill Your Career, But Seeking Work/Life Balance Might

Kids are generally thought of as little career killers for their parents. I can understand why. Kids take up a lot of a parent's time with their need for attention and supervision, and time is a manager's most valuable and scarcest resource. Kids can also be unpredictable and cause their mom or dad to miss … Continue reading Having Kids Won’t Kill Your Career, But Seeking Work/Life Balance Might

Expecting Perfection is an Imperfect Strategy

I have a tendency to judge others against a perfect version of themselves. I assume people are capable of perfection, and I expect to find everyone virtuously sprinting towards perfection. Expecting perfection from direct reports can be a good habit for a manager. A boss with perfection as a standard can replace a culture of … Continue reading Expecting Perfection is an Imperfect Strategy

Management Skills: Decision Making

"Let's get the burrito bowls again. You go first," I said to my wife. We were at Chipotle, a burrito bar restaurant for the millionth time. "Brown or white rice?" asked the burrito barista. "Ummm. ... ... No rice." My wife finally answered. "Black or pinto beans?" "I don't know. What do we normally get?" … Continue reading Management Skills: Decision Making

Just Joking: An introductory guide to a manager’s sense of humor

Having a good sense of humor is important for a manager. It shows the team you're a real person, and not just an order shouting robot. I think some managers are confused about what they can and cannot joke about with direct reports, peers and supervisors. Sure, most people can use their common sense to … Continue reading Just Joking: An introductory guide to a manager’s sense of humor